The 3 E’s of 2016

Over my Christmas vacation I restarted practicing yoga and my kids have been joining me.  How fun!!  This has been a wonderful experience for us.  I have been feeling calmer and more focused.  The girls have been enjoying themselves also.  Even my husband said he may want to start taking it up.  Santa brought my oldest a yoga mat so we are side by side.  I knew she had an interest in it.  And we all know it is always more fun to do things with a partner in crime.

I haven’t really done yoga consistently since I was in college (which was a really, really long time ago).  My husband also got me a fitbit for Christmas which I have to say is pretty damn awesome.  And its in my favorite color!  It keeps track of my steps, heart rate, miles walked, calories burnt, and it tracks my exercise which includes yoga.


Over this upcoming year, I am also going to attempt to implement some of these practices in my treatment regimens.  As many of my patients can already attest, I only prescribe meds when I deem necessary.  I always try to encourage diet change and exercise first.  I spend an extensive amount of time trying to understand the stressors that may be leading to the symptoms that my patients are feeling.

Yoga has been studied in the treatment of IBS to aid in symptom relief if done on a regular basis.  Also in the autistic population, children with anxiety, and children with functional abdominal pain can benefit from yoga as well.  I will be learning more about these various yoga poses, techniques and methods so that I can share them with you over the next weeks to months.

Yoga Mats

I hope that this new year will be one of Education, Enrichment, and Enlightenment!  Stay Healthy and Be Well!!

As always I look forward to hearing your thoughts and reading your comments.


Helpful Tips for Dry, Itchy Skin

Tips for Dry Skin

Although I am a pediatric gastroenterologist, which means a “Kids Tummy Doctor”,  many of my patients with chronic diseases suffer from dry, itchy skin.  This, if left untreated, can be painful, make children cranky and frustrated and can lead to excessive scratching.  The excessive scratching worsens the problem and can lead to cuts and possible skin infections.  Patients that suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, Short Gut Syndrome or Small Bowel syndrome, Celiac disease, Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy or other allergic colitis conditions can experience this.  It is a multifactorial problem that can stem from poor nutrition and the bodies immune system reacting to the food allergen or is an additional manifestation of their chronic condition.

It is heartbreaking when I see one of my patients, especially the little babies,  so itchy and scratching their legs together to try to get a bit of relief.  Over the years I have compiled a list of helpful hints that I give to my patients and I have found that used together they work.

  • Avoid soap.  Use a non-soap cleanser such as Cetaphil, Cerave or similar products
  • Try Rubbing, vibration or applying pressure instead of scratching.  A good thing to “scratch” with is an ice cube
  • Drink plenty of water or other clear fluids to keep hydrated.  Remember although milk is nutritious it does not count as a hydrating fluid.
  • Apply moisturizer immediately after a shower or bath and do not rub dry with a towel.  Only use the towel to pat dry and take excess water off.
  • Creams are more effective than lotions
  • Apply moisturizer twice a day.  Good options are Aveeno, Eucerin, Lubriderm, or Aquaphor
  • Use only non-perfumed and unscented bath and personal care products
  • Avoid extremely hot showers and baths
  • Take an oatmeal bath to relieve itching and help with relaxation
  • Try baking soda or unscented bath oils for bathing
  • Apply cold packs, wrapped in a cloth to the skin
  • Whenever possible wear loose fitting clothing made from natural products.  This allows the skin to breathe
  • Protect your skin from the sun – wear sunscreen
  • Don’t forget your lips – wear lipbalm with SPF
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Keep room temperature at 60-70 degrees and keep air circulating and ventilated

Hope these are useful and provide some relief for those who need it.  Let me know your thoughts and comments below.

#KidsTummyTroubles #DrySkin #Healthtips #ItchySkin

A Mommy’s Day Off?!?

scooterSo I have a day off.  I was able to sleep in until my youngest daughter, who is now 4 years old woke up.  She slept in til 7:30 am…WooHoo!!  My 6 yo joined us downstairs a half hour later.  Summer camp is over and they have nothing structured planned for August.  My oldest is looking forward to a library event at 1 pm where she could win a Kindle reader because she completed 10 hours of reading thru the library’s reading program in July.  So what to do from now til 1……hmmm???

Brush teeth, get dressed, brush hair, eat breakfast, make beds (which is the only chore my 6 yo has right now)  It is now 10am. That killed some time.   Wait I didn’t even eat or have my coffee yet :(So lets try to solve that problem, put my Kcup in to be brewed and set the girls up to do their summer workbooks.  After only 10 minutes of negototiating they agree with going to park after completing 4 pages each in respective books.  I feel a huge sense of accomplishment for getting this done so early in the day.

Lily (the 4 yo) wants to ride her new birthday scooter that she got last week. and we’re off to the park. After we get cleaned up, eat lunch, do the library thing (which of course we don’t win the Kindle ), we go get ice cream at the local ice cream shoppe. Then I hear my phone beep in my purse on the drive home.  I check it at home and realize a friend just facebook IM’d me with a “quick question”.

An old college friend contacted me.  She suffers from inflammatory bowel disease.  This is a disease that I treat in my pediatric patients also, although we do not have as many medication options as the adults have.  She was started on a new medication and is having a twitching in her face and numbness after 2 weeks of this new med.  She called her doctor and can’t reach him. He is on vacation and although he has 4 partners that are IN THE OFFICE, the front desk won’t let her speak to any of them. So she is asking me for my advice.  I am used to this type of question.  Day off or not I will always get phone calls at all hours of the day or night.  The worst was when our friends had new babies.

I answered her questions and began to become more and more furious as speaking to her with the way this adverse reaction was handled.  This is the difference between adult and pediatric medicine. The bedside manner and level of concern.  In pediatrics we deal with our patients and the caregivers, which is similar to geriatrics.  I gave my friend the exact script of what to say to the front desk that would get her through to the doctor.  Most of the time its the annoying patients that get what they need from the medical system. The sweet people will get nowhere and I needed her to be seen by her doctor or by the on call physician.   She finally got an appointment for tomorrow and spoke to one of her doctors.

During this dialogue I received a phone call from the chief of the pediatric division at the hospital with a question regarding the Peds GI clinic statistics, I had to be referee between my girls at least 3 times, let my dogs out to pee in the yard 4 times and then gave the girls a snack.

And then guess what I found……my coffee still in the keurig!