The aim of ALS awareness month is to raise awareness about ALS, gather support for those affected by this condition and to encourage funding and research into a treatment or cure. ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a devastating progressive neurodegenerative disease which destroys the ability to walk, speak, eat and breathe. ALS affects the body by attacking motor neurons (nerve cells) of the brain and spinal cord. Motor neurons are cells which process and transmit signals which help to control muscles. Destruction of motor neuron cells leads to symptoms related to loss of muscle control. Typical symptoms of ALS include inability to walk, speak, eat and even breathe. ALS typically affects people over the age of 40, including those who were previously enjoyed excellent health in the prime of their lives. ALS can be devastating to both the person and to their friends and family. At present there is no known treatment or cure for ALS. If a cure or greater understanding of ALS is achieved, then it is likely that this will benefit research into related conditions like Parkinson's, Huntington's and Alzheimer's disease.
The Event 'Walk To Defeat ALS' Helps Raise Awareness & Support For People With ALS
Arthritis Care Awareness Week is a UK based event which raises awareness about arthritis, gathers support for people with this condition, and highlights the work of Arthritis Care, a charity which supports this event. Arthritis is a condition marked by painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. There are many types of arthritis which can affect a person in different ways.
This event helps to educate the public about how arthritis can affect a person’s life. Arthritis can be painful and for many it can stop them from living the life they want. One focus of this event is to inform people with arthritis about how to live with their condition. The week is also a time to promote Arthritis Care's support network.
Supported by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), this awareness event is held throughout the month of May to coincide with the peak season for asthma & allergy sufferers. People who suffer from asthma and allergies often experience noticeable physical symptoms during this month. An awareness campaign in May is an appropriate time to educate friends, family, co-workers and members of the public about asthma and allergies. It is hoped that this awareness event will educate more people about asthma triggers which bring on symptoms of asthma, and how asthma can be controlled. Environmental triggers of asthma attacks include passive smoking, molds, cockroaches, pet hair, and dust mites. Combined with adequate medical treatment, these environment triggers can be controlled enabling people with asthma to live active and healthy lives.
The AAFA organize activities and invite people to use materials to raise awareness about asthma and allergies at home, school, and work. One such resource is the Asthma Awareness Month Event Planning Kit.
The aim of BHSM is to raise awareness about hearing and speech problems, encouraging people to analyze their own hearing and speech, and to take action if they think there might be a problem.
Treatment can then be given to improve the quality of life in people with communication problems. AHSA offer many resources for this annual BHSM campaign held throughout May. These resources are tailored for both patients, health professionals and members of the public. A section of their website is dedicated to Better Hearing and Speech Month which features personal stories about this month.
Better Hearing and Speech Month also encourages parents to identify possible speech and language problems in their children which can affect a child's learning and self esteem. BHSM educates people about the signs of hearing loss.
The aim of Better Sleep Month is to encourage people to establish better sleeping patterns. Refreshing sleep is of huge importance when staying healthy. Better Sleep Month is supported by the Better Sleep Council (BSC), which aims to raise awareness about the benefits of better sleep and how poor sleep can disrupt our lives. As with diet and exercise, sleep is crucial to our physical, emotional and mental health.
Inadequate sleep can lead to an increase in blood pressure and stress hormone production; the body can become stressed when it does not get enough sleep.
The consequences of poor sleep include reduced concentration, mood swings, irritability, stress, and a weakened immune system. The release of stress hormones can also make it harder to sleep, perpetuating an unhealthy sleep cycle.
In severe cases, poor sleep may be linked to serious problems including narcolepsy, insomnia, restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea. Better Sleep Month helps to make more people aware of these problems; advice from a suitable health professional should be sought if any of these consequence are experienced.
Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disease which damages the small intestine. The small intestine is part of the gut which digests & absorbs nutrients from food. When the small intestine is damaged, the rate of nutrient absorption from food is reduced. Celiac disease can affect people in many different ways and symptoms vary in severity. Due to the large number of possible symptoms, there are 3 recognized types of celiac disease.
