March 31, 2014
It is with great happiness that I update an earlier blog posted several months ago with the news that patients with food allergies now have a law that helps them afford their treatment. On Friday March 28th, Governor Jay Inslee signed a law that makes Washington the most recent state in the country to set a mandate for medical coverage of elemental formulas in the treatment of Eosinophilic GI disorders (EGIDs). EGIDs are a severe form of gastrointestinal inflammation that results from food allergy.
February 26, 2014
On August 5th, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at long last published a formal rule regulating the use of the term "gluten free" on foods and beverages. Even though this came with a big sigh of relief to the millions of people with celiac disease living in the US, consumers should be aware that the law gives manufacturers one year to be in full compliance (and goes into effect August 5, 2014).
As we head into the final months before the law’s final compliance date, I thought I’d highlight a few other key points about this brand new law:
1. No symbols needed. The law does not require or recommend manufacturers use any particular symbol or food label, but if a label should include any of the following phrases, compliance must be ensured:
• “Free of gluten”
January 10, 2014
A 4 week-old infant and his mother came to my office last week. The mother had started seeing small flecks of blood and stringy mucous in the infant’s diapers a week prior. The baby was fine in every other way, breast feeding normally, and looked quite healthy when I examined him.
I diagnosed the infant as having cow’s milk protein-induced proctocolitis, the term referring to allergic inflammation of the lower gastrointestinal tract from exposure to cow’s milk.
This is a diagnosis I make often. Here's what you should know about infants with milk allergies:
- It’s more common than you think. 2-3% of infants in the U.S. are allergic to cow’s milk protein. It is even more common in infants with eczema or who have parents or siblings with allergies.
- It’s seen in breast fed babies. Over 50% of infants with this condition are breast milk-fed infants.&...
August 23, 2013
I remember one day during my pediatric gastroenterology fellowship, a mother and child were walking in front of my professor and me, as we made our daily rounds in the hospital. When the pacifier fell out of the toddler’s mouth and the mother picked it up and put it right back into the child's mouth, my professor remarked to me, "mark my words....that child will never get Crohn’s disease!" My professor was referring to the theory of the "Hygiene Hypothesis". This theory is thought to explain (at least in part) why so many more people in developed nations become afflicted with autoimmune diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD - Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis) as well as food allergies, compared to people in non-developed nations.
In non-developed countries, where children are...
August 16, 2013
Magnets, a common household object with which we are all familiar, can be surprisingly dangerous, especially to children. If this statement is startling to you, here’s what you need to know.
Beginning in the 1970s and 80s, scientists discovered a new type of magnet, the so-called “rare-earth magnet”. Made from some of the “rare earth” metals of the periodic table such as “Neodymium”, these new magnets are not only the strongest, most powerful magnets known to man (magnetic forces up to ten times that of other magnets), they are also permanent and relatively inexpensive to manufacture. These properties revolutionized the production of many household products, even toys. Basically, magnets we find in everyday items today are no longer made using old-fashioned magnets from a generation ago!
As a pediatric gastroenterologist, I am writing this blog to warn you of the dangers, should these powerful magnets be accidenta...
July 26, 2013
Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorders (“EGIDs”) are a severe form of gastrointestinal inflammation that results from food allergy. Children and adults in the U.S. are increasingly being diagnosed with this condition that unfortunately requires strict elimination diets, and many times, a life-long inability to eat foods that most of us take for granted each day, including dairy, wheat, soy, and eggs.
For children requiring such restrictive diets, pediatric gastroenterologists like me work hard to find adequate alternate sources of nutrition. For my patients with EGIDs, I often prescribe special “elemental formulas” as a treatment to both heal the intestinal inflammation and prevent further harm. These formulas are completely allergen-free while meeting 100% of a child’s nutritional needs.
However, in the state of Washington, most ....
January 24, 2013
Is your child under the age of 6 and having problems with feeding or weight gain? Swedish’s GAINS program can help you and your pediatrician by doing a full assessment and providing specific recommendations. The Growth and Integrated Nutrition Service at Swedish (GAINS) is a multidisciplinary program, which includes doctors, nurses, dietitians, behavioral specialists, and feeding therapists.
There are many medical conditions that lead to growth and nutrition problems in children. We are experts at working with children with:
- Feeding difficulties
- Poor weight gain
- Failure to thrive
- Children with feeding tubes
- Breastfeeding Difficulties
Here are some frequently asked questions about the GAINS program:
January 07, 2013
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: i...