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Our cause awareness blog provides knowledge and educational information to advocate for cancer, medical, social and psychological illnesses and/or causes. 

Filtering by Tag: autoimmune

World Scleroderma Day

Davis Orr

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Happy World Scleroderma Day!

Hey buddies!!! What’s up? Glad you could stop by for another fun and informative awareness blog post. Because the only thing more fun than learning is nothing. In all seriousness, these awareness blog posts have come in so handy in my daily interactions with people. You would be shocked how relevant this information is during my Uber and Lyft rides. I don’t know why my drivers always seem to be able to have some situation that relates back to my newfound medical knowledge, but I love it. It’s kind of cool and surprising how much you really connect with people when you know a little bit about something that has affected their lives. I find that the level of human interaction is so much less superficial. I mean clearly these conversations keep arising from them asking me what I do. As soon as I answer that I work at an awareness accessory company writing their awareness blog, complete strangers just start pouring their lives out to me. It’s awesome to connect! I’m sure some of you guys have had similar experiences with your newfound medical knowledge, too. Anyway, I’ll get back to blogging now and stop telling you guys about my experiences with drivers. Today we are going to talk about scleroderma. I’m sure many of you remember that we have covered scleroderma before. We’re going to talk about it again today in honor of World Scleroderma Day, which is today.

Happy World Scleroderma Day, everyone! Every June 29, scleroderma organizations around the world observe World Scleroderma Day. The reason June 29 was chosen as the date is because on June 29, 1940, the famous Swiss painter Paul Klee died. Paul Klee is probably the most internationally renowned celebrity to have had scleroderma. Much of Klee’s later work was influenced by the progression of his disease. The work that nears his last years has very visual interpretations of his experiences and symptoms as a man with the scleroderma. His last few painting before his death seemed to reflect the pain he suffered from the disease. He was a brilliant artist, and he is one of my personal favorites. If you haven’t heard of him, I highly recommend taking a peek at his work. Klee was a prolific artist, creating something like 9,000 works of art. Not to mention all the other cool stuff he did. Maybe I’ll mention it a little. He did extensive work in Color Theory, and taught at Bauhaus, which is a famous German art school from 1919-1933 that had a tremendous influence on the art world. He was a super cool dude. If you’re into art you probably already this.

So… scleroderma. Let’s learn a little bit about the disease so we can understand Klee’s artwork a little more deeply. Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin, tissue and organs. It is a progressive disease, but it can often be managed with medications and other kinds of treatment. Scleroderma is a pretty rare disease. There are only around 100,000 people with scleroderma in the United States. The disease affects mostly women, generally between the ages of 30 and 50. Like all autoimmune diseases, the cause of scleroderma is unknown, and again, like other autoimmune diseases, genetics do seem to elevate your risk for developing the disease. People who have relatives that suffer from other autoimmune diseases, or scleroderma itself, may be more at risk for the disease. It can also develop in children, even though typical diagnosis usually takes place in women between the age of 30 and 50.

Autoimmune diseases like scleroderma are caused by the immune system mistakenly attacking healthy cells. A normal immune system is the body’s defender. The autoimmune system is responsible for fighting off any foreign invaders such as bacteria or viruses. With autoimmune diseases, the immune system starts attacking the body’s healthy cells rather than just the stuff that causes illnesses. Every autoimmune disease attacks the body differently. Each disease has a particular way that it behaves in terms of what it chooses to attack. With scleroderma, the immune system causes inflammation in the skin, tissues and organs. The most common symptom associated with scleroderma is a thickening or tightening of the skin, but it may also cause scarring in the lungs, heart, kidney’s and intestines.

Let’s dive a little deeper now that we have that basic overview. I want to first start off by saying that scleroderma is different from patient to patient. The disease is mild and easily managed for some, while it can be life threatening for others. Patients may experience different symptoms, and different forms of the disease. There is no roadmap for predicting how the disease may affect any particular patient. It’s one of those things in life that you just have to deal with as it comes. There are two main forms of scleroderma, which are localized scleroderma and systemic scleroderma.

