7 posts tagged “stroke”

5 things to know for World Stroke Day

Posted October 29th, 2016 by

In the United States, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds. It’s the fifth leading cause of death in America, but it’s more treatable today than ever. These are just a few of the facts the American Stroke Association is putting out there to spread awareness on World Stroke Day.

Chances are, you’ll know someone in your lifetime who’s affected by stroke. So what else should you know about it? Here are five things…*

  1. Stroke risk increases with age, but young adults, children, and even unborn babies can suffer strokes.
  1. 3 out of 4 people who suffer first strokes have high blood pressure.
  1. If one of your parents had an ischemic stroke before 65, you’re at 3 times the risk of suffering one yourself.
  1. Stroke is largely treatable, thanks to clot-busting drugs and medical devices. But every second counts. The faster you’re treated, the more likely you are to recover without permanent disability.
  1. Speaking of fast, the warning signs of stroke are:

*www.strokeassociation.org

And since prevention is key, check out the simple steps you can take to keep your brain healthy and avoid stroke, dementia and memory loss. If you’ve had a stroke, be sure to connect with more than 760 PatientsLikeMe members in the stroke community and share your experiences!

 

Share this post on Twitter and help spread the word.


Building a True Picture of Diabetes During American Diabetes Month

Posted November 5th, 2012 by

Get a Clearer Picture of Diabetes During American Diabetes Month This November

November is American Diabetes Month, and this year, the American Diabetes Association is working to reshape the understanding of diabetes.  The goal is to raise awareness of the fact that diabetes is life-changing disease with a huge societal impact – and not a minor hindrance, as some people think.

As part of this mission, the ADA is asking patients with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes to send in a photo that captures what life with diabetes is like.  What are the everyday challenges and considerations?  Help the ADA build a mosaic of the “true picture of diabetes” and CVS will donate a $1 for every photo uploaded, up to $25,000.

Upload Your Photo of Life with Diabetes, and CVS Will Donate $1 for Each Photo.

Another way to get a clearer picture is to consider some of the alarming facts about diabetes, which is projected to affect as many as one in three Americans by 2050:

  • 26 million Americans are currently living with the disease
  • 79 million Americans have prediabetes, putting them at risk for type 2 diabetes
  • Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart attack or stroke
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and new cases of adult blindness
  • The cost of diabetes is $1 out of every $5 in total healthcare costs

If you are living with diabetes, or you’re at risk for developing it, connect with others like you at PatientsLikeMe.  There are more than 1,000 type 1 diabetes patients and more than 4,700 patients type 2 diabetes patients in our community who are sharing experiences with blood glucose controlsymptoms, treatments and more.

How do they evaluate common medications such as Metformin and Insulin Glargine?  How many have undergone a kidney transplant?  Who’s taking part in a diabetes-related clinical trial?  Exchange knowledge and support with those facing many of the same struggles as you.

A Snapshot of the Type 2 Diabetes Community at PatientsLikeMe

For an in-depth picture of a family affected by diabetes, check out our interview with kidney transplant recipient Michael Burke.


World Heart Day: Taking Prevention to Heart

Posted October 1st, 2012 by

Did your heart beat a little faster this weekend?  This past Saturday was World Heart Day, sponsored by the World Heart Federation.

World Heart Day 2012

Founded in 2000, this global event was created to educate the public about heart disease and stroke, the world’s leading cause of death, claiming 17.3 million lives each year.  What’s a major concern is that these numbers are rising.  By 2030, it’s expected that 23 million people will die from cardiovascular disease each year – which is more than the entire population of Australia. The main message of World Heart Day is that at least 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided if the main risk factors – tobacco, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity – are addressed.   That means that the way you live is inextricably tied to the health of your heart.

Children Are a Major Focus of World Heart Day

Children are a particular concern for the campaign as kids often have little control over their environment, lifestyle and food choices.  Unless families around the world prioritize a smoke-free home with healthy meals and regular exercise, the children of today are going to be at increased risk of cardiovascular disease later in life.  How can you help today’s kids have a strong hearts and a healthy future?  Check out the Kids on the Move Toolkit and Superheart Cartoon Leaflet for Kids to learn how you can put together a customized program for your family, school or community.

