New research calls pistachios superfood for people with desk jobs

(BPT) – Recent research is giving the 86 percent of Americans who sit all day at their jobs new reasons to reach for a handful of nuts while at work, and in particular, pistachios. Adding to an increasing volume of research around the health benefits of pistachios, one study and a national survey in the U.S. suggest a snack of pistachios might boost brain power and concentration levels at work.

Pistachios helped office workers stay focused until lunchtime

In a national survey, 1,000 American office workers who skipped breakfast consumed a snack of 42 grams (1 and 1/2 serving size) of pistachios between 9 and 11 a.m. Ninety-two percent of the participants said they are “distracted from their tasks at work due to hunger before lunch.” Eighty percent said they usually get hungry in the mornings before lunch and think about food often or every day.

The midmorning snack of pistachios proved to be just what they needed to power through the morning. Ninety-two percent of the participants reported the pistachio snack helped improve their concentration at work as stated in the study, “somewhat or greatly.”

That’s not surprising, according to Dr. Mike Roussell, nutrition expert and adviser. “Skipping breakfast is never a good idea, but even with a good breakfast and lunch, hunger pangs and stress-driven hunger can be distracting, leading to unhealthy snacking habits.”

Roussell says pistachios are an ideal midmorning or midafternoon snack because of their unique nutrient package that not only promotes feelings of fullness and satiation, but also, newer studies show, can promote an optimal mental state and more focus at work.

Increasingly, people with desk jobs are looking for a healthier snack alternative to the usual donuts and vending machine fare. Ninety percent of the survey’s participants said they believe the snack of pistachios is healthier than their usual snack. The study involved office workers in the Northeast, South, Midwest and Western U.S. who snack at their desk two or more times a week at midmorning.

Pistachios may have a role in improved brain function

Loma Linda University (LLU) researchers found that eating nuts on a regular basis enhances brainwave frequencies associated with cognition, learning, memory, recall and other key brain functions. While the research studied multiple nuts, pistachios produced the greatest gamma wave response, which is critical for enhancing cognitive processing, information retention, learning and perception.

In the study, electroencephalograms (EEG) were taken to measure the strength of brainwave signals. EEG wave band activity was then recorded from nine regions of the scalp associated with cerebral cortical function.

“This study provides significant beneficial findings by demonstrating that nuts are as good for your brain as they are for the rest of your body,” said the study’s principal investigator, Lee Berk, DrPH, MPH, associate dean for research at the LLU School of Allied Health Professions, in an interview featured in the November 2017 issue of LLU’s publication, Today. An abstract of the study was presented at Experimental Biology 2017 in San Diego, California, and published in the FASEB Journal.

The workplace-snacking survey and health-benefit studies add to a growing base of pistachio research, solidifying that pistachios have all the ideal qualities for a go-to workplace snack.

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Mature Opthamologist checks a mature man's vision

Fight for your sight: 5 tips to fight Age-related Macular Degeneration

(BPT) – The ability to see is one of our most precious gifts. Like most things in life, our vision may be impacted as we age. That’s why it’s important to learn about Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Prevalent among older Americans, it affects one in five adults age 65 and older, and is the leading cause of blindness for this population. While there is no cure for this condition, there are steps that you can take to help reduce the risk of progression, including:

1) Schedule routine eye exams. As early stages of AMD may not present any symptoms, you may not think to consult your eye doctor. Keeping routine eye exams that include eye dilation may help to identify the condition early, as well as help maintain overall eye health.

2) Address symptoms immediately. See your eye care professional right away if you experience sudden or gradual changes in vision quality. As AMD progresses, straight lines may appear distorted, central vision may look dark, blurry or white, or changes in color perception may become noticeable. If you have been diagnosed with AMD, you should also regularly check your eyes with an Amsler grid tool that helps track incremental vision changes.

3) Lead a healthy lifestyle. If you smoke, quit. Regular exercise can also help to maintain eye health and minimize the risk of progression. Other risk factors for AMD include obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

4) Eat right. A diet rich in green, leafy vegetables as well as healthy fatty acids may also help reduce the risk of progression. Foods that contain these nutrients include: spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, romaine and chard, and fatty fish such as salmon, sea bass, herring, whitefish, mackerel, anchovies and sardines.

5) Consider supplements recommended by the National Eye Institute. If you’ve been diagnosed with moderate to advanced AMD, The National Eye Institute recommends taking a specific nutrient formula based on the AREDS 2 study, that may help reduce your risk of progression. Talk with your doctor to see if an AREDS 2 formula eye vitamin is right for you.