Localized scleroderma mainly affects the skin, though it may also progress to include muscles, joints, and bones. Localized scleroderma, though it may be serious, is not as dangerous as systemic scleroderma because it does not affect the internal organs. Usually, localized scleroderma presents with morphea, which is medical term for patches of discoloration on the skin, and linear scleroderma, which is the name for bands of thickened, hard skin that may appear as streaks or lines on the arms or legs. There is a special name for linear scleroderma when it appears on the face or forehead, which is coup de sabre.

Systemic scleroderma is the most pervasive form of the disease, and also the most potentially serious. With systemic scleroderma, it affects more of the body. In addition to the skin, muscles, joints and bones, it also may affect the blood vessels, heart, lungs, kidneys, intestines, or other internal organs. Needless to say, scleroderma that attacks the internal organs may lead to death. There are two different classifications of systemic scleroderma, which are CREST syndrome (limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis), and diffuse cutaneous systemic scleroderma. Crest syndrome is affects mostly the skin of the fingers and toes and may cause nodules under the skin. Crest syndrome is often associated with Raynaud’s phenomenon. It may also cause difficulty with movement of the esophagus, pulmonary hypertension, and dilated blood vessels. With the second type of systemic scleroderma, diffuse cutaneous systemic scleroderma, it tends to involve the internal organs more. It may also affect the skin on the hands and wrists. This type of scleroderma causes the organs to build up scar tissue and over time the organ essentially hardens and “freezes”.

Because scleroderma is such a complicated disease, it is important that people with the disease to find rheumatologists who either specialize in scleroderma or have extensive experience dealing with it. There is no cure for scleroderma, however there are many different kinds of treatments and therapies that can be very effective in managing and controlling the progression of the disease. Treating scleroderma usually means trying to keep it at bay and prevent further damage from occurring. There are many different kinds of medications that can be used to manage symptoms. Patients will likely be put on anti-inflammatory drugs to minimize the severity of inflammation that can lead to permanent damage. Physical therapy and occupational therapy are also helpful preventative measures to help maintain flexibility or the skin and joints.

Scleroderma can be a potentially life threatening chronic autoimmune disease, but it is often manageable with the right treatment once your doctor figures out the best course of action. People with scleroderma lead happy, fulfilling lives, and learn to work around their illness and adapt to it as necessary.

Happy World Scleroderma Day, everyone! I hope you enjoyed today’s awareness blog entry and brief art history lesson. Again, I highly recommend looking into Paul Klee if you’re into art. I really love him, and there’s no shortage of work! That’s all for today. I’ll see you back here next week for another awareness blog post. Hope you all have a wonderful week!

If you’re a new reader, let me welcome you to the Personalized Cause awareness blog! Personalized Cause is an awareness accessory brand that specializes in custom awareness ribbons. Custom awareness ribbons are a unique way to raise awareness for your cause, advocate on someone’s behalf, or show support for someone when you may now know exactly what to say. Our custom awareness ribbons allow customers to personalize their awareness ribbon with any text they choose. The thing that makes our custom awareness really special is the fact that there is no minimum quantity order for custom awareness ribbons. Customers can simply order one custom pin or twenty different custom pins. Whatever your awareness ribbon needs, we’ve got you covered. If you’re not in the market for custom awareness ribbons, no problem. We also carry classic awareness ribbons, fabric awareness ribbons and silicone wristbands. Personalized Cause believes in the power of awareness. We’ve seen how one small awareness ribbon can transform a community. We know that educating people makes a difference. That’s why we’ve created the Personalized Cause awareness blog. We feel it is our duty to help raise awareness for the things that affect our customers every day. Our mission with this awareness blog is to create an awareness domino effect by educating our readers on as many causes and illnesses as possible. I hope you’ll join us here next week for another edition of the Personalized Cause awareness blog.

