Are you at risk from Thyroid Cancer?

Are you at risk from Thyroid Cancer? Find out more at this infographic!

The infographic also provides information on hypothyroidism and hyperthroidism. So check it out!

Thyroid Cancer: The Facts

From Visually.

Acanthosis nigricans – what is it and why we need to be aware of it? A sign of cancer and diabetes!

Acanthosis nigricans is the medical term for darkened, thickened patches of skin that usually develop in the armpit and around the groin and neck.

Acanthosis nigricans
Acanthosis nigricans

It’s not a condition in itself, but can be a sign of an underlying health problem. These underlying conditions aren’t usually serious, although occasionally acanthosis nigricans can be sign of cancer.

Signs and symptoms

Dark, velvety patches.  If you have acanthosis nigricans, you’ll have thickened, brownish-grey or black patches of skin.

The patches will be dry and rough, feeling similar to velvet. They may also be itchy.

These patches may occur anywhere, but are usually seen around the neck, in the armpit, around the groin and sometimes in other skin folds. Occasionally, the skin over the joints of the fingers and toes may be affected, as well as the lips, palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

The patches usually develop slowly over time. Patches that grow and spread quickly are more likely to be associated with cancer. In these cases, the mouth, tongue, throat, nose and windpipe may also be affected.

Tiny growths on the skin

You may also have lots of tiny finger-like growths from the patches. This is known as papillomatosis.

There may also be skin tags around the affected area. These are small flesh-coloured or pigmented growths that hang off the skin and look a bit like warts.

When to see your GP

Acanthosis nigricans is usually harmless, but as it can be a sign of something serious it’s a good idea to see your GP if you think you have it. They may suspect acanthosis nigricans just by looking at your skin.

If the cause isn’t clear, you may have blood tests to check your blood sugar or hormone levels, and you might need additional tests such as an endoscopy or X-ray.

What causes acanthosis nigricans?

Acanthosis nigricans sometimes occurs in people who are otherwise in good health, particularly dark-skinned people of African descent.

However, in most cases it’s a sign of an underlying problem or condition such as obesity, diabetes or abnormal hormone levels. Some of the main causes of acanthosis nigricans are outlined below.


Acanthosis nigricans is usually the result of obesity. This is known as obesity-associated acanthosis nigricans.

It occurs because obesity can cause insulin resistance (when the body is unable to properly use the hormone insulin), which may lead to high levels of insulin in the blood, affecting the skin cells.

Insulin resistance can also cause type 2 diabetes, so acanthosis nigricans can be an early sign that you have diabetes or are at risk of developing the condition.

Syndromes and hormone problems

Acanthosis nigricans is sometimes associated with an underlying syndrome or hormone problem, such as:

This type of acanthosis nigricans is known as syndromic acanthosis nigricans.


In rare cases, acanthosis nigricans can be caused by a faulty gene inherited directly from your parents. This is known as familial or benign genetic acanthosis nigricans.

This type is usually passed on in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means it can be passed on if only one of your parents carries the faulty gene.


If the dark skin patches come on suddenly and spread quickly, it may be a sign you have cancer (usually stomach cancer). This is known as malignant acanthosis nigricans.

This is a rare condition that tends to affect middle-aged or elderly people, regardless of their weight or ethnic background.

The patches are more severe and the mouth, tongue and lips may also be affected. The skin may also become irritated and itchy.

How acanthosis nigricans is treated

Treatment for acanthosis nigricans aims to correct the underlying cause of your symptoms. This will usually cure the acanthosis nigricans or significantly improve the appearance of your skin.

Treatments that may be recommended include:

There’s no specific treatment to get rid of the patches, but a dermatologist (skin specialist) may be able to recommend treatments such as creams or tablets that may help improve the look of your skin.


Most cases of acanthosis nigricans are harmless and not a sign of anything serious. The skin patches often fade with time as the underlying condition is treated.

If you have inherited acanthosis nigricans from your parents, your patches may gradually get bigger before staying the same or eventually fading on their own.

Only in cases where there is underlying cancer is the situation very serious. If the tumour is successfully treated, the condition may disappear, but unfortunately the types of cancer that cause acanthosis nigricans tend to spread quickly and a cure is often not possible.

[Original article on NHS Choices website]

Cognitive dysfunction – Does the cold weather make your brain fog or fibro fog better or worse? Join in our discussion blog

Cognitive dysfunction (also called brain fog , fibro fog or clouding of consciousness) was a big topic in the early days of Patient Talk.

Brain fog
Brain fog

And at the same time we were also interested in the impact of the reasons ( and the weather) on pain levels. You can see the results of our poll on the subject here.

So I was very interested when Kelly asked “Since the weather has changed to cold, my cognitive function is getting way worse, where I can’t get words out of mouth. Does anyone else experience this the cold?” in our Multiple Sclerosis group yesterday morning.

The feedback was very interesting.

Tracet replied “Yes. Does anyone else have trouble getting people to understand this happens to you? I think people are starting to assume I’m just an idiot, even after explaining cognitive dysfunction.”

For Roberto it is the other way round ” I experience this but it happens when the weather gets warm”.

” Definitely far worse with the cold, I like the heat, thought I was strange as the ‘norm’ is the opposite. I practise Bikram Yoga in the heat which helps me a lot, my neurologist freaked when I told her, but now she thinks its wonderful!” was Brendan’s suggestion.

