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Isabel Healthcare Blog

Charlotte Maude

Recent Posts

Why am I so tired? Common conditions and associated symptoms

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Thu, Nov 28, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

As we head into the last month of the 2019, and for many of us the busiest month too, we can find ourselves getting more and more tired, as we try to balance work, the holidays, and visiting family and friends. What’s more, at this time of year, particularly in climates where the weather is getting colder, there are many more illnesses and colds going around, which can all contribute to us feeling a little less spring in our step. We’ve rounded up some of the common causes of tiredness and fatigue, varying from the more serious conditions to look out for, to the less serious such as simply not getting enough shut eye.

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Could I have pulmonary hypertension (PH)?

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Thu, Nov 14, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

This month is Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month when charities launch campaigns to raise awareness about this progressive lung disease which is thought to affect around 1% of the global population (increasing to 10% for those aged over 65). As symptoms are non-specific, the disease is often misdiagnosed, which is why increasing awareness is so critical. While in most cases, no cure is currently available, early diagnosis can massively improve a patient’s outcome.

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Could I have stomach cancer? Stomach cancer symptoms and diagnosis

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Thu, Oct 10, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

Take a look at the stats for Stomach Cancer, also known as Gastric Cancer, and you’ll realise it’s not an easy one to diagnose. Out of an estimated 28,000 cases in the US each year, nearly a third, 10,960, are expected to die. The figures in the UK are even worse with only 15% of patients expected to live beyond 10 years. The real clue lies in the fact that nearly a third of British patients first present with the illness in their emergency or A&E department, and given that the typical initial symptoms such as indigestion, wind or heartburn aren’t exactly emergency symptoms, this implies that most patients are experiencing a substantial and often fatal delay in getting a diagnosis. As stomach cancer symptoms are often easily mistaken for less serious conditions, it’s understandable that both patient and doctor won’t suspect a potentially fatal cancer as the cause. Which is why we’ve devoted this week’s blog to discussing the symptoms and when to seek advice, in the hopes we can help sufferers present much earlier to their doctor and consequently find a cure.

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10 myths about suicide - international suicide prevention month

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Fri, Sep 27, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

Around the globe, September is Suicide Prevention Month. National Suicide Prevention day was earlier in the month in the UK, whilst September 8th-14th was Suicide Prevention Week in the US.  Although the ways we talk about suicide and mental health have been improving in recent years, there is still a huge stigma attached to the subject, and talking about suicidal thoughts and feelings. Suicide is on the rise globally, with 800,000 people dying by suicide last year, so it’s more important than ever that we raise awareness, to try and stop so many people dying from suicide.

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Could I have iron deficiency anemia? Iron deficiency symptoms

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Thu, Sep 12, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

Answering yes to this question is much more likely than you’d think. The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 25% of the world’s population is affected by anemia, with half of these cases being due to low iron levels – that’s a staggering 2 billion people. If this is the case, why don’t we know more about the condition and why aren’t more people being treated for it? Part of the explanation lies in the fact the symptoms can be non-specific, they can easily be confused with other illnesses, and can come on very gradually. They can also disappear temporarily before returning, perhaps under a slightly different guise. Other sufferers may have visited their doctor complaining they just feel constantly under the weather, as tiredness and lethargy are the most common symptoms, and been told they just have a virus. Pregnant women and those who have recently given birth are most likely to be iron deficient, as are those who have heavy periods. But unfortunately it’s not always just a simple case of getting a blood test as, depending on the type of deficiency you have, your results could be misinterpreted leaving the patient once again with no explanation for their symptoms and putting them down to just ‘life’.

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Spotting Stevens-Johnson syndrome - symptoms and causes of SJS and TEN

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Fri, Aug 30, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

August is the awareness month for Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), an extremely rare and life threatening disease that can develop over mere hours, and is often missed or left untreated for too long. A rare disease is categorized as a disease that affects less than 5 in 10,000 people in the UK, and in the US it is any disease that affects fewer than 200,000 people at any time, which is about 5 in 7,500. SJS affects around 2-6 people in every million, so it certainly passes the rarity test. At Isabel, which started as a charity after the misdiagnosis of a rare disease, we try to shed a light on rare diseases, particularly those that require timely diagnosis, and particularly those that often affect children. In this blogpost we’ll go over the signs and symptoms to spot in SJS, and explain the causes of this serious condition.

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Could I have skin cancer? Melanoma symptoms and causes

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Thu, Aug 08, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

With daily reports of rising temperatures due to climate change, it’s no surprise that skin cancers are also on the rise. We wrote only a month ago about how to protect ourselves against the hot summer sun and the potential dangers to look out for, which you can read here. This month, we are looking in more detail at the potential dangers caused by exposure to the sun – or more specifically, skin cancer. As there are two different categories of skin cancer, each with their own characteristics , there is a lot of confusion about just how dangerous skin cancer can be with many thinking a suspicious-looking mole can be easily removed with no further complications. Luckily this is the most common scenario, but as we will see, some skin cancers can have much more serious implications.

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Hypothyroidism vs hyperthyroidism - what’s the difference?

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Thu, Jul 25, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

This week on the Isabel Healthcare blog we’re tackling the confusing and often daunting world of the thyroid. A lot of us will probably have heard of or come across thyroid conditions in the past, be that underactive, overactive, or even the rare thyroid cancer. But what’s the difference, what does it all mean, and most importantly, what are the symptoms we can be looking out for? We’ll also go over who’s at higher risk of developing thyroid problems and the treatments that are available.

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Could I have bone cancer? Bone cancer symptoms and diagnosis

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Thu, Jul 11, 2019 @ 12:29 PM

At the end of June, Nixon Whatcott from Utah, USA, passed away after an 18 month fight against bone cancer. He was just 7 years old.  Because of his age, his parents assumed the pain in his leg was just ‘growing pains’ but a visit to his local hospital later revealed cancerous tumours on his leg leading to a final diagnosis of osteosarcoma, one of the most common forms of bone cancer. If the cancer hasn’t spread, survival rates of osteosarcoma can be up to 75%. Sadly Nixon’s cancer had already spread to his lungs and abdomen, reducing his chances to 30%, and after several rounds of chemotherapy, Nixon lost his battle.

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National Aphasia Month 2019 - Let's speak about aphasia

Posted by Charlotte Maude on Thu, Jun 27, 2019 @ 11:47 AM

June is “Speak about Aphasia Month” in the UK. Aphasia is defined as a longterm communication disability, most often associated with other primary diseases such as strokes, and this year’s theme for aphasia month is the hashtag #recogniseaphasia. Organizations around the UK are raising awareness of the causes, symptoms and effects of aphasia on those who have this condition. Aphasia affects 350,000 people in the UK and 2 million in the US, so it’s certainly not rare. In this post we’ll go over the symptoms of aphasia, some of the treatments and therapies that are available, and the main causes as well.

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