Food allergy in non-food items

By DR. JOHN LEUNG AND REBECCA STANSKI, TUFTS MEDICAL CENTER Although an allergic reaction is usually due to contact or accidentally eating the food, there are non-food items that can contain food ingredients that can cause an allergic reaction. These include cosmetics, lotions, medications and more. Why is there food in medications? Excipients are all substances found in medications other than the active ingredient(s). They are added to aid the manufacturing process, to enhance the stability of the product, or to make the product more appealing to the patient. Sometimes excipients come from foods, which can potentially be dangerous for … Continue reading

Mental health tips for parenting of teens and young adults

By StatePoint If you are the parent of an older child or teen, you may not think about his or her day-to-day medical needs as often as you did during early childhood. But older kids are also dependent on you, especially when it comes to emotional health and wellness. “Life transitions, romantic situations, stress and exposure to drugs and alcohol are just a few of the challenges facing teens and young adults,” said James Perrin, MD, FAAP, 2014 President of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). “As a parent, you can help ease these transitions and encourage positive choices.” The … Continue reading

How to combat constipation in children

By Khoa Tran, MD, Tufts Medical Center (Khoa Tran) “Minna Unchi” (“Everybody Poops”), a Japanese children’s book by Tarō Gomi, has long been used by parents to teach their children about the natural process of having bowel movements. In addition to showing a variety of different animals such an elephant or a mouse passing stool, it shows that babies use a diaper, small children use a small potty toilet and older children use a toilet. And while that remains the ideal progression, for many families, the process of teaching children how to transition from diapers to a potty toilet is … Continue reading

What is fructose and why should it be put behind bars?

IMAGE COURTESY OF YAN JIANG

By Dr. John Leung (梁爾尊醫師) and Paige Cross, Tufts Medical Center (搭芙茨醫療中心) What is fructose intolerance? Fructose intolerance occurs when the body cannot fully absorb fructose. When the unabsorbed fructose reaches the colon, it is turned into hydrogen gas by bacteria, leading to abdominal symptoms when fructose is consumed. What is fructose? Fructose is a sugar that can be consumed by itself or as a component of sucrose (table sugar). Many fruits are high in fructose, as are many processed foods made with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), such as soda and flavored yogurts. What are the symptoms? 1. Gas … Continue reading

Why am I not allowed to eat and drink before surgery?

A medical team performs three-dimensional minimally invasive surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. on June 24, 2011. (Photo by John Chew)

By Pei-shan Zhao, MD To answer this question, let’s start with some basic knowledge. Fifty percent of the water we drink passes through the stomach in 10 minutes and the stomach is almost empty in one hour. Even caloric fluids like sugar water will all be passed through the stomach after 90 minutes. In contrast, approximately 50 percent of solid food is passed through the duodenum (the intestine immediately connected to the stomach) roughly two hours after a meal. It takes much longer for the stomach to empty solid food. A lot of things affect gastric emptying. It takes longer … Continue reading

State health secretary visits South Cove Community Health Center

Mass. Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz presented a Community Health Center Week Proclamation to South Cove Community Health Center’s Board President April Tang and Executive Director Eugene Welch on Aug.13. (Image courtesy of Vekonda Luangaphay.)

South Cove Community Health Center (華人醫務中心) welcomed Mass. Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz during his visit to Boston on August 13, as part of the Community Health Center Week tour. “It is really to raise awareness about the great work that the 49 community health centers do across the commonwealth,” Polanowicz said. “South Cove does such a great job with this population.” The health center was one of seven centers the Patrick Administration toured in Massachusetts during August 10 to 16, a week Gov. Deval Patrick proclaimed as Community Health Center Week in the state. It is a … Continue reading