Mother had a BB gun bullet wedged in her ear for 11 YEARS
A mother-of-two who became 'paranoid' when she was unable to hear properly was stunned to discover a BB gun bullet had been wedged in her ear for 11 years.
Jade Harris was referred to hospital after having her ears syringed at her GP clinic left her in agony and still unable to hear.
Once at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, stunned medics found a BB gun ball lodged in the 28-year-old's left ear canal.
After doctors used a metal hook to pluck the bullet out, the healthcare assistant could instantly hear more clearly and even says her own voice sounded different.
Seeing the ball instantly made her remember playing with a BB gun at a house party when she was just 17, with the bullet clipping her ear after it bounced off a window.
Jade Harris (left), who became 'paranoid' when she was unable to hear properly was stunned to discover a BB gun bullet (pictured right) had been wedged in her ear for 11 years
Pictured with her daughters - eight-year-old Gracie-Mai Jade Biggs and five-year-old Hope Jade Corbin - Ms Harris went to have her ears syringed when she got water in her right ear, only for the simple procedure to leave her in agony. She was then referred to hospital
For more than a decade, Ms Harris was forced to listen to her TV at near full volume and was always asking people to repeat themselves.
'Everyone always told me off for being loud as I was shouting a lot due to not hearing myself,' she said.
'It felt awful not being able to hear properly and it was so embarrassing.
'I had no pain from the ear but had to turn the telly up and was constantly saying, "what did you say?" and "pardon" to people.
'This went on for 11 years, everyone would always laugh and say I needed my hearing to be checked.'
A woman had a cockroach stuck in her ear for more than a week after the insect crawled in while she slept.
After her husband was only able to remove a few legs with tweezers, Mrs Holley rushed to A&E while the cockroach continue to wriggle deeper into her ear canal.
Doctors thought they had removed the roach until - nine days later - Mrs Holley continued to experience pain and a loss of hearing in her ear, leading to a local medic removing six more piece of the insect's carcass.
Later that day, an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist managed to remove the cockroach's entire head, upper torso, remaining limbs and antennae.
'He told me he extracted bugs from peoples' ears at least once a month - and I was the second person that day who needed it,' Mrs Holley said.
Cockroaches are thought to crawl into people's ears in search of food.
Ms Harris - who is mother to eight-year-old Gracie-Mai Jade Biggs and five-year-old Hope Jade Corbin - finally went to her GP last July after getting water in her right ear, which made her hearing even worse.
During the appointment, her doctors checked her left ear and recommended she have it syringed to remove a 'build-up of wax'.
When she went to the syringe appointment on July 13, a puzzled nurse realised it was not wax and referred Ms Harris to the hospital that same day.
'The nurse started with the left ear but the "wax" wasn't budging and it was then she asked if I had put anything in there,' Ms Harris said.
'Two more doctors came to look at my ear to see what was in there, I thought they meant a family of bugs so was freaking out.
'They got me an appointment at the hospital straight away because I was a wreck.'
Once at the hospital, Ms Harris' doctor tried to use a hoover-like device to suck whatever was lodged out, with the medic initially think it was a yellow bead.
'She then got a metal hook and had to push past it which absolutely killed, my hand flew up and I almost hit her from the shock of it,' Ms Harris said.
'Once she got behind it she managed to pull it out and that's when when we realised what it was.
'She was really nice throughout the appointment and said she'd seen all sorts in ears over the years but never a BB gun bullet.'
Once at hospital, doctors discovered what appeared to be a build up of wax or a small yellow bead in her left ear. Medics were forced to use a 'metal hook' to pluck the intruding ball out, which was so painful it 'killed'. Ms Harris is pictured left and right with her daughters
Although the ordeal was painful, Ms Harris immediately felt better once the offending bullet was removed.
'As soon as it came out it felt amazing and I could instantly hear better,' she said.
'My voice sounded different and and having the wind hitting it felt really strange.
'Inside my ear was red raw from where the BB gun bullet was lodged but my ear was really clean as it had stopped anything going in.
'I was given an ear spray to put in to ease the redness, which lasted a week.'
Pictured left after the ordeal - holding an image of the bullet - Ms Harris could instantly hear better, with even her own voice sounding different. After years of asking people to repeat themselves, Ms Harris (also pictured right) is enjoying hearing the sound of her children laugh
As soon as Ms Harris saw the pellet, she was struck with the memory of how the obscure item got into her ear canal.
'I had some people in my house for a party 11 years ago and a friend was messing around with a BB gun,' she said.
'The bullet bounced off a glass and then, so I thought, hit me on the ear and pinged off.
'It hurt like it had hit me, it was so fast and powerful, but I wasn't aware it had gone into my ear which it obviously did.'
Doctors discovered - and removed - the bullet at Derriford Hospital (pictured) in Plymouth
Although not painful, having the bullet lodged in her ear had a big impact on Ms Harris' life.
'I never went swimming as I was paranoid about my hearing getting worse,' she said.
'Going to loud places such as gigs or a play centre, or [a] children's party with the kids was a no-no because I couldn't hear well as it was so I wouldn't have heard a thing.
'I used to get my friends and family to take the them to places I couldn't so they wouldn't miss out.
'I just tended to stay home a lot but would take the kids to the park.'
Ms Harris is now relishing being able to hear her children laugh while they play.
'It's a big relief being able to hear properly now and I'm just glad it wasn't something more serious,' she said.
'Since having the bullet removed I've been able to go swimming with the girls which is lovely and I can just hear so much better and not constantly saying "pardon?" which is nice.
'It's great to be able to hear the children laughing and playing - though sadly I can also hear them when they're shouting too.
'It'll be a funny story to tell them when they're grown up, but I'm certainly staying clear of any BB guns from now on.'
