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Is It Sarcoidosis? Don't Rule Out This Often Misdiagnosed Condition

Lifestyles - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 10:29
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - Most people have never heard of sarcoidosis, but this complex condition has actually been acknowledged for more than 150 years. Well-known people who have been impacted by the condition include Bernie Mac, Reggie White, Evander Holyfield, Tisha Campbell-Martin and Daisy Fuentes. Although anyone can develop sarcoidosis, it is most common among people between the ages of 20-40.

Often, the symptoms of sarcoidosis are similar to cancer or arthritis, and people may undergo unnecessary treatment before finding out their actual diagnosis. It's stories like this that inspired the CHEST Foundation of the American College of Chest Physicians and the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research (FSR) to team up and launch "Sarcoidosis: Seek Answers. Inspire Results," a campaign that encourages people living with sarcoidosis to take a proactive role in their treatment.

"While sarcoidosis is not fully understood, it's important to consider it if symptoms are present," said Doreen J. Addrizzo-Harris, MD, FCCP, co-director of the Pulmonary/Critical Care Faculty Group Practice at NYU Langone Medical Center, pulmonary section chief at Tisch Hospital in New York City, and trustee of the CHEST Foundation board. "The educational resources available at www.chestnet.org/sarcoid encourage people living with sarcoidosis to openly discuss options with their doctor, then follow their unique treatment plan."

Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease wherein the immune system goes into overdrive, causing cells to group together into clumps called granulomas. When too many granulomas form on an organ, they can interfere with its function. Though sarcoidosis can impact any organ, the lungs and lymph nodes are affected in more than 90 percent of cases.

With good medical care, most cases are not severe and do not cause lasting damage to the body. However, 30-40 percent of people with sarcoidosis have a persistent condition that may require treatment to control symptoms.

Common symptoms include:

1. Fever, fatigue, weight loss, night sweats and an overall feeling of ill health.

2. A persistent cough, shortness of breath and chest pain.

3. Enlarged lymph nodes -- most often located in the neck, but they can also be under the chin, in the armpits or the groin area.

Other signs may include skin changes (such as painful or red, raised bumps), joint pain or eye sensitivity.

For more information and to download sarcoidosis resources -- including the "Sarcoid Five," a list of five questions designed to jump-start conversations between patients and doctors -- please visit www.chestnet.org/sarcoid.

Breaking Down the Walls -- Improve Your Connection Outside the Office

Lifestyles - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 10:20
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - In the modern business age, many companies are doing away with physical office space altogether. In fact, experts say that enabling employees to work from home is doing a 180-degree turn from the perk it once was, to a business necessity.

"Who says there will be an office at all?" says Tom Austin, vice president at Gartner, a Stamford, Connecticut-based technology research firm. "Already we work from Starbucks, in the car and at our kids' softball games."

Yet, there are still naysayers who poo-poo the idea -- Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo! sent out an in-house memo last year stating that employees must come into the office -- even as studies show those that have employees who work from home are, on average, more productive and have lower real-estate costs and better employee morale, which leads to less turnover. Supporting this trend is that nearly 6 million Americans work from home, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Further advancing this transformation in doing business, Switch (www.switch.co) is bringing a business phone system to organizations that use GoogleApps, replacing a company's old phone hardware with new software built to enable mobility.

"Switch makes sense for anyone who realizes their business phone system that serves a desk is broken," says Craig Walker, founder and CEO of the San Francisco-based company.

Switch is Walker's latest project that focuses on modernizing the traditional phone call -- starting with companies that use Google Apps.

Google Apps users are directly imported into Switch, enabling a company to get up and running in minutes. Users log in with their Apps account and have immediate access to their company directory. When on a call, Switch shows the latest Gmail messages, upcoming Calendar events and shared Docs.

"Switch puts the power of the phone back into the hands of the user with your work number on your own device, enabling you to stay connected and productive from wherever your work and life take you," he says.

Pricing for companies of all sizes is $15 per month per employee, including a free company number and unlimited domestic calls and texts. For more information, visit www.switch.co or call 844-9-SWITCH.

Patriot Trails Offers New Way to Experience Revolutionary War History

Lifestyles - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 10:17
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - If you are fanatical about American history -- especially the Revolutionary War -- then the new "Patriot Trails" might be just for you.

Produced by the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board (VFTCB), Patriot Trails is a comprehensive touring adventure designed to illustrate the dramatic struggle for independence for modern visitors. The self-guided Revolutionary War journey uses web-based mobile technology to tell the richly detailed story of the Revolutionary War as it unfolded throughout Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Best of all, the transportable information can be accessed while visitors are onsite at the significant locations -- or even en route.

"Most people recognize the role that Valley Forge National Historical Park played during those crucial years of 1777 and 1778," says Edward Harris, vice president of marketing and communications for VFTCB. "What visitors -- and even locals -- may not know is that the encampment that was housed there is just one aspect of a much larger story."

The customized itineraries highlight 16 historic sites in all areas of the county. Notable destinations include Peter Wentz Farmstead in Lansdale, which twice served as Washington's temporary headquarters, and Hope Lodge in Fort Washington, the site of a six-week encampment prior to the winter in Valley Forge.

"What we are doing is telling that tale by showcasing other significant historic sites throughout Montgomery County," says Harris. "The information for our trails is formatted for mobile devices. Our website's responsive technology enables history buffs, families, students and groups to access information on the go."

