ISSAQUAH, WASH., Feb. 1, 2013 – Childbirth is often painful and always unpredictable, but postpartum recovery doesn’t have to be. New mothers can now leave the hospital even happier with Postnatal Body Therapy™ by Bavia™. This postnatal massage service is now available at Swedish/Issaquah.
"It's eczema season" is an often repeated phrase for me lately.
This time of year, I always find myself seeing more patients with eczema. The common presenting complaint is a persistent rash that itches so much that it disturbs sleep. The dry, itchy patches of skin are commonly seen on the back, sides of the torso, arms and legs, but can happen almost anywhere. People with a history of allergies, asthma, or childhood eczema are even more likely to develop eczema in the fall or winter.
There are a number of contributing factors to the increased incidence of eczema in the winter:
Furnaces run more, drying out the air inside homes and buildings. We wear more clothing, increasing the friction on our skin. Hot water feels better, so we tend to spend more time in the shower or bath.
That last one sounds counter-intuitive, but ...
Picky eaters. We all know at least one, have a child that’s proud to be one, or heck, might have a history of being one (gulp). Every child is unique, hence the approach to picky eating needs to be highly individualized, but here I will outline some general tips on how to establish healthy habits for picky eaters!
The Basic Rules...
As your baby grows, you’ve probably started wondering when and how to start feeding your infant solid foods. Here are some general tips to consider:
Is there a safe age to start feeding solid foods to my infant?
Yes, most infants this is between four and six months of age.
Why is there a ‘safe’ age to start feeding solids?
There are a few reasons why this age is safest. The first reason is because prior to four months of age, an infant is not developmentally ready to safely eat from a spoon.
To be able to swallow solids safely, an infant needs good head control; to be able to sit well with support; and to have lost the “extrusion reflex” (the reflex which enables newborns to tightly latch and suck from a nipple, but makes them shove a spoon out of their mouth).
The second reason an infant should be fed solids between four and six months is something many families are not aware of: it is also a strategy to prevent common food allergies. This is one of the strongest reasons I passionately advocate for infants to be exposed to as many foods as possible during this crucial three-month window.
Starting solids and preventing food allergies:
In the past, healthcare providers have advised parents to avoid potential allergens such as peanuts, eggs, and milk. New evidence is now showing that this practice might have played a role in the increased incidence of childhood food allergies in the U.S
Why might this occur? The ...
Do you have a groin bulge that seems to come and go, often absent upon waking in the morning? Or perhaps you already know you have a hernia? Hernias are very common and occur in approximately 1 in 4 males (less common in women), so chances are you or someone you know has or has had an inguinal hernia. The main question I always get asked is "should it be fixed?"
As a general surgeon, I see 4-5 patients every week with a newly diagnosed inguinal hernia. Many are self-referred after discovering a lump in the groin, while many others are referred from their primary care provider after the hernia is discovered during the physical exam. After verifying that a hernia is the correct diagnosis (other possibilities are a groin strain, swollen lymph node, etc.), I have a discussion which addresses the aforementioned question. As an aside, these are very common and also found in the pediatric population (see a similar discussion by one of our pediatric surgeons)
To understand hernias...
With the busiest long-distance travel period upon us, and my own upcoming 29 hour flight itinerary, I thought it would be an appropriate time of year to present my two favorite topics as one: travel foods!
Whether you are boarding an airplane or cramming into the car, providing the right fuel for your body can support an enjoyable travel experience and deliver you at your destination feeling energized and (physically) prepared for your visit.
Traveling by air
Nearly 90 million Americans already have digestive issues, so 35,000 feet up is not the time to exacerbate existing disorders or experiment to see if you can contribute to this statistic. Here are some general flight food tips to keep your tummy travelling well.
- Carbonated drinks. Stomach gases already expand by approximately 30% when you reach flying altitude, hence why downing bubbly beverages can make you feeling like Mr. Clause by the time you are deboarding.
- Alcohol and caffeine. Sure that Jack and Coke takes the edge off turbulence, but alcohol and caffeinated beverages contribute to dehydration. Besides irritated skin and eyes, this can also put you at greater risk for respiratory infections and DVT (deep vein thrombosis). After clearing security, fill or purchase a water bottle and bring onboard, sipping 8fl oz every hour onboard.
- Avoid fried, fatty foods before flight. These foods are already taxing on the GI system (fatty foods take longer to digest), but when traveling at even higher altitudes can cause exaggerated complaints of heartburn and acid reflux.
- Cruciferous vegetables. Wait, did the dietitian just say I don’t need to eat broccoli? These cruciferous vegetables (Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage) contain a complex sugar, raffinose, which results in excess gas production in the intestines. Pre-flight is the only time you’ll catch me advising you to stay away from these nutritional powerhouses, as the decrease in cabin pressure results in expansion of stomach gases and a not-so-comfortable traveler. They get the thumbs up the other 360 something other days of the year.
- Legumes. Skip the chili before you board. Beans have a high raffinose content, and are loaded with difficult to digest soluble fiber.
- Dairy. Milk and dairy contain lactose, and many of us have a threshold as to how much we can tolerate as we need an adequate amount of the enzyme lactase to breakdown lactose before running into trouble.
Suggestions for in-flight meals:
Skip the salty, fatty snacks and instead pack your own. Eat a light meal before boarding and eat small snacks every few hours onboard as needed. Avoid large meals while traveling. Check out these 15 in-flight meal suggestions.
Traveling by ground
Although you may have the option of stopping during your car trip, it may be smarter to pack your own foods to ensure your tummy remains a happy traveler. For the sake of your car-mates, I would advise avoiding most of the aforementioned flight foods above if you already struggle with these on the ground. I would also emphasize simple, ‘no-assembly required’ foods for car travel. You also have the option of packing a cooler to keep foods safe while en route.
Suggestions for car-trip snacks and meals:
- Bars (Larabars, Odwalla): Select a bar with at least 3g dietary fiber and 5g protein.
- Fresh fruit (wash before packing in the car): Avoid those with pits (cherries). Try single serve applesauce.
- Easy-to-eat veggies: Pre-washed cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, broccoli florets served alongside a thick (no-drip) dip.
- Yogurt and berry parfait: layer yogurt, fresh berries in traveling cup and seal with a lid).
- Simple sandwiches: toast bread before adding spread to avoid soggy sandwiches.
- Wraps: layer hummus, lettuce, veggies and seal in foil or saran wrap.
- Homemade trail mix: chex mix (or low sugar cereal), toasted nuts, air popped popcorn, dried fruit packed in ziplock.
- Instead of soda: Water, 100% vegetable or fruit juice (can be cut with seltzer water).
Whether traveling by air or ground, make sure you consider the foods pre-trip to ensure you are as comfortable as possible while traveling this season!
Happy (healthy) holidays! Here's a roundup of great tips, recipes, and videos to help you make decisions about what to eat or what to make & bring to holiday gatherings:
Love pinning and finding recipes on Pinterest? Click to view and pin from our board of more than 100 dietitian-approved heart-healthy recipes.
Tarynne Mingione, RD, gives some great tips for thinking about portion sizes at holiday gatherings and also how to incorporate more vegetables into your favorite festive foods - click here to read, and also find links to some of her favorite recipes!
Do you know what is in your holiday cocktail? Dr. Lindquist has some tips for eating and drinking at holiday gatherings. Click here to watch his video with healthy holiday eating tips, and also watch this video with tips on preventing holiday weight gain.
Chef Eric has ..