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February 07, 2019
Sources: Daily Mail
ailure patients after a study found survival rates have barely improved in nearly 20 years.</p><p>The terminal condition – which is often mistaken for asthma or mere old age – currently affects more than 920,000 people in the UK.</p><p>Doctors have accused the Government of neglecting heart failure patients after a study found survival rates have barely improved in nearly 20 years</p><p>Health chiefs want statins prescribed to 100,000 more middle-aged people to reduce risk of heart attacks and strokes.</p><p>New targets have been launched by a coalition of organisations to improve detection and treatment of atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure and high cholesterol – three conditions that are among the major causes of cardiovascular disease and responsible for a quarter of early deaths in the UK.</p><p>Led by NHS England and Public Health England, the targets suggest the number of people deemed at high risk of cardiovascular disease and being treated with statins – which reduce levels of harmful cholesterol associated with heart attacks and strokes – should rise from 35 to 45 per cent – from 400,000 to 500,000 people – by 2029.</p><p>Duncan Selbie, chief executive of PHE, said: ‘Prevention is always better than cure'. Health bosses said they will encourage local authorities to promote the NHS Health Check, a national programme offered to all 40- to 74-year-olds every five years. The check-up involves assessment of cardiovascular risk factors, such as blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol.</p><p>The new coalition is made up of more than 40 organisations, including the British Heart Foundation, Stroke Association and several universities.</p><p>After examining the data for 56,000 heart failure patients between 2000 and 2017, the researchers found only ‘gradual improvements’. </p><p>According to the most recent data, which was collected in 2016, people diagnosed with heart failure have a 21 per cent chance of dying within a year, down from 26 per cent in 2000. </p><p>The chance of dying within ten years dropped from 81 per cent in 2000 to 73 per cent in 2007.</p><p>Heart failure is a severe condition in which cardiac muscles become too weak to properly pump blood, leaving sufferers weak and out of breath.</p><p>The report’s authors, writing in the British Medical Journal, said: ‘Heart failure has not been a priority area in Government policy or funding, and other serious conditions, such as cancer, have seen a much greater improvement in survival over time.</p><p>‘The lack of substantial progress in improving heart failure survival rates should alert policy-makers to the need for further investment in heart failure services.’</p><p>A major report published last year called heart failure a ‘medical emergency’, with GPs missing two in three cases, significantly increasing the risk of early death. </p><p>Even when patients are diagnosed they are often left for months without follow-ups, and many are given drugs at the wrong dose.</p><p>Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said last night: ‘Heart failure is a cruel and debilitating illness affecting hundreds of thousands of people in the UK. But identifying shortfalls [in care] is the first step towards addressing them.’ </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
ld impair a child's brain to the extent it triggers mental health disorders later in life. </p><p>In the largest research of its kind, experts from Oxford University and McGill University estimated that over half a million adults in the UK and US could be saved from mental health disorders by avoiding the drug as a teenager. </p><p>The teams have now warned that cannabis, legal in several US states and used by millions of young people is a significant public health risk with 'devastating consequences'. They have urgently called for officials to make tackling use of the drug a priority. </p><p>The link between depression and juvenile cannabis use has in part been attributed to the increased strength of marijuana on the streets today - as opposed to the relatively mild strains available in the 1980s and 1990s,</p><p>Smoking cannabis in your teenage years could raise the risk of depression and suicide in later life, the largest study of its kind has found</p><p>'It's a big public health and mental health problem, we think,' co-author Professor Andrea Cipriani, from the University of Oxford, said.</p><p>'The number of people who are exposed to cannabis, especially in this vulnerable age, is very high and I think this should be a priority for public health and the mental health sector.'</p><p>The researchers, at McGill University and the University of Oxford, analysed data from 11 studies involving more than 23,000 individuals.</p><p>The study, described as the largest meta-analysis to date in this field, included teenagers who had used cannabis at least once before the age of 18.</p><p>About seven per cent of cases of adult depression may possibly not occur if teenagers stopped smoking cannabis, according to the study published in journal JAMA Psychiatry.</p><p>This means at any one time up to 60,000 cases among 18 to 34-year-olds in the UK and 400,000 in the US could be attributable to use of the drug during adolescence, they suggest.</p><p>However, a link was not found between cannabis exposure and anxiety in adulthood.</p><p>In the UK, cannabis, and any cannabis products containing the psychoactive chemical THC, are illegal.</p><p>Being caught in possession of marijuana – a class C drug – for recreational use can carry a prison sentence of up to two years and/or an unlimited fine.</p><p>If you are caught dealing the drug you could face 14 years behind bars.</p><p>Medicinal cannabis was legalised on November 1, 2018, in the UK but is only available for select medical conditions and must be prescribed by a specialist doctor.</p><p>CBD oil, although derived from the cannabis plant, is legal because it does not contain the psychoactive chemical THC, which makes people high.</p><p>In the US, the law on cannabis varies from state to state.</p><p>While the drug is only available for medicinal purposes in Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida, Maryland, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York and New Jersey.</p><p>While the risk of depression is modest, the researchers said the common use of cannabis among teenagers makes it a concern.</p><p>They said it highlighted the importance of educating teenagers about the risks of using cannabis. </p><p>Professor Cipriani said: 'Although the size of the negative effects of cannabis can vary between individual adolescents and it is not possible to predict the exact risk for each teenager, the widespread use of cannabis among young generations makes it an important public health issue.</p><p>'Regular use during adolescence is associated with lower achievement at school, addiction psychosis and neuropsychological decline, increased risk of motor vehicle crashes, as well as the respiratory problems that are associated with smoking.' </p><p>The study did not distinguish between the frequency of use in participants. </p><p>Ian Hamilton, a lecturer in mental health and addiction at the University of York, told MailOnline: 'It is difficult to know how much cannabis you would need to use before you develop a problem like depression, what we do know that dose and frequency of cannabis use increase the risk. </p><p>'Researchers usually define regular use as more than fifty times using cannabis or more than once in the last month. But it is possible that the increasing strength of cannabis will increase the risk of developing a problem.'</p><p>Cannabis is the most commonly-used drug in the UK, with 6.5 per cent of people aged between 16 and 59 taking it in the past year, which makes up around 2.1million individuals.</p><p>In England, about four per cent of adolescents aged 11 to 15 years old in England are estimated to have used the drug within the last month.</p><p>In the US, 44 percent of those aged 12 or over have used cannabis at some point in their lives. </p><p>Mr Hamilton said although some schools provide drugs education, it often has undesirable effects.</p><p>He said: 'When this has been investigated by researchers it has been shown to backfire, in that this type of well intended education raises interest in cannabis that wouldn't have happened if the education session hadn't taken place.'</p><p>Recreational use of the class B drug can make a user feel relaxed, and even alleviate depression, anxiety and stress, according to scientific studies.