In many cases, where there are no noticeable symptoms, a person has 'silent coeliac disease'.
People with 'minor celiac disease' have minor symptoms. These can include a wide range of symptoms such as indigestion, bloating, weight loss, and mild abdominal pain.
People with 'major celiac disease' have severe symptoms which can be of great discomfort. These may include 'minor celiac disease' symptoms which are more severe, and other symptoms such as stomach cramps, diarrhea and muscle spasms.
People with celiac disease are sensitive to gluten which triggers these symptoms. Gluten is a protein found in grains such as barley, wheat and rye. Consumption of gluten can affect the whole body.
Celiac Awareness Month also raises awareness about sensitivity to gluten. Treatment for celiac disease and gluten intolerance is straight forward; those affected are advised to avoid foods which contains gluten.
Clean Air Month educates people about the impact clean air can have on their lives.
This observance also encourages people to take positive steps to help improve air quality.
Clean air, is air which has a natural balance of gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Clean air does not contain pollutants or allergens.
Clean air does not harm the environment, nor is it a cause or trigger of health problems.
Poor quality air can harm the environment and can affect us all.
Toxic air pollution is linked to serious conditions such as cancer and chronic bronchitis. Air pollution can exacerbate pre-existing conditions such as asthma.
Air pollution can also harm the environment. The burning of fossil fuels (often for transport or electricity generation) releases high levels of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere. These gases react with other gases and water to create rain which is acidic.
Acid rain raises the acid levels of water and disrupts the natural balance of life in lakes and rivers; acid rain can also damage plants and trees.
Correct Posture Month encourages people to think about how posture can affect their overall health. Posture refers to the position a person's body is in whilst they are sitting or standing.
Sedentary activities such as sitting, reading, playing video games, using a computer sedentary activities and more physical activities like gardening, bending or lifting objects, are often performed with poor posture.
Poor posture can negatively impact a persons health. Back problems are an obvious result of poor posture with back pain being the most common problem. Side effects from medicines used to control back pain can have a huge impact on a persons physical and mental well being.
Poor posture can affect our health in other ways too. For example, slouching can give rise to jaw pain and headache. Poor posture places more strain on the muscles and joints and can lead to arthritis. Poor posture can also affect breathing, and impair both the circulatory and digestive systems.
To improve posture when standing, keep your head held up, shoulders back and stomach tucked in.
When sitting, keep the legs bent 90 to 120 degrees perpendicular to the floor, buttocks touching the back of the chair, with weight evenly distributed over both hips. Feet should be flat on the floor. When sitting at a table or desk, have the arms and elbows rest on the surface taking the strain off the shoulders.
Cystic Fibrosis Month raises awareness about cystic fibrosis (CF). This month is sponsored by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF).
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic, life-threatening disease which affects the digestive and respiratory systems. CF occurs in about one in 3500 live births.
The primary symptom of cystic fibrosis, is the production of a thick, sticky, mucus. Mucus clogs the lungs causing persistent coughing and frequent lung infections which can be life threatening.
Thick sticky mucus can also obstruct the pancreas, stopping natural enzymes from breaking down food. As less food is absorbed by the body, this leads to complications including poor growth and weight gain. Stools are often greasy and bulky; problems with bowel movements can also arise.
As most babies are now screened for cystic fibrosis, the awareness campaigns are more focussed on providing support towards treatments and finding a cure.
Hepatitis Awareness Month is a month long campaign which aims to raise awareness about hepatitis.
Worldwide Hepatitis Awareness Day also falls within the month of May.
Hepatitis is a disease which causes inflammation of the liver.
There are 3 main types of hepatitis, A, B, and C. Their effects range from not usually serious(A) to serious (C). Rarer forms of hepatitis include hepatitis D, E and autoimmune hepatitis.
