Health Interview: Lupus 101 with Lupus Expert, Dr. Joan Merrill

Lupus Expert, Dr. Joan Merrill joined me recently to discuss the typical symptoms patients experience with the disease, how patients can be more vocal with their doctors about their symptoms and how family and friends can be supportive towards loved ones with this chronic condition.


Dr. Joan Merrill Lupus Interview Candace Rose Anderson Lupus Expert, Dr. Joan Merrill




Candace Rose: What is systemic lupus?

Dr. Joan Merrill: "Lupus is a disorder of the immune system. Our immune systems are there to protect us from outside invaders, viruses and bacteria and bad things in the food that we eat. But in lupus the immune system's gotten imbalanced and it ends up causing inflammation in various organs of the body. The commonest things that you see are arthritis in the joints or skin rashes that can be quite severe at times, but sometimes patients just get fevers and achiness, fatigue, loss of appetite and then almost any organ in the body can be damaged by this- the heart, the lungs, the kidneys, the brain. It's mostly seen in women of childbearing age, although men can also develop lupus; and so can children. So it's very unpredictable, it can be very hard to diagnose because as you can imagine from what I just told you it can mimic many other diseases, and it's very hard to manage, it requires an expert rheumatologist."


Candace Rose: Can you tell us about the National Burden of Lupus survey that was released?

Dr. Joan Merrill: "Yes, well this was a survey that wanted to put a face on lupus, and really understand what's going on with the patient. But actually the results caused a greater concern than just understanding people better, it turns out that most lupus patients reported that they are minimizing their symptoms- both to their families and friends, and to their doctors. What this can mean is that they may not be getting optimal treatment and over time that can lead to disability or even death."


Candace Rose: Why do you think that those surveyed were minimizing their symptoms when talking to their doctor?

Dr. Joan Merrill: "Well, of course I don't know but I'm guessing that it's sort of human nature to not want to be a complainer and remember these are young people, usually and they want to live their lives,  they want to have fun, they want to be normal and they don't want to be complainers. They don't want to be a burden to their family; they may even be worried that they'll hurt their relationships if they complain too much, and somehow that's carrying over into the doctors offices as well."


Candace Rose: What advice do you have for those looking to talk to their doctors about symptoms they're experiencing?

Dr. Joan Merrill: "Well, I think this is a three-way problem so I can give advice to patients, I can give advice to doctors and I can give advice to families; and I think I'll start with the doctors, so I can give myself some advice. That advice is that doctors need to listen more, I know sometimes I'm in a busy clinic and people are pulling on my arm and telling me I'm backed up- too many patients waiting and they're all getting mad, I'm getting phone calls and I'm getting emergencies. I can walk out of a room kind of suspecting that we haven't completed the conversation. I need to be more sensitive to that because it could really lead to long term damage down the road. Similarly the survey showed that people at home who don't always have such close relationships with the doctors- patients sort of in between these two sets of people, they're not so convinced that the patients are really communicating effectively with the doctors. In fact they seem to be less convinced than the patients are. Similarly, the doctors are not so convinced that the people at home are giving full support. So we've got this huge breakdown, this three-way kind of triangulation of people that are involved in the well-being of this lupus patient, and I think we need to cross over those barriers and get this thing going.

    From the patients point of view, they need to know that it's not a burden to a doctor to be told all your symptoms because that's what the doctor is there for. We get paid to do this and beyond that we're going to feel better if we're going to render optimal care and we're going to be confident that we're doing that. From the point of your family, I think the same thing is true- if you don't tell your family what's going on, there's an unease because there's much left unsaid. I think that if you can level with your family, but somehow do it in a way that they can feel that they can be helpful to you, then they're going to like that and that's going to be good for the relationship not bad. You're not a whiner, you're a person who is trying to come to a solution and you're asking for help and you're thanking people for it.

    From the point of view of the family, I think they need to kind of understand that we go through our daily lives and we don't always tell people why they're valuable to us. And it may be that people with a chronic disease really need to hear all the ways they're valuable irregardless of that disease, and that might make them more able to kind of be a little more negative and say what's really going on."


