Anti-Cancer: Rosy Periwinkle-Vinca Alkaloids

This pretty plant from Madagascar gives us two very important cancer-fighting medicines: vinblastine and vincristine. Vinblastine has helped increase the chance of surviving childhood leukaemia from 10% to 95%, while vincristine is used to treat Hodgkins’ Disease.

Traditional Madagascan healers used the rosy periwinkle for treating diabetes. This led to its study by western scientists who then discovered its anti-cancer properties.

Profit sharing

These medicines have proved very profitable for global drug companies. Worldwide sales are worth over £75 million a year, but virtually none of this money finds its way back to Madagascar, one of the poorest countries in the world.

Some pharmaceutical companies are trying to redress this imbalance by working closely with ethno-botanists and indigenous healers, and sharing profits more equitably.

There are also recent international agreements which have tried to ensure that more profits from the commercial development of animal and plant species return to the countries of origin.

One such agreement is the Convention on Biological Diversity which seeks the ‘fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources’, together with the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components.


  1. You can find this plant during spring and summer in a range of colors from white to dark pink in US nurseries where it is sold by the name of Vinca. For cancer treatment the Vinca plant with white flowers is used in Puerto Rico, where a tea is made using its flowers. There, they only use the white flowers that have the yellow center and not the white flowers with the pink center. They start making the tea with one flower boiling it in 7 oz. of water for no longer than a minute. They drink this tea on an empty stomach once a day. Then they add another flower each day until they reach five flowers on the fifth day. They continue taking the five flowers’ tea until their illness is resolved. It takes between 4 to 5 months for the tumor(s) to disappear. The nice thing is that meantime this tea keeps metastases from taking place. You can also find a Periwinkle extract on the web. 20 to 30 drops of this extract are taken in a glass of water once a day. Both are very effective.
  2. This important medicinal plant has been given many names creating some confusion. Madagascar periwinkle, ‘sadaphuli’, Catharantus roseus, Vinca rocea or Vinca as it’s known in the United States is used as an alternative treatment for many forms of cancer. This comes as no surprise because Vinca’s cancer killing properties have been recognized by the pharmaceutical industry resulting in the isolation of several Vinca compounds that are currently used by medicine in chemotherapy treatments for childhood leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, testicular cancer and cancerous tumors. Vinca is a treasure chest plant that containins more than 400 known alkaloids!If this is not impressive enough, Vinca taken as a daily supplement is known to improve blood supply to the brain, increase oxygen and glucose for the brain to use, prevent abnormal coagulation of blood, and raise brain levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin.

    There are two classes of active compounds in Vinca: alkaloids and tannins. One important alkaloid is vincamine. A closely related semi-synthetic derivative of vincamine widely used in medicine is known as ethyl-apovincaminate or vinpocetine. It has vasodilating, blood thinning, and memory-enhancing actions shown in double-blind studies to help alleviate a type of dementia known as vascular dementia, in which the arteries supplying blood to the brain develop atherosclerotic plaques.

    Extracts of Vinca have significant anticancer activity against numerous cell types. The greatest activity is seen against multi-drug resistant tumor types which suggest that there are compounds in Vinca rosea that are synergistic or additive with anti-neoplastic elements which help inhibit resistance to these drugs.

    Some people may experience side effects associated with the prolonged use of Vinca flower tea or Periwinkle extract such as hair loss and bouts of urticaria.

  3. This plant grows on roads in India. There are lots of these flowers available in dry powder form. Boil around 10 flowers with 1 tsp cumin seeds and drink the strained water every morning. You can see that the diabetes goes down in a month. Worked for my dad… You get around 15 new flowers each day…

Chaos to Calm: Ketamine


One of the country’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, Johnson & Johnson, is working on a new drug for depression. It’s based on ketamine. Ketamine is a common anesthetic. It’s also a popular party drug known as Special K. But doctors are using ketamine to treat an increasingly wide range of psychiatric disorders.

NPR science correspondent Jon Hamilton joins us now in the studio to talk more about this. Hey, Jon.