To raise awareness of this public health issue, Bausch + Lomb, in collaboration with Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight, has launched the Why Eye Fight campaign.

To learn more about AMD, what steps you can take to help fight for your sight or to watch the patient stories or PSA, visit www.WhyEyeFight.com. You can also join the online conversation and share your story using #WhyEyeFight on Facebook and Twitter.

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5 tips from a tea expert to brew the perfect cup

(BPT) – For most of us, a little evening downtime is not a luxury — it’s a necessity. After a hectic day of work, commutes, kids and dinner prep, we deserve to take a moment to slow down and enjoy some hard-earned “me time.”

Instead of using this time to stream your favorite show or scroll through social media, try a gentle and relaxing activity that puts your focus on the present moment and makes this time truly enjoyable.

“For a relaxing end-of-day activity, there’s nothing quite like preparing and savoring the perfect cup of herbal tea,” says Stephen Twining, whose family founded the world-famous tea brand, Twinings of London, in 1706.

The steps we take to prepare and enjoy our perfect cup of tea can help us unwind and feel refreshed, Twining says. Tea releases pleasing scents, the warm brew makes comforting sensations as we wrap our fingers around the mug and take sips, and there’s the deep and satisfying flavors of the tea itself.

Of course, when we’re engaged in a mindful activity, it’s that much easier to let go of daily stress and transition into a more relaxed state. Follow these five tips from Twining to brew your favorite cup of herbal tea, and try making this a part of your end-of-day ritual.

1. Start fresh: The perfect cup of tea starts with a clean mug and a clean kettle of fresh, cold water. Never reuse water that’s already been boiled, because that can weaken the tea’s flavor, Twining says.

2. Don’t over-boil: As soon as the water reaches a boil, it’s time to remove the kettle from the heat source.

“I never let the water over-boil because in doing so, you will cause the oxygen in the water to be reduced, making the tea taste ‘flat,’” Twining says. For that reason, he recommends not using a microwave to boil the water.

3. Savor the moment: Set the tea bag in the mug before you add hot water, pouring it directly onto the tea bag. Just then, it starts releasing its herbal scent, so make sure you take a moment to inhale and relax while enjoying the aroma. Twinings offers a range of herbal teas each expertly blended to provide the perfect balance of taste, flavor and aroma. For example, Buttermint has a refreshing blend of peppermint leaves combined with the creamy flavor of vanilla for a smooth taste and rich aroma, perfect for helping you unwind.

4. Wait for the perfect flavor: Many people make the mistake of thinking that once the brew darkens, it’s ready to drink. However, Twining says color merely washes off the tea leaves early in the process, so don’t let the appearance mislead you. To make sure the flavors fully develop, know how much time your tea needs to brew, and keep an eye on the clock. Herbal teas should steep for a full four minutes.

5. Customize and enjoy: Hopefully, you will find your perfectly brewed cup of herbal tea needs no embellishment because the expertly blended herbs and flowers will provide all the flavor you need. But as Twining says, “The best cup of tea is the one you like the most,” so feel free to make adjustments. The recommended add-ins for herbal teas are honey, sugar or a squeeze of lemon — do not add milk or cream. For a deeper flavor, let the tea steep a minute or two longer.

After a long day, you definitely earned this moment, so make sure you take time to enjoy it. If you’re interested in exploring Twinings’ complete line of herbal teas, visit twiningsusa.com.

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Why probiotics should be part of your routine in 2018

(BPT) – At the turn of the calendar, many people begin taking action on what they plan to accomplish in the new year. Some have resolved to take up a new hobby, to save more money, to travel and, of course, to improve their health.

New eating plans and gym memberships are common steps people take toward their health goals, but there are other effective ways to improve your health — like adding probiotics to your daily regimen. You’ve likely heard of probiotics before, but do you know how they benefit your health and how to select the right one for you? This article can help.*

What is a probiotic?

Before delving into how probiotics can help your body, let’s first explain what they actually are. In the simplest terms, probiotics are the good bacteria (live microorganisms) that live inside your digestive tract and help your body to function properly. There are many different types of probiotics, and each one performs a different function in your digestive system.*

The billions of bacteria that live inside your digestive tract are often called “microflora,” or more correctly, “microbiota,” and the environment that they work together to create inside the body is called the microbiome. Maintaining proper balance within your microbiome is crucial for overall health.*

How do probiotics help?

The beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract are influenced by a variety of factors such as stress, medication use, traveling and poor diet. Therefore, it is important to prioritize diet and lifestyle to maintain proper gut ecology. Probiotics are also effective for maintaining healthy populations of beneficial bacteria. Numerous clinical studies have shown probiotics have positive effects on health, including assisting in the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients and contributing to immune system health. Some studies have suggested that certain beneficial strains may also support brain function.*

Probiotics in your diet

Probiotics are found in many foods you may enjoy every day including yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut. However, due to food processing and packaging, maintaining the stability and potency of the live beneficial bacteria in these foods can be a challenge. Including probiotic supplements in your routine ensures a consistent dose to help you and your family maintain optimal health.*

Finding the right probiotic supplement for you

Probiotic supplements can help support health at any age — from infancy to adulthood. When it comes to selecting the probiotics for you and your family, the best options are those that are formulated based on clinical research. Genestra Brands offers a comprehensive line of clinically studied, effective probiotic strains that have been recommended by doctors for more than 20 years. With more than 25 gluten-free, non-GMO formulas, Genestra Brands’ probiotics offer personalized support to help make your New Year’s resolution of becoming a healthier you that much easier.*

Before you begin taking any type of probiotic, speak with your doctor and/or pharmacist about whether they are safe and right for you.

To learn more about probiotics designed with you in mind, visit genestrahmf.com.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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3 formerly misunderstood foods now a part of a well-balanced diet

(BPT) – Throughout history, misconceptions, misinformation and popular culture have influenced Americans’ eating habits. Many foods that were previously eaten daily are now considered unhealthy. Conversely, some foods that were thought to be “bad for you,” are now considered nutritious.

“Nutrition is exciting. Just about every day there is new research about how certain foods work in our body,” says Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner. “Over time as research is done, foods that were once considered unhealthy can be found to actually play a key role in healthy diets.”

What historically “unhealthy” foods are now considered wholesome? Blatner provides some examples:


Shunned for many years, eggs were believed to be bad for heart health due to high cholesterol levels. However, numerous studies have shown that intake of dietary cholesterol has little influence on blood cholesterol levels. In fact, the Harvard School of Public Health states that the biggest influence on blood cholesterol level is the mix of fats and carbohydrates in your diet — not the amount of cholesterol you take in from food.

Today, eggs are part of a healthy diet — so much so that recently the country’s leading weight loss service announced that eggs are now included on its zero points list. Keep in mind, though, that not all eggs are created equal. When shopping for eggs, look for Eggland’s Best eggs, which have significantly more nutrition than ordinary eggs.

“Many health and nutrition organizations are finally recognizing eggs for the nutrient powerhouse they are,” says Blatner. “Eggland’s Best eggs have six times more vitamin D, more than double the omega-3s and more than double the vitamin B12 of ordinary eggs, making them the best egg option to maximize your nutritional intake.”


Snacking on nuts today is typically considered a healthy way to keep hunger pangs at bay, but it wasn’t always that way. Nuts used to have a bad reputation for being high in fat and calories, and were often avoided, especially for people who wanted to lose weight.

Today, many nuts are considered the ideal nutritious snack as they contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. For example, the versatile almond is relatively low in calories when compared to other nuts and has more calcium than other varieties, according to Health.com. Plus, almonds are rich in fiber and vitamin E, an important antioxidant.

“Nuts can make a great snack or wonderful addition to recipes,” says Blatner. “The one thing to be mindful of is sodium intake. Opt for raw nuts or dry-roasted varieties. These are minimally processed and typically won’t contain the salt and oils you’ll find in other varieties.”


Due to empty calories and low nutritional value, cutting carbs has been at the heart of diet fads for decades. The problem with this is that it assumes all carbs are equal, which is false.

“The important thing to realize is there are high-quality and low-quality carbs,” says Blatner. “Instead of shaming all carbs, focus on high-quality sources of carbohydrates that fuel the body and give you energy — skip the refined grains like white bread and focus on whole grains.”

Want to try a recipe that uses some of these formerly misunderstood foods? Blatner shares one of her favorites.

Eggland’s Best Spinach & Avocado Egg Sushi

Makes two servings.


2 Eggland’s Best Eggs (Large), 1 tablespoon milk, 1 dash of salt, 1 dash of ground black pepper, 1 large whole wheat tortilla (12 inch), 1/2 avocado (mashed), 1 cup fresh baby spinach

For the spicy sauce:

Mix 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon Sriracha (or other hot sauce) and 1 teaspoon milk in a small bowl.