Candace Rose: How is lupus typically treated?

Dr. Joan Merrill: "Well, there are many treatments for lupus, there's been an evolution over the last 50 years, in fact. At this point it's all kind of individualized, so it depends from patient to patient how you would approach the treatment. Again, this survey is really talking about a very important aspect of treatment which is the communication issues. It's throwing to light an awful lot of other things as well- for example men with lupus are often kind of not thought about very much because 9 out of 10 lupus patients are women. But men can have serious lupus, and it turns out the survey suggests they have a lot more problems with their marriages. Twice as many men as women seem to end marriages or their significant relationships because of lupus and they also seem to be filling out answers to questions about self esteem, showing that they're getting a big impact on their self esteem from the disease more than women."


Lupus Foundation of America Lupus.orgLupus Foundation of America. candace rose anderson dr. joan merrill interview candieanderson.comUs In Lupus –


Candace Rose: Do you have any additional information you'd like to share?

Dr. Joan Merrill: "There's a website that people can go to. Patients can actually download something called the lupus impact tracker and it can help them kind of organize their symptoms and maybe make more efficient use of the limited time that they might have in a doctors office to communicate. But also, there's lots of information about all the aspects of lupus; plus there's a website from the Lupus Foundation of America, which provides many services."

Celebrity Interview: Celebrity Chef & Restaurant Owner Fabio Viviani


Celebrity Chef and Restaurant owner, Fabio Viviani, who many of you will recognize from the reality show "Top Chef" joined me to share his top kitchen secrets on making a great meal in no time flat!

Celebrity Chef Fabio Viviani Candace Rose interview top chef celebrity chefCelebrity Chef, Fabio Viviani – Image courtesy of Facebook

Candace: What's the secret to creating a great homemade Italian meal?

Fabio Viviani: "There is no secret- it's either you are Italian and you are in Italy or you use principle that are basic for any smart food making maneuver and food choices. For example keep it simple- buy fresh quality ingredients but you know all this does ask for some time, honestly. If you want to make a good meal you've got to spend some time in the kitchen. You know that's the reason why we're here, we are trying to bring the convenience of a restaurant meal when you cannot go out and have a meal in a restaurant, and when you don't have the time to cook for yourself which are two good options. But when you want to have that kind of experience in your home that's what we're here for. We are introducing the new line of Bertolli frozen soups. You know this is a restaurant; this is not like your grandma's soup, this is a restaurant quality, chef driven, good quality restaurant soup in a bag for you ready to go. Every ingredient has integrity, cooked perfectly, seasoned to the maximum; lots of flavor, lots of herbs, spices. Very nutritious, very hearty, filling, fresh tasting meal."


Candace: And how do these soups incorporate traditional Italian flavors?

Fabio Viviani: "Well, you know Italian flavor is the most wide used cuisine in the whole world. You know there is like a simple natural flavor. And look, don't get too hooked up on Italian flavor because good food is good food everywhere. Things like vegetables- tomato, chicken, spinach; it's just a good array of ingredients like I like to say whenever you look at these frozen soups. It looks like a frozen farmers market; you know cut in pieces and put it together for your leisure. You know this is just; it's very convenient and again if you cannot cook your own meal which is the best option, everybody has all the time and just go with this one because we are not raising the bar, we're going to be the bar for what a good meal should be in the next decades. Again we are trying to bring family together, kids a lot of satisfaction in executing good food and a meal for families. You know this can be perfect for like a date night or whenever you're rushing and you're struggling to come up and feed yourself right. Now you can give up bad food because you got a good option right here."


Fabio Viviani Celebrity Chef Candace Rose Interview Bertolli Villa Bertolli Soup Frozen SoupBertolli Frozen Soup – Villa Bertolli


Candace: Do you have any additional tips or information you'd like to share?

Fabio Viviani: "I would love to. Make sure that you buy good quality ingredients. You know make it quick, make it sweet. Don't overdo it, don't stress too much. Simple food is like half an hour behind a stove or an hour. Good flavor; simple ingredients. Buy always the best that you can afford. That's a good way to keep your family nice, happy and well fed. You know if you want to know more information about myself, check out my website or if you want to know more about this product specifically go on the website Tonight 8 o'clock (interview was taped) if you have an hour to kill, you can join me for my live view stream session through the Bertolli fan page on facebook."


