Our work and how it all relates...
Arthritis is one of the fastest growing healthcare issues in the nation. An estimated 50 million adults in the United States have some form of arthritis. A 2010 study suggests the number of adults with arthritis is growing by 1 million per year. By 2030, it is estimated that 67 million American adults will have arthritis, in part related to athletic injuries, the aging population, the obesity epidemic and sedentary lifestyles.
The immune system is not directly involved in all of the conditions that are treated by rheumatologists; some conditions are musculoskeletal, such as osteoarthritis.
The immune system is a network of cells, tissues and organs that work together to defend the body against attacks by "foreign" invaders. These are primarily microbes-tiny organisms such as bacteria, parasites and fungi that can cause infections, as well as viruses. It is the immune system's job to keep them out or destroy them when they affect the body.
When the immune system hits the wrong target, it can unleash a number of disorders, including allergic diseases and arthritis . If the immune system is crippled, immunodeficiency diseases can result.
Allergy is the most common disease of the immune system. Asthma and allergies affect 1 out of 5 Americans or 60 million people. Allergy is characterized by an overreaction of the human immune system to a foreign substance, known as an allergen, that has been eaten, breathed into the lungs, injected or touched.
The NIH estimates 23.5 million Americans suffer from autoimmune disease, and that prevalence is rising. Autoimmune disease refers to a group of illnesses that can involve almost every human organ system. In all of these diseases, the underlying problem is that the body's own immune system attacks itself. There are more than 80 diseases that have been identified as autoimmune, including rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome, lupus, autoimmune urticaria, celiac disease, psoriatic arthritis and vasculitis.
Outside of musculoskeletal conditions, the immune system is the key factor in how all of these diseases relate to each other and how they are treated. Our physicians at the UNC Rheumatology and UNC Allergy and Immunology Clinics work side-by-side to provide the most comprehensive care for our patients.
"Toss Out Lupus" event raises $4,200 for our Lupus research!
"Toss Out Lupus" the brainchild of Susan Corbett, took place in Greensboro this past Sunday. The inaugural event boasted over 300 people in attendance and raised $4,200 for Lupus research at our center! Thank you Susan for all your work and dedication to advancing our mission! Please check out the News & Record and WFMY News articles on Susan's brave and courageous struggle with this devastating autoimmune disease.
In Susan's words; "Our successes are because of your generosity and love, and we appreciate it more than you will ever know. So thank you for the support, prayers, words of encouragement, donations, texts, emails, Facebook posts, and all the many ways you help keep us going. And, I hope you know it is not just Jeff and I that appreciate your support...it is all those living with lupus and/or caring for those living with lupus. You are touching many lives and I am thankful to be a part of all the good work being done in the lupus community." If you missed the event you can still view the event details online with a link to Susan's Facebook page.
Amanda E. Nelson, MD, MSCR featured in MedPage Today article:
Diet, Exercise Combo Best for Knee Arthritis in Heavy Patients
Published: Sept. 24, 2013
Teresa K. Tarrant, MD featured in Arthritis Today article:
New Vasculitis Treatment As Good As Standard Therapy
Published: Aug. 16, 2013
"Rock The Joint" raises a record-breaking $54,500 to support our Fellowship Program!
"Rock The Joint", a biennial benefit for our center raised a record-breaking $54,500 which will support our Fellowship program! The event took place on June 21, 2013 in Atlantic Beach and was led by event co-chairs Cathy Ellington and Joan Johnston. Other board members involved with the success of this event were former event chair Edwina Shaw, Kay Schoellhorn and board co-chairs Charles and Diana Meyer.