Like many health conditions, heart disease may not cross your mind until a human face is put on the disease, especially a face that looks like you or your loved ones.  That’s why the World Heart Federation is collecting personal stories via short conversations in person or by phone.  If you’ve been affected by heart disease or stroke, learn how you can participate in this global project.  Your story can help both world leaders and fellow community members focus on heart health with greater urgency.  We also encourage you to exchange support and tips with PatientsLikeMe members who have experienced a heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, valvular heart disease or other cardiovascular conditions.

Speaking of individual stories, check out our interview with Alan, a PatientsLikeMe member who’s living with congestive heart failure (CHF).


Someone Like Me

Posted May 25th, 2012 by

We are pleased to present a guest post by PatientsLikeMe member Jasmine (Jazz1982), who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in her mid-twenties.  Don’t miss this beautiful essay about the commonalities between all patients who have lost functionality – regardless of how different their conditions might seem.

I recently met someone that happened to be just like me but not in the way that I expected. I’m currently doing my master’s thesis and was interviewing an occupational therapist who had had a stroke herself. Her name is Lena, she’s 55 years old and not only has she had one stroke, but four of them. You might think this had made her “disabled,” but as with a lot of people I meet that have a chronic illness, it has only enabled her even further and made her more determined. The interview was supposed to last a maximum of 30 minutes but lasted three hours. We just couldn’t stop talking.

MS Patient and Guest Author Jasmine (Jazz1982)

At this point I think I should introduce myself. My name is Jasmine, I’m 29 years old and I have multiple sclerosis (MS). To a layman’s ears, this would mean that on a random basis I lose one or more functionalities, and with medication, I might gain one or more functions back or maybe not. I’ve been one of the lucky ones, and I’ve gained almost all functionality back. A big thank you to my neurologist and rehabilitation team for helping me reach this point, and it’s a very happy point.

I’ve always been on the look out for someone just like me, give or take a few symptoms, only I was never been able to find that certain someone. That is, until Lena. I can’t say for sure how it all started but we started asking about each others’ symptoms, and I found out that she was on an MS drug for fatigue. This at first took me by surprise, an MS drug used for people who’ve had a stroke? What is this black magic that she speaks of? She went onto say that it has worked wonders for her and has made it possible for her to continue working. Then it hit me like a meteor:  we might have different labels that cause our symptoms, but what difference does it make if I’m fatigued or she is? It’s all listed under the category of fatigue, and if the medicine works for me, why not for her?

The more we shared, the more fascinating the other became. We first started off with similar symptoms and then diverged into our more “unique” ones and between the both of us there were a couple of doozies! I’ll give one of mine as an example – a time came where I could not recognize faces and explaining that to people was an impossible task as they could not relate to it so I simply avoided people altogether. She has never been through it, but the basic understanding of losing a functionality that is invisible to everyone else but you is a loss that once experienced makes it familiar. Basically, monkey suffers, monkey feels.

The repercussions of this had a larger than life effect on me and saved me many a session on the therapist’s couch. Amazingly, through the exchange of our uniquely individual symptoms that were incomprehensible to the rest of the world, and after years of feeling like an outsider, I suddenly felt “normal.” Imagine that, me normal!

I’ve always been the outsider, and now I suddenly felt like I wasn’t alone.

We have this idea that only someone that has the same disease knows what we’re going through, and I can not find that to be true anymore. I believe that we are on this Earth to connect with one another, despite age, color, race or disease. Being sick is merely another factor added to the matrix of connecting with others. We’re all people bringing our unique mix of genes, environment and strategies to the table of life. It sounds like it makes things more complicated, but to me, it has widened my net and simplified things. I don’t need to categorize and filter people and go through a checklist. All of that melts away into one question: “Does he/she get it?'” Simple, tried and tested on many a person, and I would highly recommend you try it as well.

So, the take-home message would be: talk to others. They don’t have to have the same disease to know what you’re going through, they just need the basics and the understanding. And I know that everyone out there can find someone out there that is just like you. Happy hunting!

These words are dedicated to Lena, thank you!

A big thanks to Jasmine for sharing her poignant revelation with all of us.  Stay tuned for more guest posts by our amazing patients!


