What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is a disease that is caused by a bacterium (Borrelia burgdorferi). It is commonly found in North America and Europe. It is spread by deer ticks. Deer ticks bite and feed on the blood of animals and on humans. When they bite an animal that is infected with the bacteria and then bite a human, the bacteria can be transferred to the human through the blood. Continue Reading →
Dr. Crutchfield, there has been a lot of discussion in the news lately about diabetes. What is diabetes?
Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, is a group of diseases in which there are high levels of sugar in the blood over an extended period of time. Diabetes is considered a metabolic disease. Over 30 million people in the U.S. have diabetes. The health complications of diabetes can be both devastating and deadly. High blood sugar levels, over time, are very damaging to blood vessels. As a result, uncontrolled diabetes can cause serious and life-threatening complications including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, non-healing skin and foot ulcers, recurrent infections, nerve damage, eye damage and coma. Symptoms of high blood sugar levels may include frequent urination, fatigue and increased thirst, and increased hunger. The molecule that controls sugar levels is called insulin. It is produced by the pancreas. It is simply thought of as an “usher” gently showing sugar in the blood where to go into certain areas like the liver, muscle and fat. Continue Reading →
On March 1, federal budget sequestration went into effect. This will result in across-the-board cuts of 5.3 percent in most non-defense discretionary programs, including Ryan White, HIV prevention, HIV research, AIDS housing support, and prevention and treatment programs for people with substance abuse problems.
By withholding vital funding from essential HIV programs that have seen minimal increases in recent years, these looming cuts will undermine efforts to achieve the targets set forth in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The most severe effects will be felt in Black America, which has been more heavily affected by the HIV epidemic than any other racial or ethnic group. We are at a deciding moment in the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic. We are either going to decide to do what’s necessary to end the epidemic in this country, or we’re going to decide to continue to see American citizens get infected, get sick and die from AIDS. Continue Reading →