Jim Flaherty diagnosed with rare skin disorder
An admission from Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty that he has a rare skin disorder and he's taking a powerful steroid which has caused him to gain a considerable amount of weight lately. It also has caused his face to appear swollen.
Flaherty spoke to the Globe and Mail after a number of people started asking things such as 'do you have cancer?' and 'are you going to die?'
The 63-year old MP for Whitby-Oshawa says that just before Christmas he informed Prime Minister Stephen Harper that he has Bullous pemphigoid and it's being treated with the corticosteroid prednisone.
Flaherty got the rare autoimmune disease a year ago but it wasn't diagnosed until September. He insists that the prednisone is working and he's getting better and that this, in no way, inhibits his ability to do his job.
The Mayo Clinic says Bullous pemphigoid occurs when your immune system attacks a thin layer of tissue below your outer layer of skin. It causes large blisters on areas of the skin that flex often such as armpits, upper thighs, groin and the lower abdomen. You can also get the blisters in your mouth.
It is most common in people over the age of 60 and it can be life-threatening, especially for older people who are already in poor health. That's primarily because if the blisters rupture, they can become infect and can lead to sepsis an infection that can spread through your entire body.
(files by D. Agar)