MARTIN: All right. So you have reported a story on this. But first, before we get to that, just tell us a little more about ketamine.

HAMILTON: Well, ketamine is a drug that if you’ve encountered it, chances are it was in an emergency room. So like, when my kid broke his arm, the drug they used before they set the fracture was ketamine.

MARTIN: Same for my kid. Yeah.

HAMILTON: Yeah. Very effective. And a number of years ago, scientists figured out that ketamine also could be used to relieve depression. This was sort of an accidental discovery. Not only did it relieve depression, but it did it within a matter of hours.

MARTIN: Wow. Within hours?

HAMILTON: Yeah. I mean, it’s incredibly fast, especially when you consider that most antidepressants can take weeks to work. And so since then a bunch of psychiatrists have been prescribing it to their patients even though it’s not approved for this purpose.

MARTIN: All right. So what does it do, exactly? What’s the effect on the body?

HAMILTON: Ketamine is something they call a dissociative. It kind of interrupts the connection between the mind and the body, which is why you don’t feel pain anymore. But it also seems to do a lot of different things in the brain, and that is probably why it is likely to be used with a lot of different psychological problems. So I met a guy who had a lot of problems not too long ago. His name is James. He’s an advertising executive in New York. And this guy, he’s doing great now. He’s married with kids, and he feels really good.

JAMES: I’ve really enjoyed my life in the last, you know, five or six years.

HAMILTON: That’s how long he’s been taking a small dose of ketamine every other day. Before that, things had become pretty bleak for James, who asked that we not use his full name because doing so might hurt his career. He says even as a child his thoughts were out of control.

JAMES: I always felt like I was crossing a freeway at any given moment and my thoughts were just racing past me, and I would grab one and go with that for a minute.

HAMILTON: James also spent much of his childhood terrified of something he couldn’t quite describe.

JAMES: An unknown, an ambiguous force out there. And it was overwhelming. I literally slept with the cover over my head with just room to breathe through my mouth until I went to college.

HAMILTON: And there was something else about James – his body temperature.

JAMES: I overheated constantly. I would wear shorts all year long. In my 20s, in my apartment, I would sleep with the windows open in the middle of the winter.

HAMILTON: In his late 20s, James saw a doctor who told him he had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. So he started taking stimulants. At first, they helped him focus. Then they didn’t no matter how many pills he took. James couldn’t work. His mood swings were rapid and extreme, and he was consumed by gruesome thoughts like a murderer coming for his family.

JAMES: My wife took a summer off to be with me ’cause she was scared of what was going to happen to me. She would go to work for a few hours, rush home. There’d be times I’d call her just screaming, please come home; I can’t get through another minute.

HAMILTON: Eventually, James found his way to Demitri Papolos, a psychiatrist in Connecticut who treats a lot of patients like James.

DEMITRI PAPOLOS: He was like a whirling dervish when he came into my office. And he was extremely fearful and scanning the environment all the time, and he overheated at the drop of a hat.

HAMILTON: Papolo says people like James have a syndrome that spans several different diagnoses. These include bipolar disorder, attention deficit, sleep disturbances and PTSD. Papolo says conventional psychiatric drugs often don’t help much, but ketamine is different.

PAPOLOS: It’s been transformational for this syndrome.

HAMILTON: Ketamine is an anesthetic that’s often used on children because it’s considered so safe. The drug appears to help people with depression by encouraging their brains to rewire quickly. And this rewiring also could be why ketamine helps people like James who have symptoms of several different psychiatric disorders. Martin Teicher, a psychiatrist at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School, says ketamine seems to tweak lots of different circuits in the brain.

MARTIN TEICHER: Anti-anxiety, mood stabilization, some degree of antidepressants. So I think it’s having, you know, multiple effects and that that means it’s probably useful for multiple different disorders.

HAMILTON: Like PTSD, for example.

TEICHER: The animal literature says it is very good in terms of diminishing fear sensitization, which I think is at the core of post-traumatic stress disorder.