</p><p>But its use has been linked to disorders including bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and a negative outlook of social interactions. </p><p>The number of young people in Canada using cannabis has not changed since the country legalised the drug in October, despite officials saying the law would 'keep marijuana out of the hands of children and youth'.</p><p>Canada prime minister Justin Trudeau had promised that the policy would 'protect young Canadians'. He pledged that an end to the chaotic 'war on drugs' would make it easier to control the substance.</p><p>But as calls grow for Britain to follow Canada's lead and legalise cannabis, figures suggest the legislation is not stopping young people from using the drug. Professor Gabriella Gobbi, of McGill University in Canada, said: 'Just three days ago we had the first data from Statistics Canada.</p><p>'It shows adolescents in Canada continue to smoke – and in Quebec we have had an increase of 10 per cent of adolescents that smoke. Legalisation is not enough to prevent young children and adolescents from smoking if we don't have something else – prevention, education.' The figures showed that 27 per cent of Canadians aged 15 to 24 – more than any other age group – used cannabis in the last three months of 2018.</p><p>Professor Andrea Cipriani, of Oxford University, said: 'One of the arguments in favour of legalisation is to reduce the number of young people who use cannabis.</p><p>Data from Colorado, which legalised cannabis in 2013, shows use of the drug is the single most common reason for school expulsions. Use among high school students in the state barely changed – from 19.7 per cent in 2013 to 19.4 per cent in 2017.</p><p>The new laws in Canada gave adults the green light to use cannabis as freely as they use alcohol.</p><p>But Mr Trudeau said harsh penalties for adults caught selling to minors would stop use among under-19s.</p><p>'We have a war on drugs that isn't working,' he said.</p><p>'We're having kids access pot easier than they access alcohol. We need to realise prohibition just isn't working.'</p><p>A retired teacher whose son's death was caused by mental illness brought on by cannabis said yesterday she felt 'vindicated' by the research.</p><p>Janie Hamilton, 67, has been convinced the drug can negatively impact the brain since her son James, who was a heavy user in his teens, developed psychosis and depression.</p><p>'I welcome this research and I feel vindicated,' she said.</p><p>'It confirms what I have known all along – that cannabis does affect young people's mental health.</p><p>'It is true that some people will use it and get away with it. But when young people experiment with the drug, they won't know until it's too late whether it will affect them. They are playing Russian roulette with their mental health.'</p><p>Mrs Hamilton had no idea James was smoking cannabis until he was sectioned aged 20, and later diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.</p><p>He was in and out of mental health wards, suffering with both psychosis and depression, until he developed testicular cancer in his 30s. Because of his psychotic state of mind, he refused life-saving treatment and died at 36.</p><p>In a recent study scientists revealed just one or two joints could be enough to change the structure of a teenager's brain.</p><p>The research, by the University of Vermont, scanned the brains of teenagers from England, Ireland, France and Germany to study marijuana's effects.</p><p>They found differences in the volume of grey matter in the amygdala and the hippocampus areas of the organs.</p><p>This means the tissue in certain areas is thicker, and it was found to be in the same areas as the receptors which marijuana affects. </p><p>These sections are involved with emotions, fear, memory development and spatial skills – changes to them suggests smoking cannabis could affect these faculties. </p><p>Experts said thickening of brain tissue is the opposite of what usually happens during puberty, when teenagers' brain matter gets thinner and more refined.</p><p>Researchers did scans of teenagers' brains and discovered those who had been exposed to small amounts of marijuana (top row) had thicker regions of the brain (indicated by more orange and yellow tissue) than those who had never smoked cannabis (bottom row)</p><p>Scientists said theirs is the first evidence to suggest there are structural brain changes and cognitive effects of just one or two uses of cannabis in young teenagers.</p><p>And it suggests as teenagers' brains are still developing, they may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of THC. </p><p>Researchers found 14-year-old girls and boys exposed to THC – the psychoactive chemical in cannabis – had a greater volume of grey matter in their brains.</p><p>This means the tissue in certain areas is thicker, and it was found to be in the same areas as the receptors which marijuana affects.</p><p>Experts said thickening of brain tissue is the opposite of what usually happens during puberty, when teenagers' brain matter gets thinner and more refined.</p><p>'Consuming just one or two joints seems to change grey matter volumes in young adolescents,' said study author Professor Dr Hugh Garavan.</p><p>'The implication is that this is potentially a consequence of cannabis use. You're changing your brain with just one or two joints.</p><p>'Most people would likely assume that one or two joints would have no impact on the brain.'</p><p>What changes the increased brain volume directly causes is unclear, but the researchers said it is important to understand cannabis's effects in detail.</p><p>This is especially so in the US, where more states are legalising the drug and a view of it being harmless is spreading, they said.</p><p>Professor Garavan said cannabis use appears to produce the opposite effect on brain matter of what usually happens during puberty.</p><p>He said a typical adolescent brain undergoes a 'pruning' process in which it gets thinner, rather than thicker, as it refines its connections.</p><p>'One possibility is they've actually disrupted that pruning process,' he said. </p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
use she's worried about upsetting her mother — had never had a vaccine. The reason? Her mother's position, ‘vaccines are bad, this is something we don’t do, leave it alone,’ the teen told NBC News.</p><p>“At the time I was born, both of my parents agreed on anti-vaccination,” Mayci said. “Almost a year and a half ago, I moved out of my mother's house and in with my dad. My dad has a pretty neutral view on vaccinations as of right now, but when I was born he essentially just agreed with my mom and her family's beliefs.”</p><p>While growing up, Mayci thought her mother’s negative views of vaccines were normal. Her mother used a religious exemption so Mayci wouldn't be required to be vaccinated in school, and told her friends to do the same.</p><p>“When I was 12, I remember all my classmates saying, 'I hated getting my shots',” Mayci said. “I asked them, ‘What do you mean, you had to get shots to get into school?’”</p><p>“What we are seeing is pockets of intense anti-vaccine activity,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, a pediatrician and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Waco, Texas. “A social movement of public health vaccine opposition has been growing in the United States in recent years. Subsequently, measles outbreaks have also increased.”</p><p>Since getting vaccinated is a medical procedure, in most cases teens younger than 18 need the consent of a parent, guardian, or other adult family member.</p><p>When Mayci was 17, she talked to her dad about getting the vaccine when she turned 18.</p><p>“He honestly just said that I am old enough to make my own medical decisions. He supports my judgment,” Mayci said. “The fact that I work in a doctor's office has allowed me to really become educated on the myths and truths about vaccines.”</p><p>In 2000, measles was declared eliminated in the United States, thanks to the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine that has been part of routine childhood shots for decades. Measles is a highly contagious disease, but people who get the proper doses of the vaccine rarely contract it, even if they are exposed.</p><p>Two doses of the vaccine — at 1 year to 15 months old and a second dose at 4 to 6 years — provides about 97 percent protection. A very few who get both two doses of the measles vaccine will still get measles if exposed to the virus, albeit a milder form of the disease. Experts are not sure why.</p><p>The recent measles outbreak is a reminder that herd immunity — which occurs when enough people are vaccinated against an infectious disease to protect others in the community who are not — has broken down in some communities.</p><p>So far, Mayci has now received the TDAP vaccine and a flu shot. She plans to get the MMR vaccine, along with shots against HPV, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and varicella (chickenpox) later this year.</p><p>“I graduate from high school this May and plan on majoring in clinical laboratory science in college,” she said. “Because it's a health science field, I absolutely have to have the required vaccinations.”</p><p>Dr. Shamard Charles is a physician-journalist for NBC News and Today, reporting on health policy, public health initiatives, diversity in medicine, and new developments in health care research and medical treatments. </p><p>Caroline Radnofsky is a London-based reporter for NBC News.</p>