Hepatitis B accounts for about 80% of liver cancer cases; more than half a million people die from liver cancer each year.
Worldwide, hepatitis B is the third most common cause of death from cancer in males; across gender it is the seventh most common cause of death from cancer.
Huntington's Disease is a genetic, neuro degenerative disease in which the brain loses neurons causing both mental and physical deterioration.
Huntington's is a progressive disease and symptoms can vary between individuals. Early symptoms are often reduced coordination and an unsteady gait. Symptoms can progress to cognitive decline, behavioral and psychiatric problems.
Lyme disease is an acute inflammatory disease caused by the bite of a tick infected with the bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi
There are two types of symptoms of Lyme Disease: first and late symptoms. First symptoms are usually flu-like and include fatigue, tiredness, joint and muscle pain, and also a characteristic rash. Late symptoms can take much longer to develop: weeks, months or even years. Late symptoms may include fatigue, mental health issues, the condition arthritis and chronic encephalomyeltits.
Chronic encephalomyeltits is a progressive condition (symptoms become worse or more widespread), and include back pain, bladder problems, vertigo and weakness in the legs. Late Lyme disease can also cause brain, joint, and heart infection.
Lyme Disease Awareness Month educates both the young and old about Lyme Disease and how they can take steps to prevent it.
As both types of ticks which carry the Lyme disease virus live in wooded areas, people who visit these areas are encouraged to wear protective clothing around the ankles.
White or light clothing is recommended as it is easier to spot any ticks. Shirts and T-shirts should be tucked into your pants (trousers), and socks pulled up over the bottom of the pants. Using an insect repellent can also help prevent the ticks from getting on to you. Pets should also be checked. Before returning inside it is recommended to do a tick check first.
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease which affects the central nervous system (directly affects the brain and spinal cord).
A chronic and unpredictable condition, multiple sclerosis is marked by a variety of symptoms which may include:
Multiple sclerosis is the most prevalent neurological disease in young adults in Canada.
Cancer research plays an important role in saving lives and advancing progress against the more than 200 diseases that we call cancer.Each may,theACCR celebrates National Cancer Research Month which recognizes the importance of Cancer research and the contribution of researchers ,physicians,scientists,survivors a patient advocate who are dedicated to conquest cancer
Crohn's and colitis awareness month aims to raise awareness about this condition. Often referred as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn's and colitis are conditions which affect the intestines. These conditions cause the intestines to become red and inflamed. Crohn's disease can affect any area of the intestines whilst colitis (formerly known as ulcerative colitis) affects the large intestine (colon).
National High Blood Pressure Education Month raises awareness about the impact high blood pressure can have on health. Written as two figures, blood pressure is measured as the pressure when the heart has pumped (systolic) and when the heart is in between beats (diastolic).
When the heart pumps blood, blood pressure is higher than when it is in between beats. The systolic measurement will be higher than the diastolic measurement.
The aim of Lupus Awareness Month is to raise awareness and educate others about this life changing disease.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease. In a healthy immune system, the body produces antibodies which destroy unhealthy cells such as bacteria, viruses and foreign waste. However, lupus causes an overactive immune system to produce auto antibodies which attacks healthy body tissue. This can affect most parts of the body including any organ.
There are several types of lupus, the most common being systemic lupus in which any organ of the body can be affected. Organs which can be damaged by lupus include the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain and skin. Other areas of the body can also be affected including the blood and the joints.
In about 20% of cases, the eyes are affected. Other types of lupus include Cutaneous lupus which affects only the skin causing sores and rashes, and drug induced lupus brought on through the use of some types of prescription drugs. There are over 5 million people with lupus of which 90% are female.
Symptoms of lupus include fatigue, fever, headaches, sensitivity to light and hair loss. People with lupus may also have a butterfly shaped rash across their cheeks and nose. Fatigue is one of the main symptoms affecting about 80% of people with lupus.
Lupus Awareness Month is supported by the Lupus Foundation Of America. They provide ideas and resources on how people can help raise awareness.
