Monday, June 18, 2012

The Bone Marrow Registry...

What could be more rewarding than saving a life? Absolutely nothing... Similar to donating your body's organs after passing on, here to you can also save a life. What a great gift to give someone huh? The chance to live. Wow... Though, there is a difference. Becoming a Bone Marrow Donor you don't have to have passed on. In this procedure, you are a healthy living donor. Once again, no passing on required... Thus, by donating bone marrow, it gives a very ill person a chance to build a new healthy immune system that is better able to fight an illness. Therefore, if you have a cancer, an autoimmune disease, a damaged organ, or malfunctioning bone marrow from previous chemotherapy or radiation treatments, donor bone marrow and a transplant could lead to a better quality of life or a cure. Unfortunately it's not that easy. You need a "match". This means that the doctors look for matching tissue type and MOST IMPORTANTLY, they look at the HLA's (Human Leukocyte Antigens). What are the HLA's and why are they so crucial? They are proteins found in most cells of your body. They can be found so easy, all a doctor has to do is to swab the inside your mouth for some cheek cells. It's these proteins that your immune system recognizes which cells belong in your body and which that don't. Friend or foe. So, a recipient patient that has one or many siblings, the chances for an easy and more closer match is the first place to look. Siblings offer about a 25% to 30% chance for a match and MUST come from the same parents. If that's not a possibility, you may get a close "match" from an unrelated donor. That donor MUST be from the same race(s), and gender is not relevant at all. Recipient patients of mixed races is difficult. Their chance of finding a close matching donor lowers to about 5% to 7%. Why so low? First, there are very few bone marrow donors. Second, there is even fewer donors with the correct mixed races. Finally, you still need the closest/correct match. This is why The Bone Marrow Registry is so important and can give hope to some ill patients.

So, it all starts with having the correct "match". This means not every ones bone marrow will work in each others body. Kind of similar to a blood transfusion. The newly introduced blood MUST be the same type as yours. MUST. Though, in the case of bone marrow, it does not have to be an exact match as it does have to be with blood. But, the closer the match, the higher the odds of a successful bone marrow transplant and a new healthy immune system that will grow and can fight the illness that the receiving patient has. A closer match also means the body is less likely for rejection. That's a big deal. If rejection does happen, this is known as the "graft-versus-host disease" which has very drastic complications. The receiving patient could get severe organ damage, infections, various new illnesses, and a very high possibility of death. Why is this? The newly introduced healthy bone marrow won't graft (be accepted by your body) and will be so strong it will take over your weakened immune system and body. Therefore, it sees your body as a threat and does what's it's intended for. Killing foreign cells, organs, and very possibly the patient.

Well, since I touched on the grim consequences of a rejected (failed) bone marrow transplant and the complications and risks for the recipient, what does the donor face? That's simple. The donor may have temporary nausea, tingling, pain, insomnia, fatigue, and headaches. These are side effects more so than what can be classified as risks or complications. These side effects happen more so when the donor gives the bone marrow through a big needle that is inserted into the shin, hip, or pelvic area. If the bone marrow is taken from the peripheral blood (circulating blood from the body taken through an IV), then there is no pain at all. Maybe just some temporary fatigue and/or tingling. Those decisions on how to harvest (collect) the bone marrow  from the donor will rely on the doctors recommendation which is best for the recipient patient. And if you are wondering if it costs anything to become a donor, the cost is nothing. In addition, the donor is not compensated for their time. They just receive the enjoyment of trying to save anothers life. Yes, that is a priceless feeling.

It should be noted there are two ways for bone marrow transplantation. First is an Autologous Transplant. Here, the patients own stem cells are harvested from their own bone marrow or peripheral blood and reintroduced back into their own body. This form of transplant is favored if possible. This will be determined by the doctor and the patients type of illness.  Because the stem cells are the patients own, the chance for rejection and complications is extremely minimal. That being said, it still does not guarantee as successful transplant. Why so? Because your stem cells are still predispositioned with all of the patients genetics. That means they will be getting both good and any bad cells that maybe causing the illness. So, in a situation of trying to regenerate a malfunctioning organ or maybe a spinal injury caused by an accident, the autologous transplant would probably be preferred. Now, if the patient had a cancer or autoimmune disease, reintroducing the patients own stem cells most likely wouldn't work. The reason is the patient would be getting back the same bad cells that they are trying to get rid of to become healthy. This is where the Allogenic Transplant becomes important. Here, the patient is receiving bone marrow/stem cells from an unrelated donor. Yep, a complete stranger. That donor is healthy and determined to be a match. And where would that stranger be found at? One of the several Bone Marrow Registries. Please understand by the two methods of bone marrow transplantation I explained, I intentionally left out all the details of each procedure. Remember, this is a blog and not a medical procedure book.

