I have epilepsy, Am I Eligible for Social Security?

Epilepsy is a neurological condition, which may also be called a seizure disorder. This means that you experience seizures, which are not caused by another medical condition. There are multiple types of seizures, and the symptoms vary to mild, infrequent episodes, to multiple daily episodes. You may experience behavior or vision changes before a seizure comes on. The seizure itself might be a grand mal episode, which is the type more people are familiar with, where the person experiences full body shaking. Another type of seizure are absence seizures, or staring spells, where the person doesn’t move or twitches only one body part.

Epilepsy is usually diagnosed by neurological examinations, laboratory tests, imaging such as an MRI of the brain, and by EEG tests, which look at the electric waves of the brain to help diagnose epilepsy. In some cases, people experience frequent seizures without epileptic activity of the brain. These types of seizures may be best treated by a combination of neurological and psychological methods. Epileptic seizures are mainly treated by medication with close monitoring.

There are two main ways the Social Security Administration (SSA) can find you disabled because of your seizures. There are rules called the Listings of Impairments, and epilepsy is defined very clearly in Listing 11.02. The SSA recognizes the two main types of seizures, and calls them generalized tonic-clonic and dyscognitive seizures. For generalized tonic-clonic, you must prove you have episodes at least once a month for three consecutive months while compliant with treatment. For dyscognitive seizures, you must prove you have episodes for at least once per week for three months, while compliant with treatment. If you are unable to prove this frequency, they will consider fewer episodes, however you must prove you have severe limitations in your physical functioning, ability to remember and understand information, your ability to interact with others, maintain appropriate concentration and persistence with your functioning, and that you have an inability to take care of yourself because of the seizure episodes.

The best way to provide proof of this is to have consistent treatment with a neurologist or other epileptic specialist. They would ideally be involved in monitoring your medication and encourage you to keep some sort of diary or journal of the frequency of your episodes. It would be important to keep track of all the symptoms related to the seizure, including any warning signs, length of the episode, any post seizure symptoms, and details regarding your compliance with prescribed medications.

Another way that the SSA can find you disabled is if they find that despite your condition, you are so limited by your seizures that you would be unable to perform any work in the national economy. If your condition doesn’t quite meet the Listing, then the SSA will consider whether your seizures make it unlikely that you would be able to sustain working at least eight hours a day, or if your seizures would affect your concentration so much that you would be unable to learn any position, you would be excessively distracted, or you would be a hazard on the job.

Filing for disability can be a lengthy process, but people with epilepsy can certainly qualify as long as you are treating consistently, compliant with medications, and have well-documented episodes.


Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a tick borne bacterial infection. You can be infected by the bite of a deer tick. One of Lyme disease’s telltale signs is a rash, called an Erythema migrans rash. This rash typically occurs within the first 2 weeks of infection, and it looks like a bullseye target. Although most prevalent in New England and some of the Midwestern states, you can be infected anytime you are outdoors. Lyme disease has been reported in 49 states (Hawaii has not had a confirmed case of Lyme Disease), and in every continent, except Antarctica.

Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose. Oftentimes, people either do not get a rash. Some people get flu-like symptoms within the first 2 weeks from the infection. Bell’s Palsy can often occur. That is where you lose muscle control on one side of your face, and it appears to droop. Other symptoms can be fatigue, joint pain and swelling, eye inflammation, and swollen lymph nodes. These symptoms usually occur in the first 2 weeks of the infection. However, these are such general symptoms, they can be diagnosed incorrectly.

Some people have “chronic Lyme disease”. This is officially called Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome. This can occur if you are diagnosed months, or even years after the original tick bite. When this happens, Lyme disease can attack your nervous system, cardiovascular system and can often lead to other diseases, such as Hepatitis B, Guillian-Barre Syndrome and even Meningitis. These are auto-immune responses that your body creates as it tries to fight the infection.

Testing for Lyme disease is a 2 step process. The first step is to test the blood to look for Lyme disease enzymes. If this first test is positive, then an immunoblot test is done, typically called a “Western blot” test. If that is also positive, the diagnosis is complete.

