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What is Gastrointestinal Bleeding

July 20, 2015
Gastrointestinal bleeding (GIB) is blood loss from your gastrointestinal tract from any site from your mouth to your rectum. The level of bleeding can range from mild to severe and life threatening. Small amounts of bleeding over a long period of time can cause iron deficiency anemia with symptoms of fatigue, dizziness, and weakness. GIB is divided into two different types: upper GIB and lower GIB. 

Here is what you should know about upper and lower GIB:

Helping Kids Deal with Chronic Pain

July 13, 2015
When a child hurts it is upsetting to everyone. It is natural for the first response to be alarm and fear. New pain in a child needs to be investigated with tests and examinations. There are times a clear reason for the pain is found. Other times, the reason for the pain is not well understood. In both cases, a child that is hurting is important and deserving of care.

One of the hardest elements of pediatric pain is to know how to support the child.

MS Center BBQ

July 09, 2015
Come join the Swedish MS Center for the Summer BBQ on July 25! There will be a catered lunch with live music, as well as a talk by Dr. James Bowen.

When: Saturday, July 25
Time: 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Where: MS Center at Swedish
1600 E. Jefferson St., A Level
Seattle, WA 98122
RSVP: Janice Huertas, 206.320.2200

Fatty Liver Disease in Children: It's About Sugar, Not Fat!

July 08, 2015

It’s common knowledge that over the last few decades there has been a significant increase in the number of children with obesity in the U.S. One of the complications of obesity is a condition termed metabolic syndrome, which consists of the combination of high cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, and waist circumference. Having metabolic syndrome has long been a well-known risk factor for heart disease, but less known is the relationship between obesity, metabolic syndrome and liver disease.

As a pediatric specialist who treats children with liver diseases, I am often asked to see children with a condition called “fatty liver disease.” In fatty liver disease, fat accumulates within the liver as a direct result of obesity and metabolic syndrome. The curious thing about this type of liver disease, however, is that it is identical to the liver disease seen in alcoholics.

Rehabilitation Enhances Brain Plasticity

July 06, 2015
If you overhear a research meeting at the Swedish MS Center, it may come up that the rehabilitation studies are not sub-listed under, "disease modifying therapy trials." That is when I usually pipe up and say, "Rehabilitation is disease modifying in MS!" In fact, it is one the of proven disease modifiers in progressive MS. Below is a summary of the recent article from the Italian MS group that reviewed improvements in brain plasticity from motor and cognitive rehabilitation in patients with MS. The Italian researchers do an excellent job in quantifying outcome measures from rehabilitation interventions using imaging.

Top 5 Things to Know about Your Child's IBD

June 29, 2015

As tears well-up in her eyes, I notice her husband's arms reaching over to comfort my patient’s mother. I continue to describe the disease that has been ravaging at their son's intestines, probably for the last several months.  Although his parents had suspected something was seriously wrong when their son’s abdominal pain and diarrhea (which had initially seemed like the “stomach flu”) got progressively worse, nothing could’ve them prepared them for what I had just confirmed during his colonoscopy: Crohn’s disease.  

Our Behaviors Influence Our Kids

June 24, 2015

Driving home recently, I heard a story on the radio about a state commissioner wanting to reduce restrictions on “junk food” offered in public schools.  Surprisingly, this story jarred a long-forgotten memory from my childhood…

Making the Mental Shift: From "Doing" to "Being"

June 18, 2015
Over the years, the World Health Organization’s discussion around disability has changed from “impairment, disability, and handicap” to “impairment, activity, and participation.”  In other words, the focus has shifted to that of function through activity and participation.  This shift in perspective is important but not sufficient.

Understanding the Difference Between IBD and IBS

June 17, 2015
IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) are two completely different conditions that share very similar acronyms.   Often I find people confused about them, even presuming they may have one, when in fact, they actually have the other.

Chair Yoga for Your Mind Body and Spirit

June 17, 2015
For years, yoga advocates have eagerly shared their thoughts about the benefits of this type of exercise. However, you don’t have to just take your neighbor’s word for it. These first-person anecdotes are endorsed by several comprehensive research studies. This research shows that a regular yoga routine has a positive effect on a person’s mind, body and spirit. This is particularly encouraging for cancer patients who may have limited energy to dedicate to exercise.