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Oak Street & Oregon Allergy Blog

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Recent blog posts

IMG950565 cropI am the luckiest grandfather in the world! My four “carefully planned” children have given me eight (soon-to-be nine) grandchildren. I just visited my oldest daughter, Molly, and her five children in Grafton, Wisconsin. It’s always great fun to see them.

Molly’s five children include Bryson, age 11, who is quite the basketball star; Cooper, age 10, who is a mathematical genius and can tell you stats on all the sports — he is amazing; Layla, age 8, who’s the only girl and a true princess — she’s also quite the gymnast and loves to show off her tumbling skills; and the twins, Holden and Griffin, age 6, who most certainly are not identical twins like their grandfather, Kirk, and great uncle, Kraig, or twin uncles David and Doug. These two are polar opposites in every way! Holden has a dark complexion, dark hair and eyes, while Griffin has a very light complexion, with blonde hair and blue eyes. And their personalities couldn’t be any more different. Holden is quiet and always has a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face. Griffin, on the other hand, is the free spirit — full of curiosity and the most likely to follow me around whenever I’m doing “projects” around my daughter’s home. He is a visual learner, and can take things apart and put them back together, even at his young age. They are all unique, excelling in their own areas of interest and passion. I am truly amazed and impressed with each of them.

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140622OSM peanutblog finalNew treatments may soon be available for patients with peanut allergy. For decades, our best therapy was identification, avoidance and treatment of reactions with epinephrine and antihistamine. But this could change with a new procedure called oral peanut desensitization.

While attending an allergy conference, I listened to a debate about peanut desensitization and whether it is helpful, safe and ready for the general public. An allergist from Lake Oswego, who is currently treating selected patients with desensitization, argued for it, while an allergist from Seattle argued against it.

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140609OSMpeanutallergy finalWhen it comes to food allergy awareness, peanut allergy is most commonly known because of its prevalence and symptom severity, which can include death.

About 1 percent of the United States population has peanut allergy. Among children with food allergies, youngsters have the highest allergic reaction to peanuts, followed by milk and shellfish. Peanut allergy is estimated to affect about 400,000 school-aged children in the United States, and it is one of the food allergens most commonly associated with severe reactions, such as anaphylaxis.

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140523EoEimageThose who’ve experienced repeated swallowing trouble are sometimes diagnosed with a condition called Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE). Although this condition is chronic, it can usually be managed effectively with medications or by avoiding foods that trigger the symptoms.

With this condition, foreign cells called eosinophil invade the esophagus. These cells release proteins that inflame the throat, making it difficult to swallow. In some EoE patients, food will become stuck in the esophagus. When this happens, emergency help is often needed to remove it. In babies, EoE can cause recurrent vomiting or feeding difficulties. Additional symptoms may include upper abdominal pain, chest pain or heartburn symptoms that do not subside with typical heartburn medications.

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Tagged in: Trouble swallowing

140512osm obesity finalMore and more children are becoming victims of the obesity epidemic in the United States. And being obese as a child makes you twice as likely to become an obese adult.

Obesity is defined as having excess body fat that makes you 20 percent or more above your ideal body weight. Children who struggle with obesity can suffer both physical and psychological problems.

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