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What is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Karlee J. Ausk, MD

Karlee J. Ausk, MD
Gastroenterologist

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic (i.e. long-lasting) inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal system.  IBD is often confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) because of their similar acronyms, but the two conditions are not related.  IBD affects approximately 1.4 million Americans and is most commonly diagnosed between 15-40 years of age.
 
IBD can be categorized into ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.  Though there are clear differences between the two, they are closely related and sometimes difficult to distinguish.
 
Ulcerative colitis is a condition where inflammation affects the most superficial layer of the large intestine (colon).  It typically starts at the rectum and can involve a varying amount of the colon.  In contrast, the inflammation of Crohn’s disease can affect all layers of the intestine and can involve any area of the gastrointestinal tract – from the mouth to the anus.  The type of inflammation seen in Crohn’s disease may lead to long-term complications such as strictures or fistulas (abnormal connections to other organs) that are typically not  ...

Public Comment Period on Food Label Changes Ending Soon

Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP

Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP
Pediatric Gastroenterologist

Time is running out if you want your opinion to be heard when it comes to the FDA’s proposed changes to the iconic food label that we’ve all come to rely on when buying packaged foods. 

This is a big deal.  For those of you who haven’t heard, highlighted below are the key proposed changes:

  • Require information about the amount of “added sugars”.  A review of this was discussed in Dr. Thekke Karumathil’s blog a few months ago.

  • Remove the “calories from fat” label

  • Update serving size requirements

  • Present “dual-column” labels to differentiate “per-serving” and “per-package” calorie and nutrition information

  • Only require the declaration of amounts of 4 nutrients (vit D, calcium, iron, and potassium).  No longer will nutrients like Vitamin A and C be required, although manufacturers may declare them voluntarily.

  • Refresh the format to emphasize calories, serving sizes, and percent daily value.

Here's what these changes would look like:

Summer 2014 Cancer Community Walks & Runs

Brian Aylward, BS, CHES

Brian Aylward, BS, CHES
Health Education Specialist

Each year, the Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI) partners with local and national organizations in an effort to help spread awareness of cancer, associated treatments, and resources available in our communities.
 
Summer 2014 is no different. We’ve signed on to take part in more events than ever before—and we want you to join us! As an active patient, survivor, family member, friend or advocate, your voice and participation matter.
 
American Cancer Society Relay for Life
These overnight community fundraising walks help raise money to fund cancer research, education, and support services like Hope Lodge®, Road to Recovery®, Look Good, Feel Better®, and Reach to Recovery®, all American Cancer Society-run programs. The Swedish Cancer Institute patients gain access to these programs throughout the Swedish network. There are several Relay for Life events going on in the Puget Sound. The Swedish Cancer Institute is taking part in:

New products available for allergy treatment

Marlene Peng, MD

Marlene Peng, MD
Allergist, Minor & James

For those with seasonal allergies, treatment can be as simple as an over-the-counter medication, but often requires more.  The good news is that there are a lot of options now. Some new products have been recently approved by the FDA to help individuals who are dealing with grass and ragweed allergies.

The treatment of nasal and eye symptoms from allergies includes antihistamines, nasal sprays and allergy shots.  Over the counter antihistamines include diphenhydramine (ex. Benadryl), loratadine (ex. Claritin), cetirizine (ex. Zyrtec), or fexofenadine (ex. Allegra).  Over the counter allergy eye drops are also available, such as ketotifen (ex.Zaditor).  Together, these help with itchy, sneezy, watery nose and eyes.  Nasal antihistamines are prescription and also help with these symptoms.  Nasal steroids help decrease congestion and postnasal drip.  

A long-standing solution ...

Why do some people continue to have difficulty hearing even with a hearing aid?

Brenna Carroll
Why is one person a successful hearing aid user while another is not?  What factors contribute to such diverse outcomes?

Many rave about using amplification and report that acquiring hearing aids is a life changing event that opens up the world to a wide range of sounds and improves communication.  But some people report that they are reluctant to obtain amplification because they have known friends or a family member that obtained advanced hearing aids but continued to struggle hearing during group activities.  

Why is one person a successful hearing aid user while another is not?  What factors contribute to such diverse outcomes?

How to eat more vegetables

Leah Goldstein, RD, CD

Leah Goldstein, RD, CD
Clinical Nutrition Specialist

Did you know half of your plate should be from vegetables? Here are some ways to get more vegetables into your family’s meals and snacks.
 
1. Experiment with a new vegetable each week or each month!

Check out your local farmers market or produce aisle for something new and seasonal. Search the web or your favorite cook book for ideas on preparation, and don’t be afraid! Find recipes with some of your other favorite flavors or styles and you may just find your new favorite vegetable.

2. Get sneaky

  • Pureed peppers, zucchini or carrots can be “snuck” into tomato sauces for pasta or pizza. Not even the pickiest eater will notice!
  • Cauliflower, carrots or sweet potato can be steamed and pureed into mashed potatoes or a casserole.
  • Have a ...

Screening for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)

Rocco G. Ciocca, MD

Rocco G. Ciocca, MD
Chief of Vascular Surgery

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) occurs when a weak area in the aorta (the major blood vessel that sends blood through the body) dilates and quietly expands. The dilated area can rupture or leak. Often AAA is only discovered when it appears on an X-ray taken for some other reason – or when it ruptures.
 
AAA is the third leading cause of death in men ages 60 and older. Nearly 90 percent of the time, a ruptured AAA causes death, so it is important to discover and treat it early.
 
Risk factors include:
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