ntal health condition, a new study reveals. </p><p>And at least half of them go untreated, according to new research from the University of Michigan. </p><p>In recent years, mental health conditions have been on the rise in the US, especially among children and teenagers. </p><p>Some have blamed technology, while others suggest that there is simply an increased awareness of mental health concerns. </p><p>But whatever the case may be, struggling with mental health conditions as a child - especially without proper treatment - paves a harder road to adulthood, and raises the risk of both lifelong mental illness and other chronic health problems. </p><p>There are 7.7 million children across the US with at least one diagnosed mental health disorder and they are most highly concentrated in states like Maine, Oklahoma and Mississippi, a map from a new University of Michigan study shows </p><p>The team at University of Michigan collected data on about 4.6.6 million children across the US. </p><p>Ranging from age zero to 17, 16.5 percent of the kids had been diagnosed with at least one mental health disorder at some point in their lives. </p><p>That means that some 7.7 million children are struggling with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD or any one of over 200 possible mental health concerns. </p><p>And several of the states with the highest rates of pediatric mental health disorder - Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Utah - also had the highest rates of children that went untreated, according to the study, published in JAMA Pediatrics. </p><p>None of these ranked worst for mental health, however. More children had mental health conditions in Maine, where 27.2 percent had been diagnosed, than in any other state. </p><p>Hawaii, on the other hand, had a relatively low incidence of children with such concerns. There, only 7.6 percent of kids had been diagnosed. </p><p>Too often, even after a child is diagnosed with a mental illness, stigma, cost or a combination of the two deterrents. </p><p>Take, for example, ADHD, one of the most common (if perhaps over-diagnosed and medicated) mental health conditions in children. </p><p>A 2012 calculated the annual cost of treating ADHD in children to be $2,720 a year without insurance. </p><p>Many insurers do cover the medication, but often require the prescription to come from a psychiatrist, rather than a family practice physician or pediatrician. </p><p>Another specialist (which might be more expensive) may mean another referral, another co-pay, another hour or more out of work and school, and so on. </p><p>What's more, some studies suggest that children who get behavioral therapies for ADHD instead of or in addition to drug therapies fare better in the long run. </p><p>But these treatment plans are even less likely to be covered by insurers, once again limiting the access to optimal care for many families. </p><p>'In children, mental health disorders have deleterious consequences on individual and socioeconomic factors and can impede healthful transitioning into adulthood, and the incidence of mental health disorders has been increasing over the decades,' the study authors wrote. </p><p>Leveling the playing field for the care available to children across the US could give more children a better shot at thriving as they grow up, no matter where they live or what their family's socioeconomic status is. </p><p>'Initiatives that assist systems of care coordination have demonstrated a reduction of mental health–related burdens across multiple domains,' they concluded.</p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
attack after trying a marijuana lollipop for the first time.</p><p>Half an hour after trying the edible, the man started having 'fearful hallucinations' and 'crushing chest pain', according to the report.</p><p>He was rushed to the hospital, where doctors discovered he had suffered a heart attack. </p><p>The man told medical staff he had eaten almost a whole cannabis lollipop, which has nearly 13 times as much THC - the psychoactive component that gets users 'high' - as a regular joint. </p><p>The 70-year-old man, from St John, New Brunswick, Canada, started having 'fearful hallucinations' and 'crushing chest pain' after eating the marijuana lollipop. Doctors at the hospital discovered he had a heart attack (file image)</p><p>There have been several reports of people who claim marijuana was responsible for inducing strokes and heart attacks.</p><p>In Colorado, an 11-month-old baby boy allegedly died from myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle, after overdosing on marijuana. </p><p>According to the report, before arriving at the hospital, the man called a family member and said he thought he was dying.</p><p>He arrived at the St John Regional Hospital drenched in sweat. Doctors performed blood work and a cardiogram, which indicated the man had a heart attack.</p><p>More specifically, he had suffered a myocardial ischemia, which is when a buildup of plaque in the coronary artery prevents blood from reaching the heart partially or completely.</p><p>The man had a history of heart problems, in particular hardened arteries and a triple bypass surgery, but said he hadn't experienced any problems in two years. </p><p>Marijuana's two main components are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), which are both derived from the cannabis plant. </p><p>THC is the psychoactive compound responsible for the euphoric, 'high' feeling often associated with marijuana.</p><p>It interacts with CB1 receptors in the central nervous system and brain and creates the sensations of euphoria and anxiety. </p><p>The lollipop the man had eaten contained 90mg of THC compared to a regular joint that contains just 7mg. </p><p>The authors of the report said they believe the high amount of THC caused his hallucinations and anxiety and overexcited his sympathetic nervous system, which triggers the fight-or-flight response.</p><p>This led to his heartbeat and blood pressure rapidly rising and resulted in a heart attack. </p><p>'After the psychotropic effects of the drug wore off, and his hallucinations ended, his chest pain stopped,' the authors wrote. </p><p>They said the patient has not tried marijuana lollipops since and has been advised from being careful if he does so in the future. </p><p>As recreational cannabis becomes legalized in more places - as it has in nine US states and Canada - the authors say more research is needed about how the drug affects heart conditions. </p><p>'Marijuana can be a useful tool for many patients, especially for pain and nausea relief,' said Dr Saunders in a statement.</p><p>'At the same time, like all other medications, it does carry risk and side effects.' </p><p>This is not the first time that marijuana has been named the cause of cardiovascular problems.</p><p>In an editorial that accompanied the case report, Dr Neal Benowitz, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said that cannabis can cause heart attacks in three ways.</p><p>The first is by inhaling marijuana smoke, the second is from THC's direct effect on the cardiovascular system and the third is from THC's indirect effect, causing hallucinations or anxiety that leads to a heart attack. </p><p>'The legalization of cannabis has considerable public support but also raises public health concerns,' wrote Dr Benowitz.</p><p>'Some users may benefit from the social and medical effects, but others will be at risk for adverse health outcomes. </p><p>'For better or worse, providing advice and care to such patients who are using cannabis is now necessary for the provision of optimal medical care to these patients.'</p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
