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:
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.
Although children as young as infants can “transiently” have l...
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 unkno...
“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”:
I recently wrote a short post for the Issaquah Soccer Club on the topic of sports & energy drinks.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Do you know what it is? Do you know what symptoms people suffer from? Do you know that 1.4 million Americans have IBD, and that it can affect both children and adults alike? The gastroenterology team at Swedish takes care of both children and adults who suffer with this chronic, disease of the gastrointestinal tract. As the pediatric gastroenterology nurse who works intimately with the pediatric IBD patients at Swed...
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"
This week Tom Gibbon, Swedish Community Specialty Clinic Manager and co-chair the Cover King County Leadership Circle, co-authored a guest column in the Seattle Times encouraging readers to sign up for health insurance coverage before the March 31 deadline.
Read the Seattle Times column.
Health-care reform is a big, confusing, emotionally-charged topic. Now that 2014 is underway and the Affordable Care Act is beginning to take effect, many more Americans will have greater access to health insurance than they had before. It is estimated that 180,000 people in King County alone will become newly insured this year.
Still, there will be many people in our community – and throughout the country – who will continue to face barriers to accessing care. Some of them will be considered underinsured because they can’t afford to fill the gap in medical expenses not covered by their insurance. Others receiving Medicaid may find it difficult to locate a physician who is willing to take them on as a patient, as doctors are not required to see Medicaid patients, and many don’t. And then, there will probably always be those people who don’t have any insurance at all because, for one reason or another, they can’t sign up: the homeless, the chronically mentally...