Author Archives: Kerri M

Kerri is a blogger, coach, quantified self-er, and ePatient. A former gym class hater, she now holds a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education. Diagnosed with asthma in 2008 when she was 16, Kerri believes she is not defined by her diagnoses, but rather that they help explain her. Kerri writes for work and fun (often simultaneously!) on topics including asthma, ADHD, learning issues, patient engagement, and technology. Airplanes, t-shirts and cupcakes are among her favorite things.

  • What is Cystic Fibrosis? Understanding Cystic Fibrosis

    Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes abnormally thick, sticky mucus to develop in the lungs, pancreas and digestive tract. [1] In the lungs, this mucus clogs airways and causes inflammation, leading to scarring of the lung tissues—frequent infections lead to additional permanent lung damage. In the digestive system, mucus blocks ducts in the pancreas, impairing the release of enzymes required to effectively digest food.

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  • What is Byssinosis? Byssinosis Overview, Symptoms and Treatment

    If you have not heard of byssinosis, that could be because it’s a rare lung disease—though it appears to be more common outside of the United States. It can be called “brown lung disease,” “cotton worker’s lung,” “Monday fever” and “mill fever.” Byssinosis develops exclusively in people who have been exposed to tiny fibers in textile production plants, like cotton, hemp, flax, and jute fibers. Dust from these plants, especially cotton, is thought to block the smallest airways in the lungs—bronchioles—and cause breathing problems. These breathing problems also seem to be related to release of “endotoxin” —a toxin made within a cell of the body that is released when the cell dies or disintegrates—as all cells do.

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  • Understanding Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency? - Symptoms and Treatment

    While emphysema is most often connected with smoking cigarettes, not everyone who has emphysema, a form of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), acquires it from smoking or other external factors like air pollution or work in factories with chemical fumes. A genetic disorder called Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (known as A1AD or AAT) can cause emphysema in people with no other risk factors. [1]

    Fortunately, with early detection and treatment, A1AD is treatable.

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  • What is Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency?

    Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (also known as Alpha-1, antitrypsin deficiency disorder, or A1AD), is a genetic disorder—it is inherited from a parent. A1AD primarily affects the lungs and liver [1]. Often, people with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency will most often develop the symptoms of lung problems between the ages of 20 and 50.

    In some cases, oxygen therapy may be required in addition to inhaled and other medications. [2]

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