has tested a potential remedy for all-too-human frailties: artificial intelligence.</p><p>The system was highly accurate, the researchers said, and one day may assist doctors in diagnosing complex or rare conditions.</p><p>Drawing on the records of nearly 600,000 Chinese patients who had visited a pediatric hospital over an 18-month period, the vast collection of data used to train this new system highlights an advantage for China in the worldwide race toward artificial intelligence.</p><p>Because its population is so large — and because its privacy norms put fewer restrictions on the sharing of digital data — it may be easier for Chinese companies and researchers to build and train the “deep learning” systems that are rapidly changing the trajectory of health care.</p><p>Pooling health care data is a particularly difficult endeavor. Whereas researchers went to a single Chinese hospital for all the data they needed to develop their artificial-intelligence system, gathering such data from American facilities is rarely so straightforward.</p><p>“You have go to multiple places,” said Dr. George Shih, associate professor of clinical radiology at Weill Cornell Medical Center and co-founder of MD.ai, a company that helps researchers label data for A.I. services. “The equipment is never the same. You have to make sure the data is anonymized. Even if you get permission, it is a massive amount of work.”</p><p>Similar technologies are being built to automatically detect signs of illness and disease in X-rays, M.R.I.s and eye scans.</p><p>Using the technology, Dr. Kang Zhang, chief of ophthalmic genetics at the University of California, San Diego, has built systems that can analyze eye scans for hemorrhages, lesions and other signs of diabetic blindness. Ideally, such systems would serve as a first line of defense, screening patients and pinpointing those who need further attention.</p><p>Now Dr. Zhang and his colleagues have created a system that can diagnose an even wider range of conditions by recognizing patterns in text, not just in medical images. This may augment what doctors can do on their own, he said.</p><p>“In some situations, physicians cannot consider all the possibilities,” he said. “This system can spot-check and make sure the physician didn’t miss anything.”</p><p>The experimental system analyzed the electronic medical records of nearly 600,000 patients at the Guangzhou Women and Children’s Medical Center in southern China, learning to associate common medical conditions with specific patient information gathered by doctors, nurses and other technicians.</p><p>First, a group of trained physicians annotated the hospital records, adding labels that identified information related to certain medical conditions. The system then analyzed the labeled data.</p><p>Then the neural network was given new information, including a patient’s symptoms as determined during a physical examination. Soon it was able to make connections on its own between written records and observed symptoms.</p><p>When tested on unlabeled data, the software could rival the performance of experienced physicians. It was more than 90 percent accurate at diagnosing asthma; the accuracy of physicians in the study ranged from 80 to 94 percent.</p><p>In diagnosing gastrointestinal disease, the system was 87 percent accurate, compared with the physicians’ accuracy of 82 to 90 percent.</p><p>Able to recognize patterns in data that humans could never identify on their own, neural networks can be enormously powerful in the right situation. But even experts have difficulty understanding why such networks make particular decisions and how they teach themselves.</p><p>As a result, extensive testing is needed to reassure both doctors and patients that these systems are reliable.</p><p>Experts said extensive clinical trials are now needed for Dr. Zhang’s system, given the difficulty of interpreting decisions made by neural networks.</p><p>“Medicine is a slow-moving field,” said Ben Shickel, a researcher at the University of Florida who specializes in the use of deep learning for health care. “No one is just going to deploy one of these techniques without rigorous testing that shows exactly what is going on.”</p><p>It could be years before deep-learning systems are deployed in emergency rooms and clinics. But some are closer to real-world use: Google is now running clinical trials of its eye-scan system at two hospitals in southern India.</p><p>Deep-learning diagnostic tools are more likely to flourish in countries outside the United States, Dr. Zhang said. Automated screening systems may be particularly useful in places where doctors are scarce, including in India and China.</p><p>The system built by Dr. Zhang and his colleagues benefited from the large scale of the data set gathered from the hospital in Guangzhou. Similar data sets from American hospitals are typically smaller, both because the average hospital is smaller and because regulations make it difficult to pool data from multiple facilities.</p><p>Dr. Zhang said he and his colleagues were careful to protect patients’ privacy in the new study. But he acknowledged that researchers in China may have an advantage when it comes to collecting and analyzing this kind of data.</p><p>“The sheer size of the population — the sheer size of the data — is a big difference,” he said.</p>
sitional variations, they are redefining what used to be a signature characteristic of mammals. </p><p>“It’s the equivalent of giving birth to an 18-year-old,” said Geoffrey Attardo, an entomologist who studies tsetse flies at the University of California, Davis.</p><p>The newborn tsetse fly looks like a hand grenade and moves like a Slinky, and if you squeeze it too hard the source of its plumpness becomes clear — or rather a telltale white. The larva, it seems, is just a big bag of milk. </p><p>“Rupture the gut,” Dr. Attardo said, “and the milk comes spilling out.” </p><p>And milk it truly is — a nutritional, biochemical and immunological designer fluid that the mother fly’s body has spun from her blood meals and pumped into her uterus, where her developing young greedily gulped it down. </p><p>Thus fattened on maternal largess, a tsetse fly larva can safely burrow underground and pupate for 30 days before emerging as a full-blown adult with a nasty bite and a notorious capacity to transmit a deadly disease called sleeping sickness.</p><p>Still other scientists are seeking to tally and understand the compositional differences in the milks from a broad sample of the world’s 5,500 or so mammals. They have unearthed a number of compelling concordances between the demands of oddball mammals and the makeup of their milk.</p><p>Assaying the milk of the nine-banded armadillo, for example, Michael Power, a lactation researcher at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, and his colleagues were impressed by the high levels of calcium and phosphorus they detected, and by the even greater concentrations of protein. </p><p>“The protein was through the roof, way above anything else in the milk,” said Dr. Power, co-author with Jay Schulkin of “Milk: The Biology of Lactation.” </p><p>The elevated mineral counts made sense. “What does an armadillo build? A bony shell,” Dr. Power said. “So there’s going to be a lot of calcium and phosphorus going into this baby.” </p><p>But why all the protein? The researchers soon realized it was a matter of chemistry. If you simply dropped large quantities of calcium and phosphorus into most types of mammalian milk, the minerals would glom together into insoluble phosphate compounds. </p><p>“They’d get stuck in the mammary gland and never reach the baby,” Dr. Power said. The solution? Throw in extra doses of casein proteins to bind the minerals into compact, usable nano-clusters. </p><p>“If I’m going to have a high-calcium, high-phosphorus milk, I have to have a high-protein milk,” Dr. Power said, “because a lot of that protein is a calcium-phosphorus delivery device.”</p><p>There was only one way the water isotopes could have ended up in mother’s milk. “She’s lactating in a den,” Dr. Oftedal said. “She’s not eating or drinking. But she is consuming all the excreta of her young, which she then puts back in her milk.” </p><p>Small wonder, then, that the amount of milk the denning mother produced exceeded the weight she lost. “She’s recycling everything,” Dr. Oftedal said.