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How to deal with acute or chronic diarrhea

Melanie Panchal
Diarrhea is described as loose watery stools sometimes with increase in frequency requiring frequent trips to the toilet.  In most cases diarrhea symptoms usually last for a few days, but if the symptoms occur for more than the 30 days it can be a sign of a serious disorder. 

Diarrhea occurs when the food and fluids you ingest pass too quickly through your colon.  Diarrhea can be classified into acute or chronic and its symptoms can be classified as uncomplicated and complicated.  Uncomplicated symptoms of diarrhea are abdominal cramping/bloating, thin loose watery stools, and the sense of urgency to have a bowel movements.  Symptoms of complicated diarrhea include blood or undigested food in the stool, weight loss and fever.  If you have symptoms of complicated diarrhea you need to notify your primary care provider for further evaluation.

New tool to help understand Tobacco Related Diseases

Jolyn Hull

Jolyn Hull
Health Education Specialist, Swedish Cancer Institute

Tobacco and tobacco smoke affect our bodies from head to toe in complex ways. These affects can result in the development of diseases or conditions that are then considered to be tobacco-related diseases. In order to simplify the idea of tobacco related diseases, we have created a tool to help you understand where and how different diseases and conditions may present themselves throughout your body due to tobacco use. The tool will show male-specific, female-specific and gender-neutral consequences associated with tobacco use.

Seattle rain? You can still play inside!

Kathryn Lent, PT, DPT

Kathryn Lent, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist, Swedish Pediatric Therapy Services

In the last few years, I’ve taken note of various national campaigns encouraging improved health and wellness in children. Some aim to inspire at least an hour of play daily. Others focus on movement in conjunction with eating nutritious food to help fight childhood obesity. All of these campaigns share a common important message: regular physical activity improves a child’s overall health.

With the winter months upon us, my patients and families are concerned how to maintain activity levels when it’s cold, rainy, and gets dark outside too early. Even in the warmest months, there may be reasons a child might be inside more than out – including safety concerns. Fortunately, there are many fun ways children CAN stay active indoors when playgrounds are cold, ball fields are icy, yards are soggy, or the sun goes down too early.

Here are some ways kids can play inside while also working on strength, balance, flexibility, or coordination:

Frequently asked questions about pelvic health

Lora Plaskon, MD, MS

Lora Plaskon, MD, MS
Urogynecologist

I recently participated in a live chat with Swedish to answer questions that women had on urine leakage, bladder control treatments, pelvic floor disorders, and other pelvic health topics.

Click here to read through the archive of the chat. I also wanted to answer a few other questions I get asked, but didn't come up in the chat:

Having a healthy road to pregnancy

Jennifer Droz

If you’ve been thinking about getting pregnant, here are some steps to take before your pregnancy to ensure a healthy and successful journey to becoming a mom.

  1. Start taking prenatal vitamins at least a month before conceiving. The folic acid in these vitamins (usually between 400 and 800 micrograms) will help decrease risk of a neural tube defect, like spina bifida. The spinal cord forms and closes by four weeks gestation, before many women even know that they are pregnant, so it’s important to get on this early.

  2. Starting pregnancy at a healthy weight decreases your risk of complications of pregnancy like high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. Good control of chronic medical problems will also help a future pregnancy go much more smoothly.

  3. Consider  ...

A year of personal medicine as a physician

Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP

Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP
Pediatric Gastroenterologist

I’m fortunate enough to have lived most of my life with hardly a worry in the world when it came to personal health issues. However, this year changed my outlook. Firmly into the fourth decade of my life, it became necessary to schedule some basic preventative health care screens for the first time. This then led me down to what seemed like a never-ending path of scheduling and completing test after test, followed by even more appointments. As the year progressed, I also became involved in a serious health care issue affecting a very close family member which led to learning how to navigate the maze of international health care!

As 2014 finally rolls to an end, I reflect on some valuable lessons learned, having experienced medicine from the perspective of a consumer rather than a provider.

Importance of swallow exercises during throat cancer treatment

Namou Kim, MD, FACS

Namou Kim, MD, FACS
Medical Director, Swedish Head & Neck and Reconstructive Surgery

In the past decade, there has been a significant increase of “throat” cancers (tonsil and base of tongue squamous cell carcinoma) in younger patients, especially in non-smoking, Caucasian males. This type of cancer is caused by the high-risk HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) and tends to have a better cancer survival than conventional tobacco-related throat cancers. This improved survival is aided by precision targeted radiation and transoral robotic surgery (DaVinci Robotic System). However, some of the side effects of these treatments can cause ...
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