Treatment of Lyme disease is the same, whether it is immediately after the tick bite, or months later. Since Lyme disease is a bacterial infection, it is treated with a 2 to 4 week trial of antibiotics.

There is still much more research to be done on Lyme disease. The use of ongoing antibiotics for Post Lyme Disease Syndrome can cause serious complications, such as liver function abnormalities and infection and blood clots at the site of a catheter used to administer antibiotics. If you suspect you may have been bitten by a deer tick, consult your doctor immediately. If you have been treated for Lyme disease, but are still experiencing symptoms, see your doctor. Your doctor may be able to treat your symptoms.

There are ways of preventing Lyme disease. Reducing exposure to ticks is the best way. If you are outside, apply tick repellant that contains DEET. There are also natural remedies of repelling ticks. Using essential oils, such as garlic, peppermint, rosemary, lemongrass, cedar, thyme and geraniol. These natural treatments, however, have not been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, since essential oils are not regulated by the EPA.  There used to be a Lyme disease vaccination, but production was discontinued in 2002, due to low demand. Experts say the protection provided by the vaccination diminishes over time, so if you received the vaccine in the past, it would most likely not be effective by now.

Written by Hoglund Law

The attorneys of Hoglund law are licensed in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio. Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC is based in Roseville, Minnesota. In addition to handling cases involving bankruptcy & social security, Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC handles faulty drugs and toxic exposure.

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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition in which high levels of nerve impulses are sent to an affected site. Experts believe it occurs as a result of dysfunction in the central or peripheral nervous system. This condition most often affects women, and people who are ages 20-35. It is also more common in people with some other inflammatory or autoimmune disorders, such as asthma.

Diagnosing this condition is difficult. In some cases it may take years to get a correct diagnosis. Some doctors think that pain receptors in the affected body part become to catecholamines. These are simply nervous system messengers. In other words these messengers carry a pain message from the brain to the affected area. In 90% of cases, CRPS is be caused by some sort of injury, and this triggers an immune response, such as swelling, warmth, or redness of the affected area. Occasionally CRPS can develop without a known injury. However, there may have been an internal injury caused by infection, a blood vessel problem or entrapment of the nerves.

Some symptoms can include pain, swelling, warmth and redness in a localized area. These symptoms can be caused by so many disorders, and that is why CRPS is so difficult to diagnose. Oftentimes doctors will make a diagnosis by ruling out other disorders, such as arthritis, Lyme disease, generalized muscle diseases, clotted veins, or small nerve fiber polyneuropathies (such as from diabetes). The distinguishing feature to CRPS is a history of an injury to the area.

Some treatments for CRPS include: physical therapy, psychotherapy, medication, sympathetic nerve blocks (injections into the nerves to numb pain), surgical sympathectomy (removing the nerve cluster thought to be causing pain), spinal cord stimulation (electrodes implanted into the spine near the spinal cord) and intrathecal drug pumps (a device that pumps pain relieving medication to the fluid that surrounds the spinal cord). There are also some emerging experimental treatments, such as intravenous immunoglobulin, ketamine (a powerful anesthetic given in low doses over a period of days), or hyperbaric oxygen (pressurized air that delivers more oxygen to the body’s tissue and organs).

The prognosis for CRPS varies. Typically children and teens have good recovery. Some people are left with unremitting pain and crippling, which can be permanent. It is thought by some doctors that early treatment, particularly physical therapy, is helpful in limiting the disorder. This is just a theory right now, because more research needs to be done on the condition. There is, however no known cure for CRPS. If you believe you could be suffering from this condition, you should consult your physician. You are your own best advocate for treatment and diagnosis.

Written by Hoglund Law

The attorneys of Hoglund law are licensed in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio. Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC is based in Roseville, Minnesota. In addition to handling cases involving bankruptcy & social security, Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC handles faulty drugs and toxic exposure.

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What Medical Evidence Can Win Social Security Disability Benefits?

Q & A with 25-year Social Security Disability Attorney Andrew Kinney

 

Q:  How does Social Security look at medical evidence?