</p><p>Biologists warn against the wanton use of the word milk — sorry, almond “milk” really isn’t — and some mammalogists would like to restrict the term to the secretions of a dedicated mammary gland, which only their study subjects happen to possess. </p><p>But many scientists concur that if a parent synthesizes or highly modifies a substance on which its offspring’s life then depends, that parent is making a milk. By this measure, predigested food alone may not count, but if the parent first adds essential ingredients to the bolus, the regurgitate can fairly be deemed a milk. </p><p>“It’s like kiss-feeding,” Dr. Steiger said. “It looks really nice.” But as the researchers demonstrated, there is more to the osculatory exchange than pulped meat: the parent’s oral fluids are also critical to the young beetle’s survival. </p><p>The researchers have yet to analyze this chocolate-colored beetle milk, but Dr. Steiger suspects that it supplies the larvae with gut microorganisms, antibodies, digestive enzymes and other must-haves for mulching cadavers.</p><p>Wherever it appears, lactation is expensive and demands evolutionary justification. Flamingos are among the few birds that make milk for their young, and the effort drains them of all color — but at least it’s an egalitarian affair. </p><p>A male and female will jointly build a nest, incubate a single large egg and, when the egg hatches, churn out the rich crop milk on which the flamingo chick will feed for nine very long months. Begging calls from the chick stimulate in the parent’s brain the release of prolactin — the same hormone that subserves human lactation — which in turn prompts cells lining the crop, at the base of the parental throat, to swell and secrete the magic formula. </p><p>Brimming with protein and fattier than mammalian milk, flamingo milk “has the consistency of cottage cheese,” said Paul Rose, a flamingo researcher at the University of Exeter in Britain.</p><p>It is also bright pink. The parents spike the milk with the same carotenoid pigments that normally tint a flamingo’s feathers and that happen to be antioxidants — ideal for promoting a chick’s health and rapid growth. </p><p>Weeks and months pass. The parents must steadily step up milk production to meet ballooning demand. By the time the young flamingo is close to full-grown, robust in body and blushing of tone, its parents look thin and depleted, and their once-fuchsia feathers are now winter white. </p><p>“All of their energy, all their pink pigment, has gone into the crop milk,” Dr. Rose said. “Raising a flamingo is a very hard job.”</p><p>What explains the need for such full-throated lactation? Why can’t flamingos simply feed their young on beetles and flies, the way many birds do? Dr. Rose attributes the practice to the flamingo’s exceptional foraging style and the mouthparts necessary to accommodate it. </p><p>Like baleen whales, flamingos are filter feeders, and their distinctively crooked bills act as elaborate sieves. It takes time for a flamingo chick’s straight bill to thicken and bend, and longer still to master the practice of panning for a meal.</p><p>Only in the class Mammalia do all member species nurse their young, yet evolutionary biologists now believe that the roots of mammalian lactation date back more than 300 million years, a good 100 million years before the first mammals appeared. </p><p>The ancestors of modern mammals are thought to have laid the sort of porous, parchment-shelled eggs seen today among lizards, snakes and a couple of weird, monotreme mammals like the platypus. In contrast to the hard-shelled calcified eggs of birds, parchment eggs are at chronic risk of drying out, which means modern snakes and lizards often are constrained by the need to lay their eggs in a relatively damp setting. </p><p>Our ancient forebears stumbled on a liberating solution: Make yourself into a watering can, and you can lay your eggs wherever you want. </p><p>“The likely first function of milk was to hydrate parchment-shelled eggs laid on dry ground,” said Amy Skibiel of the University of Idaho, an expert in mammalian lactation. By this scenario, pre-mammals dribbled fluid onto their eggs through pores on their chest; nipples came much later. </p><p>Hooded seal pups nurse on rapidly shrinking ice floes for just four days, and during that time they manage to double their weight. Not surprisingly, hooded seal milk is more than 60 percent fat — the fattiest milk among mammals. </p><p>It also smells overwhelmingly of fish, as I discovered when I sniff-tested a series of exotic milks at the National Zoo’s world-class milk bank. On the other end of the lipid scale, rhinoceros milk, at 2 percent fat, looks and smells like skim milk. </p><p>Elephant milk is less watery, and I was sure I caught notes of ice cream. Lion’s milk has no discernible odor and, like most carnivore milk, is low in sugars; meat eaters are designed to efficiently wrest their glucose from protein and fat. </p><p>Human milk, by contrast, is extremely sweet. Dr. Skibiel, who tasted her own milk while nursing her baby, said it reminded her of cantaloupe.</p><p>The number and variety of sugars in human milk outstrips that seen in any other great ape, Dr. Power said, and he proposes a surprising reason for that bounty: not to build our big brain, as some have argued, but because we needed sugar’s antimicrobial powers to help us cope with all the novel pathogens we encountered after the agricultural revolution, when we started crowding into villages and living in close quarters with other animals.</p><p>“Our ability to use animals in lots of different ways is one of the reasons we’re successful,” he said, “but it was a huge shock to the system.” Luckily, our milk rose to the challenge. </p><p>“Our brain made our milk,” Dr. Power said, “not the other way around.”</p>
Miracle treatment or dangerous drug? Indonesian growers cash in on Kratom as it takes hold in the US
e the unlikely ground zero for the global production and export of Kratom, a tree leaf hailed by some as a miracle cure for everything from opioid addiction to anxiety.</p><p>Part of the coffee family, the leaf has been used for centuries in Southeast Asia and Papua New Guinea for its pain-relieving and mildly stimulating effects but it is now sold in powder form and exported worldwide - alarming some health regulators who have raised concerns about safety.</p><p>Kratom stimulates the same brain receptors as morphine, although it produces much milder effects.</p><p>'I take Kratom and have had no problems. Every strain has its benefits - some help you relax, others can treat insomnia or treat drug addiction. Some help increase stamina,' grower Faisal Perdana told AFP.</p><p>Kratom is already banned for domestic consumption though it allows its export in unprocessed form</p><p>Fellow farmer Gusti Prabu, who now exports 10 tonnes of the drug a month, agreed.</p><p>'Our ancestors used Kratom and there were no negative side effects. It can help eliminate drug addiction and help people detox,' he explained.</p><p>But its popularity is causing concern - the drug is unregulated, and has had little clinical testing to assess its safety or side effects.</p><p>Kratom is already banned for domestic consumption in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, though the former allows its export in unprocessed form.</p><p>Health authorities in the United States - now the drug's top importer - have linked consumption of the plant and its derivatives to dozens of deaths, warning it could aggravate a deadly opioid epidemic gripping parts of the country.</p><p>Compounds found in Kratom are opioids, which expose users to the same risks of addiction and death as illicit opiates, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.</p><p>But for farmers in Kapuas Hulu, West Kalimantan - the center of production - demand for Kratom is such that they have moved away from traditional commodities such as rubber and palm oil to start growing the tree, turning it into a major cash crop.</p><p>And at the main post office in Pontianak, the key trading post for this part of Indonesian Borneo, it's clear the health warnings have done little to dampen interest.</p><p>'Around 90 percent of our shipments from West Kalimantan province are Kratom that's been sold to the United States,' post office head Zaenal Hamid said.</p><p>As many as five million Americans use the drug and that number is growing, according to the American Kratom Association.</p><p>Data from 2016 showed that the region was shipping some 400 tonnes abroad every month - worth about $130 million annually at current global prices of some $30 a kilogramme.</p><p>Most Kratom customers are reached through online platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Chinese e-marketplace Alibaba.</p><p>The trend for alternative medicine has been credited with increasing interest in Kratom from Europe and America, where it is usually consumed as a tea or in capsules.