Candace: Thank you, Fabio. Where will see you next?

Fabio Viviani: "Well, I am currently shooting a web show that will be airing on Yahoo. You can see me there and learn some cooking tips and techniques or just keep updated on my website and you will see what I will have like live demos or appearance in the next month ahead."


Chow-Ciao Yahoo Web Show Candace Rose Fabio Viviani interview italian food bertolli soupChow Ciao! with Fabio Viviani on


CiaoChow Ciao Chow Fabio Viviani Interview Candace RoseFabio Viviani's new web show on Yahoo – Ciao Chow 

Interview: Think It’s Just Dry Eyes or Sensitivity To Light? 50% of Blepharospasm Patients Go Undiagnosed Each Year.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Nilda Rendino, Vice President and Advocacy Chair of the Benign Essential Blepharospasm Research Foundation and Dona Norton on the topic of blepharospasm, a devastating disease which has affected both of them and often times goes years without being properly diagnosed. If you suffer from dry eyes, excessive blinking and sensitivity to light, you may (according to Merz Pharmaceuticals) be one of the 53% who goes at least a year without a proper diagnosis of the disease. 

  Nilda Dona Interview Candace Rose Blepharospasm 30th anniversaryNilda Rendino and Dona Norton


Candace Rose: Nilda, as the Vice President and Advocacy Chair of the Benign Essential Blepharospasm Research Foundation, can you tell us what blepharospasm is and give us more information about the foundation?

Nilda Rendino: "Right. Well, blepharospasm is a rare neurological condition. Blepharo means eyelid in Greek and spasm is involuntary muscle contraction, so when you put that together you have us with eyes that blink and spasm uncontrollably. We can't do anything about it and if you don't get treated properly you can end up functionally blind even if you have 20/20 vision because you can't keep your eyes open. The foundation was started 30 years ago by a woman named Mattie Lou Koster  who had the same condition and who had gone through a long trial of getting a diagnosis so she decided that she would start an organization that would help other people get the help they needed in terms of information; in terms of a treating physician who could help and would also provide support through support groups."


blepharospasm bebrf nilda rendino dona norton interview candace rose blepharospasm.orgBenign Essential Blepharospasm Research Foundation –


CR: This next question is for both of you. You both went many years without a proper diagnosis- what was that like and why do you think it took so long to be diagnosed?

Dona Norton: "Well, it's quite a struggle. It's a very frustrating struggle. You know that you definitely have something wrong; your eyes are squeezing, you're blinking, your eyes are very dry and gritty; you have a hard time being in light and you know that you have something wrong but you can't quite figure out what it is. So then the journey starts to try and find a diagnosis, so for me it took two years. I saw many different kinds of doctors and finally ended up at a movement disorder specialist and that's where I'm being treated."

NR: "It took me six years and part of the reason is that it's a little better now but it used to be that doctors might have heard about it in medical school, but never seen a patient. So it takes some specialized doctors to be able to diagnose it properly and to treat it properly."


CR: Nilda, who is more at risk for the disease?

NR: "Well, women get it more than men and it tends to begin to affect some people beginning in their 40's on to 60's, 70's although recently younger people have started to be diagnosed."


Dona, what has treatment been like for you? 

DN: "Treatment's been interesting for me. Again, it's been quite a journey. Right now I'm on a new treatment path, I use a new product that's just come in, it's called Xeomin and you can find more about it on Again, it's injected, I go every three months and for me personally, it's been wonderful. It's jut been a really good product for me and it's just really, really worked well for me." blepharospasm interview candace rose nilda rendino dona norton mattie lou koster blepharospasm.orgImage courtesy of


NR: "Onabotulinum toxin injections, that's the primary treatment. They don't know the cause and there isn't a cure, so all we can do is treat the symptoms and this is the main way to treat it, and I also go for injections every three months."


