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

Benefits and concerns from eating fish

Image courtesy of Flickr

Fish is an excellent source of high quality protein and healthy fat, especially omega-3, and it is packed with healthful vitamins and minerals. Not many people know that fatty fish is a great source of Vitamin D, which is uncommon in other food. There is strong evidence that eating fish or taking fish oil is good for the heart and blood vessels, and research studies show eating approximately one to two 3-ounceservings of fatty fish a week reduces the risk of dying from heart disease by 36 percent. Fatty fish we commonly see include salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines. Continue reading

HFCS in manufactured food may lead to health issues, study says

Have you ever thought about your high blood sugar being linked to daily intake of soft drinks and processed foods? A study published in Metabolism May 2012 issue shows that consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a sweetener commonly used in manufactured foods and beverages, may link to a variety of health issues such as diabetes and metabolic effects. Continue reading