Teal awareness ribbons are used to raise awareness for scleroderma. To order a custom teal awareness ribbon, visit:

https://www.personalizedcause.com/personalized-awareness-ribbons/teal-awareness-ribbon-pin-personalized?rq=scleroderma

#worldsclerodermaday #scleroderma #sclerodermaawareness #sclerodermawarrior #awareness #raredisease #autoimmune #chronicillness #chronicallyill #chronicpain #awareness #awarenessblog #awarenessribbons #cancerribbons

World Psoriasis Day

Davis Orr

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Today is World Psoriasis Day!

World Psoriasis Day's primary purpose is to act as a focus for people - patients, doctors, nurses and the general public - to raise awareness of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and to give people with psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis the attention and consideration they deserve. World Psoriasis Day (WPD) is also useful as a channel to encourage health authorities to offer better access to the most appropriate treatments.

While scientists do not know what exactly causes psoriasis, we do know that the immune system and genetics play major roles in its development. Usually, something triggers psoriasis to flare. The skin cells in people with psoriasis grow at an abnormally fast rate, which causes the buildup of psoriasis lesions.

Men and women develop psoriasis at equal rates. Psoriasis also occurs in all racial groups, but at varying rates. About 1.9 percent of African-Americans have psoriasis, compared to 3.6 percent of Caucasians.

Psoriasis often develops between the ages of 15 and 35, but it can develop at any age. About 10 to 15 percent of those with psoriasis get it before age 10. Some infants have psoriasis, although this is considered rare.

Psoriasis is not contagious. It is not something you can "catch" or that others can catch from you. Psoriasis lesions are not infectious.

(Content: psoriasis.org Image: deviantart.com)

#psoriasis #worldpsoriasisday #skin #skincare #dermatology #autoimmune #red #rashes #pain #burning #itchy #redness #scales #skindisease

Invisible Disability Awareness Week

Davis Orr

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Yesterday marked the first day of Invisible Disabilities Awareness Week!

Each year, people with invisible disabilities and their loved ones come together for Invisible Disabilities Week, a time to educate the general population about the challenges they face and the progress society still needs to make towards acceptance.

It’s a time to break down the belief that people with invisible disabilities are “exaggerating” or “faking” their symptoms, and start a discussion about what inclusion really means. So this week, the community works to raise awareness of their invisible conditions and how their conditions affect their lives, as well as offer their recommendations for how to make the world a more inclusive place.

(Content: Erin Migdol via themighty.com Image: thepioneeronline.com)

#invisibleillness #invisibledisability #invisibledisabilities #invisibledisabilitiesawarenessweek #spoonies #arthritis #fibro #fibromyalgia #mentalillness #depression #anxiety #pots #autoimmune #crohns #deaf #hearingimpaired #spectrumdisorder #autism #learningdisabilities #diabetes #diabetic

Psoriasis Awareness Month!

Davis Orr

August is Psoriasis Awareness Month!

Unpredictable and irritating, psoriasis is one of the most baffling and persistent skin disorders.  Psoriasis is characterized by skin cells that multiply up to ten times faster than normal. As underlying cells reach the skin's surface and die, their sheer volume causes raised, red plaques covered with white scales. Psoriasis typically occurs on the knees, elbows, and scalp, and it can also affect the torso, palms, and soles of the feet. It can be itchy, painful, and may crack and bleed. 

Psoriasis can also be associated with psoriatic arthritis, which leads to pain and swelling in the joints. The National Psoriasis Foundation estimates that between 10% to 30% of people with psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis.

A variety of factors, ranging from emotional stress and trauma to streptococcal infection, can cause an episode of psoriasis. Recent research indicates that some abnormality in the immune system is the key cause of psoriasis. As many as 80% of people having flare-ups report a recent emotional trauma, such as a new job or the death of a loved one. Most doctors believe such external stressors serve as triggers for an inherited defect in immune function.

Injured skin and certain drugs can aggravate psoriasis, including certain types of blood pressure medications (like beta-blockers), the anti-malarial medication hydroxychloroquine, and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.).

Psoriasis tends to run in families, but it may skip generations; a grandfather and his grandson may be affected, but the child's mother never develops the disease. Although psoriasis may be stressful and embarrassing, most outbreaks are relatively harmless. With appropriate treatment, symptoms generally subside within a few months.