CR: Do you have any additional information you'd like to share? 

NR: I'd like to have people be aware of the website, which is the foundation website where they can get information on getting educational literature, where they can find support groups in their areas, where they can contact the office or one of the contacts on the list on our website that can help them find a doctor who knows how to treat the condition, who knows how to inject because everyone that can buy botulinum toxin doesn't necessarily know how to inject it properly."

DN: "And basically we're here to raise awareness. There's so many people that go undiagnosed or untreated and once you are diagnosed it can be treated and you can have a very healthy, fulfilling life."

Interview: Patrick Carone of Maxim Magazine Shares Late Summer Style & Grooming Tips for Guys

It might be mid August, but summer isn't over yet! Patrick Carone, Editor at Maxim magazine has great grooming and fashion tips that'll have guys looking great into fall and winter!  



Patrick Carone Maxim Magazine Editor Candace Rose Interview Patrick Carone of Maxim magazine has all the tips guys need to look great this summer!


Candace Rose: What are the must haves for guys this summer?

Patrick Carone: "Alright, now talking about grooming- I want to talk first about buzz cuts, that's really the hot hairstyle for guys this summer. What's great about them is they're cool, comfortable and they're really obviously maintenance free and three out of four girls are more likely to run their hands through your hair if you have a buzz cut, so that's a very important stat for guys to bear in mind. The thing that's tricky about it though is that sometimes leaves your skin exposed to the sun, so that's where this product comes into play-

Axe Hair Patrick Carone Maxim Magazine Interview Candace Rose
It's from Axe and it's called 'Axe Buzzed Look Cream' with SPF 15, it protects the scalp from UVA and UVB rays while still keeping your hair totally touchable for all of those girls and it's only $6.99. For more info on that you can hit up


    Another great thing, this is just on the shelves now from Schick, it's the 'Schick Xtreme 3 Fitstyle Refresh' disposable razor. They have flexible triple blades and conditioning strips which give you a close comfortable shave. But this is the thing that I love about it- it's got these scented handles that leave you totally refreshed. They really wake you up in the morning, they reinvigorate you because a lot of guys, they mope over to shave and they're half asleep but the scent is a really nice kind of citrusy peppermint thing; totally wakes them right up. And for under 7 bucks it's a really good deal, especially when you see how much razors cost these days.  


Schick Razor Maxim Magazine Patrick Carone interview Candace Rose candieanderson.comSchick scented disposable razors

    Now another thing is 50% of guys have underarm discomfort and itching which is very unfortunate; I've had a problem with that but this is wonderful- Dove Men + Care has come out with this new deodorant/antiperspirant just for guys. Now it works for 48 hours straight and is tough on sweat, so you get all of the odor and wetness protection. But it's all within this nonirritating formula which is key. It comes in different scents or without a scent if that's what you prefer. For more info on that you can also go to facebook and check out Dove Men Care. So in terms of the grooming stuff these really are three things I really wanted to mention. 


Dove for Men Patrick Carone Candace Rose InterviewDove + Care For Men 


    In terms of fashion, you see this handsome gentleman standing next to me- Fashion Patrick Carone Maxim Magazine Candace Rose Interview
this whole outfit is from Old Navy which is a wonderful place to pick up everything. They have really good value and high quality. And for summer though, it's really all about the basics; a basic preppy classic look. Linen shirts are really cool, literally. They breathe very well and they look great. You can wear them like during the day when you're at the office or you can kind of wear them out at night if you're going out for dinner or out for drinks; really looks great. And something that they go very well with; something else that's popular are boat shoes. Now all of us guys at Maxim, all of us have our own pair of boat shoes, they're really comfortable. I actually find them more comfortable than sneakers and again, it's just a total old school preppy look but really perfect for the summer. So I think if you pick up these products and get a nice outfit like this at Old Navy, I really think you'll be in good shape for the summer."


CR: How about for shorts or pants?