But for Kristine “I love all the seasons. snow and sun are both fun! Humidity is my killer…”.

No the other hand for Charlene ” For me it is the extreme weather. Extreme cold and heat both make it worse. Of course extreme is a relative term! Lol extreme heat is like 80 and extreme cold is like below 45. Lol”.

But for some ” Doesn’t matter what season it is my mind is one purr muddle I nix up words loose train if thought an forgot what a conversation is I stair in to space like no one is home …but hay I can’t argue with anyone as I forget what has made me mad !!! The joys hay”

So what about you?

It would be great if you could take the poll below. Even better could you share your story in the comments section below.

Cognitive dysfunction refers to the loss of intellectual functions such as reasoning, memory , and general thinking which together impair day to day living.. People with brain fog have difficulty with verbal recall, basic arithmetic, and overall concentration.

It can be caused by a variety of medical conditions which include multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia (hence the term fibro fog), lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, hypothyroidism, Lyme’s disease and stress. What is interesting , at least to me, is how many of these disorders are auto-immune conditions.

Many thanks in advance for all your help!

6 Things Your Eyes Say About Your Health

6 Things Your Eyes Say About Your Health
6 Things Your Eyes Say About Your Health

Eyes are considered as mirrors to your soul, but they can also be described as mirror to your health. Your eyes reflect everything that’s going on in your body. And you have probably noticed that; for example when you’re healthy your eyes have that “sparkle”, on the other hand, when you’re feeling sick your eyes seem heavy and sick as well. Throughout this article, we’ll list things that your eyes say about your health.

  1. Thinning eyebrows

 If you notice that outer third of your eyebrows (parts closest to your ears) is slowly disappearing, without plucking etc., then you might have a thyroid disease: either overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) or underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). Thyroid gland is essential for your overall health as it regulates your metabolism. Furthermore, thyroid hormones are crucial for hair production.

Problems with thyroid disease usually include loss of hair on different parts of body, but since eyebrows are prominent, this occurrence is usually noticed here first. If you notice your eyebrows are thinning, you should consult your health-care provider or dermatologist. Furthermore, before your appointment, list all body changes that occurred recently.

  1. Persistent stye

 Small, slightly raised, and sometimes reddish bump that you notice along the inner or outer eyelid margin is, in fact, a stye. They aren’t dangerous. However, if this little bump is persistent and won’t go away even after three months then you might have a form of a rare cancer, sebaceous gland carcinoma.

How to tell them apart? That’s easy, although they look quite similar; styes go away within a month. On the other hand, carcinoma is persistent. You should consult an appointment and consult your ophthalmologist.

  1. Grey ring around the cornea

 If you, or someone you know, developed a grey ring around your cornea it could indicate problems with cholesterol and higher levels of triglycerides. The arcus senilis, the grey ring, could mean you have high chances of suffering from cardiovascular diseases or stroke. Ideally, you should do a blood test to check for elevated blood lipids.

  1. Cloudy eye(s)

 Noticing cloud-like formation in one or both of your eyes indicates cataract. The condition is more prevalent in older people and can be successfully eliminated through surgical procedure. However, in some cases younger people can develop cataracts as well. It usually happens due to side effects of some medications, diabetes, tumors etc.

  1. Pupils of different sizes + droopy eyelids

 If you notice that your eyelids became droopy and pupils have different sizes, you should definitely consult your doctor immediately. These symptoms could indicate presence of Homer’s syndrome which is associated with aneurysms and tumors in your neck.

  1. Twitching

 When you feel like your eye is twitching, and you can’t really control it, it’s quite uncomfortable and annoying, but nothing dangerous. Twitching usually occurs when you are stressed out, sleep-deprived, or if you had too much coffee during the day. Twitching usually goes away by itself. However, if you feel like parts of your face are twitching with your eye, then you should consult your doctor as problem could be more severe.

Tips for healthy and younger-looking eyes

 When we’re getting ready to go to work or go out on Saturday night, we spend most of our time making our eyes pop. When we’re not going out, we use masks or cucumber slices to relax the sensitive skin around the eyes. Healthy and pretty eyes are crucial for the overall appearance. Here are some tips that you could find useful:

  • Eye cream – skin around your eyes is sensitive and needs special care. Eye creams are formulated to nourish and protect this sensitive skin to make it prettier and healthier. If you don’t know how to choose the eye cream here are some tips:
    • For puffiness go for product with caffeine or cucumber
    • For dark circles opt for cream with vitamins C and K, kojic acid and licorice
    • For fine lines you should make sure cream has collagen-boosting ingredients such as retinol
  • If you have thin eyelashes, instead of wasting money on mascaras that promise to plump up the volume, you can opt for eyelash growth products
  • Wear sunglasses and hats
  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise
  • Don’t spend too much time staring at computer screen.


 Your eyes reflect all changes that happen in your body. Therefore, as soon as you notice some changes in or around your eyes you should consult your health-care provider as these changes could be a sign of an underlying medical problem. Ideally, lifestyle fitness, healthy nutrition, and products formulated for your eyes are ideal for making them look healthy and pretty at all times.


Must watch this video: 3 Wonderful Tips for Long and Luscious Eyelashes You Should Know

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Author Bio

Margaux Diaz is Health and Beauty Expert. She has interest in building knowledge and self – confidence of people who really want to improve their Life by proper Health guide and stay fit for life time. She is an inspirational writer and has written numerous Articles related to Health and Beauty. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter

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