3 posts tagged “skin”

Throwback Thursday: Dr. Steve Feldman speaks about psoriasis and medication adherence

Posted August 6th, 2015 by

In honor of Psoriasis Awareness Month, we’re throwing it back to January 2013, when we sat down with Steve Feldman, MD, PhD, and Professor of Dermatology, Pathology & Public Health Sciences at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. In his interview, he spoke about the challenges for psoriasis patients, as well as the treatment advances that may be ahead. We’ve reposted his entire interview below so you can learn about his research studies on patients’ adherence to topical treatments.

As the founder of DrScore.com, tell us how rating doctors online can improve medical care.

Doctors want to give their patients great medical care. Online ratings can help by giving doctors the feedback they need to know—from patients’ perspectives—such as what the doctor is doing well and what the doctor can do to enhance the quality of care in their practice. www.DrScore.com was designed to help facilitate that feedback while also giving patients a better picture—more transparency—of the quality of care physicians provide, something that wasn’t nearly so easy to do in the pre-Internet era.

What do you think about PatientsLikeMe’s data-sharing platform and openness philosophy?

PatientsLikeMe does a truly wonderful job taking advantage of the capabilities of the Internet to permit data sharing among patients so they can learn from one another. Another extraordinary accomplishment has been to develop ways to combine that data in order to better understand diseases and the benefits and risks of the treatments for those diseases. Openness is a terrific attribute in this Internet age. I am very optimistic about medicine and health care providers and think there’s nothing to hide (and if there were something to hide, it ought to be exposed)!

You’ve done extensive research around treatment adherence. What are the considerations for patients?

Well, as the former Surgeon General put it, medicines don’t work if patients don’t take them. Taking medicine isn’t easy, unless it is a habit. And when a patient starts to use a new medicine, taking it isn’t a habit. Patients forget their medicine, they may be fearful of their medicine, there are just all sorts of reasons why patients don’t always take their medications. I think coming up with a plan, a system, for remembering is helpful. (I keep my own pills in a seven-day dispenser on the dinner table, which works great for me except when my family goes out to eat).

If patients are fearful, they should have an honest discussion with the doctor about it. One thing is certain: patients should be honest with their doctors about how they use their medicines. It does neither the patient nor the doctor any good for the patient to tell the doctor one thing but do something else. If a doctor does prescribe a medicine that the patient thinks is too costly or too risky, the patient should let their doctor know. The doctor wants to know and may be able to change things.

We have a growing psoriasis community. What challenges do psoriasis patients face?

Psoriasis has a huge impact on patients’ lives. It affects how patients perceive themselves, how other people perceive the person who has psoriasis, and, in many cases, how someone with psoriasis thinks they are perceived by others. The lesions aren’t just unsightly; they can be itchy and painful. The condition is caused by an overactive immune system, which can also result in arthritis and increased risk of cardiovascular disease and depression. There are good treatments, but the treatments have their downsides: they may be costly, inconvenient, messy, and risky. One of the biggest challenges is getting educated about all the potential options. It isn’t easy.

In our forum, patients have been discussing whether diet can affect psoriasis. What’s your take?

Well, I don’t know of any particular dietary issues that have been definitively shown to affect psoriasis one way or the other (except perhaps that starvation temporarily improves the disease, probably by inhibiting the immune system). But if a particular patient finds some particular dietary issue that makes their psoriasis worse (or better), they should eat accordingly. Some patients tell me beer and/or wine makes their disease worse or that avoiding gluten has helped. The PatientsLikeMe platform may be helpful in compiling the experiences of many people to see if these are issues for individuals or could truly help patients in general.

Any thoughts on what’s ahead in terms of psoriasis management and treatment advances?

As our understanding of the immune system improves, scientists at drug companies will be developing newer and perhaps better ways of controlling immune diseases, including psoriasis. As our health care system changes to become more cost conscious, there may be greater reliance on low cost treatments, like generic creams and ointments for people with mild disease and more use of phototherapy for people with more severe involvement. And with better data collection—like with PatientsLikeMe—we may develop a better understanding of what works, what doesn’t work, and what risks and benefits our treatments have.

If you’re living with psoriasis, don’t forget to connect with the more than 5,000 members of the psoriasis community at PatientsLikeMe.

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A decade of psoriasis awareness

Posted October 28th, 2014 by

Today marks the ten-year anniversary of World Psoriasis Day, a day with four goals: raise awareness for the condition, improve access to treatment, increase understanding of known information and build unity among the global psoriasis community.

And after ten years of raising awareness, it’s time to step it up a notch. Tomorrow, the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA) is going to create a tidal wave of awareness on social media with their “Thunderclap” campaign. Join in here or click the sidebar on the right. When you join the movement, a World Psoriasis Day message will automatically be posted on your Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr account at 12:00pm Central European Time (7:00am on the east coast). You can share your own message with the #psoriasis and #WPD14 hashtags as well.

Check out some of our past posts on psoriasis, including the results of our “Uncovering Psoriasis” surveys, patient interviews (with Maria, David and Erica) and what doctors Jerry Bagel and Steve Feldman had to say about psoriasis. And if you’re living with psoriasis, don’t forget to connect with the community at PatientsLikeMe – more than 4,800 people are sharing their experiences and stories with each other.

Share this post on Twitter and help spread the word for psoriasis.


Are You Taking Cataplex F for Hypothyroidism?

Posted May 14th, 2011 by

Introduced in 1934 by Standard Process, Cataplex F is a whole food dietary supplement designed to support the thyroid as well as the body’s natural response to inflammation.  Containing iodine for thyroid support, Cataplex F promotes healthy skin and hair, the metabolism of fats and the formation of eicosanoids (signaling molecules that play a role in inflammation, immune responses and the central nervous system).  This supplement also contains flaxseed, a natural source of Omega-3 fatty acid precursors.

At PatientsLikeMe, where more than 125,000 patients are sharing their experiences with all types of treatments including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs and supplements, two patients report taking Cataplex F for hypothyroidism.  Both report taking this supplement for 1-2 years or more. What can we learn from these patients’ experiences?  According to the one treatment evaluation submitted for Cataplex F, there were no reported side effects, but the effectiveness was unclear, as the patient selected the option, “Can’t tell.”  Cost was reported as $25 or less per month for a daily dosage.

This patient even goes on to share her doctor’s take:  “dubious.”  But what about you?  How would you evaluate your experience with Cataplex F?  Has it helped you or seemingly had no effect?  Help others decide whether to start – or continue – taking this supplement by sharing your experiences at PatientsLikeMe, where more than 2,300 patients with hypothyroidism (92% female; 8% male) would love to hear your thoughts.

JOIN PATIENTSLIKEME TODAY

Have you taken Cataplex F or another over-the-counter supplement for hypothyroidism?  Join PatientsLikeMe and add your experiences to our growing body of knowledge.  Then, stay to exchange advice and support, research common treatments and learn from other patients like you.

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