HAMILTON: Teicher says ketamine may even prove useful for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

TEICHER: I think it’s actually one of the biggest advances in psychiatry in a very long time. I mean, it doesn’t work for everybody, but it’s sort of remarkable to have a treatment that can work pretty much immediately.

HAMILTON: James says he didn’t know much about ketamine when he started taking it six years ago.

JAMES: I had heard of it, you know, as a party drug of some sorts.

HAMILTON: And at first, James was on such a small dose that it didn’t do much. But as the dose increased, the effect was dramatic.

JAMES: One day, I turned to my wife. I’m like, I feel calm today. I don’t know what it is right now. I don’t know if it’s the sun coming in. I don’t know if it’s just the way we’re sitting here. But I feel like I could go and sit at the computer and work.

HAMILTON: The next day, James did sit down at his computer. A month later, he got a job.

MARTIN: He got a job. So things are better for him now?

HAMILTON: Yeah. He’s doing great.

MARTIN: Johnson & Johnson, though, we referenced them in the intro. That company has been working on a prescription drug based on ketamine. How close is it to being approved and marketed?

HAMILTON: Right. This is a drug called Esketamine, and they’re working on a form that you take as a nasal spray. And it has finished what they call Phase 3 trials, which is the last step before you submit it to the FDA for approval. They expect to submit it later this year. And it’s possible there could be a drug based on this next year sometime.

MARTIN: Are there risks, though?

HAMILTON: There are risks to ketamine. It’s a drug of abuse. People become addicted to it sometimes. It can make you hallucinate. And there isn’t so much known about what happens when you take it for a long time. People who have abused it for a long time seem to have bladder problems. But beyond that, people really don’t know what years of taking ketamine does to you.

MARTIN: And like that doctor said who you spoke with, it works on some people, doesn’t work for other people.

HAMILTON: It does not work for everybody.

MARTIN: All right. NPR science correspondent Jon Hamilton for us today. Thanks so much, Jon.

HAMILTON: You’re welcome.

Eneemy Mineemy More Please…

Article Source ~ NCBI

Azadirachta indica: A herbal panacea in dentistry.

Neem has been extensively used in Ayurveda, Unani and Homoeopathic medicine and has become a wonder tree of modern medicine.[1] It has been used traditionally for the treatment of inflammation, infections, fever, skin diseases and dental problems.

It is effective in several epidermal dysfunctions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema.

Aloe Vera(Hans) and Neem Oil(Franz).

Article Source ~ NCBI-Efficacy of early chick nutrition with Aloe vera and Azadirachta indica on gut health and histomorphometry in chicks.

I am Aloe and I am Neem. We are here to pump you up.

“The final fermentation product of Lactobacillus sps. is lactic acid that might have made the gut environment unfavorable for pathogens and modified harmful microbial population.”

“Longer villi is essential to mammal(animal) development because it results in an increased surface area for absorption of nutrients[].”

“Accordingly, the significantly higher ratio of villus height: Crypt depth in the present study indicated that Aloe and Neem supplementation has made the gut environment free of microbial toxins[].”

“Short-chain fatty acids produced by Lactobacillus sps. in that intestine are responsible for favorable change in intestinal morphology and have stimulated the proliferation of epithelial cells of the bowel[]. In addition, lower crypt depth with Aloe and Neem supplementation indicated for slow tissue turnover preventing the pathogens from tissue destruction in the gut.

Water Allergy – An Auto-Immune Response to Water?

“The parts of my body that are exposed to sun are less likely to react.”

  • Possibly because the interstitial mycelium is a little too deep where there has been exposure to UV light.
  • Is it the skin that is reacting to the water or something living within the skin?

Article Source ~

In 1963, a 15-year-old girl presented herself to a pair of dermatologists in Pennsylvania complaining that she’d broken out in angry, red lesions after a session of waterskiing. That first mysterious outbreak became a trend: Blotchy, itchy hives would pop up all over her limbs every time she took a bath, went swimming, or perspired heavily. The doctors conducted a series of tests to rule out obvious possible triggers like cold and, using a hand towel soaked in distilled water, identified a condition called aquagenic urticaria: Sufferers are so sensitive to pure water it causes them to erupt in hives within minutes of exposure. The doctors were perplexed, noting in their report that “water is the most trusted compound in the universe … we bathe in it, we drink it, we live by it, asking of it only purity. Hence it is with difficulty that one comes to realize that some individuals react adversely to simple contact with water.”

