Doctor Yum’s Prescription for a Healthy Family

Here it is -our new and improved “Prescription for a Healthy Family”! These are the 10 simple rules that emcompass the messages of Doctor Yum and our nonprofit, “The Doctor Yum Project.” Click on each heading for much more information and ideas: 1.Make Wellness Number #1. Time and effort spent teaching healthy habits is an investment in a healthy long life for your kids. Long after designer shoes, electronics and fancy clothes wear out, kids will still have good health from good nutrition. 2. Get Everyone On Board. A healthy family starts with the adults in the family who model good behavior for kids. Everyone needs to invest and participate in a healthy lifestyle for the best results.  Grow herbs in a container, start a garden or visit a farmers market so that kids see how real food grows. Let kids pick out recipes and let them help prepare meals. 3. Connect. Find other families who are trying to get healthy and share ideas. Join groups, use social media, and surround your family with other folks who have wellness in mind. 4. Get organized. Arrange your family’s life to make wellness easier. Set yourself up for success by de-cluttering and having a plan for wellness. See our posts on Getting Starting in the Kitchen  and Getting Organized.  5. Drink water.  Drinking water is a simple habit that goes miles in terms of helping achieve good health. Limit fruit juice, and other sugary beverages. Artificially sweetened drinks are not a good substitute for water.What’s wrong with water? It’s what humans are meant to drink! 6. Cook at Home. Even if you don’t love to cook, find the fun in...

Obesity in Children

In 2010, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 34% of American adults and 17% of children are “obese.” Even more staggering is that the number of adults considered “overweight” is 64% and that nearly one-third of children are at least overweight to obese. At PL Pediatrics, like many practices around the country, we see a growing number of overweight and obese children every year.  Below is an overview of obesity in children.  Management of obesity, especially in children and even adolescents should be a parent-driven process.  This article is meant to provide background information in order for parents to help make informed decisions which will help children attain a healthy lifestyle and body weight. Risk factors for obesity in Children include: Having at least one obese parent Having a television in the bedroom Watching television for more than 2 hours per day Sedentary lifestyle Poor diet (diet high in fat, sugar and processed foods) Health Consequences of Obesity include: High cholesterol Early onset of cardiovascular disease Hypertension Type 2 diabetes mellitus Menstrual Irregularity with decreased fertility Obstructive Sleep Apnea Liver disease Musculoskeletal complaints Psychological Stress Many of these problems were once thought of as medical issues of adulthood.  However, as the obesity rate rises in the pediatric population we are seeing more children and adolescents with the same obesity-related complications.  The incidence is difficult to estimate because many of these problems go undetected for years.  For instance, type 2 diabetes, a problem almost exclusively related to obesity, can be detected only by blood work. This kind of testing may not be pursued for months or...

GERD (Gastroesphageal reflux disease) in Children

What is GERD? Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a backup of food and digestive acids from the stomach into the esophagus (digestive tube that leads from the mouth to the stomach).  The stomach contents are normally held down in the stomach by a thick muscular ring called the “Lower esophageal sphincter” (LES).  If the sphincter relaxes  then stomach acids are then able to flow backwards into the esophagus, causing irritation and symptoms. In Pediatrics, GERD is often seen in babies under the age of 12 months, when the LES has lower tone.  This can lead to frequent regurgitation and fussiness.  GERD can present in school aged children as well,  With children diet, genetics and other factors can play a role in the development of GERD.   What are the symptoms of GERD? Heartburn/ Chest pain Vomiting Difficulty swallowing Nausea Sour taste in the throat Dental erosions Chronic sore throat, hoarseness Chronic cough How is GERD diagnosed? Generally doctors are able to diagnose GERD with a good patient history. Occasionally,  other tests will be required to make the diagnosis when the history is not as clear. They may include: Upper GI/Barium Swallow: This test uses barium, a chalky white liquid which is swallowed by the patient while a special series of X-rays is taken. This test is often used to identify other abnormalities in anatomy that may explain symptoms. Endoscopy. This is a test performed by a specialist who inserts a small tube with a lighted camera.  The camera can help visualize abnormalities of the lining of the esophagus, stomach and even part of the small intestine and guide the...

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