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Oak Street & Oregon Allergy Blog

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160726VitaminD-300Many who live in the Northwest are vitamin D deficient. This is due to many reasons. One, is that we do not get enough sunlight to help produce enough vitamin D, often because many people have indoor jobs.

Common symptoms include muscle or joint pain, weakness, tiredness and fatigue, and possibly depression. There is a blood test to determine vitamin D deficiency, however, most insurance companies don’t cover it.

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160712Eczema-200Babies and children with eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, often have a family history of eczema, asthma or allergies. They also have a much higher chance of developing environmental and food allergies, as well as asthma.

In fact, a 2003 study published in the journal Pediatrics showed up to 80 percent of children with eczema go on to develop allergies and/or asthma, while up to 30 percent of patients with eczema may also have a food allergy, compared to 1-3 percent in the general population. This progression of developing eczema in infancy, followed by allergies and asthma as the child gets older, has been dubbed the "atopic march."

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GeneticTesting-325When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, one of my first thoughts, after the initial shock, was who else in my family had been stricken with cancer?

Patients who have had family members diagnosed with cancer often worry about their own cancer risk, or the risk of their children. At Oak Street Medical, we have recently started a program to help patients better understand their family risks of developing certain types of cancer, which can be passed down by gene mutations.

The types of cancers we are most often confronted with in a primary care clinic are breast, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, colon, melanoma and endometrial/uterine. A person's risk level for developing any of these cancers depends on many factors, including the person's lifestyle.

We're helping our patients understand how their level of risk changes in relation to their family history. Risk categories include: general population, familial risk or hereditary risk. A person's risk can vary dramatically, depending on which category you fall into.

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Tagged in: Cancer

Many people live with a constellation of symptoms that make up a rare disease that is difficult to diagnose, because it is just that—rare.

160531RareDiseases-325In the United States, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) considers a disease rare if there are fewer than 200,000 individuals affected. For reference, there are nearly 80 million people with high blood pressure in the U.S.

These patients often go from provider to provider seeking an answer to their health problems. In fact, most patients see up to eight different providers before getting a diagnosis, delaying treatment. It can sometimes take seven or more years to get an accurate diagnosis, if ever. Some diseases haven't even been named; they are known as SWAN, or Symptoms Without a Name.

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160517MentalHealthMonth-325Most people believe that mental disorders are rare. Each day at Oak Street Medical, we see patients with mental health problems, such as mood disorders, or physical symptoms associated with mental issues—these problems are far from rare.

According to Mental Health America (formerly the National Mental Health Association), an estimated 54 million Americans suffer from mental disorders each year.

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