Child’s fear of choking again can lead to weight loss and eating issues

Child’s fear of choking again can lead to weight loss and eating issues

Some children who have endured a scary choking incident may suffer from what’s called Avoidant-Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. The disorder was recently reviewed in The New England Journal of Medicine and presents as a condition associated with weight loss due to eating difficulties following a choking incident. The child basically fears having another choking episode. This leads to avoiding solid food, preferring or demanding only soft food or liquids such as milkshakes, puddings and oatmeal. Weight loss follows because the…

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More than weather events, summer storms can trigger allergic asthma

More than weather events, summer storms can trigger allergic asthma

Nine people died and 8,500 more recently were hospitalized with severe asthma in Australia in a single week of thunderstorms. Said storms occurred during the peak of rye grass pollen season. The rain caused the pollen to become saturated, and the electrical discharges caused fragmentation of the pollen grains into tiny particles.  More typically, pollen grains are filtered out by the nose/sinus area, leading to hay fever symptoms. But tiny fragments created by the storms were able to slip right…

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Dear Dr. Sasha K: Do I really need my appendix out?

Dear Dr. Sasha K: Do I really need my appendix out?

First of all, we don’t really need an appendix, which is why it is often removed as a precaution against future appendicitis during other abdominal surgery. However, appendectomy for appendicitis is still the most common surgery done by acute-care surgeons, and has been the mainstay for centuries for treating appendicitis. The first appendectomy was in 1735. In fact, ask any physician, surgeon or non-surgeon how to treat appendicitis and the universal answer will be, “cut it out.” But that response…

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Q – Tips: PUPS

Q – Tips: PUPS

PUPS, also known as papular urticaria of pregnancy syndrome is the appearance of hives during pregnancy. It is a benign condition and causes no harm to the baby. Seventy percent of the time the child is male, leading some researchers to believe it is due to the male DNA irritating the mother.

Better efficiency noted in flu vaccines for persons over 50

Better efficiency noted in flu vaccines for persons over 50

Remember the word “recombinant” as it relates to flu vaccines for those over 50 years old. The definition of the term is a little “medical,” but progress in the research for a better flu vaccine to protect that age group is definitely worth cheering on. The current flu vaccine confers only 36% to 80% protection. This new DNA technology, as recently reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, was successfully used by the researchers to vaccinate with only the…

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Allergy to medical implants on the rise

Allergy to medical implants on the rise

Biomedical implants are becoming more and more common in today’s world of modern medicine. For instance, roughly one-million knee replacement surgeries were done in the U.S. last year. With these numbers, it’s not a surprise that allergic reactions to the implants is also increasing.  Diagnostic features of metal hypersensitivity to an implant include: rash developing in the skin overlying the implant, generalized skin rash beginning weeks to months after the implant, unexplained pain and/or failure of the implant, positive patch…

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Eczema relief: Dupixent approved; Nemolizumab research encouraging

Eczema relief: Dupixent approved; Nemolizumab research encouraging

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has just recently approved the drug Dupixent for treating atopic dermatitis (eczema). It is a human monoclonal antibody (dupilumab) that targets two inflammatory molecules – IL-4 and IL-13 – the main driving forces for the rash and itch that characterize eczema. This drug is intended for people with moderate-to-severe eczema that is not otherwise controlled by antihistamines or topical steroids. The medicine is administered by subcutaneous injection from a pre-filled syringe. The current recommendation…

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Yellow jacket sting vs risk of immunization — relative

Yellow jacket sting vs risk of immunization — relative

Dear Dr. K:  My father, who is 70, has had two near-fatal anaphylactic reactions to yellow jacket stings. His cardiologist says he shouldn’t see an allergist for venom immune therapy (VIT) because he‘s on a beta-blocker since he had a heart attack. What should I tell him? Tell him it’s a matter of relative risk and he should see an allergist. This is a complex problem, but not a rare one, so a little explanation will help. First of all,…

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