A:  Social Security requires medical evidence to prove that you have medical problems that limit your ability to work.  That means you must regularly treat for your physical and mental health issues.

Q:  What kind of medical treatment is important?

A:   You need to get medical treatment that helps you get better or, at a minimum, keeps you as healthy as possible.  It is an error to see doctors only to prove something to someone else.  While Social Security lawyers may know what medical treatment you should pursue based on the law, remember:  Your doctors know best.  It is a grave mistake to take medical advice from any attorney.

“It is a grave mistake to take medical advice from any attorney.”

At Hoglund Law Offices, we encourage our Social Security disability clients to regularly get the right medical treatment from doctors they trust.  We also encourage our clients to ask about specialist treatment when their primary physicians determine it is necessary.  Communication with doctors is key.  Failure to treat properly is leading cause of lost Social Security claims.

“Failure to treat properly is leading cause of lost Social Security claims.”

Q:  What specialist medical treatment is best?

A:  This depends on your medical issues.  Ask your primary care physician if a specialist can help you best.  For example, your primary care physician may recommend a particular rheumatologist, cardiologist, gastroenterologist, neurosurgeon, or some other specialist to diagnose and treat your specific medical problems.  Also, do your own research about the choices you have.  Your primary care physician may later supplement that treatment.

Q:  What medical treatment does Social Security expect?

A:   Social Security requires examinations and testing that confirm your medical diagnoses.  Social Security also requires medical evidence that proves how you are limited by your medical problems.  At Hoglund Law Offices, we regularly seek opinions about our clients’ medical limitations from treating providers.  A medical opinion can be the most important evidence in a Social Security disability claim.  For questions, call our law offices at 855-780-4357.

Andrew W. Kinney, Esq.

Written by Andrew Kinney

Andrew Kinney is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Marquette Law School. He is in his 25th year of practice in Social Security Disability law. He speaks nationally on Social Security Disability practice, founded the Minnesota State Bar "Social Security Disability Section," and is an editor of the Social Security Pratice Guide, a five-volume legal guide published by LexisNexis.

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4 Key Factors to Win your Social Security Disability Hearing (Part 2)

Q & A with 25-year Social Security Disability Attorney Andrew Kinney

 

Q: What are the main factors to help me win my Social Security Disability hearing?

A:  There are 4:  Your judge, your facts, your testimony, and your lawyer.  The first two factors were discussed in a previous blog.  The last two factors are discussed below.

Q:  Can my hearing testimony affect whether a Social Security judge approves me for Social Security Disability benefits?

A:  Yes.  There are two aspects to this question:  (1) Telling the truth, and (2) helping the judge learn about your limitations.  First, tell the truth at your Social Security hearing.  Do so in a simple and straightforward manner.  Your frankness about yourself is crucially important at your Social Security hearing.  The judge is trained as a lawyer.  Lawyers identify inconsistencies in facts.  You may relax, though, at this thought.  Your truth can never be wrong.  You know yourself better than anyone.  This leads to the second part—how your medical problems limit you.

Second, you can only help the judge learn about your limitations when you have insight into your medical problems.  You do not need to be a doctor.  But you do need to understand how your medical problems limit you more now than before you had them.  For example, you need to think about how your left shoulder issues limit your ability to reach forward at the grocery store.  Or, you need to think about how often you have trouble getting out of bed since your diagnosis of depression.  Some people have more insight than others about how their medical conditions limit them.  You need to learn how to explain your medical limitations to a judge.  This is where an experienced Social Security lawyer can help.

Q:  Is my lawyer a key factor in winning my Social Security claim?

A:  Yes.  I have seen it all.  Sometimes law is overlooked or misapplied at hearings.  Sometimes experts need pointed cross-examination.  Your Social Security lawyer will be with you at your hearing to argue how the law and facts support your claim for Social Security disability benefits.  An experienced lawyer, however, will also help you organize your thoughts and explain yourself at your hearing.  Some hearings turn on specific limitations, such as your ability to handle objects or be around people.  An experienced lawyer will know how your own words can make your day-to-day life come alive at your hearing.  If you would like to ask about having a Hoglund Law Offices attorney at your Social Security disability hearing, call us now at 855-780-4357.

