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February - March 2017

Furry Comfort: Animal-Assisted Therapy for Chronic Illness

Anyone who has owned a pet will agree that animals are a great source of unconditional love and support. But, for a patient with chronic illness, a furry friend can provide much more than faithful companionship and a good cuddle. Studies show that animals can help with everything from lowering stress and blood pressure to battling depression and healing chronic pain.... full article

PI Patients and Fatigue

In these modern times, it’s common for people to complain about “fatigue.” Bright lights at night, television, computers, social media, telephones and other handheld devices, etc., all contribute to keeping us awake and have disrupted the normal diurnal rhythms of our bodies, particularly melatonin secretion in our brains. Yet, people with acute or chronic illnesses such as primary immunodeficiency disease (PI) complain about fatigue that is beyond the disruption of normal sleep - even when appropriate treatment has begun. What is the basis of this fatigue in patients with PI, and are there possible therapeutic interventions?... full article

Improving Safety, Mobility and Activities of Daily Living at Home

Home should be a haven, but too often, it unnecessarily becomes a hazard. This can be especially true for people with chronic illnesses and those who are returning home from a hospital stay. One tool that can help make the home a safer place is the home safety assessment. Indeed, patients who initially think they don’t need one are often surprised and appreciative at the potential dangers discovered and the recommended modifications to resolve them.... full article

Understanding Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Some people have a list of health-related “justs” that they have grown up with. “My skin just bruises easily,” or “I’m just clumsy,” they might say. Maybe they’re “just tired a lot,” or they “just have migraines” or “just get dizzy” when they stand. Sometimes their heart “just races,” too. People who have struggled since childhood with these symptoms, and many more, often believe everyone else has them, too.... full article