Wednesday, April 25, 2018

April is Stress Awareness Month

Its not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it. - Hans Selye

What is stress?

Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. Living with autoimmune disorders can be very stressful. It is stressful just waiting for test results to come back, hoping that we don't have an autoimmune disorder, but hoping the doctor can tell us what is making us sick. I can handle stress pretty well, but sometimes my body says otherwise. For me, stress can cause a flare and bring on fatigue. As I write this post, I am feeling a lot of fatigue because I got a phone call this morning that stressed and angered me. I feel rather wiped out to be honest. So let's dive in and learn about stress management.
I sought the Lord and he answered me. He delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

Three types of stress

  • Routine stress. This is stress related to the pressures of work, family and other daily responsibilities.
  • Stress brought about by a sudden negative change, such as losing a job, divorce, or illness.
  • Traumatic stress. We experience this in an event like a major accident, war, assault, or a natural disaster where one may be seriously hurt or in danger of being killed.
God didn’t give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled. 2 Timothy 1:7

10 Ways to Manage Your Stress

  • Get proper health care for existing or new health problems.
  • Stay in touch with people who can provide emotional and other support.
    • Ask for help from friends, family, and community or religious organizations to reduce stress due to work burdens or family issues, such as caring for a loved one.
  • Recognize signs of your body's response to stress:
    • difficulty sleeping
    • increased alcohol and other substance use
    • being easily angered
    • feeling depressed
    • having low energy
    • over eating
  • Make a "to-do" list.
    • Write out the 10 things you would like to accomplish during the day.
    • Put them in order by highest priority to lowest.
    • Delegate the things that you can to lighten your load. Don't be a super hero.
  • Note what you have accomplished at the end of the day, not what you have been unable to do.
  • Get up 30 minutes earlier. If you don't have enough time during or at the end of the day, wake up 30 minutes earlier than normal.
    • Start your morning with a cup of coffee or tea.
    • Listen to soothing music.
    • Plan your day.
    • Go outside and walk or do an in-home walking program.
  • Start a gratitude journal. What are you grateful for?
  • Exercise regularly-just 30 minutes per day of gentle walking can help boost mood and reduce stress.
  • Schedule regular times for healthy and relaxing activities.
  • Put your focus on you. You need to take care of yourself first before you can care for others.
10 Ways to Manage Stress #stress #awareness What is your best way to reduce your stress?

Monday, April 16, 2018

How Sjogren's Syndrome Affect Digestion and the Eyes

I know that Sjogren's has an affect on my eyes, but I'm curious as to how it affects my digestion. I know that without saliva, the digestion process is slowed down. I personally believe that the amount of water I drink to get the food down, isn't as good as the saliva in starting the digestive process.

So today, I want to look more in depth to digestion and the eyes when we are living with Sjogren's. How Sjogren's Syndrome Affects Digestion and the Eyes #sjogrens #dryeye

Sjogren's and Digestion

Inflammation in the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, and liver can cause problems like painful swallowing, heartburn, abdominal pain and swelling, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and weight loss. It can also cause hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) and cirrhosis (hardening of the liver). Sjogren's is closely linked to a liver disease called primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), which causes itching, fatigue, and, eventually, cirrhosis. Many patients with PBC have Sjogren's.

Treatment varies, depending on the problem, but may include pain medicine, anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, and immunosuppressants.

90% of those with Sjögren’s and Scleroderma have GI complaints. Findings include focal infiltration of predominantly T-helper lymphocytes with or without glandular atrophy and nerve dysfunction. For persistent GI problems in those with Sjögren’s, a Neurogastroenterology or GI Motility Center may be an option.

Back the truck up! What are T-helper lymphocyctes?

Helper T cells are arguably the most important cells in adaptive immunity, as they are required for almost all adaptive immune responses. They not only help activate B cells (B lymphocytes are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow.) to secrete antibodies and macrophages (a large phagocytic cell found in stationary form in the tissues or as a mobile white blood cell, especially at sites of infection.) to destroy ingested microbes, but they also help activate cytotoxic T cells to kill infected target cells.

