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Oak Street & Oregon Allergy Blog

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Melanie Chala Wayne, MSN, FNP-BC

Melanie Chala Wayne, MSN, FNP-BC

Melanie Chala Wayne, MSN, FNP-BC is a nurse practitioner for Oak Street Medical and Oregon Allergy Associates.

Hygiene-325The hygiene hypothesis is a theory used to explain why there has been an increase in allergies around the world.

What exactly is hygiene?

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes hygiene as conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases, which means the things that you do to keep yourself and your surroundings clean to maintain good health. This might include bathing, dental care, handwashing, using clean water sources, keeping human and animal waste away from food and water, all with the goal of preventing infectious disease. This is a good thing, overall, we want clean and sanitary living conditions, but, in theory, it may be contributing to immune system confusion.

Tagged in: Allergies Pets

160913PetsGoodHealth-325For years, I've heard about how pets can help lower stress, which can improve your body and your mind. And I've always wondered, is this really true?

In my personal experience, I have found that having pets at home does decrease my stress, gets me out of the house to walk, gives me joy when I see them play—and I just adore coming home to someone so excited to see me. Seeing the wagging tail and hearing the happy sounds my dog makes when I return is really comforting, and it always brings a smile to my weary face.

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Tagged in: Allergies Pets

160830HiddenFoodAllergies-325Going out to eat when you have a food allergy can be a little like "Where's Waldo?"—your food allergen could be hiding in anything. Here are a few things to consider.

Be aware of hidden ingredients

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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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160322YogaSeries-325When I heard that Oak Street Medical was starting a new six-week yoga class, my first though was, “What a great idea for a medical facility to integrate the body and mind!”

The teachers of the class, Patty Nadel, MSW, LCSW and Michele Bulgatz, MS, 500RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher), created the program for women in recovery. They believe that women who are healing from trauma, who may have PTSD or high anxiety, can benefit greatly from yoga.

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