PC: "Well, for shorts or pants- jeans of course are always a classic you want like this guy has (shown above) a nice more of a slim fit but of course you know if jeans got a little bit warm for the summer, shorts are totally acceptable. Some people are against shorts for whatever reason but I think if you get a nice pair that complements your sort of build or whatever you could pull it off. Linen pants of course; just talking about linen- this is not sponsored by linen; those breathe too, they're really fun, they're a little bit different. You can wear them with sneakers, you can wear them with shoes, you can wear them with flip flops as sort of a get the whole whatever you really want from them."


CR: Do you have any additional tips or information you'd like to share? 

PC: "No, nothing really particular. I just really wanted to touch on this stuff but you know to sort of get more information, a great website you can go check out is LifeMinute.Tv, they always have lots of information on lifestyle kinds of stuff or you can always go to in addition to all of the girls and the funny business we have a lot of information about style and fashion and things like that for guys. So those are a couple more resources that can help you out."

Interview: Must Have Back to School Tech Gadgets with Manoush Robin

Manoush Robin of Media Bistro shares the must have technology gadgets every student needs from grade school to post grad. From games to recordable pens, Manoush has everything to ensure your success this year!


mannish robin,, back to school candace rose, interview, candMedia Personality, Manoush Robin. Image courtesy of



Candace Rose: How are games helping kids learn?

Manoush Robin: Well, Candace what we're finding out is that it's all about engaging kids. Video games and new technology are getting them excited about learning and even making school fun, so I want to tell you first. You've heard of a smartphone, right? Well, this this is the Echo™ smartpen from Livescribe. It records anything you hear and write, so it brings lectures back to life when you study. You're never going to miss a word in class again, just tap the record button, start writing and then later you tap whatever you've written or drawn and then later you tap whatever you've written or drawn and then the smartpen plays back the audio from that very moment. And then you can upload your notes to your computer, you can save, you can insert you can share them with your classmates on facebook or email them to your teacher- am I doing right here? And this is at a great back to school price actually, it's $99. 

  livescribe echo smartphone pen mannish robin interview Livescribe Echo™ smartpen – Livescribe


    And really what we're finding, Candace, devices are getting kid friendly, they're also getting more accessible and Intel's Classmate PC is a great example of this. Over 4 million of these rugged water resistant computers have been sent to schools in the U.S. and around the world and the program is part of the Intel Learning Series. Developers in over 70 countries are working together, they're creating apps and other ways to get kids learning and exploring because we know computer skills are absolutely vital to thriving in a global economy."


intel classmate pc mannish robin interview candace rose candieanderson candie andersonIntel Classmate PC – Intel


CR: At what age should parents start letting their children use technology and games for educational purposes? 

MR: "It's certainly earlier and earlier. I will say that my toddlers certainly know how to turn on my phone which is a little bit frightening but I thinking what we're learning is that visual interaction is key to getting kids excited about learning, so this is the TI Nspire CX handheld. It's a calculator but it also lets kids explore math concepts on their own. They figure out how math and science actually work with real world examples and color pictures. It's got a drop down menu and a touchpad, so it feels familiar like a computer.


UnnamedTI Nspire CX - Google Shopping


And lastly I want to say, you know learning from games is not new but making a kid system part of a school curriculum, that is new. So what they're doing with Xbox Kinect is they're modifying it to study things like anatomy in a more visual way. And there's also a website, where teachers and gamers are sharing apps and lesson plans in different ways to modify Kinect, so it can teach all kinds of different subjects more engagingly. But you can go onto to get more information about all of these and we even have a Livescribe (the smartpen I was talking about) we're recording this discussion as well. 


CR: It's said that games are great for older generations as well- why is this so and can it help prevent or delay onset of Alzheimer's?

MR: "Well, I think what we're finding is people have all different kinds of learning styles and the most important thing is that we keep all of our senses active, that means when we learn we should be moving, we should be listening, we should be touching, we should be writing. It's about keeping us going. You know what they say 'use it or lose it,' so I think games are a great way of keeping ourselves active and our minds sharp."


CR: Do you have any additional tips or information you'd like to share?

MR: "Just head over to, you can get a lot more information there and also some information from the experts and the developers who are coming up with this amazing technology that I think we're going to see more and more in schools in years to come."