September 2013
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September 2013 posts

Atrial fibrillation (afib) awareness

September is National Atrial Fibrillation Awareness month! 

Atrial fibrillation (afib) is an abnormal heart rhythm that may lead to increased risk of stroke or other heart-related problems.  

Common signs and symptoms of afib include:

  • Rapid and irregular heartbeat
  • Fluttering or “thumping” in the chest
  • Faintness, dizziness or weakness
  • Shortness of breath and anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain

For individuals with atrial fibrillation or flutter, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  This includes following ....

Neck lump or mass

A palpable neck lump in any patient should raise some concern.  In the case of a pediatric patient, the concern may be less, since reactive and infectious nodes in the neck can be fairly common in children.  When a child has a bad episode of pharyngitis, tonsillitis (sore throat), or even a bad cold, the lymph nodes of the neck may react and become enlarged.  In that type of scenario, your doctor should prescribe appropriate antibiotics to resolve the enlarged lymph nodes and follow up to make sure that the nodes have regressed.

Very few pediatric neck masses will end up being concerning.  Besides infectious neck lymph nodes as stated above, some of the other more common causes of pediatric neck mass are congenital cysts.  However, none of the pediatric neck masses should be ignored.  A neck lump that persists for more than a few days should be looked at by a pediatrician.

In the adult population, a neck mass or lump can be much more concerning.  Essentially when an adult patient presents to us with a neck mass, we have to fine the root cause and basically rule out a tumor.  Of course, infectious lymph nodes do happen in the adult patients as well, but it is less common.  Congenital cysts are also much less common in the adult patient. 

The more common causes of a neck mass in the adult patient are ....

No-Cook Meals for Multiple Sclerosis - Week 4: Southwest Chop Salad

It may be the last official week of summer, but this no-cook meal for multiple sclerosis can be enjoyed during any season. This salad’s simple ingredients are available year-round. Make it now and enjoy it again when you need a break from winter weather.

Recipe: Southwest Chop Salad

 

Super Food: Avocado

The oleic acid in avocados will help keep you satisfied and full. Oleic acid tells the body to ...

Amazing Race host and multiple sclerosis advocate Phil Koeghan visits Swedish

 

The Multiple Sclerosis Center at Swedish had a unique visitor last week: Phil Koeghan, host of the Amazing Race (or road warrior for FOX Breakfast Time if you were a mid-90s morning talk show fan).

Phil and his wife, Louise, came by for a tour Friday afternoon and met with some of the Swedish MS Center staff. They were visiting Seattle with their professional bike team to participate in the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s local Bike MS event.

Phil’s team rode Saturday among 135 other teams and individual cyclists, including the Swedish S’Myelin Babes. Swedish’s Bike MS team rallied more than 60 teammates to raise more than $42,300 to support research and advocacy efforts within the MS community.

12th Man Fans: Protect your voice and hearing!

The infectious energy of Seahawks fans is part of what makes the team one of the most exciting to watch in the NFL.  This team spirit has caught the attention of Guinness world record officials who are verifying that the “12th Man” fans are the loudest in the NFL.  You can show your support and enjoy being a part of the “12th Man” while taking a few precautions to protect your hearing and your voice during and after the game. 

Swedish Otolaryngology cheers on the Seahawks.

Here are a few tips:

  • Wear hearing protection during the game. 

High levels of noise can result in tinnitus in the hours and days following the game.  This ringing in the ears can be a sign of permanent damage from excessive noise exposure.  Anything from large headphones to simple foam plugs are adequate for hearing protection.  The roar of the crowd will still be audible, but the dampening will protect your ears and ....

Oncology social workers help patients with cancer

“What happens if my insurance won’t pay for all of this treatment?”
“How do I tell my young daughter about my cancer?”
“My spouse is really struggling, but I don’t know how to help him.” 
“How will I get to radiation every day if I can’t drive?”
“My friends and family call a lot, but I don’t feel like talking to them”
“I’m scared.”   “I’m angry”   “I’m sad”    “I’m confused”
“What’s a power of attorney…and do I need one?”
“Where can I find out about a support group? ”
“I wish I knew where to turn.”

If you are faced with a diagnosis of cancer, you may be asking similar questions and wondering where to turn for answers.  A good place to start is with an oncology social worker.  Oncology social workers assist with the non-medical issues that often arise when someone is diagnosed with cancer.  We have master’s degrees in social work, and are specially trained to provide counseling and assistance with services that can reduce stress for you and your family through all phases of your cancer diagnosis and treatment.  Social work services are available at the Swedish Cancer Institute at our First Hill, Edmonds, and Issaquah campuses, and are provided at no cost to our patients. 

We can help you:

No-Cook Meals for Multiple Sclerosis - Week 3: Tuna and Fennel Sandwiches

It’s back-to-school time and this week’s no-cook meal for multiple sclerosis is a twist on an American childhood mainstay; the tuna fish sandwich. Instead of mayonnaise and pickles, this meal uses flavorful olive oil, tangy vinegar and fresh crunchy vegetables.

Recipe: Tuna and Fennel Sandwiches

 

Super food ingredient: Chunk light tuna

There is strong evidence that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can lower triglycerides and blood pressure. Make sure to choose “chunk light tuna,” which is three times lower in mercury than the solid white or albacore tuna.

Also choose water-packed tuna over oil packed. Some of the omega-3 fatty acids leak into the added oil and will be lost when you drain the can. Because water...

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