</p><p>The US is struggling with an opioid epidemic, fueled by addiction to prescription painkillers as well as street drugs like heroin and synthetic versions such as fentanyl.</p><p>Kratom is legal in 43 states, but the FDA is pushing for greater restrictions and has already put an import alert on it, which means shipments entering the US can be confiscated.</p><p>In a statement, the organisation warned consumers not to use the drug and said it was 'concerned that Kratom appears to have properties that expose users to the risks of addiction, abuse, and dependence.'</p><p>Scientists say that while Kratom may have positive attributes, very little research has been done into the drug.</p><p>As many as five million Americans use kratom and that number is growing, according to the American Kratom Association</p><p>'It has great potential as a remedy for pain and opioid addiction given its pharmacology and its potential accessibility,' Michael White, head of the department of pharmacy practice at the University of Connecticut, told AFP.</p><p>Advocates insist it's a safe alternative to prescription drugs and can actually help opioid addicts.</p><p>'Of the 44 deaths on record involving Kratom, they all involve poly-drug use,' said Ryan Leung, a spokesman from kratom lobby group Botanical Education Alliance (BEA).</p><p>'The FDA health warnings...(have) proven to be misguided by multiple experts,' he added.</p><p>For now, Indonesian producers are waiting to see how the regulatory battle in the US unfolds.</p><p>And while bad weather and a salmonella scare dented exports in 2017, provisional data showed Kratom shipments bounced back strongly last year.</p><p>Kratom farmer Prabu insisted: 'The Kratom market has been very good over the past decade and it still has potential in the years ahead.'</p><p>He added: 'People will see its usefulness, sooner or later.'</p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. 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a rare disease in the US has returned disappointing results, researchers at Sangamo Therapeutics announced today.</p><p>Gene-editing has been hailed as the best hope to treat inherited disorders. </p><p>Sangamo's trial used proteins that bind to targeted segments of DNA to deliver gene therapy to three patients with a rare genetic disorder that disrupts their ability to process certain sugars, causing damaging build-up in the brain, bones and more. </p><p>But a year and nine months after the trial's start, the patients' levels of harmful sugars have stayed effectively the same, casting a disappointing shadow of doubt over the prospects for 'fixing' the genome. </p><p>Brian Madeux (center, file image) was among the first people to have his genome edited as part of the first US human trial to attempt to cure two genetic diseases. His genes were successfully edited, but the treatment has so far done little to change markers of the disease, according to preliminary findings of Sangamo Therapeutics trials released today </p><p>More than 6,000 deadly or debilitating diseases lurk in the genetic code. </p><p>Until very recently, all that could be done for people with these diseases was to treat their symptoms - there was no way to cure or reverse these conditions. </p><p>But the theory - and the hope - is that if we can alter the genes that carry these diseases, we could edit mutations out of existence. </p><p>One of the earliest, most promising methods for doing so uses so-called zinc finger nucleases (also referred to as simply zinc fingers, or ZFNs). </p><p>Zinc fingers are a fuse of two compounds that can be engineered to seek out and cut specific segments of DNA. </p><p>The latest advancements for gene-editing use the Nobel Prize-winning CRISPR technology, but the method is too new for human trials. </p><p>Scientists at Sangamo used these to target genes that code for two related disorders, mucopolysaccharidosis types I and II (MPS I and MPS II). </p><p>MPS I causes Hurler syndrome, a deficiency of an enzyme that, in healthy people, breaks down complex sugar chains called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). </p><p>In those with Hurler syndrome, GAGs instead build up in the body, becoming toxic and causing symptoms like claw hands, deafness, heart problems, joint and spine abnormalities and worsening mental decline. </p><p>These children typically have coarse features, enlarged livers and spleens and may have heart and breathing abnormalities. </p><p>MPS II defects cause similar though slightly milder symptoms. Both conditions are more common among boys and affect one in 100,000 to 150,000 births. </p><p>Children with Hurler syndrome, such as this girl pictured in Sangamo's presentation of their findings, tend to have coarse features and as harmful sugar chains build up in their bodies, the compounds become toxic, damaging organs and the brain</p><p>The two diseases are cousins of the rarer, more devastating Sanfilippo syndrome, known as 'childhood Alzheimer's.' </p><p>The best treatment for this family of diseases is enzyme replacement therapy, which can slow declines but is by no means a cure. </p><p>Between its trials for MPS I and II, Sangamo enrolled nine patients who received replacement genes. </p><p>In the technical sense, the experiment worked. The scientists saw that the gene replacement worked and caused minimal side effects. The patients' bodies did begin producing more of the missing enzyme. </p><p>At least two study participants, including Brian Madeux, had their genes successfully changed. </p><p>In earlier reported preliminary results, the study participants' enzyme levels were seeing encouraging increases, and tests of their urine revealed falling levels of GAGs - the most important measure of their diseases. </p><p>In today's results, the patients' GAG levels 'did not show a meaningful change,' and some even increased, said Sangamo CEO, Dr Sandy Macrae on a conference call. </p><p>The replacement DNA 'was permanently integrated into the genome,' a significant step forward, 'but our mission is more leading the way scientifically,' he added. </p><p>'We are realistic about whether this first generation [treatment] is going to accomplish everything that these patients need it to.' </p><p>One patient struggled during the trial, and it was recommended that they return to the standard enzyme treatment (which most continued to receive though a few withdrew from it and a couple of others are considering doing the same). </p><p>The Sangamo scientists believe that, at higher doses, the therapy may still work, but today's results are inevitably a blow to the hopes of sufferers of rare diseases for whom gene-editing has been an almost singular beacon. </p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
w' skin in withdrawal after ditching the steroid creams she had been using to treat eczema.</p><p>Larissa Carey, 32, of Portsmouth, Hampshire, had been using the strong medication religiously since her diagnosis at nine months old.</p><p>After noticing the creams weren't working during her adult life, in which stress made her skin dramatically worse, Miss Carey ditched them in January 2018.</p><p>She is believed to have developed topical steroid withdrawal (TSW), a painful skin reaction which occurs in reaction to cutting back on steroid creams.</p><p>Larissa Carey, 32, used steroid creams religiously since her diagnosis at nine months old. Pictured, in December 2017 when she realised they had stopped working</p><p>Weaning herself off the strong medication she had used for life led Miss Carey to develop a little-known condition called topical steroid withdrawal (TSW). Pictured, in March 2018, two months after she stopped using the creams</p><p>Miss Carey, pictured in January, is now on an antibody drug which helped calm her eczema</p><p>Miss Carey still suffers from flare ups, most recently the end of February. She said the only trigger she has found is stress, which became a problem in her adult life</p><p>She said: 'When I stopped using the creams, Robbie and I had just bought our first house together.</p><p>'It should have been this wonderful time, but instead I was bedbound with the pain. I'm only in my 30s, but I felt like I was 100.</p><p>'I knew how important it was to push myself to get out and see people or do things, but I just wanted to hide.</p><p>'I was so worried people would stare, and when it's something like skin that you can't even cover up, it's all the more soul-destroying.'</p><p>Doctors hoped Miss Carey, who has battled eczema for most of her life, would eventually grow out of it.