Best of the Swedish Blog 2018

December 27, 2018
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We've gathered some of the best insights shared with you on the Swedish blog during the past year.

Good eating, good health

The saying is, "you are what you eat." But throughout the year, we learned another spin on that truism. It was something along the lines of, "your health is what you eat."

For instance, if your diet plan should be as unique as you are, then you should start with small changes on a new eating plan and choose a program you can sustain over the long haul — perhaps with the guidance of a dietary professional.

The power of food goes beyond supplying a daily dose of energy. Pacific Northwest residents should know that some foods can counter seasonal affective disorder, including milk, salmon and eggs. And the food topic of 2018 that may deserve a blog topic all its own was sugar.

Is eating sugar-free worth it? Well, when you're talking 66 pounds of sugar per person, per year, the shorter answer is yes. When you delve more deeply into the topic, minimization may still be better than moderation.

Also recommended: Why a positive body image is so important

You don't look a day over …

Decade by decade, how we treat our bodies has immediate and lasting effects. It's pretty well known that when a man hits 50 that's a milestone to have a colonoscopy. But there also are some basic health rules to follow, such as getting enough sleep, eating a healthier diet and drinking enough water. Did you know that some people lose their sense of thirst as they get older? Drink water.

So the year you're born has a lot of say over how you feel. But what about the birth order or the birth month? Yes, even the month you are born, according to researchers at Columbia University, could play a role in whether you're prone to glaucoma, seasonal affective disorder, personality disorder and a host of other conditions.

May is rather far away at the moment, and although that month is officially Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month, you shouldn’t wait until then to assess whether you're at risk for accelerated bone loss. There are several factors that play into the likelihood of experiencing the condition, and there are many preventive steps you can take to lessen the risk of developing osteoporosis.

When June rolls around, some men's thoughts may turn to baseball, fishing, gardening or laying on a beach. June is also men's health month, and it's also an appropriate time to think about prostate cancer screening, weight control and monitoring the eating and exercise routines.

Also recommended: Colonoscopy: Simply a lifesaving screening

Meet the parents

Getting the appropriately sized car seat for a newborn is a process that should start before arrival. And knowing how to install it should happen before the child is placed in the seat. According to a report in The Journal of Pediatrics, up to 95 percent of families do not correctly install a car seat for their newborn. There are also new car seat recommendations on car seats for young children.

Fever can be an uncomfortable condition for a child and a frightening state of affairs for parents. But the more parents know about fever and its effect on a child, the better. Fever, after all, can be a good thing and can help fight off infections.

Phthalates are chemical compounds that are widely used to make plastics more pliable. The chemical is found in several children's products such as a rubber duck. Not enough is known about the effect of phthalates on humans, but the chemicals have found to damage the health of some lab animals.

If your child is ever accused of bullying another child, it's important to resist the natural defensive reaction and instead take the accusation seriously. Also, teaching a child the importance of empathy and praising acts of kindness are two of several ways of steering away from bullying behavior.

High blood pressure in children? It happens more often than you might think. It occurs in 2 to 5 percent of all pediatric patients, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. But it often goes unrecognized. Fortunately, there are some things parents and children can do to combat the condition. One of the most effective is limiting sodium-rich, processed foods.

More American kids have developed food allergies than children in other countries. It's a guessing game why that's happened, but not how to respond to the possibility their child might be affected. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that food allergies affect 4 to 6 percent of American children. And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the allergy rate among Americans “at least doubled” between 1997 and 2008.

Also recommended: 5 ways to be a more positive parent

If you have questions about raising healthy kids, get the Circle by Swedish app, which offers provider-approved advice, checklists, and resources to help guide parents from pregnancy through the teen years.

Looking for a doctor? Connect with a Swedish provider.

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This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.