National Melanoma Skin Cancer Prevention Month aims to raise awareness about skin cancer, increasing the chances of early detection so treatments can be given early. It's vital that skin cancers such as melanoma, a rarer & often deadly form of skin cancer, is treated early as later stage treatments are not normally effective.
There is no reliable cure for melanoma. Melanoma is often caused by exposure to high levels of sunlight. A mole can become malignant (cancerous) often years after the skin has been burnt (often after sun bathing or using sun beds). One or more blistering sunburns during childhood or teenage years can cause skin cancer many years later. Please consult a suitable healthcare professional if you have any concerns with your skin.
National Mental Health Month raises awareness about mental illness and related issues in the United States. In recent times, attitudes towards mental health issues appear to be changing. Negative attitudes and stigma associated with mental health have reduced and there has been growing acceptance towards mental health issues and support for people with them.
Many mental health problems can be avoided by taking positive lifestyle choices in how we act and think before they can manifest.
National Neurofibromatosis Month aims to raise awareness for this rarer type of disease. This awareness event also helps supporting organizations including The Children's Tumor Foundation secure funding toward a cure.
Neurofibromatiosis (NF) is the term for a set of three genetic disorders: NF1, NF2 and Schwannomatosis.
Each of these types causes tumors to develop and grow on nerves throughout the body. NF1 is the most common form of neurofibromatosis and is characterized by pigmented spots on the skin, NF2 is a disorder which causes tumors to develop on nerves in specific areas of the body. . People affected by NF2 can experience loss of hearing.
The final type of NF is Schwannomatosis. key symptom is chronic pain brought on by tumors which grow on nerves throughout the body.
Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by low bone density. People with low bone density stand a greater chance of fracturing their bones. The elderly and frail are at greater risk from falls which can lead to bone fracture.
The aim of National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month is to promote good bone health through the prevention, detection and treatment of osteoporosis.
Through Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month, people are encouraged to understand the risk factors associated with this condition. Preventative measures which promote healthy bones include sufficient calcium intake, achieving adequate levels of vitamin D, and performing bone healthy exercises.
Osteoporosis is more common in women than in men; approximately 80% of osteoporosis cases are in women. Women are often the main focus of these awareness campaigns as are people with a family history of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis awareness campaigns also target people with osteoporosis, who are encouraged to talk to their healthcare providers about maintaining and increasing bone density. Advice is also given on fall prevention, nutrition and exercise.
Physiotherapy is used by healthcare professionals to promote healing and well being through massage and manipulation of the body.
National Physiotherapy Month promotes the physiotherapy profession, making people aware of its benefits. These benefits include increased:
Physiotherapy often plays a role when people recover from injuries to the limbs including bones fractures. Physiotherapy can help people find their flexibility and power by increasing their strength.
The aim of National Stroke Awareness Month is to make Americans aware that they may be able to 'Save A Life' of a person experiencing a stroke. The National Stroke Awareness Month is run by the National Stroke Association who help individuals 'Save A Life' by educating them about:
National Stroke Awareness Month is also a timely reminder of stroke survivors and how organizations such as the National Stroke Association supports stroke survivors through their lifelong journey of recovery.
Vision Health Month raises awareness about the importance of protecting our vision health. Approximately 75% of vision loss is preventable or treatable. There are several age related eye conditions which can affect vision; these include cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age related macular degeneration (AMD).
The effects of many eye related conditions can be reduced or eliminated by regular eye examinations. If a problem is found early on, steps can be taken to prevent future vision problems. Vision Health Month encourages people to have their eyes tested on a regular basis.
Over time, exposure to the suns rays can lead to long term vision health problems which may be irreversible. People can protect their eyes from harmful UVA & UVB rays by wearing sunglasses when appropriate. People can protect their eyes from harmful UVA & UVB rays by wearing sunglasses when appropriate.