The condition remains as rare as it is mysterious. Douglas L. Powell, clinical professor in dermatology at the University of Utah Hospital, is their unofficial “hive expert.” He’s seen only two cases of aquagenic urticaria in the last 15 years and notes that there are fewer than 100 cases reported in the medical literature. Given the minuscule sample size, few trends have been identified. We do know that it appears to be more common in women and is likely to commence during puberty. Some believe that it’s really a hypersensitivity to trace chemicals in water, but, as Dr. Powell argues, the current test used to diagnose the condition exposes patients to water that’s totally chemical-free, and sufferers still break out in hives. There are treatments that can reduce a sufferer’s sensitivity, but there is no cure other than avoiding water.

Alexandra Allen, an 18-year-old college student from Utah who suffers from aquagenic urticaria, spoke with us about her condition.

When did you start reacting to water?
I was 12 when it happened the first time, and that’s not surprising because it often kicks in during puberty. We were on vacation in California and I had been in a swimming pool. I woke in the middle of the night covered in hives. Mom rushed to Walgreens and got me Benadryl. It helped the itching a little bit. But when the itching first started I’d taken a bath and a shower because I thought I must have been allergic to the chemicals in the pool. We didn’t know it at the time, but the water just made it worse.

What’s the reaction and physical discomfort like?
I describe it as like the top layer of your skin getting sandpapered off — you feel very raw. And there’s an incessant, burning itch. If I’m not taking anything whatsoever I will have hives every day. On average I have hives every other day, depending on what I am doing. If it’s really hot out and I am walking around all day I will probably end up pretty well covered in hives by the evening because my skin will react to the sweat and the dampness of my clothing.

My skin is pretty much constantly red, blotchy, and so itchy. It might not get to the point where it’s hived, but it will be at the beginning stages and then go down or flare up. It’s a mess. I try so hard not to be awkward, and sometimes I’ll be in a social situation in pain and itching, but I care more about how the hives look, so I focus on trying to cover them up. A teenager doesn’t want to have to keep explaining to people, “Sorry, I have a rare medical condition that makes me look like a freak.” But if I’m sitting in class or something I would much rather it looks bad than feels bad because when it’s itchy and burning I just can’t concentrate.

So what exactly is it that you are allergic to? Is it all types of water … ?
Technically, it’s a skin disease, not an allergy. Everyone produces oils that soften their skin, but the oils I produce become toxic when they meet water — and that’s the part that’s a mystery to doctors. They don’t know how or why the oil in my skin is different, if it’s genetic or if it was brought on by something in my childhood. They have taken skin samples and tested the oil. So far I seem to be completely normal — aside from the fact that I turn water into acid.

Can you bathe?
I do a lot of weird things to stay clean. I cut out meat and dairy so I can get away without showering for longer. In general, the longer I’m exposed to the water the worse the reaction, and the hotter the water the worse the reaction. So I take one cold two-minute shower each week. That’s it. I move as quickly as I can and then get out of there. I clean my hands with hand sanitizer — when I’m in a public restroom people think I’m crazy, and that’s probably when I get asked about it the most. It’s pretty obvious when you are avoiding touching water in a bathroom!

Do you ever wash your hands with water?
I probably do once a day just for a minute or two in cold water, which is unlikely to cause a reaction. The parts of my body that are exposed to sun are less likely to react. I clean my face with a cleansing wipe, which I also use on my underarms. I just pretend I’m permanently on a camping trip.

What about your hair?
I used to have really long hair, but I cut it all off about a year ago. When I had wet hair I would get hives all over my back. I’ll keep it short for the rest of my life. I mostly wear it down, but when it gets to a certain point I hide it with beanies. Also, I’m allergic to almost all makeup and skin-care products because of the water content. There are a couple of Vaseline-based lotions I can get away with, and I can use powder makeup.