Be of Good Heart Today

Posted September 29th, 2011 by

Today, September 29th, is World Heart Day. Sponsored by the World Heart Federation, this annual event was started in 2000 to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke, the world’s leading cause of death with more than 17.1 million lives lost each year. All around the globe, activities such as talks, screenings, walks, concerts and sporting events have been organized for today.

World Heart Day 2011

One of the main goals of World Heart Day is to educate the public about the fact that at least 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided. All it takes is controlling the three main risk factors: tobacco use, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity. Beyond those, another related risk factor is high cholesterol, which was the subject of yesterday’s blog post.

Here at PatientsLikeMe, a number of patients report cardiovascular conditions as well as conditions that put them at high risk for heart disease or stroke. They include:

If you’ve been diagnosed with one of these conditions, join our growing community and connect with patients like you today. Have a loved one who’s at risk? Educate yourself about the warning signs of a heart attack or stroke. According to the World Heart Federation, over 70 percent of all cardiac and breathing emergencies occur in the home when a family member is present and available to help a victim.


Let’s Talk About Men’s Health

Posted June 13th, 2011 by

Did you know that, on average, American men are more likely to live sicker and die younger than American women? This has been called “the silent health crisis in America” by Dr. David Gremillion of the Men’s Health Network, and it’s one of the startling health statistics for men being brought to the surface during National Men’s Health Week, which takes place this week, June 13-19, 2011.

National Men's Health Week

Today, a special event is being held in Times Square in New York City with racecar drive Terry Labonte and health expert Dr. Harry Fisch to kick off the week. The theme is “Tune-Up Men’s Health,” with both speakers encouraging men to take care of their bodies the same way they take care of their cars. One reason is that women are 100% more likely to see the doctor for annual exams and preventive services than men.

In accordance with this trend, women outnumber men here at PatientsLikeMe. Out of our 106,453 members as of today, only 17,294 of them are men. That’s less than 20% of our membership. Yet in contrast, men die at higher rates than women from the top 10 causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, injuries, stroke, HIV/AIDS and suicide.

So, in recognition of this disparity as well as Father’s Day on June 19th, we’d like to reach out to men today. Don’t go it alone. If you have a chronic health condition, join PatientsLikeMe to share your experiences, find patients like you and learn how to take control of your health.


Epilepsy Awareness Month: What do you know about Epilepsy?

Posted November 11th, 2010 by

epilepsyLaunched earlier this year, the PatientsLikeMe Epilepsy community now has more than 3,000 patients.  In honor of Epilepsy Awareness Month, here’s a snapshot of what patients like you are sharing and learning about in this community.

Did you know…

  • You can search for patients by more than 10 seizure types, such as simple partial, myoclonic, atonic, and tonic-clonic.
  • You can also search by 19 different epilepsy types, including temporal lobe, frontal lobe, occipital lobe, juvenile myoclonic, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and epilepsy with grand mal seizures on awakening.
  • Others in the community have indicated a causative comorbidity for their condition, such as:
    • Head injury (242 patients to date)
    • Brain tumor (70 patients to date)
    • Stroke (38 patients to date)
    • Encephalitis (34 patients to date)
  • 543 patient members were diagnosed recently (5 years or less) and 823 were diagnosed 20+ years ago.
  • Nearly 500 patients have completed the first in a series of surveys that measure their mental, physical and social well-being. (See “Manage your epilepsy like a PRO”)
    • As part of this first survey, members told us the top issues most important to them – indicating the top three as overall quality of life, seizure worry (i.e., impact of seizures) and mental activity (i.e., thinking, concentrating, memory).

How are our members treating their condition?

What are their major symptoms?

  • The 5 most common symptoms reported include: Memory problems, problems concentrating, fatigue, excessive daytime sleepiness (somnolence) and depressed mood.

What are they talking about?

  • Some of the top topics “tagged” in our forum discussions to date include specific treatments (like Keppra, Lamictal, Vimpat and Topamax), as well as seizures, seizure triggers, driving, and doctors.
  • Members share a lot about their experiences switching medications and managing side effects.
  • Members motivate each other to make the most out of their doctor visits by encouraging you to ask certain questions and be proactive in seeking care.

What else do you know?  Learn and share with PatientsLikeMe today.