Avoiding Eye Complications of Diabetes

  By Jennifer K. Sun, MD and Ka Hei Karen Lau, MS, RD, LDN, CDE Having poorly controlled blood sugar for a long time may cause complications related to diabetes. Eye complications are the most common preventable complication in patients with diabetes. Changes in the eyes from diabetes usually affect the retina, the thin layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye and contains the light sensing cells which transit visual signals back to the brain. These changes, also called “diabetic retinopathy,” are the result of chronically high blood sugar levels that damage the blood vessels of the … Continue reading

Regular exercise can help kids do better in school

By StatePoint Physical activity may not be the first thing parents or teachers think about when they want to boost a child’s academic performance, but evidence supports the notion that a bit of exercise for the body is beneficial to the brain as well. In fact, kindergarteners who participated in Build Our Kids’ Success (BOKS), a free before-school program involving physical activity and nutrition education, had significantly improved memory skills as rated by teachers, compared to their peers who did not participate. A study of the children’s performance also concluded that those who participated in the program exhibited good behavior … Continue reading

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