Andrew W. Kinney, Esq.

Written by Andrew Kinney

Andrew Kinney is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Marquette Law School. He is in his 25th year of practice in Social Security Disability law. He speaks nationally on Social Security Disability practice, founded the Minnesota State Bar "Social Security Disability Section," and is an editor of the Social Security Pratice Guide, a five-volume legal guide published by LexisNexis.

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4 Key Factors to Win your Social Security Disability Hearing (Part 1)

Q & A with 25-year Social Security Disability Attorney Andrew Kinney

 

Q: What are the main factors to help me win my Social Security Disability hearing?

A:  There are 4:  Your judge, your facts, your testimony, and your lawyer.  The first two factors are discussed below.

Q:  What can I do about my judge (ALJ) for my Social Security Disability claim?

A:  Nothing.  Once a judge in your region is randomly assigned to your Social Security hearing, even if you move, you must work with the one you have.  You can, however, ask your Social Security lawyer about the tendencies your judge has based on the kind of facts your claim presents.  Good legal argument aligns with your judge’s tendencies.

Q:  What can I do about the facts of my Social Security claim?

A:  The facts of your medical conditions are only as supportive as how much they limit you and how well your providers document them.  Follow your doctor’s advice, but if your medical problems allow you to keep working part-time or more, you may wish to delay an application for Social Security Disability and keep working (you should also speak with a Social Security lawyer about this decision depending on your monthly gross income).

If, however, your medical problems prevent you from working part-time or more, the quality of your treatment counts.  Here are some guidelines:

(1) Treat with physicians regularly, and with specialists when necessary.

(2) Add treatment from a licensed psychologist to your mental health treatment.

(3) Make sure your providers spend adequate time listening to you at your appointments (the sign of a good provider).

(4) Track that your providers perform physical examinations (or mental status examinations) at each appointment when necessary.

(5) Check your medical records from time to time (perhaps every 6 months) to make sure your symptoms and your doctor’s findings have detailed information that is accurate about your problems.

(6) Ask your providers if any imaging or testing would help them better understand and treat your medical problems.

(7) Keep track of your medical treatment in writing and make sure to tell your Social Security lawyers about all places you have treated (so they can request copies of your treatment records for the relevant timeframes at least two months before your Social Security hearing).

(8) Ask your doctor and/or psychologist who knows you best if you should work part-time or more.  If not, ask that your doctor or psychologist to be clear in their treatment notes about how you are limited.  Also, ask if he or she would be willing to complete an opinion form about your ability to work in the future.  Contact your Social Security lawyer about those willing to do so immediately.

 

Your testimony and lawyer, the other two key factors to win your Social Security Disability claim, are discussed in Part 2 of this series.

If you would like to ask about having a Hoglund Law Offices attorney at your Social Security disability hearing, call us now at 855-780-4357.

 

Andrew W. Kinney, Esq.

Written by Andrew Kinney

Andrew Kinney is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Marquette Law School. He is in his 25th year of practice in Social Security Disability law. He speaks nationally on Social Security Disability practice, founded the Minnesota State Bar "Social Security Disability Section," and is an editor of the Social Security Pratice Guide, a five-volume legal guide published by LexisNexis.

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The Necessity of Medical Records for Social Security

In the Social Security Disability process medical support of a claim is paramount. Barring medical records documenting a claimant’s condition, there is no hope of success. Unfortunately, one cannot walk into a hearing before an administrative law judge claiming to suffer from maladies and expect success absent doctors’ notes. While it is common for state disability determination agencies to ask claimants to attend one-time examinations by doctors employed by the agency for that purpose, doctors who regularly treat the conditions of a given claimant can provide the most helpful information.