I guess you can’t really get dirty, right? What happens when you do? I’m thinking about street vomit, or that dirty guy on the bus who sweats on you …
I have to avoid getting too dirty because if I were to scrub myself it would make the hives really bad. If I stand on someone’s throw-up I just have to clean my shoes and try and forget about it. I really couldn’t be someone with a germ phobia or obsessive cleaning disorder. That just wouldn’t work.

What about rain?
It doesn’t rain much where I live, but I do have to worry about being caught in wet weather. Recently I was stuck in the middle of a really bad storm, and I had to go home from school because I was covered in hives. But if it’s just a drizzle I’m usually fine. If it’s severe, like a torrential downpour, or if it gets my clothing all wet and it stays on me, the water on my clothing will cause hives.

I was recently in Cambodia and the humidity there was so intense, I was allergic to the air. It wasn’t a very fun couple of weeks. I had constant hives — I was so itchy.

Does it affect your travel?
My father is a motivational speaker who goes around the world training teachers and police officers how to deal with at-risk youth, and I often go with him. I went to India this summer; I was able to control it a little better than when I was in Cambodia because I was on medication the whole time, but I still had hives. When I was in Scotland a couple of years ago it was constantly raining — I was on guard the whole time. I carried six umbrellas — I made a turtle shell out of them to protect myself. I definitely see myself relocating one day. I like Utah, but I think I’m more of an East Coast personality. At one point I really wanted to live in Seattle, then I realized how bad an idea that was. People have told me that I’m a Portland type, so I thought I’d fit in over there. But it’s out of the question.

As I get older it could be a problem where I just can’t go to certain places. It’s a degenerative condition, so it will get worse as I age.

What about sweat?
I am allergic to sweat, so I run at nights, when it’s cold. The colder it is the less likely I am to react. I don’t react as quickly or as intensely to my own sweat, but I have had one or two reactions. I don’t know how much worse that will get as I get older. I can’t play sports I really love, like basketball, because it makes me too sweaty.

But you can drink water, right?
The doctors say it shouldn’t impact me at all, but I have talked to a woman in England who lives on Diet Coke because water has totally destroyed her throat. Technically, your esophagus has the same sort of glands as your skin, so it is possible that you could have that reaction — maybe that’s what’s happening to my voice right now. I’ve had laryngitis and I have been drinking a lot of water, so I sound scratchy.

How do you keep hydrated? What happens when you’re sick?
I’m constantly dehydrated because I don’t want to drink too much water and cause problems. People ask me if drinking Gatorade would be better, but it has lots of water in it. When I’m dehydrated I just have to choose which pain I want to be in more.

What happens when you cry? Are you allergic to your own tears?
I don’t cry very much, but I did have one extreme reaction to my tears, at the beginning of the movie Up. That was one of the last times I cried. There’s a scene at the start where an old man’s wife dies, and I just thought it was so sad. I was 15, at the movies with a bunch of friends, and I started bawling. It was embarrassing enough that I was crying at a Disney movie, but then to have my eyes swell up to the point that I couldn’t see out of them … I didn’t finish the movie, and I didn’t ever cry again. I just stopped. I’m either traumatized from crying or my tear ducts shut off when they realized it was a bad idea.

Before the reactions kicked in, did you enjoy the water? Had you gone swimming?
My mom says I’ve been in the ocean, but I don’t remember. I recall taking a swimming lesson in my neighbors’ pool. I was the rambunctious kid who was always jumping in too deep before realizing I couldn’t swim. I remember going to a water park with my cousins. They bet me $10 that I wouldn’t jump off the highest diving board, so of course I did it and got the money.

Some days I preferred to stay covered in dirt, but I do remember enjoying hour-long bubble baths. I’d soak in the tub playing with the foam building castles.