The aim of Melanoma Monday is to raise awareness about melanoma. Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer in which cells within moles on the skin becoming malignant (cancerous) and can spread rapidly to other areas of the body if left untreated.
Of the different types of skin cancer, melanoma is the most deadly and accounts for about 75% of all skin cancer fatalities.
Melanomas can also develop in other areas of the body such as the eye, underneath nails and inside the nose and mouth. Whilst melanoma is thought to be a less common form of skin cancer, in recent years the incidence of melanoma seems to be increasing. Melanoma is more common in people with white, fair skin and those who have experienced high levels of UV exposure. Sun burns, often experienced during childhood and the use of sun beds are two risk factors associated with melanoma.
As with many other types of cancer, treatments are more successful when there is early detection. However, unlike most cancers, melanoma does normally not respond well to chemotherapy, radiotherapy or medication.
The aim of World Asthma Day is to raise awareness, care and support for those affected by asthma. Whilst the primary focus is supporting the person with asthma, support may also extend to family, friends and caregivers.
Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs which causes breathing problems. Symptoms of asthma include breathlessness, coughing, wheezing and a feeling of tightness in the chest.
These symptoms vary in frequency and severity. When the symptoms are not under control, the airways can become inflamed making breathing difficult. Whilst asthma can not be cured, the symptoms can be controlled enabling people with asthma to live full lives.
Dystonia is a condition in which incorrect signals from the brain causes muscles to pull on the body and spasm. Dystonia can be very painful to a person with this condition. Once symptoms of dystonia begin, they can become progressively worse; symptoms can worsen from up to 5 years since diagnosis.
Dystonia can affect both children and adults In adults, a common type of dystonia is focal dystonia which is limited to certain areas of the body. In children, dystonia is more likely to affect multiple areas of the body.
The Dystonia Society is an organization which supports Dystonia Awareness Week, their aim is to promote awareness of dystonia, undertake research and support welfare initiatives.
Brain tumors are a leading cause of tumor cancer deaths in children. Brain tumors are also the third main cause of cancer death in adults within the 20-39 age bracket.
Brain Tumor Action Week seeks to raise awareness about brain tumors, including raising awareness about incidence, diagnosis, treatment and care of people suffering from brain tumors.Specialty care and follow up care, rehabilitative services and clinical trials are activities which can enhance the quality of life of people living with brain tumors.
Raising awareness of brain tumors includes educating the public on the warning signs of brain tumors.
Early warning signs include:
Coeliac Awareness Week aims to raise awareness about coeliac disease. Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease with symptoms are triggered by gluten. Gluten is a substance found in barley, rye and wheat. People with coeliac disease react to gluten which damages the lining of the small intestine and in some cases other parts of the body.
The symptoms of coeliac disease can vary both in type and severity.
A diagnosis of coeliac disease is made after a person visits their doctor who takes blood tests. Depending on the results, a patient can then be referred to a gastroenterologist (a doctor who specializes in gastrointestinal issues) and a gut biopsy taken.
Lupus is a serious, life-altering autoimmune disease that can affect any organ of the body. Lupus is a disease which remains under-recognized and under-appreciated.
An autoimmune disease is one in which the immune system is unable to recognize the difference between healthy cells in the body and the foreign cells it fights to remove. A healthy immune system produces antibodies which attack and destroy foreign and invasive cells like viruses, bacteria and germs.
However, in people with lupus, the immune system creates auto antibodies which destroys healthy tissue. The consequence of this can be widespread, causing damage, inflammation and pain throughout the body. Lupus is a potentially fatal disease. Most organs and other parts of the body can be affected, including the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys and skin.
Arthritis is a condition marked by painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. There are many types of arthritis which can affect a person in different ways.
This event helps to educate the public about how arthritis can affect a persons life. Arthritis can be painful and for many it can stop them from living the life they want.
Dementia is not a disease. Dementia is a term given to a group of symptoms from certain diseases which affect the brain. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia.