In the disability adjudication process, state agencies and Social Security Disability attorneys gather medical evidence from claimant’s health care providers. Unfortunately, these records gatherers are only able to gather the evidence they know exists. It is the responsibility of the claimant to inform necessary parties of this information. Further, the sooner records-gatherers are informed of the evidence, the sooner it can be submitted and evaluated by disability adjudicators.

In fact, it is more important than ever that disability claimants notify their attorneys of new medical evidence quickly, whether a new appointment, scan, or treating source. This is due to a new rule the Social Security Administration has put into effect requiring evidence be submitted within five business days of a disability hearing, absent good cause. Without delving into specifics (if claimants have questions about this, it is strongly advised they speak with counsel), the sooner a claimant advises attorneys of the records source, the sooner the records may be requested after a hearing has been scheduled. That way, both the attorneys presenting the case on behalf of the claimant as well as the administrative law judge hearing the case can better evaluate the claim.

Medical records, more than anything else, make or break a Social Security Disability claim. Providing documentation of ample treatment gives adjudicators a more complete picture of a claimant’s health, increasing the chances of success.

 

By Adam Kachelski

Written by Jennifer Mrozik

Jennifer is a partner in the firm and practices exclusively in the area of Social Security disability law. She continues to lead efforts to find solutions for clients in the sometimes difficult Social Security claims process.

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Medical Evidence: X-ray vs MRI

Administrative Law Judges in the Social Security Administration determine disability largely based on medical records as evidence. Objective medical evidence is the most preferred type of evidence (as opposed to subjective complaints) because it cannot be disputed. For instance, an x-ray of a broken leg is always more convincing than a claimant telling their doctor they have broken their leg.

X-rays and MRIs are a very common form of objective evidence used in social security disability determinations. They can be used to establish musculoskeletal, neurological, gastrointestinal, and other medical impairments. So what is better evidence, x-rays or MRIs?

X-rays are a common imaging test that have been used for decades to help doctors view inside the body without making incisions. They are a relatively cheap and inexpensive way for doctors to view and diagnose medical impairments. In some cases, x-rays are all that are necessary to establish a medical impairment. However, in other cases, MRIs prove much more effective not only diagnosing medical problems but also measuring the severity of the problems. An MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, in effect takes a 3D picture of the subject matter. In contrast, an x-ray is a 2D image. For this reason an MRI often shows more than an x-ray can show. For instance, an x-ray of the lumbar spine might show mild degenerative changes, whereas an MRI of the same lumbar spine might show moderate to severe degenerative changes.

In conclusion, an MRI will oftentimes show more detail than an x-ray. The downside to an MRI is that is significantly more expensive than an x-ray. Sometimes an x-ray is all that is necessary. Always consult your doctor as to what avenue to pursue.

Written by Hoglund Law

The attorneys of Hoglund law are licensed in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio. Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC is based in Roseville, Minnesota. In addition to handling cases involving bankruptcy & social security, Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC handles faulty drugs and toxic exposure.

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What are WBC, RBC, and platelets and what do they mean?

When individuals go to the doctor’s office for an annual examination, your doctor will likely send you for blood work. The blood work is use by doctor to help monitor your current health. The blood work also is used to help find out if there is something for the doctor to be concerned about. This blog will go over common lab results and explain what the blood work tells your doctor.

The blood work typically starts with WBC, white blood cells. The white blood cells reveals to the doctor on whether or not there is an infection in your body. In addition, the WBC may be high if you had a reaction to a drug, a disease in your bone marrow, or an immune symptom disorder. If your blood has a high level of WBC, then it is called leukocytosis.

However, if your WBC is low, it is called leukocytes. Having a low WBC counts may mean many different things, or it could be your normal level. Have a low WBC count may mean you have cancer, a viral infection, congenital disorder, autoimmune disorder, or any drugs that you are taking are damaging your WBC.

Another element on your blood work panel is RBC or red blood cells. RBCs are transporters. RBC transports oxygen and hemoglobin through your body’s tissues. If the blood work panel comes back as high, or erythrocytosis, then it could mean many different things. It could mean that you smoke, are dehydration, have kidney cancer, or other gene diseases.