Bone Marrow Definition Link
National Marrow Donor Program Link
Project Marrow Link
The Bone Marrow Foundation Link
World Marrow Donor Association Link
Asians For Miracle Marrow Matches Link
AHEPA Marrow Donor Registry Link
DKMS Bone Marrow Donor Center Link
Africian American Marrow Connection Link
Mavin Foundation Link - FOR MIXED RACES
Ezer Mizion Link
Swab a Cheek Link
Patient and Child Getting Cheeks Swabbed Video - IT'S EASY

Bone Marrow Transplant for Dogs Video
Canine Bone Marrow Transplant Video
Canine Cheek Swabbing Video - used to determine illness, bone marrow donor, and breed

In conclusion, maybe it's time to step up and do the right thing. Statistics show that on average only 1 in 540 will go on to become an actual donor. Now, if a recipient has a unique tissue type and is of mixed races, that recipient may only have a 1 in 10 million chance to find a donor from the various registries. And then some recipients unfortunately will never find a donor. So, step outside your box. Get your cheek swabbed and become part of one of the various Bone Marrow Registries. Kids, adults, men, women, all races and mixed races, and even your pets can participate. Hey, being a donor and saving someones life is a pretty cool thing. Especially if it was your own life that needed to be saved someday...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Rasberry Ketones Burns Fat...

It's summer time. Yeah. Time to show off that "lean and mean" body. Or as in my case, it could be categorized  as still "UNDER CONSTRUCTION". I'm working on a few minor imperfections still ya know. Just a little more time of tweaking needed and I'm ready. Well anyway, the answer to a slimmer body has arrived and it's name is Raspberry Ketones. Before I go any further, you're gonna love this. It's inexpensive and can be found at any health food store. So how about the cost? $12 to $25 a bottle (quantity and dosage varies)? Yep, I know I've got your attention now so let's continue...

Since we all know what raspberries are, what is this ketone thing your wondering. Ketones are organic enzymes that contain a compound, Adiponectin, that regulates the bodies metabolism. In this case they come from the raspberry. Simple enough so far. Though, it is the ketones that do the burning of the fat cells. In reality, they break up and shrink the fat cells. So, you get a smaller you in those special places (waist, belly, thighs, chin, arms, internal organs, and so on)... Where the fat is stored in the body, the fat cells break up and shrink. NO SURGERY REQUIRED. NO SPECIAL DIET OF ANY KIND. NO EXERCISING NEEDED. Now this may seem to good to be true, but it's not. Though of course, by taking Raspberry Ketones, it's not a license to drink beer, eat chips, and lay on the couch 24/7. Go about your usual eating routine. Yet, if you do watch your diet and exercise A LITTLE, your results will come even quicker. That's pure logic. As far as why not eat just raspberries? That answer is because it takes about 90lbs of raspberries to produce 100mgs of Raspberry Ketones - a daily dose. So, to eat 90lbs of raspberries would be impossible to do everyday and cost you a heck of a lot more money than just purchasing a bottle.

In conclusion, we still need to cover the SIDE EFFECTS. The only noted side effect is if you are allergic to raspberries. That's it. You lose weight inexpensively and even reap the benefits of the antioxidant property of raspberries. Sounds great to me. Oh, it's not that I really need Raspberry Ketones ya know. But, I'm just gonna try them anyway...

Raspberry Ketone Definition Link
Dr. Oz Show Video
Raspberry Ketone Explanation Video
Buy Raspberry Ketone Capsules Link
Buy "Raspberry Ketone Lean" Link

Monday, May 14, 2012

Panic Attacks...

If you are unfortunate enough to have ever had a Panic Attack, you'll know they are far from fun. Have them on a regular basis? Then you'll be on the verge of tears and feeling that you've lost control of your life. Panic Attacks can bring your life to a stand still. So, here I'll define the possible causes, symptoms, and treatments/cures of Panic Attacks. Oh, and why write about this subject? Who would know better than myself whom suffers from them too.

Looking at the causes of Panic Attacks, they can be broken down into two categories: psychological (mentally) and physiological (your body). Of course, Panic Attacks do not have to be caused by just one sub-item of these categories, but one can trigger the other.

Psychological Causes:
Traumatic events (death, loss of job, divorce, accident, health, and the unknown), stress, emotional disorders (such as child abuse or child separation anxiety), and negative thinking.

Physiological Causes:
Hereditary, OTC decongestants, addictive narcotic withdrawals, reactions between prescribed and/or OTC drugs, asthma drugs, alcohol/caffeine/tobacco withdrawals, food preservatives, and sugar.