What about GERD?

GERD: A digestive disease in which stomach acid or bile irritates the food pipe lining. While the exact reasons are unknown, many patients with Sjögren’s suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This can cause a wide variety of symptoms that can be mistaken for other conditions. Symptoms may include:
  • persistent heartburn and/or regurgitation of acid
  • stomach pain
  • hoarseness or voice change
  • throat pain
  • sore throat
  • difficulty swallowing
  • sensation of having a lump in the throat
  • frequent throat clearing and chronic cough (especially at night time or upon awakening)
I have to clear my throat quite often. I also get hoarse in the evenings. Since I changed my diet I don't have heartburn like I use to. I do feel like I have a sore throat quite often. It will last a day or two and then it is gone. I never feel like I have a throat infection. My throat will simply hurt.

Sjogren's and the Eyes

Sjogren's syndrome destroys glands responsible for lubricating eyes and other parts of the body. Did you know that it's estimated that 1 in 10 dry eye patients also have Sjogren's syndrome; and it can take up to four years or longer from onset of the disease to get an accurate diagnosis. Other eye symptoms that can occur with Sjogren's syndrome include blurred vision, a gritty or burning sensation and light sensitivity. Everyday I experience the feeling of having something in my eye. I usually have these small white specks that I have to remove. Every once in a while I will get one of these white things stuck to my eye. It is usually on the bottom of my eye under the iris. It take s a while for it to come off, but while I'm waiting I have to use a lot of eye drops because it is so irritating. says that because chronic dry eye is one of the major symptoms of Sjogren's syndrome, you must make sure your eyes are lubricated to avoid damage that can lead to scarring and infection of the eye.

3 Types of Tears

Basal tears are the ones in our eyes all the time, and serve the purpose of lubricating, nourishing and protecting the eyes.

Reflex tears, form to protect the eyes from irritants, such as wind, smoke or onions. And there’s some evidence to suggest that these two kinds of tears are chemically different from each other.

Emotional tears are the third type of tears. We all have these tears when we watch a sad movie, get into a fight with someone we love, or learn of someone's passing.  


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

How Ankylosing Spondylitis Affects Digestion and the Eyes

Last week I wrote a post about Ankylosing Spondylitis and one of the pieces of information I shared was about the bowels and the eyes being affected by this autoimmune disorder. The information I had gathered didn't explain anything more about it and it made me want to know more about how Ankylosing Spondylitis with its inflammatory arthritis affect the digestive tract and the eyes. How Ankylosing Spondylitis Affects Digestion and the Eyes #ankylosing #spondylitis #digestion #eyes #iritis #uveitits #crohn's #colitis #ibd

How does Ankelyosing Spondylitis affect digestion?

People with ankylosing spondylitis can develop bowel problems known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or colitis. Dr. Joel Taurog, MD says, “Somewhere around 5 to 10 percent of individuals with AS also have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.” Why do some people with ankylosing spondylitis develop inflammatory bowel disease? “The association is largely genetic,” said Dr. Taurog. “Over half of the 30-plus genes that have been identified as susceptibility genes for AS are also susceptibility genes for IBD.” Read more...

What is IBD, Crohn's and Colitis? #ibd #crohn's #colitis #autoimmune

How does Ankelyosing Spondylitis the eyes?

"About 30 to 40 percent of people with ankylosing spondylitis get uveitis at some time,” says Dr. Proctor. Researchers have found certain genes common in both ankylosing spondylitis and uveitis. Even though other diseases can also cause uveitis and iritis, about 50 percent of all Caucasians with this type of eye inflammation have the HLA-B27 gene.

Symptoms for uveitis or iritis:
  • Eye pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Seeing spots in your vision
Common treatments include:
  • Steroid eye drops to fight inflammation
  • Eye drops, called cycloplegic drops, to keep the pupil open and decrease pain
  • Steroids taken by mouth, for more severe cases
  • Dark glasses to protect your eyes


What is Uveitis? #uveitis #ankylosing #spondylitis #autoimmune

How Does AS Affect Digestion and the Eyes?