The Patriot Trails website breaks the exploration down into manageable options, depending on how much time a history buff has. Designed for all ages, the itineraries range from half-day to multi-day and can be customized. The website also highlights the men and women who committed themselves fully to oppose the British crown, offering mini-biographies.

"We are very excited about this tour," says Harris. "Its success can be replicated to enable visitors to experience our great county in a whole host of ways, from military history beyond the Revolution to arts and culture destinations to retro theaters and brewpubs."

For more information, visit www.patriottrails.com.

Thermal Imaging Helps Find Hidden Damage in Your Home

Lifestyles - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 10:15
Five words or less

(NewsUSA) - Spring is in the air, which means it's not only time to start deep cleaning your home, but ensuring it's protected against dama caused by Old Man Winter.

For homeowners who have gone through especially harsh weather (a shout-out to the Northeast and New England seems to be in order), the spring thaw that occurs from record-breaking snowfall can result in irreparable water damage if not taken care of properly.

For roofs, it's important to check for ice damming. This happens when snow on the upper portion of your roof melts and freezes on the lower half, creating a wall-like formation around the gutter. Water then becomes trapped behind the ice dam and can leak into your home. In addition, water- stained ceilings, drywall and damp areas in the basement, cracks in concrete floors and musty, wet odors can also mean trouble and should be checked.

To help find these sometimes-hard-to-see signs, you might want to consider investing in a thermal camera. This pocket-size device plugs into smartphones and puts technology that was once unaffordable into consumers' hands.

It works like this: all objects radiate heat or "infrared light" that can be seen by true thermal cameras even in the absence of visible light. While this technology has primarily been used by law enforcement and the military, one company has brought the cost down to an affordable price for the everyday consumer.

Seek Thermal, a California-based technology company, has created a thermal camera that works with a free app to turn invisible heat energy into an image that can be seen from your phone or tablet. This, the company says, allows homeowners to easily expose and record water damage, so something can be done about it before having to make costly repairs.

For one Boston custom home builder, the Seek Thermal camera has made a difference in how he approaches his business.

"With the Seek camera we're able to isolate the exposure without cutting holes in the sheetrock," says Chris Rapczynski, president of Sleeping Dog Properties. "Now, with the thermal imaging camera, we're able to quickly walk in, assess whether the water has infiltrated a wall cavity, and all of that can be done in minutes.

"Having a thermal imaging camera bridges the gap between applying some effort and having certainty the effort that's been applied is the fix," says Rapczynski. "And the clients just want the fix."

For more information, visit www.thermal.com.

Libya Fast Facts

CNN World - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 09:51
Here's some background information about Libya, an oil-rich country in North Africa bordering the Mediterranean Sea and Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Chad, Niger and Sudan.
Categories: International News

Fidel Castro, in rare public appearance, is 'full of vitality'

CNN World - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 09:38
Cuban state media Saturday released images of a rare public appearance by former leader Fidel Castro, who met with a group of Venezuelans who were on a solidarity mission to the island.
Categories: International News

Taliban publish biography of leader

CNN World - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 09:36
Mullah Mohammed Omar is "still the leader" of the Taliban's self-declared Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Categories: International News

Killing in the U.S. heartland; heartbreak in China

CNN World - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 09:34
On the nights the father can sleep, he awakes crying.
Categories: International News

Are human head transplants coming soon?

CNN World - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 09:33
It sounds like the plot for a science fiction movie.
Categories: International News

11 of the world's most amazing train stations

CNN World - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 09:32
Whether they're blasting over the tracks in Germany or Japan, trains offer travelers a chance to sit back and relax as they ride through some of the world's most incredible scenery.
Categories: International News

Australian death row appeal fails

CNN World - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 09:29
An Indonesian court has rejected a bid by two Australian drug smugglers -- members of the so-called "Bali Nine" -- to challenge their planned executions.
Categories: International News

U.S. citizen killed by mortar strike

CNN World - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 09:28
Jamal al-Labani had hoped to bring his pregnant wife and 2-year-daughter back to the United States from war-torn Yemen.
Categories: International News

Death toll rising rapidly as Yemen conflict rages

CNN World - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 09:27
Bombing of key strategic targets in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, has shattered windows and destroyed houses in surrounding areas. Fighting has killed hundreds of people in less than two weeks.
Categories: International News

Dads cherish Sweden's parental leave

CNN World - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 09:22
Categories: International News

Blue Bell shuts down plant after listeria find

Health - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 09:20
Blue Bell ice cream has temporarily shut down one of its manufacturing plants over the discovery of listeria contamination in a serving of ice cream originating from that plant.
Categories: Health

This surprise will help your baby learn

Health - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 09:20
Categories: Health

The simple, free solution to Asia's myopia epidemic

Health - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 09:19
It's not just Asia. Around the world, we're becoming collectively more near-sighted.
Categories: Health

End the stigma of mental illness

Health - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 09:19
We might never truly comprehend what drove co-pilot Andreas Lubitz to crash Germanwings Flight 9525 into the French Alps on March 24, killing everyone on board. The latest report shows that he sped up the descent of the plane to its doom. It's terrifying.
Categories: Health

11 myths fertility doctors hear

Health - Mon, 04/06/2015 - 09:19
Categories: Health
The Hi-Liner boys' baseball team played Thursday evening in Valley City. See Friday's Times-Record...
The Hi-Liner girls' tennis team decisively won against the West Fargo Packers in EDC play Thursday...
A Valley City High School Track and Field athlete is closing in on the record books. See Thursday's...

 

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