Jitters/shaking, fear or being scared, shortness of breath, sweating, insomnia, cheat pain, increased heart rate, nausea, diarrhea, muscles tightening, detachment from reality, feeling your going crazy, nervous breakdown, and even the sensation your gonna die.  

The two most common prescribed drugs are: Ativan and Xanax. Though, there are four natural herbs that can help too. These would be: St. John's Wort, Kava Kava, Passion Flower, and Valerian Root. Now, everywhere I've read, and been told, is that slow and deep breathing will help relax you and slow your heart rate. To me, this is difficult when you're in the middle of a Panic Attack. But, if you can catch the symptoms IMMEDIATELY, it is effective. Meditation is also a treatment, not to mention a great way to relax and de-stress. Though, if this is your chosen treatment, you have to act IMMEDIATELY too. Since we have mentioned meditation, Manta is also a possible treatment. This is closing your eyes and repeating the same word/sentence, over, and over, and over again. Then there are a host of other holistic and homeopathic remedies such as Seredyn and Anxietin. If these mentioned treatments are ineffective, then definitly an appointment with a Psychologist is necessary.

As for my Panic Attacks, being in pain, feeling warm/hot, and a sense of Claustrophobia, and I'm off to Panic Attack central. Not a great place to be. So for me, I have to be very cognizant of these three things. I always try to stay cool (drinking cold water helps), stop any pain I may have right at the onset, and if that's okay, the Claustrophobia does not even matter. Of course if Claustrophobia is a problem, I place myself in wide open areas with even people at a distance

Now after all of that above, reoccurring Panic Attacks can get worse and even lead to Panic Disorder. This is bad. It's when you develop phobias, depression, legal and illegal substance abuse, and possibly suicide. Hopefully it never gets to this point.

Panic Attack Definition Link
Anxiety Definition Link
Lorazepam (Ativan)Link
Alprazolam (Xanax) Link
Buy Seredyn Link
Buy Anxietin Link

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Donating Your Organs...

There is no more precious thing on this earth than the gift of life. This is truly something that can be called PRICELESS. People of both genders, all races, all ages, all religions, all financial status, and in all countries are included. Yes, every human being... Unfortunately, a serious illness can strike anyone of us at anytime. Yep, even when you have done your best to be the healthiest you can be, you maybe next. I'm sure each one of us knows, or has heard of, someone waiting to be next on "the list". What is this "list"? The "list" that says your the next person in line to receive a donated organ from someone else so you may continue on living. That's "the list". Sounds like an important one huh. There is no doubt it is.

To first give you an idea as to the number of people here is the U.S. alone that are waiting for a donated organ to remain alive, I will refer to two websites. Both links I have listed on this post in blue on the lower left side: United Network for Organ Sharing and Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. These two websites will give you on their Home Pages an up to date, with in a 30 minute time frame, number of people waiting for a donated organ. Beware. These numbers are frighteningly sad. Below are the numbers as of 5/5/12 at 9:05pm EST.
  • Waiting list candidates 114,292 as of today 9:05pm
  • Active waiting list candidates 72,984 as of today 9:05pm
  • Transplants January - January 2012 2,263 as of 04/27/2012
  • Donors January - January 2012 1,105 as of 04/27/2012

As to "the list", here it is. These are the organs that can be donated to save another's life. Hey people, stand up and give the gift of life for when that day comes that you pass on. You aren't gonna need them in Heaven.

  • Kidneys
  • Liver
  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Skin
  • Corneas
  • Pancreas
  • Bone and bone marrow
  • Tendon/Ligament/Connective tissue
Now in conclusion, if your organs listed above cannot be donated to save another's life, there is a back up plan. Your organs can be donated for scientific study. Why is this so important? It gives scientists and the medical community a chance to help develop vaccines,  therapies, and even cures to various illnesses. Once again, you aren't gonna need them in Heaven. But, the studies and data collected may just help someone you love.
Donate Life America Link
United Network for Organ Sharing
Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Link
Organ Donar Guide
Facts and Myths About Organ Donation Link
Organ Donation vs. Whole Body Donation Link

Friday, May 4, 2012

Results from the January 1st - April 30th Polls...

Remember, voters with each question were allowed to cast more than one vote per question. 

What do you find most important?

Health 58%

Love 54%

Conclusion: Love and Health are most important to the voters by far. I’ll take that. Though, Spirituality should be right there too in my opinion. It had only 35% of the voters. ???


Which pet is the best for helping you relieve stress?

Dog 72%

Conclusion: The dog is man’s best friend… You just cannot beat unconditional love.

What type of music relaxes you?

