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Patients and doctors: time to talk

Years of abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea — and being dismissed by her doctors — before one doctor finally took the time to listen.  Finally, she had an an accurate diagnosis, and could move on to effective treatment.  Johannah Ruddy’s story was published last month in a prominent medical journal,* with an online companion video.  By now, it […]

6 ways that wheat can cause stomach aches

Gluten-free and wheat-free diets have become increasingly popular over the last 10 years.  While some experts dismiss this trend as a fad, it has no sign of slowing down.  I’ve had plenty of friends tell me how much better they feel on a gluten-free diet.  But I have also seen first-hand how some of my patients […]

Where has all the dog doo gone?

I was surprised recently to discover that my children did not know what “dog doo” is.  And no, that is not because they have lived a sheltered life!  When I was a kid, in the 70’s and 80’s, dog doo was the stuff that you avoided on the sidewalk, or had to scoop up from […]

bloating from fructose

Four foods which can cause bloating and abdominal pain

Bloating and abdominal pain after eating?  Think back over your diet for the last few days. Do you frequently eat any of these foods? – apples (including apple juice) – pears (including pear juice) – high fructose corn syrup – agave nectar Many people suspect that bloating and pain might be caused by an unidentified food […]

possible locations of sinusitis in children

Sinusitis or a cold? When children have runny noses.

Respiratory infection season is here! This means lots of colds, especially in daycare- and preschool-aged children. And that leads to the worry of a cold or viral upper respiratory tract infection (URI) becoming a bacterial sinusitis. How do you know if the runny nose and cough is from a cold or from a sinus infection? […]

child with ear infection

When should I worry about an ear infection in my child?

Ear infection – one of the common causes of doctor’s visit, in San Diego and everywhere.  Infants or toddlers often wake at night, irritable and fussy, pulling on their ears and crying, maybe with a cold and a fever. This all too familiar scenario has all of the hallmarks of an ear infection (or, more formally, […]

Stomach aches keep kids from enjoying school

The “back-to-school” stomach ache

Q: Why do so many kids get a stomach ache at the beginning of the school year? Is it all just anxiety? A:  Returning to school can be a stressful time especially for kids who are starting in a new place. And yes, stress and anxiety can cause a stomach ache. (I distinctly remember the […]

What kind of milk should my kids be drinking?

Kids are supposed to drink milk, right?  Well, that depends. Q:  My 6-year-old daughter seems to have stomach aches all the time.  Could milk be causing her problem?     A:  In the United States, most of us are used to thinking of milk as a healthy drink for kids, and an important part of […]

mucus can come from infection or allergy

What is snot for? Musings on mucus

Mucus is icky.  Germy. Slimy. Gross.  Nobody wants to touch snot! But what is snot, and why do we have it, anyway? Our lowly snot is actually really important: it helps to keep us healthy. Snot, otherwise known as mucus, is a secretion created by the body.  As we breathe air in through our nose, […]

What is stuck in my throat?

Have you ever had that funny feeling that there is something stuck in your throat, that you just can’t get rid of? There is actually a name for it: globus sensation. It’s a fairly common reason for children (and adults) to be referred to an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist (ENT). But where does the […]