August has simply flown by and we may have missed some observances that are highlighted this month. It’s a tall order to remember all those special days, like Paul Bunyan Day on the 10th, or even some of those obscure days, like National Toilet Paper Day on the 26th. However, there are some observances that do need to be mentioned.
August was Psoriasis Awareness Month and smokers “have almost double the risk of developing this chronic disease compared with people who have never smoked.” Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease which means your own body attacks normal tissues. If psoriasis runs in your family, your “smoking may trigger the genes to become active.” Many people who smoke say they do so because of stress, yet stress is another trigger for psoriasis. Nicotine affects the immune system, but other chemicals in the tobacco and smoke may cause cell damage. Even exposure to secondhand smoke as children can increase the risk of developing psoriasis. Click HERE to read more about psoriasis.
Sometimes psoriasis can cause joint pain, which is called psoriatic arthritis, and smoking can make the condition worse. Since there is no cure for psoriatic arthritis, you want to control the symptoms with treatments to prevent joint damage. And smoking while you are taking treatments for your condition may decrease the results you get from the treatments. The best thing you can do for your skin or joints is to quit smoking. Click HERE to read more about psoriatic arthritis.
World Lung Cancer Day was August 1st, and while cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor and may be “linked to about 90% of lung cancers,” environmental exposures from “radon, asbestos, arsenic, beryllium and uranium have all been linked to lung cancer.” Other factors such as age, a history of cancer in another area of the body and other respiratory diseases may increase your lung cancer risk. Cigars and pipe smoking also increases your risk, as does breathing in secondhand smoke at home or at your workplace. Regardless of your age, you can reduce your risk of disease by quitting and reducing your exposure to secondhand smoke, but then you knew I was going to say that because National Psychic Day was also observed this month.
Sometimes life provides you with a Serendipity moment, which by the way, was celebrated on August 18. Other times you may have a “sneak some zucchini onto your neighbor’s porch” type of surprise, which was observed on August 8. No matter the surprise, let’s hope you learned something new. And you still have time to celebrate August with a sandwich or a panini, as both are observed this month.