Coat a 10-inch nonstick pan with cooking spray and heat on medium-low heat.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs and milk and season with salt and pepper.

Pour egg mixture into pan and cover with a lid. Do not scramble! Cook until set (about 3-4 minutes), flip and finish cooking (about 1-2 minutes).

Lay tortilla flat and spread with avocado, leaving a 2-inch border around the edges.

When eggs are finished cooking, place in the center of the tortilla and top with spinach.

Start at one end and roll tightly, but gently.

Coat the same skillet with nonstick spray and warm on medium-high heat.

Place roll seam-side down on skillet and brown slightly on both sides. Remove and allow to rest for 1-2 minutes.

Using a serrated knife, slice 1-inch pieces, drizzle with spicy sauce and serve with chopsticks.

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Beautiful pregnant woman at home.

Oh, baby! 5 unexpected (but common) symptoms experienced during pregnancy

(BPT) – Pregnancy is an exciting time in a woman’s life, filled with countless physical, emotional and lifestyle changes. Pregnant women often do research, read books or consult friends and family to determine what to expect during those nine months and how to best combat the symptoms that may arise. While issues like morning sickness and cravings are to be expected, there are several uncomfortable, but common, effects soon-to-be moms may be less likely to anticipate.

“A woman is going to experience numerous changes to her body during pregnancy,” says Dr. Alyssa Dweck, an OB-GYN, author and expert on women’s health. “Although there is abundant information about issues like backaches and morning sickness, there are a number of common symptoms women are less inclined to talk about because they either consider them taboo or embarrassing.”

While each woman’s pregnancy experience will be unique, Dr. Dweck shares some of the lesser-known, but common, health nuisances to expect when expecting:

1. Constipation

Some common causes of constipation among pregnant women include increased progesterone levels, which influences intestinal motility, increased pressure from the growing uterus and the recommended supplementation of iron. To help diminish constipation, women can try increasing their fiber and fluid intake and limit iron supplements to three times a week.

2. Yeast infections

The hormonal changes that come with pregnancy often increase the chance of developing a vaginal yeast infection. However, according to a 2016 Danish nationwide cohort study, even a single, low dose of fluconazole (the leading prescription pill to treat yeast infections) may increase miscarriage risk. Instead, Dr. Dweck recommends MONISTAT 7 for vaginal yeast infections, as it relieves symptoms four times faster and works on more of the most common strains of yeast than the prescription oral pill. Nevertheless, women should always check with their own healthcare provider before using any treatment during pregnancy.

3. Heartburn

Heartburn and indigestion are most frequent during the third trimester, as the growing uterus places pressure on the stomach and the muscle tone of the esophagus relaxes. To help minimize heartburn, eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day, sit or stand after a meal and avoid spicy, greasy and fatty foods. OTC antacids are typically safe, but it is important to speak to an OB-GYN before taking.

4. Varicose veins

Many women develop varicose veins during pregnancy. As blood volume increases and the uterus enlarges, additional pressure is put on the veins in the pelvis, lower extremities and the rectal area. Elevate the legs to improve circulation, avoid sitting or standing in the same position for extended lengths of time and try to exercise regularly, if possible.

5. Body and facial hair growth

Hair is likely to grow faster and thicker during pregnancy on places other than just the head. Higher levels of estrogen extend the growth phase of hair, leading to less shedding and denser locks. Safe ways to get rid of these unwanted hairs during pregnancy include tweezing, waxing and shaving.

Regardless of whether a result of pregnancy is considered normal, pregnant women should readily consult their OB-GYN if they experience any changes or if they are looking for treatment solutions. Though health nuisances are bound to pop up during pregnancy, there are simple solutions to combat them so women can make the most of this wonderful time and prep for the arrival of baby. For more information, visit Monistat.com.

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Young woman at optician.

Why online eye apps may do more harm than good

(BPT) – Online vision apps can be a great resource for health-related information, but if you rely on them to preserve your eye health and detect potential problems, you could be doing more harm than good, the American Optometric Association warns.

“Eye health is critical to overall good health,” says Dr. Christopher Quinn, president of the AOA. “If someone chooses to forego an annual eye exam with a doctor of optometry because they think an online test or mobile app screening is enough, they’re making a mistake that could put their vision and health at risk.”

