Assistance for Patients Who Cannot Afford Antifungal Drugs (US only)

Copayment Assistance Now Available to At-Risk and Infected Patients

GERMANTOWN, Md. — October 12, 2016 — The HealthWell Foundation®, an independent non-profit that provides a financial lifeline for inadequately insured Americans, today announced that it opened a new fund to provide assistance to patients who are at-risk of, or infected with, potentially life-threatening fungal infections, specifically Aspergillosis and Candidiasis. Through the fund, HealthWell will provide up to $3,000 in copayment assistance to eligible patients who are insured and have annual household incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty level.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anyone can get a fungal infection. Fungi are common in the environment, but they are more likely to cause infections in individuals with weak immune systems, such as anyone who has cancer, has had a stem cell or organ transplant, is taking a medication that weakens the immune system, or is hospitalized for an illness that weakened the immune system. Invasive fungal infections can affect the blood, heart, brain, eyes, bones, and other parts of the body.

“Candida and aspergillus infections can spread from the gut or lungs through the bloodstream with serious ramifications,” said Dr. David Denning, President, Global Action Fund for Fungal Infections (GAFFI) and Director of the UK’s National Aspergillosis Centre, University Hospital of South Manchester. “In the more serious hospital cases, only half the patients survive, even with therapy, and all die without antifungal treatment. Long-term antifungal therapy is costly and required for many chronic conditions. Contributions to effective and affordable treatment and prevention will often be lifesaving.”

“Thanks to the continued generosity of our donors, we are now able to offer financial relief to patients living with invasive fungal infections as well as patients who may be at-risk of infection due to compromised immune systems,” said Krista Zodet, HealthWell Foundation President.“These patients, whether they are battling an active infection or require preventative medication, desperately need treatment. Our fund offers instant grant approvals and instant pharmacy card activation to provide these patients with immediate access to care and to potentially lifesaving medications.”

Submitted by GAtherton on Thu, 2016-10-13 15:25

SIXTY-NINE PER CENT OF PEOPLE WITH ASTHMA TELL ASTHMA UK THAT STRESS IS AN ASTHMA TRIGGER FOR THEM.

People with chronic illness are subjected to particular health problems and have particular needs with regard to support on stress and anxiety. People who have respiratory infections such as aspergillosis are one group who have chronic health condition, many including asthma. This very useful article was written and promoted by Asthma UK on World Mental Health Day 2016.

Article written and published by Asthma UK: full article

Most of us will feel stress at some point in our lives because there are so many situations and experiences that can put extra mental or emotional pressure on us. Feeling lonely, anxious or worrying a lot can lead to stress, as can poor sleep, diet, or problems with money.

If you have asthma, and you’re going through a stressful time, keep an eye on your asthma symptoms – 69 per cent of people with asthma tell us stress is an asthma trigger for them.

Why is stress an asthma trigger?

Stress causes a surge of stress hormones in our bodies. These are released to prepare us to either run away from danger or fight it (the “fight or flight” response). We react with symptoms such as a faster heart rate, tense muscles and breathing that is shallow and fast (hyperventilating). This change to our breathing pattern can put us at a higher risk of all our usual asthma symptoms, such as tight chest and coughing.

Another reason why stress can trigger someone’s asthma is because of the things people do when they’re stressed. You may notice that you lose your temper more easily when you’re under stress, and anger is itself an emotional asthma trigger. Stress can mean we drink or smoke more, both asthma triggers in their own right. People with asthma who are stressed may also feel less able or willing to take their asthma medicines as prescribed, especially if long term stress means they’re also dealing with anxiety and depression.

How do I know if stress is triggering my asthma symptoms?

It’s usually not that difficult to recognise the things that are making us stressed. But sometimes we don’t make the connection between stressful events and our asthma symptoms.

  • If you think you might be under more stress than usual, ask yourself if your asthma’s feeling worse than usual.
  • If you’ve noticed your asthma is feeling worse than usual, consider what’s going on in your life at the moment. Could a stressful situation have triggered your asthma symptoms?
  • Try keeping a record of stressful situations alongside a symptom diary – this might show a pattern and help you recognise stressful situations or events that trigger your asthma symptoms.

A written asthma action plan helps you keep an eye on worsening symptoms and know what to do if you notice any.

The full article goes into more detail and contains terrific information for asthmatics on the following:

  • When is stress most likely to trigger asthma?
  • How can I cut the risk of stress affecting my asthma?
  • Top stress tips

We can’t always avoid stress in our lives but there are things we can do to help manage it. Whatever’s going on for you, being aware of how stress is affecting you and your body is the first step to managing it. There’s lots of advice on stress in books and online and plenty of methods you can try that may help you feel better and help you learn coping skills.

  • Finding ways to reduce stress in your life is good for you and your asthma.
  • Can I talk to someone about how stress affects my asthma?  

Go to full article.

Submitted by GAtherton on Mon, 2016-10-10 11:04

Treat the Causes of Chronic Disease, Not the Symptoms

Rajan Chatterjee, a young GP advocating that we need to holistically assess the long term causes of chronic diseases such as diabetes, dementia and depression in order to successfully rid ourselves of those illnesses often without the need for medication. As a GP he has realised that there are a collection of contributory causes of many chronic diseases  (diet, stress, sleep, physical activity, environment, infections, gut health) that we can each address and once we have ruled out or changed our personal practices or circumstances many chronic diseases can resolve. There can be no further need for some medical interventions that are commonplace at the moment. 

We are not all the same, we all have different genetics but we also have differing lifestyles and environments. Rajan argues that doctors need to learn to treat symptoms less and think about long terms causes more. Similarly the patient needs to realise that the dozen harmful things that they do every day harm their health, and it is much better to tackle those things personally than go to a doctor for a medication to ‘cover up’ the resultant symptoms.

Is this the future of medicine?

1 6 7 8