July 2013
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July 2013 posts

Swedish Opens First, All-Inclusive Childbirth Resource and Education Center

Swedish announced that the Lytle Center for Pregnancy & Newborns, a first-of-its-kind center equipped to accommodate mom, baby and a modern family’s every need, opened today. 

Shortened maternity stays, reduced family and community networks and the rising number of working moms have created a need for expanded access to comprehensive pregnancy as well as postpartum care and support services.

For the first time, parents and their families can access these care and support needs, all in one convenient, well-thought-out location—the Lytle Center. The center includes:

Can Botox help paraspinal muscle spasticity in multiple sclerosis?

This post is jointly written with Alika Ziker, Swedish Neuroscience Institute research intern.

Botulinum toxin type-A (Botox) is a naturally occurring toxic substance best known for its use in cosmetics.  It is taken from certain bacteria and works by preventing the target muscle from contracting.

Over the last 15 years, several studies have emerged supporting the idea that Botox is also an effective and safe therapy for people who suffer from a loss of muscle control, lower back pain and even migraines. Because multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that attacks the central nervous system, many MS patients suffer from those same conditions, as well as weakness and spasticity.  Depending on the individual, the affected muscles may be ....

What you should know about Hepatitis B or C on World Hepatitis Day

Break out the champagne and streamers—it’s World Hepatitis Day! Okay, so it might not sound like much of party, but if you are one of the millions of people with viral Hepatitis there is no reason to be a wallflower.

Over 500 million people around the world are infected with either Hepatitis B or C, the two most common forms of chronic viral Hepatitis. Both Hepatitis B and C are viruses that can cause chronic inflammation in the liver. Over the course of years this can lead to scarring in the liver and ultimately cirrhosis—severe scarring and fibrosis of the liver where liver function can be comprised. Additionally, these chronic viruses, particularly Hepatitis B, can increase the risk of developing a primary cancer of the liver called hepatocellular cancer. The liver, unlike, say, the appendix, is a vital organ that—among other functions—stores and helps process nutrients, detoxifies and filters blood, and produces blood coagulants. In short, the liver is vital to life and a failing liver absent a liver transplant means trouble.

The best first step to combating these viruses is awareness. It is important to know the risk factors for these viruses and get tested if you are at risk. Hepatitis B and C differ somewhat in risk factors and transmission. With an estimated 350 million people worldwide who are carriers (most commonly in Asia and Africa), chronic Hepatitis B is the most common chronic virus of the liver. It is most often transmitted by birth or through blood-borne or sexual contact. Hepatitis B is not transmitted through ....

Easy make-ahead meals to beat MS fatigue

In my last post about eating well with multiple sclerosis (MS), we discussed meal planning and prep to help enable you to eat nutritiously through the week.

Maybe you’ve decided to carve out some time to make a list and prep some food for the week. Good for you! Need some inspiration?

Here are a few recipes that will produce left overs that hold up well and can be packed up for healthy lunches. Don’t forget to include plenty of extra fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grain cereals and non-fat dairy products to be eaten as breakfast and snacks.

Meal 1: Chilled peanut noodles with grilled chicken breast and steamed broccoli

Click here for the recipe.

The whole-wheat noodles give you a good dose of fiber to help keep you regular and the protein from the peanuts will help you feel full longer than other vegetarian pasta dishes. Cook enough chicken for you and your family to have a 4 oz. portion both for dinner lunch the next day, plus an extra pound for another recipe later in the week.

This noodle dish can be served room temperature right after it is made. It is also great eaten cold the next day. If you are sensitive to heat and don’t want to heat up you kitchen re-heating food then you will love this dish.

Meal 2: Slow-cooker vegetarian chili with a whole grain roll

Click here for the recipe.

This dish is ...

Advocating for Children with Severe Food Allergies

Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorders (“EGIDs”) are a severe form of gastrointestinal inflammation that results from food allergy.  Children and adults in the U.S. are increasingly being diagnosed with this condition that unfortunately requires strict elimination diets, and many times, a life-long inability to eat foods that most of us take for granted each day, including dairy, wheat, soy, and eggs. 

For children requiring such restrictive diets, pediatric gastroenterologists like me work hard to find adequate alternate sources of nutrition.  For my patients with EGIDs, I often prescribe special “elemental formulas” as a treatment to both heal the intestinal inflammation and prevent further harm.  These formulas are completely allergen-free while meeting 100% of a child’s nutritional needs. 

However, in the state of Washington, most ....

Summer Activities for Stroke Survivors

Stroke is often a significant disruption to the life of the survivor and their care partners both physically and emotionally.  While recovering from stroke is a challenging journey, it doesn’t mean you cannot do what you love.

Summer is a great time to establish or update your recovery goals with an emphasis on fun and enjoyment.  Ask yourself:

  • What hobbies or interests did you participate in prior to your stroke?
  • What hobbies or interests were you curious to try prior to your stroke?

And then ask yourself, your doctors and your therapists how old favorites and new activities can be modified to fit your changed abilities. You may be surprised at the number of options available!

There are several ideas and suggestions provided by the AHA/ASA regarding ways to continue gardening, golfing, and other physical activities. 

Remember that ...

Rinsing: The Single Best Thing You Can Do to Keep Your Nose Happy

One of the best parts of living and practicing in Seattle (Ballard in particular) is that I see my patients everywhere I go! Just this last weekend I ran into patients buying bagels, at the Ballard farmer’s market, and walking around Greenlake.

One patient I saw recently asked about her husband who was always complaining about his nose but she hasn’t been able to drag him into my office to be evaluated.  She asked me, “What can I have him do to at home to help his nose?”

For home care, I may recommend my patients rinse their nose with saline once a day.  Nasal saline irrigation has been well studied in controlled trials and has been shown to improve nasal symptom scores regardless of whether the nose is bothered by sinusitis or allergies.  It is one

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