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CDC Gives Guidelines for Simulated Cruise Ship Voyages  - web md

CDC Gives Guidelines for Simulated Cruise Ship Voyages

The guidelines outline all the requirements and recommendations for cruise ship operators to begin simulated voyages with volunteer passengers before they can restart restricted passenger services, the CDC said.
web md - 1 hour ago
HIV Stress and Side Effects: What to Know  - web md

HIV Stress and Side Effects: What to Know

An HIV diagnosis will change your life. It brings with it both physical symptoms and emotional stress. But there are things you can do to take charge of your condition, manage your symptoms, and thrive.
web md - 4 hours ago
U.S. Vaccine Safety System Still Has Gaps  - web md

U.S. Vaccine Safety System Still Has Gaps

With some 100 million Americans fully vaccinated, the U.S. is relying on a patchwork network of vaccine monitoring systems that lack the breadth and depth of large, population-based programs, experts said.
web md - 3 days ago
Making Decisions About Switching Birth Control Methods  - web md

Making Decisions About Switching Birth Control Methods

You might find that your birth control doesn’t fit into your lifestyle anymore. It’s normal and completely safe to switch methods, as long as you talk to your doctor first. Learn more about when you should switch your method, how to transition, and what side effects could happen after you swap birth control methods.
web md - 6 days ago
New Advice for Blood Pressure That

New Advice for Blood Pressure That's a Bit Too High

If lifestyle changes don't lower a patient's slightly high blood pressure within six months, doctors should consider prescribing medication, a new American Heart Association scientific statement advises.
web md - 1 week ago
At least one child has been killed and others have been injured beneath the machines, as have some pets, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said. The commission considers the product “a serious risk to children for abrasions, fractures and death.”  - web md

At least one child has been killed and others have been injured beneath the machines, as have some pets, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said. The commission considers the product “a serious risk to children for abrasions, fractures and death.”

At least one child has been killed and others have been injured beneath the machines, as have some pets, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said. The commission considers the product “a serious risk to children for abrasions, fractures and death.”
web md - 1 week ago
EU Sues AstraZeneca Over Vaccine Shipment Delays  - web md

EU Sues AstraZeneca Over Vaccine Shipment Delays

European officials say AstraZeneca broke its contract when it said it would deliver only a third of the 300 million doses that European officials had been expecting by the end of June, The New York Times reported.
web md - 1 week ago
Green Beans and Tofu With Peanuts - my fitness pal

Green Beans and Tofu With Peanuts

Indonesian-style vegetarian stir fry with color, crunch, and a kick. Make it a dinner for two for 20g of protein per serving. The post Green Beans and Tofu With Peanuts appeared first on MyFitnessPal Blog.
my fitness pal - 1 week ago
Post-Vaccine Reunions Are An Emotional Rollercoaster  - web md

Post-Vaccine Reunions Are An Emotional Rollercoaster

With vaccinations reaching more and more arms, families and friends are safely reuniting after a year or more apart. Most reunions are filled with the joy, but there’s also concern and anxiety, especially leading up to the events.
web md - 1 week ago
John Lost 180 Pounds After Fearing a Heart Attack at 20 Years Old - my fitness pal

John Lost 180 Pounds After Fearing a Heart Attack at 20 Years Old

When John saw photos of himself at 360 pounds, he realized how out of hand his weight had gotten. The post John Lost 180 Pounds After Fearing a Heart Attack at 20 Years Old appeared first on MyFitnessPal Blog.
my fitness pal - 1 week ago
How to create a happy workplace in ANY industry - positive sharing

How to create a happy workplace in ANY industry

Whenever we talk about happy workplaces, a lot of the conversation tends to be about big US corporations with huge budgets like Google, Zappos or Southwest Airlines. But happiness is possible in (nearly) any industry and in any country. That’s why I was so excited to talk to Nicolás González Restrepo for our latest Heartcount … Continue reading How to create a happy workplace in ANY industry →
Eczema: Keeping a Positive Body Image  - web md

Eczema: Keeping a Positive Body Image

Eczema can cause bumps, blisters, swelling, red rashes, cracked, or scaly skin. This may lead to self-image issues. Find out how eczema and mental health are related and what you can do to build your self-confidence during a flare.
web md - 2 weeks ago
How to Deal With Your Controlling Mother  - web md

How to Deal With Your Controlling Mother

Does your mother still try to control your life even though you have your own home, career, and kids? Controlling moms may fear letting go because they worry about you. Learn how to set boundaries, engage in respectful discussions, and learn when to let some differences of opinion slide.
web md - 2 weeks ago
Why Three Families Entered Kids in a COVID Vaccine Trial  - web md

Why Three Families Entered Kids in a COVID Vaccine Trial

Before signing up, parents should ask about the time commitment, trial leaders say, including the number of visits, the follow-up period, and other details. Parents will be expected to record detailed information, such as whether children have side effects such as fevers.
web md - 2 weeks ago
How to Deal With Toxic Parents  - web md

How to Deal With Toxic Parents

Not every parent-child relationship is healthy. If you have a toxic parent it can be hard to shed the child role and look after yourself. Learn how to spot toxic parental behavior, lose guilt, set boundaries, and practice self-care.
web md - 2 weeks ago
Toxic Family Members: How to Deal With Them  - web md

Toxic Family Members: How to Deal With Them

Not every family fits the happy, loving ideal. For some, family dynamics are downright unhealthy, or even dangerous. Learn how to spot toxic behavior, shed guilt, put up boundaries, and keep distance to safeguard your own well-being.
web md - 3 weeks ago
Regeron Antibody Cocktail Offers COVID Protection  - web md

