systemic inflammation, eh?

Psoriasis may reflect systemic inflammation, heart disease, via American Medical News.

A glaring omission in this article is this: Nowhere within is PsA mentioned. And I find it hard to believe that these doctors never mentioned it.

But it’s interesting nonetheless.

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interesting, very interesting

At the risk of making this a blog exclusively about PsA, here’s a great link from a February 2009 New York Times article about the mother’s effect on her baby’s immune system.

Researchers have long wondered how pregnant women might shape their fetuses’ development — by protecting them against later disease, perhaps, or instilling an appreciation of Mozart.

Now a group in California has discovered a surprising new mechanism by which women train their fetuses’ budding immune systems: the mother’s cells slip across the placenta, enter the fetus’s body and teach it to treat these cells as its own.

A crucial task of the developing immune system is to learn to distinguish between foreign substances and the self. It is tricky: the system must respond to outside threats but not overreact to harmless stimuli or the body’s own tissues.

The new findings show “how Mom is helping to tune that whole system early on,” said William J. Burlingham, an immunologist at the University of Wisconsin, who is not connected with the research. “It’s a major advance, very new and very exciting.”

The work could have relevance to research on topics as diverse as organ transplantation, mother-to-child transmission of H.I.V. and autoimmune disorders like Type 1 diabetes.

“It points the way to a huge range of biologically significant questions that are worth exploring,” Dr. Burlingham said.

(Found via Understanding Psoriatic Arthritis.)

I think this is fascinating, and it represents a brave new world in how the immune system works. I don’t understand it all myself (yet; I may have to go to nursing or med school just to understand the research around my disease!), but even I can see the implications.

Really interesting. I’m not sure what implications this has for me as a person who may want children one day, but it gives me a jumping off point and a lot to think about.

Jon Foreman: Goodness Precedes Greatness: A Call For New Heroes In Troubled Times

Jon Foreman: Goodness Precedes Greatness: A Call For New Heroes In Troubled Times

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Read this. Really.

Jon Foreman, front man and guitarist for Switchfoot, makes a really great point: We need to be the greatness we seek.

There is so much to be discouraged about, so much badness in the world that it would be easy to to get dragged down into the mire and muck with those who would have us join them down there. I know it would; I feel the tug just as much as many others, and perhaps more than most. It’s hard to do good things, and it’s hard to go the extra mile to rise above.

I get it. It’s hard.

But that’s what makes it worthwhile. To paraphrase Tom Hanks in “A League of Their Own,” the hard is what makes it great. That hard is what makes it good. It’s essential to go that extra mile; it’s necessary to fight the good fight. I’m gearing up myself for one, even though I am afraid it will do more harm than good, that it’ll cost me too much, more, perhaps, than I’m willing to pay. I’m getting over that. I’m trying to heed my call to goodness.

In the meantime, I’m trying to be good in my every day life. I’m trying to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. I’m trying to do unto others and turn the other cheek. I’m trying to not worry and be happy. I don’t know if it’s making a difference in anyone else’s world, but it’s making a difference in me.

Fear is a terrible thing, unchecked. It can make us do things we would not otherwise do; it can make us fail to do things we know we should do. It’s an equalizer: Everyone has been afraid at some point in their lives. Even the brave feel fear. Courage is not the absence of fear; instead, it is moving forward in spite of fear.

I am not brave, but I am trying. We’ll see where trying takes me.

yes, but…

Thanks, Twitter, for allowing me to stumble upon this lovely gem by Christine Miserandino.

I am fighting against some of this myself. One of my bosses wants me to do something I have been expressly, well, not forbidden, but strongly advised (by medical personnel) not too do. Apparently, when the boss feels too busy, what’s best for my health is no longer a priority. I feel like I have to remind the boss that I may not look it, but I have a chronic condition. My health is more important than a silly company preference that the boss could just as easily procure.

As always, my goal is to feel well enough again to wear heels for an entire day, all day, all week. I haven’t been able to to that for awhile, and my NP always notices when I show up wearing flats. I’d love to be able to surprise her by strutting in in heels one day. I’m not there yet, but I’m hoping I’ll get there.

We’ll see.