The AOA, which represents more than 44,000 doctors of optometry, optometric professionals and optometry students, supports state and federal policies that protect patients from the potential dangers of online vision test apps. Here are four of the many reasons why patients should not rely on online eye screenings or mobile apps:

1. Vision test apps or online tests can’t diagnose or treat serious eye problems.

These tools simply use measurements to gauge what is known as visual acuity, or sensitivity. However, many vision and eye health conditions don’t have obvious signs or symptoms in their earliest stages. Online tests can miss serious conditions that a comprehensive eye exam would catch.

They may be designed to test for near-sightedness or far-sightedness, but can’t adequately evaluate overall eye health. For example, an online screening might be able to detect symptoms of near-sightedness, but isn’t designed to catch signs of glaucoma.

2. Vision test apps aren’t held to the same standards as doctors of optometry.

People put their eye health at risk when they choose convenience over care and today, 17 states have regulations in place to safeguard patients from unproven technologies and practices that can compromise the established and proven standard of care. And there is good reason.

Right now, online vision screening services and mobile apps aren’t required to meet the definition of a comprehensive eye exam, or clinically prove their technologies provide the same level of care you would get from a qualified eye care doctor. In addition, they are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

3. Patients may not get the care they need.

Even if an app accurately indicates a problem with vision acuity, patients might not follow up as recommended with a doctor of optometry, who can diagnose issues and work with you to develop solutions to eye health and vision care needs.

Additionally, a comprehensive eye exam conducted by an optometrist can be an important step in identifying health conditions that might not have been detected otherwise, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. An optometrist can help you understand the seriousness of the condition and suggest and implement appropriate treatment.

4. You could be risking your eye or overall health.

Online vision screening apps might not catch signs of a serious problem. Missing the signs of an eye health or overall health issue can put you at risk.

“People may think they’re doing something good by using a mobile vision app,” Quinn says. “Unfortunately, an online eye test does not completely cover any one of the 12 components of a regular in-person, comprehensive eye exam, something everyone needs to ensure they’re protecting and preserving their vision.”

To learn more about vision health, visit www.aoa.org.

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The Changing Landscape of Lung Cancer Treatment

(BPT) – At age 64, Bob Carlson was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer, and he felt the diagnosis was like “an expiration date being stamped on his life, like a milk carton,” and the time he had left “wasn’t nearly enough.” Bob, his wife, Julia, and doctors chose chemotherapy to combat his illness—but according to Bob, his quality of life after taking the treatments was non-existent.

Bob became so sick from the chemotherapy that he felt the treatments were almost worse than the disease itself. He talked to his doctor, who said there was nothing else they could do. Bob was on the verge of giving up hope when his physician sent him to a different research center. There, Bob met with another physician who presented him with a new option and renewed his fight.

Understanding the changing lung cancer treatment landscape

Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide, representing approximately 13 percent of all cancer diagnoses. While a cure for lung cancer does not currently exist, cancer immunotherapy is changing the treatment landscape and improving the prognosis for many people with lung cancer. Several immunotherapy treatments are approved for lung cancer by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including some as a first-line treatment for advanced lung cancer patients.

Immunotherapy is widely considered to be the most promising new cancer treatment approach since the development of the first chemotherapies in the 1940s. Cancer immunotherapy treatments harness and enhance the innate powers of the immune system to fight cancer.

According to a report published in the Annals of Oncology by the Cancer Research Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of cancer immunotherapy research, there are over 2,004 immunotherapy agents in development with over sixty clinical trials evaluating immunotherapy combinations in lung cancer. There are 26 immunotherapies approved by the FDA, including six immunotherapy agents for the treatment of lung cancer.

“Today, the lung cancer space has the largest number of combination clinical trials underway, evaluating how two or more medications can work better when taken together. These trials hold much promise for patients, but there are still a lot of misperceptions surrounding clinical trials, with many people thinking that these studies are only an option after other treatments have failed,” said Dr. Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, chief executive officer and director of scientific affairs at the Cancer Research Institute. “However, many of the clinical trials currently underway are evaluating immunotherapy treatments for front-line use.”

The Cancer Research Institute offers the Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Trial Finder as a free resource to help patients match themselves with appropriate trials based on their specific cancer diagnosis, stage, and treatment history.

“We hope that the Clinical Trial Finder will help more people learn about potential clinical trial options earlier in their patient journey so that they might have better outcomes,” said Dr. O’Donnell-Tormey.

