chronic disease

Singer Selena Gomez just published to her Instagram account that she was the recipient of a kidney transplant. The 25 year-old previously revealed her Lupus diagnosis and attributed this latest development to complications of that condition. Last year, she told People other side effects she struggled with included depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

Her story must resonate to many as these facts alone provide some insight into the chronic and complex nature of this disease. I will shortly address the complicated clinical course of patients with more severe disease along with the wide spectrum of severity individuals experience.

But, first, in Selena Gomez’s own...

Actress Shannen Doherty revealed in an Instagram message that she is in remission from breast cancer. In it, she eloquently articulated a very harsh reality for cancer patients about what remission does and does not mean.

As she indicated, the word “remission” does not mean she's in the clear. It is instead a hope that treatment and disease are about to become a closed chapter in the book of her life. She recognizes that before then it means five years of monitoring and surveillance and fluid emotions...

Who among us hasn’t been tormented by the itch after a mosquito bite? This is due to the histamine release at the offending site. In some, it is a bit more exaggerated and an oral antihistamine or topical cream with the passage of time does the trick to provide optimal relief.

Now imagine that intensity and urge to scratch diffusely spread over your entire body in a constant and unrelenting fashion. Night and day. Where a more significant underlying cause won’t be benefitted and cured by time or a Benadryl, for instance.

That is called chronic “generalized pruritus” and its etiologies can range from the readily fixable to the necessitation of a liver transplant in those where treatment for the symptom might be refractory. In the extreme, sleep is impaired and even...

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a pregnancy-related death as follows: The death of a woman while pregnant or within 1 year of pregnancy termination—regardless of the duration or site of the pregnancy—from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, but not from accidental or incidental causes.

The CDC began national surveillance of the issue in 1986. Since then there has been a steady increase in the...

MilkVitamin D, long known to prevent rickets the softening and weakening of bones in children and widely added to milk for that purpose, has been touted in many venues as the latest miracle vitamin. Like vitamin C, D has been hailed as having a myriad of health effects other than its basic function of enabling the absorption of calcium from food.

Blood levels of vitamin D both elevated and diminished have been associated with non-skeletal chronic conditions such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders,...