2013

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Gut Microbiome: Studying the links between people, bacteria, and MS

October 25, 2013

Our bodies are made of billions of cells. However, the cells in our bodies are far outnumbered by the bacteria that cover our skin and inhabit our gut. These bacteria are now increasingly recognized to have an important role in maintaining our health. For example, skin bacteria help protect us from more dangerous bacteria that could invade us. Gut bacteria help digest our food. There are suggestions that changes in these bacteria, particularly those in the gut, might play a role in several diseases.

Breast cancer awareness: What's good for our breasts is good for the rest

October 23, 2013

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Sports teams are wearing pink, survivors are telling their stories and pink ribbons are everywhere. But, sometimes it feels like we spend so much time talking about breast cancer we forget to talk about our general health. Breasts are important, but so is the rest!

Swedish MS Center represented at Congress of the European Committee for the Treatment and Research in MS

October 21, 2013

The 29th Congress of the European Committee for the Treatment and Research in MS (ECTRIMS) and the 18th Annual Conference on Rehabilitation in MS (RIMS) were held on October 2-5 in Copenhagen, Denmark. These two meetings are the largest scientific meetings on MS and rehabilitation in MS, with over 8,000 people attending this year.

The MS Center at Swedish was well-represented with five people attending. The meeting consisted of educational courses, symposia and scientific research presentations. The scientific presentations included over 1200 posters describing recent research in MS. There were also over 200 oral scientific research presentations. Upcoming blog posts will cover some of the reports that were of most interest to us.

Is the FODMAP diet right for you?

October 21, 2013

FODMAPs is an acronym, coined by two Australian researchers, that refers to Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. These are small chain sugars, fibers and sugar alcohols that are poorly digested by humans, but are easily digested by the bacteria in your intestine and colon. The FODMAP diet is used to alleviate the impact these types of foods have on your gastrointestinal tract.

More tips for feeding picky eaters

October 20, 2013

In my last post, I shared a few tips about what to expect and how to help encourage your child to eat more. Here are some more tips to help your child eat more variety of foods, including more vegetables:

How can I get my child to eat more variety?

  • Offer a "nibble tray". At snack time, fill a muffin tin or ice cube tray with bite-sized portions of colorful, nutritious foods. Try cooked macaroni, cheese cubes, kidney beans, grape halves, broccoli florets, ready-to- eat cereal, and canned pineapple tidbits.
  • Let children cook. Your child is more likely to eat what he has helped to make.
  • Children can help wash vegetables, tear up lettuce, scrub potatoes, or stir batter.
  • Be playful. Call these finger foods playful names that a two-year-old can appreciate, such as: apple moons (thinly sliced), avocado bo...

Healthy tips for parents and kids to help prevent the spread of colds and the flu

October 19, 2013

Summer has ended, the kids are back in school, and fall is officially here. Which means….cold and flu season is upon us! Hospitals are already seeing documented cases of seasonal influenza. There are no known cures for colds and flu, so cold and flu prevention should be your goal.

Why do we care about preventing influenza? The flu can be very dangerous for children, causing illness, hospital stays and death each year. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) reports about 20,000 children below the age of 5 are hospitalized from flu complications each year.

The most effective way for preventing the flu is to get the flu shot. It works better than anything else. (Flu vaccination is recommended for all children aged 6 months and older). There are additional strategies you can employ to help ward off those nasty viruses.

Here are 6 tips you can use to help prevent colds and the flu:

2013 Heart & Stroke Walk

October 19, 2013

On October 26th the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association will be hosting the 2013 Puget Sound Heart & Stroke Walk in Seattle.

On average, someone in the U.S. experiences a stroke every 40 seconds. Stroke can be a devastating disease, leaving many survivors with significant disabilities and leaving a permanent footprint on the lives of loved ones.

The Puget Sound Heart & Stroke Walk gives us the opportunity to honor the survivors in our lives or the loved ones we have lost as we continue the fight to prevent stroke and improve stroke treatments.

I will be walking in honor of …

When should I have my first pelvic exam?

October 18, 2013

A good time to schedule a visit with a gynecologist (or women’s health specialist) is when you first have problems or concerns with menstrual periods, including premenstrual moods, acne around menses, vaginal discharge or any other cyclic discomfort. That appointment will involve a conversation about what is bothering you and may include a pelvic exam or may not. Likely the doctor will ask you questions and together you will decide whether or not an exam is necessary.

Trigeminal Neuralgia: Face Pain & Treatment Options

October 12, 2013

October 7th was Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness Day and for many reading or hearing the stories, like the story on CNN.com, this condition may not be familiar.  However, for those suffering from trigeminal neuralgia, every day can be challenging.

Facial pain in Trigeminal Neuralgia is characterized by episodes of intense pain lasting from a few seconds to hours at a time. The attacks are often described as electric shock like, burning, pressing, crushing,  or shooting pain. Patients describe areas on the face as sensitive to the point that even a gentle breeze of wind can trigger an episode of pain.

Once diagnosed, trigeminal neuralgia can be treated with ...

Why dietary fiber reduces the risk of disease

October 11, 2013

Over the last couple of years, there has become more awareness surrounding the importance of dietary fiber and the prevention of disease.