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Dec - Jan 2018

The Link Between Primary Immunodeficiency Disorders and Skin Infections

The skin is the body’s first line of immunity against infectious agents. During a breach of this immune system, infections of the skin affect a person’s appearance, often leading to great anxiety and concern. Unfortunately, these invasive infections are all too common among individuals with primary immunodeficiency disorders (PIs). Patients with certain types of PI are known to be more prone to certain types of bacterial, fungal and viral skin infections. For this reason, recognition of various skin infections can help provide clues to potential defects in the immune system, which can lead to consideration of PIs in those undiagnosed.... full article

Understanding Crohn’s Disease

Without a clear understanding of its underlying causes, a cure or even a single test to make a diagnosis, Crohn’s disease remains a baffling chronic illness that presents many primary immunodeficiency patients and their physicians with an ongoing set of challenges for addressing its significant health risks. This inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) initially manifests as gastrointestinal (GI) distress, but it can progress to life-threatening blockages and ulcers, requiring emergency surgical intervention. Even in the majority of cases, when patients enjoy long periods of remission, Crohn’s requires constant monitoring and persistent dietary and lifestyle changes that demand close cooperation between patients and their physicians.... full article

Improving CIDP Outcomes

CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is a type of neuropathy caused by an immune system dysfunction. The true incidence of CIDP is not known since, oftentimes, it is misdiagnosed. People may be diagnosed with CIDP when they don’t have it, or the correct diagnosis of CIDP may be missed. However, it is estimated between five and seven in 100,000 people are affected by it, with approximately 40,000 patients in the U.S. dealing with it at any one time. CIDP can strike any age and gender, although the peak period of development is in the sixth or seventh decade of life, and it affects males more than females. There does not seem to be a genetic link to CIDP.... full article

A Matter of Life or Debt

Statistics show that individuals juggling unpaid medical bills have ample company. According to a 2016 report, more than a quarter of Americans say someone in their household is struggling to pay a medical debt. The reasons for this rising tide of unpaid healthcare costs are varied; some are dealing with unrelenting costs associated with managing a chronic illness, while still others have simply been sidelined by a sudden, unexpected injury or diagnosis. And, for a large number of American families, mounting medical debt can lead to financial ruin. Currently, medical debt is the No. 1 cause of personal bankruptcy in the U.S. Even more troubling is, oftentimes, the most tragic losses occur for those who have health insurance.... full article