What about other kinds of water?
I grew up in Hobble Creek Canyon, which is very beautiful and rural — our house was 20 miles from the nearest neighbor. We lived on a huge plot of land, and I was a tomboy who played in the woods all the time. I loved to climb trees, and I made tree houses with twigs. It was a Calvin and Hobbes childhood — my brothers and I were always doing silly things like trying to make parachutes with bed sheets or climbing up on the roof. Then when I was about 10 we moved to the suburbs. My parents had adopted their first child — my oldest brother — because they thought they couldn’t have kids. Later they had four biological kids, adopted four other boys, and started fostering. Our home was diverse and multicultured, but I was the only girl.

We were about 30 minutes from Utah Lake. Our neighbors had boats, so we often went fishing with them. There was a pond right near our house, but I wouldn’t swim in it — probably because I was afraid of lake monsters. I really wanted to find a giant squid; I was obsessed. I found them fascinating. When I was 9 I told my mom I was going to live in a submarine and find that squid. Among my many career dreams I longed to be a marine biologist.

Wow, you actually wanted to work at sea?
I also dreamed of being a National Geographic photographer. It was upsetting when I realized that’s not only impossible because it’s an elite job that’s hard to get, but it’s also impossible because you have to travel all over the world getting messy. I can’t do that. I also wanted to join the Navy. I was really attracted to water-based jobs.

When did you realize that wasn’t going to be possible?
Shortly after our trip to California, my dad bought a hot tub. The first time I used it I had a bad reaction. So there was a period of six months where we were trying to figure out exactly what was causing it. We did tests where I was exposed to different chemicals. We changed the water in the hot tub to see if there was some chemical we were adding that I was allergic to, but I continued to have reactions, and they just got worse and worse.

So you were convinced that it was chemicals, or was it more of a mystery?
At first we were sure it must be chlorine, but as time went on it became more mysterious and irritating. And every time I’d shower to get the chemicals off my skin, it got even worse. I don’t know why it took me so long to learn my lesson.

But why would you ever think you could be allergic to water?
Right! I had never heard of such a thing. I just told people I was allergic to chemicals. And at that time my reactions were still rather random. As I got older they became consistent.

How’d you finally figure out what was wrong?
I went camping in Flaming Gorge. In Utah we have a lot of dirty lakes, but this one is known to be very clean, so I didn’t think there’d be any chemicals in that water. I swam all day long — I was so excited to be splashing around in the water. That night I was covered in hives. It was to the point where you couldn’t even tell where the hives began and my body ended. I was a walking hive.

We had to rush to the hospital. My esophagus was closing. My joints started bleeding, and my body went into anaphylactic shock. By the time I got to the ER I was having trouble breathing. I was a giant hive, and my joints were black and blue.

That must have been terrifying. Were you scared of what it was and how serious it could be?
I really was, but luckily my family is the stoic type. On the way to the hospital everyone was making jokes, teasing me, calling me a sissy, but that I’m tough and I’ll live. And I was the only girl, of course. I was sitting in the back trying to go along with it, but I was like, Okay, yes, I am a baby, but I am also having a very bad time over here! The doctors assumed I’d had an allergic reaction to something in the water, probably chemicals. They gave me a bunch of antihistamines and sent me home. That night my hands and feet swelled so much I felt like I was going to pop. We still don’t know if that was a water thing or just a reaction to all the antihistamines. But it didn’t go away. Now we know that the antihistamines can’t treat it because it’s a disease, not an allergy: I am not having a histamine reaction when I get the hives. They just treat the itch and offer some relief.

Did that make you anxious? Were you constantly worried about having a reaction?
By that point I thought I could be allergic to water, and of course my family thought I was completely crazy: “You can’t be allergic to water.” I honestly don’t think I really believed it, though. There was just no other explanation. Nothing made sense.

Then one day I was on the internet and I found an article with a name like “The World’s Top Ten Weirdest Diseases.” As I read about the signs and symptoms of aquagenic urticaria I found that it described me perfectly. I was like, Oh shoot! That’s probably it. I didn’t want to do the whole “WebMD diagnose yourself” kind of thing, so I went to my doctor and showed him the article. He couldn’t believe it either.

