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Posts posted by jefa

  1. Hi, Donna. So sorry to hear you are having to deal with more candles. I am not a doctor, but this article on Hyperparathyroidism from MedicineNet.com is quite thorough and should be of some help explaining things. According to the article parathyroid glands are located along the sides of the thyroid. Though their names are similar, the thyroid and parathyroid glands are entirely different glands, each producing distinct hormones with specific functions, all explained well.

    Secondary means that it is caused by some other condition. Talk to your doctor about what may be the cause and to make sure you are getting appropriate treatment.

    As for the GERD (GastroEsophogeal Reflux Disease), our page on Reflux (Heartburn) and GERD has a wealth of information. You will also find discussions of reflux in many threads on the forum.

  2. Here is something I found.


    Recurrent sapsucker damage may be prevented in susceptible trees by wrapping damaged areas with a loose, coarse material such as burlap. Such trees also should be fertilized and watered properly to stimulate growth and maintain overall health.


    Repel birds with visual repellents such as whirlers; streamers; spinners; reflectors; and plastic hawks, owls, or snakes, etc. These methods may be helpful, but not be consistently effective. Under any circumstances, the techniques must be varied and devices moved, at most every other day, or birds soon learn that such items are harmless and ignore them.


    The article said that these birds are protected by state and federal law, so you can't do anything to harm them. Another article mentioned planting other tasty trees to spread them around. Apparently they have a small local area near their nest which is in deadwood nearby.

  3. This from our page on Autoimmune Diseases: Thyroid Disease:


    It is common for people to develop thyroid diseases, such as hyperthyroidism (hyper means "too much") and hypothyroidism (hypo means "too little.) The two main types of autoimmune thyroid disease fall into hyperthyroidism (Grave's disease), and hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's thyroiditis). Often thyroid disease occurs by itself. Occasionally it is also associated with other autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, systemic scleroderma, and vitiligo, just to name a few.


    The page has many articles and patient stories - very informative.

  4. Another quickie is to take a slice of nice rectangular sandwich ham, line one edge with cream cheese and put a long slice of refrigerator dill pickle spear. Roll up, stick several toothpicks in to hold together then slice between the toothpicks. Makes a lovely crunchy bite.

  5. Hi, smac0719


    Please note that we are not medical experts and can not give you specific medical advice. You should be raising these issues with your rheumatologist. A simple muscle enzyme test will help the doctor determine if there is any inflammatory muscle disease. If this is the case, exercise can be a problem, as repeated muscle use can worsen the inflammation. You can read more on our page of Scleroderma Muscle and Joint Involvement in the section on Myositis.

  6. Hi, Erin. Thanks for writing such a long post and sharing what you are going through. Keep in mind that we are not doctors and can not diagnose you. It is hard enough for those people who are seeing you already who have access to your records and can administer the appropriate examinations and tests. The others have suggested some possibilities and shared their experiences which may be similar, but then again may not apply directly to you. At least some of the symptoms you are describing can be caused by anxiety. Read the section on Anxiety and Attitude on our Emotional Adjustments page. Try not to stress yourself out to much. Keep in mind that a good diagnosis will take time. In the meantime, work with your doctors on the individual symptoms. Try to organize a list of the things that cause you the most difficulty so they can be treated. We look forward to hearing your progress as you work with your doctors to find out what is causing your various problems.

  7. Hi, Lisley and welcome to the ISN Sclero Forums. As the others have said, this is a great place for information and support. Yes, it is possible to have a positive ANA and not have scleroderma. It is also possible to have scleroderma with a negative ANA. It is possible to have overlap symptoms with other autoimmune disorders which can confuse the diagnosis. Do let us know what your rheumatologist has to say after your appointment. Many of us going through these initial stages of diagnosis find the information on our Emotional Adjustment and Scleroderma page. Even if you do have Scleroderma, it is not the end of the world as you will find reading around on the forums.

  8. Hi, Erin. I'd like to welcome you to the ISN Sclero Forums, a great place for information and support. On the Medical pages you will find our list of Scleroderma Specialists. The one from North Carolina is:

    Institution: Duke University Medical Center
    Suite 09, Baker House, Orange Zone, Hospital South
    DUMC Box 3145
    Durham NC 27710

    Coordinating investigator: E. William, St. Clair, MD


    Other Local Participants: Keith Sullivan, MD


    Telephone: (919) 684-2193
    Fax: (919) 681-8298

  9. Hello, Bogari. I'd also like to add my welcome to the Forums. Sheryl has given you the link to our page on Scleredema (spelled with an e). Keep in mind reading in the forums that treatment and care for scleredema can be different than that for scleroderma. But our forum is for people who are interested in scleroderma and related illnesses and symptoms, so you are definitely in the right place. Here is a link to an article from eMedicine which gives some information about this rare disease:




    We have several members with this disease. You might try using the Search Forum option above to find threads which refer to it.