However, if you RBC is lower than normal, an individual may multiple different types of impairments. An individual may have anemia, leukemia, bone marrow failure, nutritional deficiencies, malnutrition, or cancer in the bone marrow. Or an individual may have hemolysis, erythropoietin deficiency, or may be pregnant. Or you RBC may be lowered due to your medications.

Another element on the blood work panel are platelets. Platelets are used by your body to stop the bleeding. If an individual has a high level of platelets, it may indicate an infection in your body. Or it could mean that there is another condition impacting the platelets.

However, when your platelet levels are low, it could be from your medications. In addition, your platelets may be low, if you have an immune system disorder, or other types of disorders. If your platelets are low, it is called thrombocytopenia.

As a result, this is what the doctors are looking for when an individual has blood work done. Your doctors are looking for highs and lows to help pinpoint what is going on with their patients. Doctors use the blood work and the reported symptoms to help come up with a diagnosis.

Written by Hoglund Law

The attorneys of Hoglund law are licensed in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio. Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC is based in Roseville, Minnesota. In addition to handling cases involving bankruptcy & social security, Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC handles faulty drugs and toxic exposure.

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What is mastocytosis?

Mastocytosis is a rare disorder. It is a disorder that may be diagnosed in both children and adults. It is a disorder that have mass production of cells.   This blog will explain what mastocytosis is and how it effects individuals. This blog will also cover on whether or not you should file for Social Security.

As noted above, mastocytosis is a rare disorder. Mastocytosis is divided into different forms. Most people have urticarial pigmentosa, which is a considered a cutaneous mastocytosis. Another form of cutaneous mastocytosis is macularis eruptiva perstans, which is even rarer.

In addition, there is systemic mastocyosis. Systemic mastocystosis is further broken up into three classes. The classes are indolent systemic mastocystosis, leukemic systemic and aggressive systemic mastocytosis. Regardless of the type, individuals with mastocytosis typically have symptoms similar to an allergic reaction.

Individuals typically report fatigue, skin lesions, itching, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Individuals might also report bone pain, muscle pain, headaches, malabsorption, abdominal discomfort, and either low bone density or high bone density. Because of the nature of these symptoms, it is hard for individuals to be diagnosed with mastocytosis, until your doctors have rule out other possible conditions.

In order to be diagnosed with mastocytosis, individuals typically need a skin biopsy to help diagnosed the disorder. In fact, some individual would need to have a bone marrow biopsy done to diagnose the systemic mastocystosis. Once a diagnosed is make, the treatment is usually targeted towards the symptoms of the disorder, since there is no cure.

As a result, when considering applying for Social Security Disability, an individual needs to consider the severity of their condition and whether or not the treatment of the symptoms is effective. If individuals are missing work on a regular bases due to the symptoms, they would likely qualify for benefits. However, if the individual is able to work with few or no problems at work, then Social Security Disability is not for you.

In conclusion, just because it is a rare condition does not mean you should apply for Social Security Disability. However, if your condition is causing severe problems at work and is not control by treatment, then filing for Social Security Disability should be considered.

 

Written by Hoglund Law

The attorneys of Hoglund law are licensed in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio. Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC is based in Roseville, Minnesota. In addition to handling cases involving bankruptcy & social security, Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC handles faulty drugs and toxic exposure.

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What does MCH, MCHC, and MPV mean?

In normal blood work panels there are multiple elements in the blood that are tested. Some of the more common elements are white blood cells, red blood cells, hemoglobin, and platelet levels. However, the lesser known elements on the blood work panel are MCH, MCHC and MPV. This blog will cover the meaning of MCH, MCHC and MPV.

One of the elements on the blood work panel is mean corpuscular hemoglobin or MCH. MCH defines the level of hemoglobin in the red blood cells. A high level of MCH may mean different things. It may indicate alcohol abuse or it may indicate macrocytic anemia. Other conditions may be insufficient vitamin B12 or insufficient folic acid.

However, a low level of MCH indicates a loss of blood. This low level may be from microcytic anemia or other conditions. Some of the other conditions are iron deficiency and other types of anemia.