Had they even heard of it?
No doctor had ever mentioned it. When I gave my dermatologist the article he trailed off and left the room. He returned with another dermatologist, and they both questioned me. That’s when I was diagnosed. At first it wasn’t really a formal test or diagnosis; they considered my history of signs and symptoms. Like, for example, my eyes are always very dry because my body just doesn’t produce enough water. But they eventually did a test where they soaked a rag in water and put it on my arm. They removed it, and 20 minutes later I was covered in hives.

What did you think when you finally found out what was wrong?
When you find out that you are allergic to water, that’s an internal crisis beyond anything else. I felt like an alien. I was plagued by existential questions: Am I a freak of nature? Why me? Am I from another planet? No, really, what happened? Was I in a government test when I was a child and nobody told me? What does it mean that I am allergic to something as vital and common as water? Am I allergic to the world? It was emotionally draining trying to find a way to explain it to myself. At night I’d have nightmares that I was drowning in water.

And I was in denial. I kept looking around to find what I actually thought I was allergic to. I never stopped researching other ideas and options, and I didn’t really believe it just because I didn’t want to have to say, “Hey, I’m allergic to water.” I thought everyone else was crazy. After a while I accepted it. I realized I just had to learn how to cope with it; there’s no point getting caught up in what this means about me as a person. It’s just something I have to deal with. I’m not a freak of nature, I’m just a little bit … freaky.

How did your family react to the diagnosis?
I think my mom felt a bit guilty. I was a 14-year-old girl in the middle of a hot Utah summer where everyone is having water-balloon fights and running through sprinklers. She felt sad for me when my friends asked me to play with them and she heard me make up excuses because I didn’t want to say I was allergic to water. But mostly my family turned it into a joke. They laughed that I must be the Wicked Witch of the West. It was more family-dinner comedy material than family tragedy. One of the first things I said when I was diagnosed was “Well, at least I can have a cat!” “I could be allergic to cats, and that would suck.” You have to admit, being allergic to water is pretty funny.

How does it impact your self-esteem? Are your outbreaks ever so unsightly that you don’t want to leave the house?
I was in the midst of adolescence when this began, so I didn’t know how to manage it. I walked out of school a couple of times because I was so embarrassed by the hives. That was really hard because I was already a weird kid — I didn’t need anything to push me any further into strangeness.

In what way were you weird?
I’m dyslexic, and I have ADHD, so I was in special-education classes until I was 13. When I tested into a “normal” class, everyone assumed I was stupid, and I got picked on because I was this awkward tomboy fresh from special ed who didn’t know girls were supposed to be getting “cute” at that age. At one point they thought I was autistic because I refused to make eye contact — but I think I was just really shy. I spent the first part of my life in an isolated rural town, after all. When I went into a normal class I’d only just learned how to write properly; I had been etching the letters upside down my whole life.

Did you have friends?
I had three or four who were just as awkward as me. We wore oversized jackets, and we were obsessed with aliens. You’d find us in the field Skyping witches. As I Lay Dying was my favorite book. People didn’t really know how to deal with me; they didn’t know if I was stupid or very smart. I was raised by nerds. We didn’t have a TVuntil I was 11. We just watched Star Trek.

I had blue hair and black clothes. My favorite bands were Led Zeppelin and Bikini Kill, and I had a bunch of opinions on punk. In junior high nobody has opinions on anything, and Utah is ultra conservative. I came from a liberal house, so my thoughts stood out. I was a debate nerd. I played the bassoon. I played saxophone. I was in the jazz band. I played rugby. Your classic nerd.

How has it been since you started college?
I live off campus with a bunch of friends because I want to stay close to home while I am having treatments. I hope to transfer to the East Coast one day. My reactions have been worse the last year or so, and I did wonder if it was related to the stress of starting school or if it’s because I keep ending up in situations where I’m exposed to water.

I was recently at this party where somebody had water balloons and squirt guns, and it was this hilarious moment where everyone around me had this look of terror realizing that they had to protect me from water. I feel like that’s a quintessential moment in my life — I need an entourage to protect me from squirt guns.