#psoriasis #itchyskin #autoimmunedisease #autoimmune #skindisease #skindisorder #dermatology #rheumatology #plaque #pain #redness #otezla

Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

Davis Orr

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July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month!

It’s that time again! Welcome back, friends, thanks for joining me today for another awareness blog entry. I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week since our last post. This week’s topic is Juvenile Arthritis, in honor of Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month. I’m sure you’ve all heard of arthritis. At some point, we all develop a little arthritis in our joints as we age from use. But, there are many different types of arthritis, and most of them have nothing to do with aging. Juvenile arthritis, in particular, affects children under the age of 16, which clearly isn’t related to again at all. So, today we’re going to discuss juvenile arthritis, and the numerous different types of arthritis under that umbrella. All aboard the juvenile arthritis information express, we’re leaving the station.

Juvenile arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects children under the age of 16. Juvenile arthritis occurs in the joints, more specifically it affects the synovium in the joints. Synovium is the tissue within the joints. Autoimmune disease cause inflammation. With juvenile arthritis, the inflammation occurs in the synovium. Autoimmune diseases are a classification of diseases in which the body’s immune system begins to malfunction and attack itself. Each autoimmune disease acts differently, the the one thing they all have in common is that the body has mistakenly begun to attack itself, which leads to inflammation. Consistent inflammation can cause serious damage to the area it occurs in. If inflammation is not treated, the area it occurs in will slowly become more and more damaged and may eventually lose function all together. In a healthy body, the immune system is responsible for fighting off anything that may harm the body, such as bacteria or viruses, or other kinds of illnesses. With autoimmune diseases, the body gets it’s signals crossed and begins to fight off it’s own healthy cells. Like most other autoimmune diseases, juvenile arthritis is idiopathic. Idiopathic means that there is no precise cause. Even though there is no apparent cause for most autoimmune diseases, it is pretty much accepted that it may have something to do with genetics, environmental triggers, or specific infections/illnesses.

There are quite a few different types of juvenile arthritis, five types to be exact. Each type affects the body differently. The five different types of juvenile arthritis are called systemic juvenile arthritis (also referred to as Still’s disease), oligoarthritis (also referred to as pauciarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis), polyarthritis (also referred to as polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis or pJIA), psoriatic arthritis, and enthesitis-related arthritis. Let’s talk about each one in a little detail.

Systemic arthritis, also known as Still’s disease, affects the whole body. Each different kind of juvenile arthritis affects the body differently. With systemic arthritis, the entire body may be involved, and may also involve internal organs. Systemic juvenile arthritis is usually accompanied by two seemingly ordinary symptoms, which are a high fever and a rash. This rash usually appears on the legs, arms, or trunk of the body (basically anywhere from the neck down). Typically, when there is internal organ involvement, it affects the lymph nodes, spleen, liver or heart. Unlike other forms of juvenile arthritis, this type does not affect the eyes, usually.

Oligoarthritis, also referred to as pauciaticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, is unique in the sense that children usually outgrow this disease. With this form of juvenile arthritis, diagnosis requires counting how many joints are affected in the first six months of disease activity. If less than five joints are affected, along with other diagnosis factors, then it’s oligoarthritis. The joints that are most frequently affected are the knee, wrist or ankle. It can also affect the eyes, usually the iris. For some reason, this type of juvenile arthritis occurs in girls more than boys.

Polyarthritis, also referred to as polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, is most like the kind of rheumatoid arthritis that adults experience. This type of juvenile arthritis is kind of the more advanced version of oligoarthritis. With polyarthritis, more than five joints are affected in the first six months of disease activity, along with other diagnosis factors. Polyarthritis tends to have an element of symmetry to it, meaning that if a joint on one side is affected, then usually it’s corresponding joint on the other side of the body is also affected. Often, the neck, jaw, hands, and feet are affected. This form is also more common in girls than boys.

Psoriatic arthritis is associated with the skin disorder psoriasis. Either psoriasis or arthritis may occur before one another. Sometimes, it may not appear until years after the first diagnosis of either psoriasis or arthritis. Pitted fingernails are associated with psoriatic arthritis.

