Friday, May 29, 2009

A Novel Approach to Self-Empowered Healthcare

Learn about Cushing's and share your symptoms at http://curetogether.com/Cushings-Disease/

Cushing's Disease is an endocrine disorder caused by high levels of cortisol in the blood from a variety of causes. It is relatively rare, affecting 10-15 out of every million people. (Sources: Wikipedia, NIDDK)

At this writing 6 CureTogether members report having Cushing's Disease. The most common symptoms are: Weak muscles, Irritability, Bruise easily. The most common treatments are: Pituitary surgery, Radiation, Cortisol-inhibiting drugs.

Have you been diagnosed with Cushing's Disease?

See how your symptoms compare with others.

Not sure if you have it?

Look at the list of Cushing's Disease symptoms to see how well your symptoms match.


Or, if you think it might be something else, enter your symptoms below to see a list of matching conditions:.

Want to know how to feel better?

Look at treatments others have tried and see stats on how satisfied they are.

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Have you heard of CureTogether? We recently stumbled across this website and after trying it out, decided that it most definitely rates a closer look.

cure-together

CureTogether describes itself as a place to help people “anonymously track and compare health data, to better understand their bodies, make more informed treatment decisions and contribute data to research”.

While the site is still new, it’s gaining momentum with more than 3,000 members. The website is “currently funded by its founders, and does not host or receive funding from advertising”.

They have a simple profile where you can start by adding data you want to track such as weight, caloric intake, sleep, and excercise. A nice feature is that you can add anything else you would like to keep track of such as mood or water intake - anything you think is important for your particular situation.

Something we really like is that you can view and edit this data on your Google search page (to learn how to use iGoogle, click here).

igoogle

On your bio page, you can tell your story and add details such as location, avatar (picture) and date of birth. This is, by default, kept completely private though you have the option to share your details anonymously.

So far there are 289 conditions on the site and CureTogether highlights the “most active”. Back pain, anxiety, and depression are among the top five. Click on back pain and you will get a list of user generated symptoms. You can check off whether or not you’ve experienced it as well as the severity level. If you don’t see something that you are experiencing, it’s easy to add it.

add-a-symptom

Next are treatments. What have you tried so far? For back pain ice packs, stretching, and vicodin are some of the options. Again, it’s easy to add to the list. Now you can document what you think (or know) causes it. Does your back hurt after sex, after sitting for long periods of time, or from an injury?

treatments

The related conditions portion list the most commonly reported ones first. The fact that anxiety is number one and depression number two for back pain gives us some food for thought! This ability to compare user data is where CureTogether really shows its potential usefulness.

A this point, you can view resources, document how you are feeling (much like Facebook updates, this allows you to share status updates with your friends), invite friends, or revisit any of your health pages.

For those living with chronic pain, or even those who just want to keep track of their day to day health, CureTogether offers some unique tools.

Check out their site here and let us know if it works for you!