Once, at a barbecue with a group of friends, someone got up on the roof and threw a bucket of water at me as a prank. It was the most awkward situation. Anyone else would be like, “Oh shoot, I’m wet!” But it was pretty bad for me. They thought I was just overreacting — I mean, it’s literally only water — but I started swelling and then I had to use an EpiPen. I have three EpiPens, so I always have one with me just in case.

Do you feel like the hives have held you back at all when it comes to dating or making friends?
I try not to let it get me down, but of course it bothers me. I carry a jacket with me no matter what the weather to cover hives that pop up on my arms.  When it comes to dates it’s an especially awkward conversation. I still haven’t figured out when to mention it. Other medical conditions you probably wouldn’t mention until the third of fourth date, but this is something you should probably be up front about, right? “Yo! If it starts pouring rain or if we fall in a river, just know that I am going to turn into a zombie-witch-looking thing.” So I usually tell them on the first date. It’s hard to find a segue into that conversation; with other illnesses it can come up organically, like, “I can’t get pasta because I have a gluten allergy.” I can’t exactly say, “Oh, we are going out for dinner? Please don’t spill water or accidentally spit on me.”

Sarcoidosis: Renal Confined – Pyelonephritis

Renal confined sarcoidosis: Natural history and diagnostic challenge.

Wikipedia – Most cases of “community-acquired” pyelonephritis are due to bowel organisms that enter the urinary tract. Common organisms are E. coli (70–80%) and Enterococcus faecalisHospital-acquired infections may be due to coliform bacteriaand enterococci, as well as other organisms uncommon in the community (e.g., Pseudomonas aeruginosa and various species of Klebsiella). Most cases of pyelonephritis start off as lower urinary tract infections, mainly cystitis and prostatitis.[8]E. coli can invade the superficial umbrella cells of the bladder to form intracellular bacterial communities (IBCs), which can mature into biofilms. These biofilm-producing E. coli are resistant to antibiotic therapy and immune system responses, and present a possible explanation for recurrent urinary tract infections, including pyelonephritis.[12] Risk is increased in the following situations:[8][13]

Sarcoidosis – Overview

Sarcoidosis is the growth of tiny collections of inflammatory cells (granulomas) in different parts of your body — most commonly the lungs, lymph nodes, eyes and skin.

Doctors believe sarcoidosis results from the body’s immune system responding to an unknown substance, most likely something inhaled from the air.

There is no cure for sarcoidosis, but most people do very well with little or only modest treatment. In half of cases, sarcoidosis goes away on its own. In a few cases, however, sarcoidosis may last for years and may cause organ damage.


Signs and symptoms of sarcoidosis vary depending on which organs are affected. Sarcoidosis sometimes develops gradually and produces symptoms that last for years. Other times, symptoms appear suddenly and then disappear just as quickly. Many people with sarcoidosis have no symptoms, so the disease may be discovered only when you have a chest X-ray for another reason.

See your doctor if you have signs and symptoms of sarcoidosis.

General symptoms

For many people, sarcoidosis begins with these symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Weight loss

Lung symptoms

Many patients with sarcoidosis experience lung problems, which may include:

  • Persistent dry cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain

Skin symptoms

Some people who have sarcoidosis develop skin problems, which may include:

  • A rash of red or reddish-purple bumps, usually located on the shins or ankles, which may be warm and tender to the touch
  • Disfiguring sores (lesions) on the nose, cheeks and ears
  • Areas of skin that are darker or lighter in color
  • Growths under the skin (nodules), particularly around scars or tattoos

Eye symptoms

Sarcoidosis can affect the eyes without causing any symptoms, so it’s important to have your eyes checked. When eye symptoms do occur, they may include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain
  • Severe redness
  • Sensitivity to light

Heart symptoms

Signs and symptoms related to cardiac sarcoidosis may include:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  • Fainting (syncope)
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
  • Rapid or fluttering heart beat (palpitations)
  • Swelling caused by excess fluid (edema)

The symptoms in red have presented.