Enthesitis-related arthritis is the last of the five types of juvenile arthritis. Enthesitis-related arthritis affects the entheses. Entheses are the parts of the body where the tendons attach to the bone, for example the hips. The parts of the body that are frequently affected are the spine, hips, and eyes. This type of juvenile arthritis is more common in boys, especially boys with male relatives who suffer from ankylosing spondylitis. Enthesitis-related arthritis is typically diagnosed in boys over eight years old.

Now that we’ve done a quick rundown of the five different types of juvenile arthritis, let’s talk about the symptoms that may indicate the disease. It’s important to note that in some cases, a child may not experience any symptoms at all, but can still have juvenile arthritis. So, obviously, the big symptom is joint involvement. Joints may be stiff, particularly right after waking up. Joints may be painful, tender or swollen. Sometimes, the younger children will appear to have difficulty with recently learned motor skills such as walking, but it may actually be a limp due to the joints being affected. Some forms of juvenile arthritis are accompanied by a high fever and rash, as discussed above in the corresponding type of juvenile arthritis. Fatigue is also a common symptom amongst children with juvenile arthritis. Fatigue is often accompanied by irritability, not surprisingly. Sometimes, weight loss can occur. There can also be eye involvement, such as blurry vision, pain in the eyes, or red eyes. Juvenile arthritis can be tricky to diagnose at times because many symptoms mimic other diseases, and sometimes children do not show any symptoms at all. There is no specific test that can confirm whether a child has juvenile arthritis or not, and so diagnosis can sometimes take a very long time. With juvenile arthritis, diagnosis is basically a process of elimination. Eliminating all other possible causes can be time consuming and may involve many trips to the hospital and many blood tests. Doctors will want to rule out cancer, fibromyalgia, lupus, Lyme disease, infections, viruses, and other causes that have similar symptoms.

Treatment for juvenile arthritis varies depending on the type. Medications and exercise are typically used to treat all forms. The kind of exercise may depend on the severity of symptoms, or the type of juvenile arthritis. Polyarticular juvenile arthritis carries a higher risk of joint damage, and so water based exercises and physical therapy may be used. Medications for juvenile arthritis have four objectives. Those objectives are to reduce inflammation, ease and prevent pain, prevent joint damage, and maintain or increase strength and flexibility. Some cases may require more aggressive treatments.

If you’re new to our awareness blog, welcome! I’m so glad you found us. This awareness blog is run by Personalized Cause. Personalized Cause is an awareness accessory company that specializes is custom awareness ribbons. Our custom awareness ribbons can be engraved with any name, date, message, or phrase that you’d like, on any of our custom awareness ribbon colors. We carry just about every awareness ribbon under the sun. In addition to our custom awareness ribbons, we also carry classic awareness ribbons, fabric awareness ribbons, and silicone awareness wristbands. Basically, whatever your awareness accessory needs are, we’ve got you covered.

Personalized Cause decided to start this awareness blog because we believe in raising awareness. We decided to practice what we preach by raising awareness for as many causes as we can. We can’t expect our customers to be passionate about raising awareness if we’re not, and raising awareness is crucial for understanding, fundraising, and research. We hope to educate everyone on different causes so that progress is made in our communities. Compassion and understanding are the key to every cause. Personalized Cause believes in the power of awareness, which is why we’ve started this awareness blog. Our mission is to help you raise awareness for causes close to your heart with our line of awareness products, but also to raise awareness for as many causes as possible on our own. We strive to create a community of educated and compassionate people, while also calling attention to causes that may be unknown or misunderstood. So, I hope you’ll join us next week, and every week after, for our latest awareness blog installment.

Blue awareness ribbons are used to raise awareness for juvenile arthritis. To order a custom blue awareness ribbon for juvenile arthritis, visit:

#juvenilearthritis #arthritis #juvenile #lupus #fibromyalgia #scleroderma #awareness #awarenessblog #cancerribbons #awarenessribbons #jia #chronicillness #autoimmune