A diagnosis of dementia is often devastating to the person concerned. Other serious diseases, such as cancers, offer hope, however small, of treatment success. The symptoms of dementia are progressive and on an unknown time scale (which can be hard for people with dementia to accept)
Symptoms of DEMENTIA INCLUDES
Epilepsy is a condition in which a person experiences recurrent seizures. Also referred to as 'fits', seizures are caused by a sudden increase of excess electrical activity within the brain. An increase in electrical activity within the brain is known as 'epileptic activity'. Excess electrical activity interferes with the normal function of the brain causing a temporary interruption of messages which pass between brain cells.
As the brain controls all of the bodily functions, how epilepsy affects the body will depend on the electrical signals being disrupted. The area of the body affected by epilepsy and how widespread it is will vary from person to person; the way people experience epilepsy is unique. Epilepsy is diagnosed after a person has experienced at least two seizures.
Seizures are often classified based on the part of the brain where the disruptive excess electrical activity occurs. Focal seizures occur in specific parts of the brain whilst generalized seizures can affect both hemispheres (both sides of the brain).
The aim of this week is to educate the public about mental health issues and to promote better mental health. This event is also a vehicle to raise funds for the Mental Health Foundation . charity which supports research into mental health issues, promotes better mental health, campaigns to reduce the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health, and develops better mental health services.
Feelings of anxiety can be brought on by:
Most people can take steps to overcome anxiety and deal associated symptoms. Relaxation techniques can be learned, exercise taken and an appropriate course of therapy taken
Autoimmune Arthritis and associated diseases that is as large and has the potential global reach as World Autoimmune Arthritis Day. This event provides patients from anywhere in the world, regardless of physical limitations, the ability to find 100's of resources for disease management, as well as the opportunity to interact with other community leaders just by logging into the internet.
Kidney Health Week aims to raise awareness about kidney disease
Kidney disease can be a serious condition in which the kidney loses part or all of its function. Kidney dysfunction can lead to a build up of waste water which remains in the body. A consequence of kidney disease can include high blood pressure, bone disease, anemia, acidosis and cholesterol problems. Left untreated, kidney disease can be fatal.
Kidney disease can be acute or chronic. Acute kidney disease has a sudden onset whilst chronic kidney disease develops over time.
People with kidney disease may experience no symptoms when kidney function is above 10%. Therefore it is vital that people have a health check and are screened for kidney disease. A health check for kidney disease usually includes blood pressure, blood and urine tests.
This event raise awareness about spinal health & how poor posture can affect a persons life. This week is a chance to promote good posture which can prevent future health problems. The spine covers and protects the spinal cord of the nervous system. The nervous system controls every cell, tissue and organ in the body. Poor posture can cause the spine to go out of its natural alignment, affecting the ability of the nervous system to control body functions.
If the spine is out of alignment, even just slightly, pressure may be put on the spinal nerve disrupting the nervous system. A small pressure on the spinal nerve, as little as the weight of a dime, can reduce nerve function by 60 percent.
World No Tobacco Day is an initiative run by the World Health Organization (WHO). The aim of this event is to inform the public about the dangers of using tobacco and make them aware of the business practices of tobacco companies.
World No Tobacco Day also aims to educate people about the work WHO undertakes in fighting the global tobacco epidemic.
A large part of this work is educating the public about the manipulative tactics tobacco companies use to 'dupe' people into smoking their products.
Tobacco companies spend billions of dollars on advertising each year, portraying people who smoke as being cool, glamorous, macho and having other valued after traits.
In truth, cigarettes are highly engineered products designed to cause addiction and which often kill.
Cigarettes are highly addictive due to the presence of nicotine in the tobacco
Whilst there are more restrictions on how tobacco companies can advertise their products in developed countries such as the United States, in other parts of the world people are still subjected to the more aggressive & manipulative advertising tactics.
Whilst there are fewer restrictions in these countries, international sales will keep these tobacco companies going.