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There’s a common saying in medicine: “When you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras.” It makes sense. After all, the obvious answer or the most common diagnosis will be correct most of the time. That is, if a young, generally healthy person has a mild cough, it makes sense to look for an upper respiratory infection or simple cold and not immediately jump to the possibility of lung cancer. But sometimes it is lung cancer, and that’s why, while the odds are that when you hear hooves it’s a horse, it’s important to remember that every once in a while, it’s a zebra.
Imagine being one of only two or three hundred people in the entire world with your diagnosis.
Approximately one in every 89 Americans -- that’s more than 3,000,000 people – live with a form of hyperthyroidism caused by Graves disease, and yet Graves is a disorder about which there is very little awareness. Here are Five Facts Everyone Should Know About Graves:
When People Have Blood Disorders, Medical IDs Can Make All The Difference!
Autism impacts one in every 88 children in the United States, and my son is that one. I’m Tara Cohen, and I’m the voice behind many of the Lauren’s Hope blog articles that (I hope!) you enjoy regularly. Last April, here on the Lauren’s Hope blog, I shared a little glimpse into life as a special-needs parent in honor of Autism Awareness Month. The year before, Lauren’s Hope did an awareness piece on my son, Will, before I joined the Lauren’s Hope team. This year, as the prevalence of autism grows ever more alarming than ever before, I’d like to share some early warning signs to help parents know what to look for in children under age two.
A stroke is a massive medical emergency requiring immediate treatment. It happens when a blood vessel carrying nutrients and oxygen to the brain bursts or becomes blocked by a clot, cutting off the flow of blood and oxygen the brain needs. This can cause serious brain damage and death. In fact, strokes are the number four cause of deaths in the US, despite the fact that 80% of strokes are considered preventable.
PTSD is a term we hear used in the media a lot these days. As the public’s understanding about and compassion toward mental health conditions improves, and as we as a nation have dealt with numerous natural and manmade disasters, particularly in the last decade, the national conversation about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has become an ongoing dialog. It’s important to understand some basics about PTSD so we can understand the issues at hand, provide appropriate support to those living with this disorder, and dispel myths that prevent people from getting the help they need and deserve.
There are some diseases and disorders that most people just don’t know much about, and Sarcoidosis is one of them, despite the fact that this disease is actually not uncommon. Perhaps people aren’t very familiar with this disease simply because it’s often not very serious, because it can manifest in non-visible parts of the body, or because it often doesn’t even require treatment. Whatever the reason, Sarcoidosis just doesn’t come up often in conversation.
According to the American Cancer Society, one third of American women and half of American men will be diagnosed with some form of cancer over the course of their lives. Only five to ten percent of cancer cases, however, are directly attributed to a genetic source. Of course, some non-genetic factors are outside of our control: chemical exposure, second-hand smoke, carcinogens in the workplace, and so on. But there are still a great many things we can do to limit our cancer risks – eat right, exercise, use sun protection, get regular checkups, avoid known carcinogens (cigarettes and pollution) – and the first among them is the easiest: be informed.
Crohn’s Disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), putting it in the same category as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and ulcerative colitis. All inflammatory bowel diseases cause irritation in and inflammation of the intestines, and that causes pain and diarrhea, making it often difficult to narrow down an IBD diagnosis. A gastroenterologist (GI specialist) will run blood and stool sample testing in addition to performing tests such as a sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, CT scans, and/or X-rays to make a definitive diagnosis.
At any given time, well over 100,000 people in the United States are waiting and hoping for an organ transplant, and most of the people fortunate enough to get the transplant they need receive this life-saving gift because someone who died took the time, at some point, to let their loved ones know their wishes about organ donation.
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