Classical 43%

Other 39%

Conclusion: Classical and Other (?) music relaxes the voters the most. What the “other” type of music is, I have no idea, but it seems to be working better than Rock, Opera, Country, or Jazz. Maybe it’s a meditative or Asian type music. That could very well be…


Which type of medicine do you find most beneficial?

Western 50%

Holistic 45%

Eastern 40%

Homeopahtic 35%

Conclusion: Well I think it’s fair to say that voters are “open minded” to various forms of medicine. I guess that means they will search for whatever gets them a better quality of life or a cure. I like that thinking. It’s the, “leave no stone unturned” approach.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Adversity to Inspiration...

This post is gonna be completely different this time. Rather than give you updated health information and links  that you can read and refer to, I'm gonna let you make the decision. What decision, or conclusion, am I talking about? THE MESSAGE. That is, I'm posting a series of all different video links. Rather than label them as I usually do, you will have to click on them and watch. What you are watching for is THE MESSAGE that is being conveyed. So, you can watch watch one, two, three, or all the videos. They are in no particular order. The challenge for you is to open up your mind and your heart to see THE MESSAGE. From there, you can react as you desire to. I will tell you this much. The post is titled, "Adversity to Inspiration". Therefore, that will give you a clue about the series of different videos...

Video 1
Video 2
Video 3
Video 4
Video 5
Video 6
Video 7
Video 8
Video 9
Video 10
Video 11
Video 12
Video 13
Video 14
Video 15
Video 16
Video 17
Video 18
Video 19

BTW - to my friends that have sent me some of the videos listed above, I thank you. I do know exactly what your message was to me. Thank you for your compassion and kindness.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Benlysta for Lupus...

It's the first drug for Lupus in just over 50 years. Belimumab, more commonly known for it's trade name of Benlysta, is getting Lupus patients excited.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease which can effect anyone at any age and at anytime. Although, it is statistically more prevalent in women, men do get it too. Just ask me. I was diagnosed with it back in 1997. Though, the list of symptoms can range from: inflamed lungs, fatigue, fevers, hair loss, rashes, brain damage, kidney damage, mouth sores, sensitivity to sunlight, swollen lymph nodes, swollen joints, and a few others, the diagnosis cannot be easy. These symptoms can mimic a host of other autoimmune diseases too. For me, it was fatigue, brutal fevers, swollen and painful joints through out my body, and some kidney damage. Lupus can be genetically handed down from one generation to another, but this was not the situation in my case. The cause of it was unknown and that is how it is the majority of the time. Environment? Foods? Genetics? Lifestyle? Household cleaning products? Geographic location? Statistics do also show both African American and Asian races are more likely to contract Lupus. Why? That is still unknown.

So, you're asking what does this new "wonder drug" do for Lupus patients? Well, first Benlysta is given on an out patient prescription basis only. No over night hospital stays needed. Currently, it is not offered orally. It is given via an IV infusion that takes about two hours. Benlysta lowers (kills some, not all) the number of "autoreactive B cells" in your body. You see, it is these cells that will eventually form "autoantibodies". These autoantibody cells end up not recognizing your body and it's organs. What's next is your immune system begins to do what it's job is and that is to fight off foreign things. Yep, it becomes confused and then begins to turn against YOU and starts attacking your body. Initially it's inflammation, as with all autoimmune diseases, but then the inflammation ends up causing permanent damage over time. I'll repeat that. Permanent damage. So, Benlysta lowers the amount of autoreactive B cells in your body. The desired result then are the symptoms of Lupus become less prevalent, less threatening, less damaging, and hopefully over time, puts the disease in remission. With the disease then in remission, you could say "mission accomplished". Of course that is if all goes well for which we know there are never any guarantees with any drug. But, wait one minute. As anyone that has Lupus, or any other disease, that means to keep the disease in remission, you still need to treat your body right. Control your stress, lightly exercise, minimize the alcohol, no smoking, get a good nights sleep, and get the proper nutrition. With out these things, you will be right back at square one and starting the fight over again.

Now of course since Benlysta is a drug, there are some potential side effects to be noted. These may include: various infections, sore throat, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, itching, diarrhea, depression, trouble sleeping, thoughts of suicide, low blood pressure, headaches, vomiting, and even an allergic death. Yep, even the wonder drug for Lupus can be far from perfect for some patients.

To conclude on a good note, Benlysta is also being tried on Rheumatoid Arthritis patients and is showing promising results. More will be known by the end of 2012. But for now, let's take that as encouraging news for RA patients.

Benlysta Definition Link
Benlysta Drug Mfg's Link 
Definition of Lupus Video
Patient's 2nd Benlysta IV Video