How a clinical trial made all the difference

In August 2013, Bob became the very last patient to enroll in a particular clinical trial for non-small cell lung cancer, evaluating a checkpoint inhibitor—a promising immunotherapy approach that works by “taking the brakes off” the immune system to allow it to mount a stronger and more effective attack against cancer.

Once he started the immunotherapy treatment in the clinical trial, Bob and his doctors realized in short order that the treatment was working. “We saw tumor reduction rather quickly—which was amazing. And to top it off, unlike chemotherapy, which involved lengthy infusions that took many hours and left me ill due to the side effects, the experience of having the immunotherapy treatment in this case only took about 30 minutes, and has very little impact on my quality of life. You take your medicine, and you go on with your life. I have had to make zero lifestyle changes,” said Bob.

Now, almost five years later, Bob and Julia are back pursuing their hobby of wildlife photography and travel. He is hopeful that more patients will benefit from emerging immunotherapy treatments—through new FDA-approved therapies and through clinical trial participation.

“My only wish is that I had known about the immunotherapy clinical trial sooner,” he continued. “And I hope that through continued research more immunotherapy treatments are discovered that work for all patients with all cancer types.”

There are many other cancer patients and survivors, like Bob, who have been given new hope thanks to cancer immunotherapy research and clinical trials. For more information on cancer immunotherapy and how to match with an open clinical trial, visit the Cancer Research Institute Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Trial Finder at https://www.cancerresearch.org/patients/clinical-trials.

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Do you know all of your psoriasis treatment options?

(BPT) – Dru Riddle of Fort Worth, Texas, is one of the estimated 7.5 million people afflicted with psoriasis across the United States. A nurse anesthetist and university professor, Riddle understands first-hand the importance of receiving the proper treatment as quickly as possible and treating the condition with safe, effective medicine. Diagnosed with psoriasis in 2003 and psoriatic arthritis (PA) in 2010, Riddle underwent the treatment trials and errors common to many sufferers of PA before he was connected with a health care provider who prescribed a more aggressive plan that included biologics. Before doctors put him to a biologic therapy, Riddle suffered for several years with skin lesions and joint pain. “Finally I was switched to an injectable biologic medication,” Riddle says. “Those medications have really helped control my disease and the symptoms.”

A condition that is more than skin deep

Psoriasis often presents as patches of itchy, flaky skin, while PA — which affects about a third of psoriasis patients — results in joint swelling and pain, which may cause permanent damage. Both conditions are a product of the body’s immune system attacking itself instead of the foreign invader that should be its target.

PA can usually be identified by psoriasis-like skin inflammations. However, sometimes the joint pain and swelling appear first. This can make it difficult for doctors to properly diagnose the condition.

Initially, Riddle’s condition was treated topically with little to no effect. The relief he found with the right medicines was life-changing and he has vowed to help others with PA find the right care.

“I recommend anyone with PA be extremely aggressive with their treatment,” Riddle says. “The risks of not treating your PA are so much greater than treating it.”

Understanding biosimilars

In his quest for the right treatment regime, Riddle was diligent about his self-care and joined a number of clinical trials for the types of biologics that have been so integral to his treatment plan. It was thanks to his proactive approach to treating his condition that he started learning more about biosimilars.

Biosimilars are safe, effective and affordable alternatives to conventional biologic medicines, similar to generic offerings in other medicinal categories. Widely used in Europe, biosimilars have faced a biologics-dominated market in the United States that has so far been successful in limiting their availability. Expanding the biosimilars market in the United States will require manufacturers, the government and regulatory groups to work together to craft new policies, making access to these potentially life-changing treatments their top priority.

Riddle applauds the option of safe, effective and affordable biosimilars for patients.

“The expense of the biologic medication can be prohibitive — they’re very costly,” Riddle says. “So some people may benefit from a more affordable biosimilar medication. That medication has the same efficacy, meaning it works just as well as the biologic.”

Learning more about your options

“There’s no need to be afraid of the medicine,” says Christine Simmon, Executive Director of The Biosimilars Council, a group working to support the broad components of the biosimilar industry and enabling increased access to safe, effective and affordable biosimilar medicines. “Learn more about your options, talk to your doctor and make sure you’re receiving the medication that is the most effective treatment for your condition.”

If you have psoriasis and/or PA, you deserve to know all of your options, including biosimilars. Your doctor can provide you the information you need on these treatment options. To prepare for your next doctor’s visit and have your initial questions answered, visit http://biosimilarscouncil.org/ today.

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