June 2013
Blog

June 2013 posts

Noninvasive Prostate Cancer Treatment Data is Maturing & Promising

Many of my patients are men seeking prostate cancer treatment they can undergo while continuing work and maintaining active lifestyles. Equally important is the cancer-free survival rate and long-term side effect profile. For over seven years we have been treating men with organ-confined prostate cancer using the CyberKnife® stereotactic radiosurgery system. This sophisticated radiation delivery system uses a robotic arm to deliver precise treatment doses to the prostate in only 5 sessions so the men can keep up their normal routine while combatting their disease.

The data supporting this treatment option continues to grow and a recent study following men for 6 years reports patients had excellent biochemical control rates (based on...

New Level II Nursery Opens at Swedish/Issaquah July 8; Service Provides Premature, Sick Infants with Special Care, Support

ISSAQUAH, Wash., June 20, 2013 — Swedish/Issaquah will open its new Level II Nursery on Monday, July 8, having recently received state approval to provide this vital service to the community. The Level II Nursery allows for premature and ill babies — born as early as 34 weeks gestational age — to stay at Swedish/Issaquah to receive the specialized, around-the-clock care they need from a specially trained team of experts.

Nutrition for MS fatigue: Tips for planning and preparing healthy meals

Planning and preparing healthy meals can be challenging for anyone. When you have multiple sclerosis (MS), fatigue can be another obstacle preventing you from packing healthy snacks or fixing a home-cooked dinner.

Eating healthy foods can help you fight fatigue and avoid the crash you may experience after eating fast food and sugary drinks. Here are a few tips to make food shopping and cooking more efficient and manageable so that a healthy diet can fit into your lifestyle:

  1. Make a game plan

    Take a few minutes every week to map out some easy dinners for the week. Choose recipes that can be prepared ahead of time, will store well and will produce leftovers that can be packed for the following day’s lunch or repurposed for another meal.

    Brainstorm ....

Gallstone disease and gallbladder removal

Gallstone disease is one of the most common reasons for patients needing surgery and the source of a great deal of misery.  Fortunately, for the vast majority of patients, gallstone disease can be dealt with safely and fairly easily.

What is Gallstone Disease?

One of the many things your liver does is produce bile. This bile is secreted into your intestine through the bile ducts. In the intestine, it acts to dissolve the fat that we eat that the fat can be absorbed by the intestine.

In between meals, a small muscular valve closes where the bile duct enters the intestine.  The bile that is produced then gets backed up into the gallbladder, which acts as a reservoir, both holding and concentrating the bile.  After a person eats, the presence of food in the stomach and duodenum sets off a signal to the gallbladder which then contracts, adding bile to mix in with the food.

Approximately 20% of people (1 out of 5) form gallstones in their gallbladder. Most stones are made of ...

Inspiration from the artists of the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center Art Show

 

We are just a few weeks shy of the 4th Annual Multiple Sclerosis Art Show. We are excited to share the talented submissions we have received at the Seattle Center Armory on July 6-7 and share how art has helped them.

Today we congratulated artists who collectively submitted more than 100 entries for display in this year’s show. Each person has a unique connection to multiple sclerosis (MS), either as a person who has been diagnosed, a family member or friend.

The annual Art Show is part of the Swedish MS Center's commitment to helping people thrive apart from their disease. It was created and is put on each year by staff, patients and family members with the purpose of spreading awareness about the disease--and life beyond it.

What is celiac sprue or celiac disease?

An estimated 1.6 million Americans are currently following a gluten free diet, though many have never been diagnosed with celiac sprue (also known as celiac disease).  Patients commonly ask me about celiac sprue and gluten free diets, so I will try to answer some of these questions. The first question I get is what is celiac sprue or celiac disease.

What is celiac sprue?

In celiac sprue, the ingestion of gluten causes inflammatory damage to the lining of the small intestine.   Gluten is a protein, very common in our diet, found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats. (Ed. note - see this chart from the NIDDK that shows other ingredients and items that may contain gluten.)  In people with celiac sprue, the usually large absorptive surface of the small intestine is flattened from damage, significantly limiting its ability to absorb nutrients. 

Though celiac sprue is estimated to affect approximately 1.8 million Americans, many are unaware they have the disease. 

What are the symptoms of celiac sprue?

Celiac sprue causes a variety of symptoms.  They can range in intensity from very mild to debilitating.  Some of the most common signs and symptoms are:.

Treatment for spider and varicose veins for summer

As the summer months creep up on us, the weather is getting warmer and shorts and swimsuits are beckoning us from the closet. For many people, this brings excitement (vacations! outdoor activities!) but for others, the thought of showing off varicose and spider veins means avoiding those summer clothes.

Though they may be painful or embarrassing, varicose and spider veins are common and can be treated. Don’t let them get in the way of your summer plans and comfort!

Varicose veins are large, raised blood vessels close to the surface of the skin. They may look bumpy or twisted. Along with their “little brothers,” spider veins, varicose veins are most often found in the legs and are caused by weak or damaged vein valves. This causes blood to pool instead of being pumped back to the heart. Women are more likely to have varicose and spider veins and this risk increases with age and hormone changes (like pregnancy and menopause).

What you can do:

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