Another element on the blood work panel is mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration or MCHC. MCHC is the percentage of the level of the hemoglobin in the red blood cells. A high level of MCHC indicates severe dehydration or spherocytosis.

However, a low level of MCHC indicates iron deficiency anemia. A low level of MCHC may also indicate overhydration. In addition, a low level of MCHC may also indicate sideroblastic anemia.

Another element on the blood work panel is the mean platelet value or MPV. The MPV is the just as suggested it averages the amount of platelets. If a MPV is high, then it may indicate a problem with the blood marrow. The problem may cause increased problems of platelets. For example it may indicate pre-eclampsia or immune thrombocytopenia.

However, it the MPV is low, then it may indicate other conditions. The may condition would be bone marrow aplasia. It may also indicate hereditary platelet disorders or aplastic anemia.

In conclusion, this blog covers some of the lesser known terms in the common blood work panel. It is important for doctors to monitor any highs or lows in the blood work panel to help find the correct diagnose for the patient.

Written by Hoglund Law

The attorneys of Hoglund law are licensed in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio. Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC is based in Roseville, Minnesota. In addition to handling cases involving bankruptcy & social security, Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC handles faulty drugs and toxic exposure.

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What does hemoglobin, hematocrit and mean corpuscular volume mean?

When doctors are ordering blood test, there are common blood work panels that the listed. Some of the common blood work panels are white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. However, some of the other common blood work panels are hemoglobin, hematocrit and mean corpuscular volume. This blog will explain what hemoglobin, hematocrit and mean corpuscular volume mean.

Hemoglobin or HGB, is the protein in the red blood cells. When an individual has a high HGB, it could mean many different things. It may mean that you have poor heart or lung functions. Or it may mean that you have a disease of the bone marrow.

However, if an individual has low HGB, it typically means nothing. However, it may mean that you have a type of cancer, anemia, cirrhosis, chronic kidney disease or lead poisoning. Or you may be pregnant.

Another common blood work panel element is hematocrit or HCT. HCT is basically the level of plasma in your blood. If your HCT is high, it may mean that you are dehydrated. It may also mean that your oxygen level is low, which could be due to smoking, lung conditions, or heart conditions. Otherwise, it may be due to chronic sleep apnea, or a condition affecting your bone marrow.

However, it your HCT is low, it may mean that you have anemia. It may also mean that your medications is causing your HCT to be low. Or individual may have poor nutritional absorption or overhydration.

Another common blood work panel element is mean corpuscular volume or MCV. MCV measures a typical size of the RBC. If the MCV is high, then it may indicate that the red blood cells are larger than normal. If the red blood cells are larger it could indicate anemia due to low vitamin B12, or it could be due to a liver disease.

If the MCV is low, it may indicate that the red blood cells are smaller than normal. If the red blood cells are smaller than normal, it may mean that you have iron deficiency anemia or thalassemia. Or you may have other impairments.

In conclusion, there is many conditions that either a high or low level could mean. As a result, your doctors will use these results in combination with symptoms and other blood work results to help find a diagnosis. Once there is a diagnosis, treatment is typically more effective.

Written by Hoglund Law

The attorneys of Hoglund law are licensed in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio. Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC is based in Roseville, Minnesota. In addition to handling cases involving bankruptcy & social security, Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC handles faulty drugs and toxic exposure.

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Moving About and Manipulating Objects

In order for a child to be found disabled, they must either meet or functionally equal a “listing” (a list of impairments that the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) has said will result in a finding of disability if the impairment is severe enough). Thus, if a child has an impairment that is on the list, and it is as severe as required by SSA, that child “meets” the listing. However, if the impairment does not meet the specific criteria in the listing, the child can still be found disabled if the impairment “functionally equals” a listing. This is done by showing that the child is either “marked” in 2 of 6 domains (areas of functioning), or “extreme” in 1 of the 6. SSA has defined being marked or extreme in a domain as having impairment or impairments that interferes seriously with your ability to independently initiate, sustain, or complete activities. Obviously to prove an extreme limitation, you would have to prove it interferes more substantially than a marked limitation, although the definition is more involved than this.

