Archive for the ‘Chronic Illnesses’ Category

Healthy Foods, Choices and Avoidance

It’s been quite a while, but I’m going to try and post here once or twice a month.

As you may know I have a number of health issues, including MS, CFS, FM, Asthma, and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), so I try to keep my eye on health related information, especially alternative, since I have MCS.

Knowing there are so many other people suffering with chronic illnesses, as I come across articles that may be helpful, I’ll pass them along.


Throw These Cooking Oils in the Trash

“The natural food label on processed food has no standard definition and really no meaning at all. The term is only regulated on meat and poultry, for which an item labeled natural may not contain any artificial flavors, colors or chemical preservatives. But in the processed food arena, a “natural” product can be virtually anything — genetically modified, full of pesticides, made with corn syrup, additives, preservatives and artificial ingredients.”
Click on the link to read more.

Supermarket Psychological Traps Make You Spend More

“But supermarkets employ all kinds of strategies to get you to spend more money, and food manufacturers are applying ever more sophisticated tactics to sell their wares.”
Click on the link to read more.

Sugar is Toxic

“Evidence is mounting that sugar is the primary factor causing not just obesity, but also chronic and lethal disease. There’s really no doubt anymore that sugar is indeed toxic to your body, and it’s only a matter of time before it will be commonly accepted as a causative factor of most cancer, in the same way as we accept that smoking and alcohol abuse are direct causes of lung cancer and cirrhosis of the liver.”
Click on the link to read more.

Until next time,
Karen Cioffi
Author, ghostwriter, freelance writer, and editor

Heart Attack Season and About Chronic Illness

Here are four links to articles related to heart attacks, chronic illnesses, multiple sclerosis, and autoimmune diseases:

Don’t Be a Holiday Heart Attack
By John Santa, Consumer Reports
Fri, Dec 17, 2010

It’s hard to sugarcoat the statistics: You’re more likely to die of a heart attack on Christmas or New Year’s than any other day of the year. Why? It could be a lot of things. Stress. A particularly high-fat meal. Shoveling snow. Substandard care in an emergency room staffed with a limited holiday crew. But my guess is that denial plays a big role.

Read the full article at:


Team-Based Treatment Helps Those With Cluster of Chronic Illnesses

Study found health, quality of life improved when care was coordinated across the board

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 29, 2010 (HealthDay News) — A treatment team headed by an experienced nurse improved the health of patients suffering from multiple chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and depression.

A study appearing in the Dec. 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine reports improvements in the four areas of blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol control and depression in middle-aged patients offered this treatment strategy.

Read the article at: (*this news item will not be available after 03/29/2011)


Discovery Highlights Promise of New Immune SystemBased Therapies

ScienceDaily (Sep. 16, 2010) — A new focus on the immune system’s ability to both unleash and restrain its attack on disease has led Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists to identify cells in mice that prevent the immune system from attacking the animals’ own cells, protecting them from autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and lupus.

Read the full article at:


Understanding Autoimmune Diseases

When an intruder invades your body – like a cold virus or bacteria on a thorn that pricks your skin – your immune system protects you. It tries to identify, kill, and eliminate the invaders that might hurt you. But sometimes problems with your immune system cause it to mistake your body’s own healthy cells as invaders and then repeatedly attack them. This is called an autoimmune disease. (Autoimmune means immunity against the self.)

Read full article at:

I hope you find this information helpful.

Until next time,

Karen Cioffi
Author, Ghostwriter, Freelance writer

Causes of Multiple Sclerosis

Chronic Illness – Genetics, Environment, or Both?

The number of multiple sclerosis patients is increasing steadily. It has become commonplace to personally know more than one person suffering with this disease.

What causes Multiple Sclerosis (MS)? What makes some people more susceptible than others to this disease?

A number of resource sites theorize that along with genetics, there are environmental factors involved in the cause of MS. It makes sense that as environmental toxins increase, so will the number of people with MS. The evidence seems to be building: environmental factors play havoc on the autoimmune system; toxins can trigger and/or worsen MS; and even something as simple as where we live can increase our risk factor for developing MS. Let’s look at three sources that will help explain these current theories.

Genetics and the Environment Work Together to Trigger Multiple Sclerosis

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center:
A combination of environmental and genetic factors likely plays a role in causing MS. A current theory is that the disease occurs in people with a genetic susceptibility who are exposed to some environmental assault (a virus or a toxin) that disrupts the blood-brain barrier. Immune factors converge in the nerve cells, triggering inflammation and an autoimmune attack (a self-attack) on myelin and axons.

Cigarette Smoking and Multiple Sclerosis

A study from The Multiple Sclerosis Resource Center sheds light on the dangers of cigarette smoking and MS:

Persons with multiple sclerosis who smoked for a little as six months during their lifetime had more destruction of brain tissue and more brain atrophy than MS patients who never smoked, a study by neuroimaging specialists at the University at Buffalo has shown.

Research published in the Aug. 18, 2009, issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, showed that “ever-smokers” had more brain lesions and greater loss of brain volume, as well as higher scores on the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), than MS patients who had no history of smoking.

“Cigarette smoking is one of the most compelling environmental risk factors linked to the development and worsening of MS,” said Robert Zivadinov, M.D., Ph.D., UB professor of neurology, director of the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) where the research was conducted and first author on the study.

Climate, Environmental Factors, and Multiple Sclerosis

Research and observations by UCSF Multiple Sclerosis Center show climate, diet, and sunlight may play an important role in MS:

The environmental theory proposes that an environmental factor triggers the symptoms of MS. Support for this theory includes the observation that multiple sclerosis is diagnosed more frequently in temperate than tropical or subtropical climates. A map of the United States shows that the prevalence of MS increases with northern latitude. For example, the prevalence of MS in North Dakota is approximately twice that observed in Florida. The prevalence of MS in northern California is 150 cases per 100,000 individuals.

The relationship between latitude and prevalence of MS is also evident in other countries throughout Europe, New Zealand, and Australia. Investigators have explored the possibility that exposure to viral or bacterial infections, environmental toxins, duration of sunlight, changes in temperature and humidity, or diet might in some way produce or aggravate MS. To date, no specific environmental factor has been proven to cause MS.

What Conclusions can We Draw About the Causes and Increase of Multiple Sclerosis?

The research mentioned here, whether in fact or theory, points in the same direction: our environment plays a part in our health. The number of people with multiple sclerosis, lupus, chronic fatigue, autism, and a list of other disabling chronic illnesses and disorders is increasing year by year. It’s not difficult to take that logical step and determine there must be an environmental link contributing to this increase.

To learn more about Multiple Sclerosis you can visit:
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Until next time,

Karen Cioffi
Author, Ghostwriter, Freelance writer,
Acquisitions Editor Intern for
4RV Publishing
Karen Cioffi Writing for Children and More