  10. Hi, smurfette. I understand how frustrating it must be, but I don't think there is really any capriciousness involved in these decisions. Economic factors are a primary concern of course as it will effect the overall insurance cost. While a pharmaceutical company holds the patent on a drug, its cost will remain high. When the patent runs out, competition comes into play as generic versions can now be produced by other manufacturers and the costs will come down. In many cases, there is no problem with a generic drug or a similar drug in the same family (such as Kytril), but sometimes one drug will work better than another for an individual. You need to work with your doctor on this and he or she can write the necessary approvals in these circumstances.


    Short answer: Yes, we all have to be our own advocates. Nobody else is going to do it for us. It pays to read up on your options and be informed when you are called to get involved.

  11. Hi, Mandy, and welcome to the ISN Sclero Forums. All of us have felt something like what you are experiencing when we first started exploring the various presenting symptoms. The best advice I can give you right now is to relax, don't panic and try not to spend too much time researching on the internet until your basic examinations are finished. It is so easy to look at every little thing and work yourself up. Meanwhile, we are here to talk to when you need it. Again, welcome.

  12. Hello, Parris, and welcome to the ISN Sclero Forums. I am sorry you are having such a difficult time with this, but you have been given some good advice from other members. We are not doctors here, but everyone who answers has dealt with some level of what you are experiencing. I wish you luck finding a doctor with the appropriate expertise and with whom you can relate. In your search, however, don't discount the advice you have been given. As Sweet says, for example, many of us are on low dose antidepressants. I personally reacted negatively to the idea at first, but once I decided to take my doctor's advice on the matter I was grateful for the benefits. The advice about a pain management clinic is also quite sound. I recommend that you read our page on Emotional Adjustment and Scleroderma which discusses coping with scleroderma and pain management among other things.

  13. Hello, Glenwood. You and your father are certainly in a difficult position. Tru has a point in suggesting that your mother may need to feel she is making the decision for herself. She may feel that she is being shunted away someplace. I can understand her desire not to have heroic measures taken to extend her life, but perhaps she does not fully understand the principle of being made more comfortable while she waits. Since she is clinging to her comforting habits, it would seem she might be willing to accept one more palliative treatment. Have you and your father considered the idea of home hospice care for your mother? You might find it interesting to read an article about caregiving that has just been posted from the newsroom:


    When and How To Say "No" to Caregiving

  14. Same here. I was concerned myself, but my doctor scheduled a fasting glucose tolerance test for me and everything was well under control. The first simple blood test showed slightly high glucose levels, but he said that you can get considerable variations depending on what you have been eating and when, and whether or not you have been exercising. The fasting glucose test is taken first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything. I will still keep an eye on it as my mother has Type 2 diabetes and I am a prime candidate (fat, fair and (well-over) forty).

  15. Keep in mind that I am not a doctor, but a quick research foray finds several sources which say that warts are caused by any of 80 or more related human papillomaviruses. Here is a link to the Merck Manuals Online Medical Library article on Warts which has the most complete information including pictures of the various kinds.


    People with compromised immune systems are more susceptible to the viruses that cause warts. Autoimmune disorders are those in which the body's immune system mistakenly begins to attack itself. Problems with autoimmuity do not necessarily mean that there is a compromised immune system.


    Here is a link to our page on Autoimmunity for further reading.

  16. Hi, Mary. I think it is possible that doctors are more concerned about diabetes because of the immediacy of the symptoms and the implications of non-treatment. Type 2 diabetes can usually be treated and improved dramatically by lifestyle and diet changes.

  17. I am certain that stress in our lives exacerbates any condition we are faced with and also triggers many conditions, but it seems to me if the horrific things people go through were the direct causes of scleroderma, there would be a lot more people who suffered with it. I have had a lot of stressors over the years, but my symptoms first started during one of the most peaceful stretches of my life.


    Of course none of us can be sure about these things, but for me, I think it was a series of events that confused my body's immune system into going into overdrive and then it just didn't stop. I had just had a complete hysterectomy (of course, the symptoms and diagnosis leading up to this were stressful in their own right) which went well and was recovering nicely. But there was a section of the 10" 'smile' which didn't close properly and didn't heal. When the staples were removed, it was evident that part of the edge had been turned under incorrectly, so the raw edges weren't joined. Once that was adjusted and closed with steri-strips, the healing progressed as it should. I went back to work as quickly as I could (in retrospect, not a great idea) and then took a trip home to visit my grandchildren in California, one of whom passed on a nasty upper respiratory virus to me. This combined with my weakened state and jet lag, caused my whole body to react with what I have now come to recognise as a flare. I never really got better and had to quit working two years later.


    Environmentally, in the seventies I worked in direct contact with solvent chemicals (trichlorethylene) which are on the list, but I would have expected something to have happened sooner if that were the cause. Who knows.

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