Uma Pisharody
Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP

Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP

Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP
Specialty

Pediatric Gastroenterology

Clinical Interests / Special Procedures Performed

Anorectal Disease, Anorectal Manometry, Bleeding Internal, Chronic Abdominal Pain, Colonoscopy, Constipation, Crohn's Disease, Diarrhea, Chronic, Fecal Incontinence & Constipation, Flexible Sigmoidoscopy, Food Allergies, Gallstone Dx, Gastroenterology, Gastro-Esophageal Junction, Gastro-Esophageal Reflux, Gastrointestinal, Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, Gastroscopy, GI Motility Disorders, Growth Problems, Hepatitis, Hepatitis C, Hepatobiliary, Hepatology, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Intestinal Motility Disorders, Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Liver, Liver Disease, Liver Dx, Nutrition, Obesity, Pancreatabiliary Systems, Pancreatic Dx, Pancreatitis, Parasitic Infections, Ped/Adol Gastroenterology, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Peg Tube Insertion, Polypectomy, Sclerosing Cholangitis, Swallowing Disorders, Ulcerative Colitis, Viral Hepatitis

  • Accepting Children: Yes
  • Accepting New Patients: Yes
  • Accepting Medicare: Yes
  • Accepting Medicaid/DSHS: Yes
Payment Methods Accepted:

Medicare, Medicaid/DSHS, Bill Insurance, VISA, Master Card, Cash, Check, American Express, Discover Card

Insurance Accepted:

Contact this office for accepted insurance plans.

Additional Information:

Dr. Pisharody was recognized in Seattle Metroplitan magazine’s annual Top Doctors and Nurse Practitioners feature. (2013, 2014)

News Release

Dr. Pisharody was voted "Top Doctors" in Seattle Magazine (2013)

Surveys were mailed to physicians in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties. The survey asked physicians to name the provider they would seek out or recommend to loved ones.

News Release

Philosophy of Care

Approach each patient and family with the sincere intent to listen carefully and empathetically. Strive to make diagnoses based on clinical judgement and experience, using diagnostic tests wisely, as a complementary adjunct. Tailor treatment approaches to meet each child's individual needs.

Personal Interests

Music, travel, reading, vegetarian cooking

Medical School

Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore

Residency

Jersey Shore University Medical Center

Fellowship(s)

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans

Board Certifications

Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterology

Languages:

English, Malayalam

Professional Associations:

North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, American Gastroenterological Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, Crohns and Colitis Foundation

Additional Information:

Dr. Pisharody was recognized in Seattle Metroplitan magazine’s annual Top Doctors and Nurse Practitioners feature. (2013, 2014)

News Release

Dr. Pisharody was voted "Top Doctors" in Seattle Magazine (2013)

Surveys were mailed to physicians in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties. The survey asked physicians to name the provider they would seek out or recommend to loved ones.

News Release

Dr. Pisharody is one of the designated Principal Investigators (PI) for an international research study which collects data on children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The name of the study is:  DEVELOPTM An Inflammatory Bowel DisEase Multicenter, ProspectiVELOng-term Registry of Pediatric Patients.

She is also one of the PIs for "A Long-Term Non-Interventional Registry to Assess Safety and Effectiveness of Humira (Adalimumab) in Pediatric Patients wtih Moderately to Severely Active Crohn's Disease (CD)"

Kids and lactose intolerance

Do you wonder if your child might have “lactose intolerance”?    Have you ever thought of removing dairy from your child’s diet?  If the answer to either of these questions is yes, here are a few things to remember when it comes to lactose intolerance in kids:

  • Lactose is broken down by lactase.

While lactose is the carbohydrate (sugar) found in milk, lactase is the enzyme that digests the sugar. This enzyme is found in the lining of the small intestine, breaks down lactose into simpler molecules that are easier to absorb.  When there isn’t enough lactase, the sugar isn’t properly absorbed, which leads to the symptoms of “intolerance”, which include gas, bloating, pain and diarrhea.

