August 2013
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August 2013 posts

Dirt is good for kids

I remember one day during my pediatric gastroenterology fellowship, a mother and child were walking in front of my professor and me, as we made our daily rounds in the hospital.  When the pacifier fell out of the toddler’s mouth and the mother picked it up and put it right back into the child's mouth, my professor remarked to me, "mark my words....that child will never get Crohn’s disease!"   My professor was referring to the theory of the "Hygiene Hypothesis".  This theory  is thought to explain (at least in part) why so many more people in developed nations become afflicted with autoimmune diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD - Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis) as well as food allergies, compared to people in non-developed nations. 

In non-developed countries, where children are...

Free relaxation & stress reduction classes for multiple sclerosis

Stress is something we all experience. At work, home and in relationships—life is a balancing act. For people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), stress can also come from managing major transitions and other emotional changes.

How we respond to stress that determines how it affects our lives. Luckily, we have some control. Learned relaxation techniques can help us manage how we respond to stress and lower its affects before we become overwhelmed ...

Back to School Health Tips

The last days of summer are counting down!  Here are some timely tips to help ensure the school year goes well.

To and From School Safety:

  • The school bus is a great way for children to get to school.  To ensure safety, make sure young children are supervised at bus stops.  Parents trust bus drivers to keep our kids safe, therefore it is very important for children to know and follow bus safety rules.
  • Carpooling?  Buckle up!  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ride in a booster until the seat belt fits correctly, typically when they are 4’9” (age 8-12). Use the seat belt fit test to determine if your child still needs a booster. (For safety reasons, it is against the law in Washington for a child under 13 to ride in the front seat.)  

  • Supervise young children and make sure well-fitted helmets are worn when riding a bike, scooter, or skateboard.  And, don’t forget to review pedestrian safety rules for when they are commuting.

  • In case of unforeseen circumstances, ensure your child knows your phone number and address.  An ID with this information in your child’s backpack can be helpful in case of emergency.  (A review of “stranger danger” is also a good idea.)

Nutrition:

  • Provide your children with ...

Bothered by Large Breasts? A Breast Reduction Might be Right For You

Breast Reduction Surgery helps many women with neck, shoulder, and back pain.

 

Food allergies and emergency epinephrine in Washington State schools

Food allergies have been on the rise in recent years.  Studies suggest that up to 1 in 13 children are affected by a food allergy.  Egg and cow’s milk are the most common food allergies for infants and toddlers.  Fortunately, most children will lose a milk or egg allergy by the time they enter school.  Peanut and tree nut allergies are also becoming more common.  Unfortunately, only 10-20% of children will ever outgrow a nut allergy.

Currently there is no cure for food allergies.  Instead, doctors rely on an accurate diagnosis, avoiding food triggers, and being prepared in the event of a severe reaction.  Making the situation more challenging, nearly half of children with a food allergy may be at risk for a potentially life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Symptoms of anaphylaxis may include:

  • hives or itchy welts
  • swelling
  • vomiting or diarrhea
  • difficulty breathing (cough, wheeze or shortness of breath)
  • dizziness or passing out

During a severe food allergy reaction, epinephrine (“adrenaline”) can be a life-saving medication. Epinephrine is typically injected into a thigh muscle with an “auto-injector” device like EpiPen® or Auvi-Q™.  Oral antihistamines like Benadryl, Allegra, or Zyrtec can help with some anaphylaxis symptoms, but are not considered life-saving treatment.

Emergency Epinephrine in Schools

Until recently, only certain students in Washington State could receive a life-saving epinephrine injection while at school.  They needed to be diagnosed with a food allergy and already have an epinephrine injector in the health room.  However, some students may not have an injector at school, or they have their first serious allergic reaction while at school.  In that case, the school could only call 911 and hope they arrived in time to save a life.

In January 2013...

Cook food right to fight cancer (and other health problems)

After exercise, nutrition is the top factor in prevention of disease, including cancer. Eating the right foods, in general, and the right specific foods during illness can have a profound effect on quality of life and also recovery.

The question is, however, which foods and spices are the most beneficial during cancer treatment and beyond.

The standard American diet is a bit heavy on simple carbohydrates. In addition, because it is also high in processed foods, nutrient deficiencies, like magnesium, Vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids, are quite common. In general, a shift towards diets containing ample portions of protein, complex carbohydrates, good fats and low simple carbohydrates (25 grams for women and 35 grams for men per the American Dietetic Association) and five servings of leafy greens and fruit is beneficial. Diets should include minimal soda as well as minimal artificial sweeteners. Whenever possible use high burning oils, like coconut oil, to cook with if you are frying foods. Using whole, unprocessed foods containing minimal preservatives are also a good bet. An example of this would be using real butter instead of margarine as a condiment.

Conventional cancer treatment ...

King County Public Health’s, ‘Health Care Reform 101’ at Swedish Cancer Institute

Swedish Cancer Institute is proud to partner with King County Public Health to offer the class, “Health Care Reform 101.” This class is specifically designed for cancer patients, their caregivers and family members. It will cover health care reform and help participants determine if they are eligible for the new Medicaid Expansion program or private insurance through www.WAhealthplanfinder.org.

Health Care Reform 101 will be offered on three different dates:

  • Tuesday, September 24 from 6-8 p.m.
  • Friday, October 18 from 3-5 p.m.
  • Friday, November 8 from noon-2 p.m.

All classes will be ...

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