13 posts from March, 2012

A Peek at the March Newsletter for Members

Posted March 27th, 2012 by

What kinds of things do we cover in our monthly newsletters for members? Take a look at the excerpt below from our March edition. Also, in case you didn’t know, anyone – whether a PatientsLikeMe member or not – can view our current and past newsletters in our Newsletter Archive. See what we’ve been up to recently, and if you are member who’s not opted in to the newsletter, sign up today

MONTHLY MUSINGS

Flare.  Exacerbation.  Attack.  Acute episode. These are a few of the different terms used to describe a multiple sclerosis (MS) relapse—which can last anywhere from 24 hours to several weeks to even months.

MS isn’t the only condition that has exacerbations, however.  This pattern is also common with fibromyalgia (FM), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriasis, IBS, depression and more.  Just check out all the threads tagged with either “flares” or “relapses” across the forum.

A Quote from a PatientsLikeMe Member Regarding Her Personal Coping Trick:  A "Bad Day Box" of Favorite Items

How do you get through an attack?  In a recent discussion in the MS forum, suggestions included lots of rest, watching movies, a pinch of good humor, letting go of guilt, accepting help, pacing yourself, having easy-to-prepare food on hand, talking to your doctor and trusting that “this too shall pass.”

And in the FM forum, one patient has shared her unique trick: a “bad day box” full of uplifting items.

Got your own coping techniques?  The forum is all ears.

Kate, Emma, Liz, Jeanette & Sharry

Kate"" Emma"" Jeanette"" Sharry""

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

What’s happening in the forum?  Check out some of the recent threads about flare-ups below.  Then jump in with your own questions and answers.

Need help with something on the site?  Visit the PatientsLikeMe Site Help Room for answers from veteran members.

LABS, LABS AND MORE LABS

One of Many Labs You Can Add to Your PatientsLikeMe Profile

Things have gotten a lot more lab-tastic at PatientsLikeMe. Thanks to your requests and suggestions, we now offer some 200+ labs to help you monitor your health conditions.  Here’s a sampling of some of the new labs and tests you can add to your profile:

Wondering about another lab?  Search for it here.


What Do You Know About Endometriosis?

Posted March 23rd, 2012 by

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month, which means it’s a good time to brush up on this common women’s health problem.  For example, did you know that endometriosis gets its name from endometrium (en-doh-MEE-tree-um), the tissue that lines the uterus?  Or that this often painful condition occurs when that tissue begins to grow in other places, such as on the ovaries, fallopian tubes and pelvic cavity lining?  In rare cases, endometrial tissue has even been found in places like the lungs and brain.

In Endometriosis, the Tissue that Lines the Uterus Begins Growing in Other Female Reproductive Organs (and in Some Cases, Beyond)

More than five million women in the US have endometriosis.  It’s most common in women in their 30s and 40s, but it can occur in any teen or woman who has menstrual periods.  Symptoms include painful menstrual cramps, chronic lower back or pelvic pain, pain during or after sex, intestinal pain, infertility and painful bowel movements and/or urination during menstrual periods.  Interestingly, pain levels don’t align with the amount of endometriosis, though.  Some women have severe pain with only a few small growths.

The cause of endometriosis is unknown, but research shows a link between endometriosis and several other chronic conditions, including multiple sclerosisfibromyalgiachronic fatigue syndrome and lupus.  Endometriosis also appears to run in families, suggesting that it may be carried in the genes or that some families have traits that make them more likely to get it.  In other mysteries, scientists have not yet pinpointed how endometrial tissue travels through the body, although there are several theories.

Endometriosis Severity, As Reported by Members of PatientsLikeMe

Despite the unknowns, there are many things you can learn from the 400+ women who report endometriosis at PatientsLikeMe.  How are they coping?  Some commonly reported treatments include a conventional hysterectomylaparoscopic hysterectomy, Seasonique (a birth control pill that produces four periods a year), Mirena (an IUD contraceptive device) and the prescription drug Lepron Depot.  Click on each treatment to see how others evaluate the effectiveness, side effects, cost and more.  And if you yourself have endometriosis, share your experiences and connect other women like you today.