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Oak Street & Oregon Allergy Blog

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150421OralAllergySyndrome-300Some people who are allergic to pollen develop itchiness or swelling of the mouth, face and throat when they eat certain fruits and vegetables. This is known as oral allergy syndrome. Symptoms usually occur within minutes of eating the food.

Oral allergy syndrome is caused by a cross-reaction between various pollens and certain proteins in fruits, vegetables and nuts that are structurally similar to the proteins in pollen. The immune system becomes confused and causes an allergic reaction that can lead to an itchy, tingly mouth and sometimes a mild sensation of swelling in the mouth or lips. Occasionally, blisters may result.

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Tagged in: Food Food Allergies

150407NotYourMothersIUD-300One of the most common reasons for a young woman to visit me at Oak Street Medical is because she has questions or is unhappy with her current birth control method.

When I provide her information about contraceptive options, I always include the intrauterine device (IUD). This is one of the safest, most effective and easiest methods for preventing pregnancy. But frequently, I hear this: "I don't think I should use an IUD because my mother said they can cause a lot of problems."

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150324MutipleSclerosis-300Since March is Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Month, I thought I would share our experience with the disease.

My wife, Mary Beth, developed MS at age 22 in 1971. Like the majority of those with this disease, she was young and female. In fact, in most cases, symptoms develop in women age 20-40, at a ratio of 3:1 over men.

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Tagged in: Multiple Sclerosis

It's no secret that I've experienced some major life changes recently. My children are both happily exploring college life on the East Coast, and I'm now making preparations for a new learning experience of my own. While I am truly excited for the next chapter of my life, it comes with a difficult goodbye.

For some time, I've been drawn to doing palliative care and hospice medicine, but I didn't really know how to move into that field. Accepting opportunities to work in hospice part-time, while still managing my current primary care practice wasn't working out, so I decided to make the leap and transition full-time into the field of palliative care medicine.  

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150303ViralGastroenteritis-smSometimes referred to as "the stomach bug," viral gastroenteritis is more common this time of year. Understanding the symptoms, how to manage them, and the steps you can take to avoid these viruses may help prevent or ease sickness.

Viral gastroenteritis is usually caused by Norovirus or Rotavirus. Both are highly contagious. These viruses are spread by direct contact and by bodily secretions, particularly stool. Rapid-onset symptoms include vomiting, which is frequently accompanied by diarrhea that's almost always watery, but should not be bloody.  Those who come down with viral gastroenteritis may also experience mild fever and cramping abdominal pain, and in some cases headache. The vomiting usually subsides within 12-24 hours and the diarrhea usually clears within three to four days.

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Tagged in: Gastroenteritis