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My psoriasis treatment worked
ORE than 80% of people with psoriasis are embarrassed by their condition. That’s according to recent research from www.psoriasisuncovered.ie, which showed that psoriasis has a dramatic and lasting impact on people’s lives, potentially affecting their ability to pursue careers, educational opportunities and relationships. For Kevin Carthy, 28, psoriasis showed up just as he made the transition from primary to secondary school. “From the age of 13 to 18, the psoriasis was on my scalp, so it was hidden by my hair and didn’t bother me too much,” says Kevin, a singer and wedding organiser with Dublin Gospel Choir. “But, at 18, it broke out, became red and inflamed and showed up on my face, legs, arms, back, chest, groin and joints, and even under my nails,” he says. Not surprisingly, his confidence was dented, despite the solid support of family and friends. “I wouldn’t go out that often, because people would look at me and I felt they saw a skin disease before they saw me. When I did gigs with the choir, I would leave the room to change my shirt, because I didn’t want people seeing me. It was the same on sun holidays, I’d wear a T-shirt and go for a swim at the quiet part of the day, when the beach was less busy,” he says. Kevin’s story is similar to that of thousands
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ACTIVE LIFE: Kevin’s previous shyness has been replaced by a busy social life.
MOSTLY MEN with psoriasis, according to the research from the Psoriasis Association of Ireland and Abbott. It also highlighted that 85% of Irish respondents felt their psoriasis negatively impacted on their enjoyment of life. Specifically, two-thirds cited a negative impact on their social life and relationships. Kevin was lucky. His mother had psoriasis, so he had lived with the condition as a child and she helped him to stay positive through different treatments. “I tried every cream and therapy, including light therapy, and none of them worked for me,” he says. When he was 22, he had a breakthrough, finally, when, after visits to numerous specialists, a dermatologist diagnosed him with psoriatic arthritis within five minutes of meeting him. That diagnosis turned Kevin’s prognosis around. Biologic treatment for this arthritis worked wonders. A biologic is a protein-based drug produced from living cells cultured in a laborato-
ry. While traditional systemic drugs affect the entire immune system, biologics target specific parts of the immune system. “Within two weeks, the psoriasis was totally gone, it was unbelievable. I had just been expecting that my joints would settle down, but this was brilliant,” he says. Today, Kevin happily goes swimming and to the gym and lives life to the full.
Free health seminars at One-third fails to wash Royal College until May hands after toilet use TO learn more about your health, attend the free public health seminars held by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Held on the last Wednesday of every month, between January and May, topics include ethics in medicine, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, hospital infection and sexual health. Leading healthcare experts, including Professor Arnie Hill, Professor Hilary Humphries and Professor Hannah McGee, pictured, will deliver the talks. “The MiniMed Open
LIM WEEKLY: To S help with the goal of losing weight for 2010,
you many be interested in System: Slim the New Zealand Weight Loss Programme which was launched in Ireland on January 4. Now available in 20 pharmacies around the country, the System:Slim programme costs an initial joining fee of F99 which includes “a one hour health assessment with a trained consultant, a healthy eating and personal lifestyle program
Lecture Series affords people the opportunity to learn more about topical, health-related issues from leading experts,” says Dr Kevin McGuigan, director of the RCSI series. The series is free of charge, but registration is essential to guarantee a place. To register, log on to www.rcsi.ie/minimed2010, or call 01-402 8662. Enrolment is on a first-come, first-served basis. Location is the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 123 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.
and three core supplements, designed to support weight loss.” Then each week there’s a 15-minute consultation with the consultant, which costs F15. The aim of the weekly weigh-in is to help keep you motivated and focused on your weight loss goal, address any problems you might have and providing low-calorie recipe ideas and so on. For a full list of pharmacies and more details on the programme visit www.systemslim.ie.
A RECENT survey by hygiene expert Milton has revealed that one in three people in Ireland don’t wash their hands after going to the toilet. This leads to the spread of viruses, such as norovirus, rotavirus, colds and flu. All of these infectious viruses have a common enemy: clean hands. “To protect yourself, and your family, from picking up or passing on germs and viruses, it is important to be
thorough about hygiene,” says Dr Rosemary Leonard. “Keep your hands clean, and free from bacteria, by frequently washing them with soap and water, and using an alcohol-based hand disinfecting gel containing a minimum-stated 60% alcohol or ethanol, when you are out and about. Germs lurk on hard surfaces and fabrics, so make sure your house and work area is kept as clean as possible.”
■ Free copies of the new psoriasis patient information booklet can be obtained by writing to Psoriasis Uncovered, 15 Fitzwilliam Quay, Dublin 4, by email to email@example.com, or by telephone at 01-6188408. ■ For information on the campaign visit: www.psoriasisuncovered.ie.
DId you know...
At least 15% of strokes in Ireland are misdiagnosed
Source: Irish Heart Foundation
WeightDENTAL Loss for CARE 2010 ONLINE SUPPORT: Daily support and motivation are just the click of the mouse away with Perfect 10, a product which combines a slimming supplement with an online support programme. The manufacturers say it includes 10 nutrients, including green tea and B vitamins, and say Perfect 10 can help manage weight when used in conjunction with a calorie-controlled diet and exercise. The support club at perfect10shape.com includes diet and exercise advice, BMI calculator, recipes, etc. When you buy a Perfect 10 pack, F29.99 for 60 capsules from health food shops and pharmacies, you can log on to the support group using the password on the pack. More details are available from www.naturalife.ie.
NATURAL SUPPORT: Naturalife are also suppliers of Go-Cal 1,000, which contains six ingredients, including green tea and apple cider vinegar (a metabolic accelerator, appetite suppressant and kidney cleanser). Naturalife says this natural weight-loss support supplement works best when combined with five simple key steps: eating regular meals and smaller portions, eliminating snacks, increasing physical activity and being realistic about your weight loss. Go-Cal 1,000 is available from health stores and costs F22.99.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 2010
MANAGE HUNGER: Higher Nature’s FullStop! contains a patented extract from white potato that the company says is designed to help manage appetite naturally. According to the manufacturer, studies have shown that this potato extract increases the release of the body’s natural chemical CCK, which supports the feeling of fullness after a meal. As this extract helps you to feel full sooner, it may help you reduce calorie intake and therefore lose weight. FullStop! costs F43.35 for 60 capsules.
Feelgood is a health and wellbeing supplement published by the Irish Examiner every Friday.