  • True lactose intolerance is rare in young children.

Although children as young as infants can “transiently” have less lactase in their digestive tracts (most often, this happens for a week or two after an infection), lactase production remains ...

Gluten intolerance or low FODMAPs?

Despite test results that show no evidence of their children having neither any detectable allergies to wheat nor any signs of celiac disease, many parents choose to have their children follow a gluten-free diet.  This is because of convincing stories of how gluten (a protein found in wheat and other grains) seems to cause their kids to have belly aches, nausea, bloating and a variety of other symptoms.  

For years, this was hard to explain without a scientific explanation.   Gastroenterologists like me had a hard time supporting families who wanted to follow gluten free diets, without a good “medical reason”.  Then, in 2011, researchers from Australia conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, rechallenge trial in nearly 3 dozen patients (none of whom had celiac disease or wheat allergy), all of whom described worsening symptoms when unknowingly ingesting small amounts of gluten.  The results of this study described a condition termed, “Non-celiac gluten intolerance”.    It was after reading this landmark study that many physicians, including myself, began to validate parents’ concerns about gluten being the culprit behind their children’s gastrointestinal (GI) problems.

But then in 2013, just as word of non-celiac gluten intolerance was gaining popularity amongst physicians like me, the exact same group of researchers from Australia published a follow-up study on a similar set of about 3 dozen patients.  The findings of this 2nd study showed that instead...

Does your child have a food allergy or food sensitivity?

“Every time my child eats, his belly hurts. I think he must have a food allergy. Can you help us?”

Countless times have I heard this from parents of children worried about foods being the cause of their child’s gastrointestinal (GI) complaints. Some families wonder whether their child should start a “gluten-free” or other type of dietary change. More often than not, families have already tried a few diets before meeting with me.

Parents considering these types of elimination diets need to be aware of a few key points:
The difference between “food allergy” and “food sensitivity”:

Public Comment Period on Food Label Changes Ending Soon

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:

New Washington State Law to Help Children with Food Allergies

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. 


FDA finally defines gluten free

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:
    •    “Gluten-free”
    •    “Free of gluten”
    •    “No gluten”
    •    “Without gluten”

2.  It’s voluntary.  A manufacturer may produce gluten-free foods, but just choose not to label them as such.   

3.  “Gluten-free” does not mean “zero gluten”. The new law defines "gluten-free" to mean that a food contains less than 20 parts per million (20 ppm) of gluten.  (This tiny amount can be visualized as less than a tenth of a grain of salt on a slice of bread, and is acceptable as the standard for people with celiac disease).

4.  As with any rule, there are exceptions.  Although ...

Infants with Milk Allergy

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:

  1. 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.
  2. It’s seen in breast fed babies.  Over 50% of infants with this condition are breast milk-fed infants.  But remember, the babies are allergic to the dairy in their moms’ diets, not to their mothers’ breast milk per se!
  3. Switching to soy or goat’s milk doesn’t work.  Over two-thirds of infants with cow’s milk protein allergy “cross-react” to soy protein (which means that they may not be truly allergic to soy protein, but their immune systems are just too “immature” to know the difference between the two).  Similarly, if a mother switches from drinking cow’s milk to goat’s milk, it won’t help, because the source is still a “different species”; the infant’s immune system will still respond to the “foreign” protein.
  4. Treatment takes time. The inflammation resolves when all traces of cow’s milk (and soy), are  removed from the infant’s diet.  In the case of formula-fed infants, we switch to special hypoallergenic formulas.  Typically after a successful switch, the bleeding stops within a week.  However, with breast fed infants, the improvement can be a little slower.  Since it can take up to 2 weeks for the dairy in a mother’s diet to circulate into her breast milk, the full effects may not been seen for up to a couple weeks.
  5. Allergy testing is not recommended.  The type of allergy that ...
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