Regeron Antibody Cocktail Offers COVID Protection

In its statement, Regeneron said it would ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to expand the drug's emergency authorization use -- for high-risk people who already have COVID-19 but are not hospitalized
web md - 3 weeks ago
Free Webinar: Create a happy workplace in ANY industry - positive sharing

Free Webinar: Create a happy workplace in ANY industry

Everyone who cares about workplace happiness has heard about Google, Zappos and Southwest Airlines. But have you ever heard of the call center Contento in Colombia? I hadn’t until I spoke at a conference in Chile and met the awesome Nicolas Gonzalez Restrepo and heard what a great culture he’s helped create for the 2,000 … Continue reading Free Webinar: Create a happy workplace in ANY industry →
My Spouse Is Depressed: Tips on How to Help and Cope  - web md

My Spouse Is Depressed: Tips on How to Help and Cope

Is your spouse depressed? If your loved one withdraws from activities or sex, spends more time alone, or drinks more alcohol than they once did, they may have depression. Find out what to do if your partner refuses to get therapy and get tips to protect your own mental health.
web md - 3 weeks ago
Millennials Flock to Telehealth, Online Research  - web md

Millennials Flock to Telehealth, Online Research

A new survey of 2,040 millennials (ages 23 to 39) found that 69% of respondents searched online for health and medical advice instead of going to the doctor, and a quarter of respondents trust Google to accurately diagnose their symptoms.
web md - 1 month ago
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Autoimmune lung disease: Early recognition and treatment helps

Autoimmune lung disease: Early recognition and treatment helps

harvard - 10 months ago

A man who was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) five years ago sees his rheumatologist for a follow-up visit. Fortunately, his arthritis is well controlled through medication. He can walk and do all his daily activities without pain. But over the past six months, hes been feeling short of breath when climbing stairs. He has an annoying dry cough, too. COVID-19? Thats ruled out quickly. But a CT scan of his chest reveals early fibrosis (scarring) of the lungs, most likely related to rheumatoid arthritis. I can finally walk normally, and now I cant breathe when I walk! says the frustrated patient, whose next step is a full evaluation by a pulmonologist.

What is autoimmune lung disease?

This mans experience offers one example of an uncommon but potentially life-altering complication associated with rheumatic or autoimmune diseases, including:

  • rheumatic arthritis, an inflammatory disease that primarily affects the joints
  • systemic sclerosis (scleroderma), a fibrosing disorder that typically affects the skin
  • dermatomyositis, which results in inflammation in muscles and skin
  • systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus), an inflammatory condition that can affect many parts of the body, including joints, kidneys, and skin.

There are various terms for this complication: autoimmune lung disease, interstitial lung disease, and interstitial fibrosis. Characterized by lung inflammation and/or scarring, it is one of many potential complications affecting different organs in people who have an underlying autoimmune or rheumatic disease.

What is autoimmunity?

Our immune system normally wards off infection and guards against cancer. The term autoimmunity implies that a persons own immune system sometimes sees its own body tissue as foreign. When this happens, the body generates an immune response against itself. Most people with rheumatoid arthritis experience its effects on joints. But about 10% will also develop symptomatic lung disease like the patient described above.

Why is it important to identify autoimmune lung disease as early as possible?

Studies have shown that this complication is one of the leading causes of illness and death among people with autoimmune diseases. Early disease that is more inflammatory in nature often responds to anti-inflammatory therapies (corticosteroids, for example). But people with mostly fibrotic disease may be more difficult to treat and have poorer outcomes, including disability or a need for oxygen and in some cases even a lung transplant. However, how quickly or slowly this complication progresses varies. Some people find it progresses more quickly, whereas others may have little or no progression. For that reason, careful surveillance by a pulmonologist who can monitor lung function during regular check-ups is essential.

What triggers this complication and who is most at risk?

While definitive studies have not been done, population studies have identified risk profiles (see here and here). Being male, having a history of cigarette smoking, or having certain antibodies and genetic markers raises risk for autoimmune lung disease. Environmental factors, occupational exposure, and air pollutants also may play a role in developing autoimmunity that affects the lungs (see here and here). Other potential causes include medications that may cause lung injury, or an esophageal dysfunction leading to silent aspiration into the lungs, a common finding in many autoimmune diseases.

Are there treatments for autoimmune lung disease?

Yes, although effectiveness varies. When inflammatory disease is caught early before extensive scarring develops, anti-inflammatory agents, such as corticosteroids, often help. Additionally, catching and treating inflammation early usually leads to a better prognosis.

Recently, the FDA approved pirfenidone (Esbriet) and nintedanib (Ofev) to treat a different fibrotic lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Nintedanib is now approved for use in patients with autoimmune lung disease. Both agents can slow, but do not appear to reverse, the presence of fibrosis in the lung. Longer-term studies investigating whether these treatments offer better quality of life and meaningful benefits in terms of illness and death are needed.

If I have a rheumatic or autoimmune disease, what can I do to stay as healthy as possible?

The most important first step is to eliminate any known risks that may cause or exacerbate lung disease. Work with your doctor to stop smoking, if necessary. Ask if you can eliminate any occupational exposures or medications that may contribute to or worsen lung disease. Since early detection of lung inflammation is a goal, rheumatologists often screen people for lung disease at the time of their diagnosis if they are deemed at higher risk, using CT scanning and pulmonary function testing. Increasingly, careful surveillance over time is becoming a normal practice among rheumatologists.

If you do develop signs or symptoms that suggest autoimmune lung disease, such as dry cough and shortness of breath, talk to your doctor. The next step may be a referral to a pulmonologist, or to a multidisciplinary center comprised of pulmonologists, rheumatologists, pathologists, and radiologists, who work as a team to diagnose this complication and develop a treatment plan to reverse or slow the progress of lung disease.

The post Autoimmune lung disease: Early recognition and treatment helps appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.

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