</p><p>One in every five British children are affected by eczema at some stage. But 60 to 70 per cent will have got rid of the condition by their teenage years.</p><p>Miss Carey intermittently used small doses of prescribed steroid creams throughout her childhood.</p><p>'I'd find that sunshine and sea water were a massive help,' Miss Carey said. 'I remember my eczema being particularly bad on my joints and how I'd get told off for scratching in class.</p><p>'But, now I think back, it's nowhere near as severe as dealing with TSW.'</p><p>Instead of easing, Miss Carey's eczema became more severe as an adult, although stress was the only trigger she could identify.</p><p>She said: 'I look back now and try to figure out patterns, examining what was happening in my life at particular points and trying to work out why that'd make it better or worse.</p><p>'The major trigger I found was stress. I tried my best to minimise it in my life, but sometimes, it's out of our control.</p><p>'There is an awful lot of pressure in life now. People are so busy and want to do everything as fast as possible. Then there's also things like social media, and how it makes us compare ourselves to others.</p><p>'They sound like little micro-stresses, but they can all add up without you realising.'</p><p>As her skin condition became more severe, Miss Carey's use of steroid cream increased.</p><p>Miss Carey had been using steroid creams since she was diagnosed with eczema at nine months old. She used them more as she got older when stress was a main trigger for her skin</p><p>Miss Carey said her skin became red raw in the months following her ditch of steroid creams, making it painful even to shower</p><p>Miss Carey said her skin was so sore it was painful to wear underwear. The condition left her bedbound in pain, and she was worried about being judged for her appearance</p><p>By around 2015, she was applying it every few hours, having been told to use it as much as she needed.</p><p>But it appeared that the more she used the less effective it became.</p><p>Miss Carey said: 'You see that word steroid and know it's not something you want to be using every single day.</p><p>Eczema is an inflammatory condition of the skin that leads to redness, blistering, oozing, scaling and thickening.</p><p>It usually appears in the first few months of life and affects around 10 per cent of babies.</p><p>Eczema's cause is not fully understood but it is thought to be brought on by the skin's barrier to the outside world not working properly, which allows irritants and allergy-inducing substances to enter.</p><p>It may be genetic due to the condition often running in families.</p><p>As well as their skin being affected, sufferers may experience insomnia and irritability.</p><p>Many factors can make eczema worse. These may include:</p><p>There is no cure for eczema, however, 70 per cent of childhood sufferers no longer have the condition in their teens.</p><p>Patients should avoid known triggers for flare ups and use emollients.</p><p>'By the end, I was getting no relief whatsoever from the creams.</p><p>'I was still having to bandage my wrists and arms every night to minimise scratching in my sleep, and had to be incredibly careful about what products or materials I put on my skin.</p><p>'I used to love cosmetics, and have this whole vanity case of lovely makeup that I can't use. I could only apply moisturiser to my face, or use prescribed shower gel.' </p><p>At the end of January 2018, Miss Carey decided to ditch the steroid creams for good.</p><p>Miss Carey was completely unprepared for the severe reaction to come.</p><p>By March, her skin – particularly on her face – felt tight, red and raw, as if she had been burned. </p><p>After posting photos to some online eczema support groups for advice, a fellow sufferer mentioned TSW for the first time and, after reading about it, Miss Carey became convinced she had it.</p><p>Many have called the 'condition' a fad, however, it has been recognised by the National Eczema Association since 2013. </p><p>Miss Carey said: 'I contacted some friends that work in medicine and they sent me over some studies to read. The condition is such an unknown, especially as controlled studies are virtually impossible, as they'd mean withholding eczema treatment from somebody who really needs it.</p><p>'But the only change I could think of that had sparked this was coming off the creams.'</p><p>Things continued to go downhill, with Miss Carey's whole body become affected.</p><p>'It got to the point where even showering would leave me in tears, as it was so painful and my skin was so raw I couldn't even wear underwear,' she said. </p><p>Miss Carey had no choice but to start a course of the immunosuppressant drug cyclosporin which was offered by a dermatologist in April. </p><p>An immunosuppressant drug helped to calm Miss Carey's skin after she saw a dermatologist.</p><p>When she had TSW, Miss Carey's skin felt tight, red and raw, as if she had been burned</p><p>Miss Carey's skin has calmed since she was given an antibody drug called dupilumab </p><p>The antibody drug, pictured, is taken by Miss Carey who also has a hypnotherapist and cognitive behavioural therapist, to deal with the emotional turmoil of her skin condition</p><p>She has also been seeing a naturopath to discuss alternative therapies, as well as a hypnotherapist and cognitive behavioural therapist, to deal with the emotional turmoil.</p><p>Miss Carey said: 'People don't understand, and think it sounds silly to be saying this about a skin condition, but there were genuinely times when I wondered how I was going to get through, if the rest of my life was going to be like this.</p><p>'Everyday things that you take for granted were so difficult, like undressing for a shower. Not only was it painful – I also didn't want to have to look at myself.</p><p>'Thankfully, I am feeling much stronger, though the not knowing why this happened, and living with something so unpredictable is still very tough.'</p><p>Miss Carey has now moved on from taking cyclosporin and is beginning a course of an antibody called duplimab, but still gets flare-ups.</p><p>She is urging doctors to treat eczema patients such as herself holistically, rather than simply prescribing steroid creams.</p><p>In 2015, GPs in England wrote about 27million prescriptions for the topical agents used in the treatment of atopic dermatitis (eczema) at a cost of approximately £169million, according to Allergy UK.</p><p>Miss Carey said: 'There is a time and a place for steroid treatments. Everyone is different and they can help some people, but we also need to be looking at triggers like stress and diet.</p><p>'Every journey is different, and individuals need to do what they can to help themselves.</p><p>'There is, in my mind, a clear link between mental health and skin conditions. Stress is a huge trigger, and you are bound to feel low when there is no end in sight and every little thing you do is a huge decision about whether it'll make your skin better or worse.</p><p>'We are getting better at talking about mental health but we still need to be changing our approach and looking at things as a whole.'</p><p>Topical steroid addiction arises from the use of such creams to treat conditions like eczema. </p><p>First described in 1979 in the International Journal of Dermatology, the theory is, over time, the skin becomes ‘addicted’ to the steroids. But it is not widely accepted among the medical community. </p><p>Many have called the 'condition' a fad, however, it has been recognised by the National Eczema Association since 2013. </p><p>Also known as red skin syndrome, the disorder does not have many statistics to show how common it is. One 2003 study from Japan, found that 12 per cent of adults who were taking steroids to treat dermatitis developed RSS. </p><p>It occurs when steroids have been abruptly discontinued after a prolonged or inappropriate length of administration. Women who blush easily are thought to be most at risk. </p><p>Topical steroid addiction has not been reported with correct drug use.</p><p>Excessive sweating and itching is a sign of recovery. Many sufferers also develop insomnia. </p><p>Treatment focuses on anxiety support, sleep aids, itch management, infection prevention and immunosuppressants.</p><p>Doctors should advise patients to avoid long term or high dose steroid use. Long term is considered to be one-to-two years of regular use.</p><p>Patients are also advised to cut down on steroids slowly but using a lower dose and gradually cutting back to, for example, every other day or a few times a week. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>