The 6 domains are: “acquiring and using information; attending and completing tasks; interacting and relating with others; moving about and manipulating objects; caring for yourself; and health and physical well-being. This article deals with the fourth domain: “moving about and manipulating objects.”

So, how does one prove that a child is marked or extreme in the domain of moving about and manipulating objects? Social Security Ruling (“SSR”) 09-6p gives us some guidance. This domain considers “. . . the physical ability to move one’s body from one place to another, and to move and manipulate things. These activities may require gross or fine motor skills, or a combination of both.” Gross motor skills refers to the ability to handle and manipulate large objects (i.e., using door knobs, holding drinks, etc.). Fine manipulation refers to the ability to handle and manipulate smaller objects (i.e., using buttons, zippers, picking up coins off of a table, etc.). Thus, this domain considers the child’s ability to not only move themselves and body parts, but also their ability to use objects.

Note that it is insufficient that the child simply has limitations engaging in these sorts of activities. Rather, the limitations must be so severe that it interferes seriously with the child’s ability to independently initiate, sustain, or complete such activities. Furthermore, the limitations must result from a medical impairment, either physical or mental (although side effects from medications can also be considered).

It is also important to note that the ability to move about and manipulate objects may vary depending on the child’s age. For example, a 17 year old child who is unable to walk at all would likely be marked or extreme in this domain. However, for a newborn, this is of course not abnormal, and would likely not result in a similar finding.

Written by Hoglund Law

The attorneys of Hoglund law are licensed in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio. Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC is based in Roseville, Minnesota. In addition to handling cases involving bankruptcy & social security, Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC handles faulty drugs and toxic exposure.

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Vestibular Function Disability

Recently I represented a woman who was filing for disability due to her severe vertigo,dizzy spells, and daily headaches, which made it difficult for her to concentrate on her work, and made her an unreliable employee. These symptoms were residual from a brain tumor she had removed in the years prior. Social Security can be granted in a case like hers.

Social Security provides Listings, or conditions in which your condition is so severe that it qualifies you for disability as long as it meets the standards laid out by the Listing. The specific listing in this case is 2.07, Disturbance of labyrinth-vestibular function. This listing is intended to cover a condition called Meniere’s Disease, but it is also applicable in this case since the symptoms are so similar. In order to meet the listing, you must prove that your condition causes frequent attacks of balance disturbance, tinnitus, and loss of hearing. This must be demonstrated by vestibular testing and hearing tests. More specifically, you will need to show documentation of how often the episodes happen, and what else happens to you physically during an attack, which might include nausea, vomiting, and losing control of body movements. Social Security may also find it helpful to see functioning over a period of time, especially if the attacks occur only every few months. Medical records are crucial in a case like this, in order to show objective evidence that there is a cause behind the symptoms. You may also find it helpful to ask your doctor about the types of testing available, and whether or not they would be willing to provide a statement of your symptoms and treatment to Social Security to bolster your case.

If you are unable to prove that your condition meets the specific Listing, Social Security will also consider the overall impact the condition has on your daily functioning to determine whether or not you are disabled. Social Security will examine your medical records and your reports to see how you are limited day-to-day by this condition and any other physical or mental condition, including how it limits your ability to walk, stand, sit, perform repetitive activities, and how it affects your focus and concentration. Then, they will consider your limits and determine whether or not it would prevent you from returning to the work you did prior, and whether it would prevent you from working any job in the national economy. IF they find that you cannot do any work because of your limitations, then they must find you disabled.

If you or someone you know has this condition and is considering filing for Social Security Disability, contact the Disability Lawyers at Hoglund, Chwialkowski, Mrozik, who are experienced and will be able to guide you successfully through the disability process.

Written by Hoglund Law

The attorneys of Hoglund law are licensed in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio. Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC is based in Roseville, Minnesota. In addition to handling cases involving bankruptcy & social security, Hoglund, Chwialkowski & Mrozik, PLLC handles faulty drugs and toxic exposure.

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