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By SMH Webmaster on 3/24/2015 2:18 PM
According to a recent article in the Current Oncology Reports journal, Complementary and Integrative Medicine (CIM) has become a popular approach among cancer patients. As patient interest in complementary therapies increases, so does the number of studies that suggest stress management, targeted nutritional supplements, enhanced general nutrition and physical activity may have a positive effect on survival of cancer patients.  

The goal of CIM is to complement the experience of your cancer treatment regimen and to serve as a jumping off point once you have finished with conventional therapies. This can include adding in natural or nutritional therapy to help prevent or offset common side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, or starting down a healthful path of secondary cancer prevention using diet and lifestyle interventions. Highest priority is to safely proceed with conventional care as recommended by your medical oncologist, while maintaining the highest quality of life possible. Fatigue, digestive upset, cognitive dysfunction, neuropathy, heart failure and sexual dysfunction are just a handful of symptoms that can occur concurrently and after treatment.
By SMH Webmaster on 3/24/2015 12:23 PM
“They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” Matthew 9:12 KJV   Jesus’ actions and associations were always under scrutiny.  He was judged when he performed a miracle, criticized about his teachings and questioned about his associations.  The statement above was made by Jesus after he had encountered criticism for attending a dinner at Matthew’s house.  Matthew was a tax collector and as such was despised by his own people because tax collectors worked for the Romans and had a reputation for being notoriously dishonest.  Matthew’s friends, who attended this meal, were referred to as “publicans and sinners” and it was unacceptable, according to the religious custom of the day, for a Rabbi to associate with this sort.  Jesus in his statement defended his actions by clearly indicating he was unbiased in his approach to sharing the love of God.   Bias or prejudice can be obvious such as intentional racism, sexism, ageism, etc., or it can be so subtle that we are not even aware of it.  Are...
By SMH Webmaster on 3/16/2015 3:25 PM
March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month, so it is a great time to talk about this topic. This month was chosen in 2000 by President Clinton to raise awareness and take action for prevention of colon cancer, the second most common cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. It usually does not cause a lot of symptoms until it is very advanced, so screening and prevention are important. If everyone age 50 and older got screened, as is recommended, six out of 10 deaths from colon cancer would be prevented.

No one really likes to get screened. It takes time and has a cost associated with it, depending on insurance coverage, but screening allows precancerous polyps to be found early and removed before they get bigger and cause more problems. A lot of my patients tell me they do not have a family history, so they feel like screening is not important for them. Only 25 percent of patients diagnosed with colon cancer have a family history; that means 75 percent of patients did not. Those with a family history may have different screening recommendations, but everyone age 50 or older should get screened or at least be discussing their case with their physician.
By SMH Webmaster on 3/16/2015 8:55 AM
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.  Though he fall, he shall not utterly be cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.” Psalm 37:23, 24 KJV
What do you plan to accomplish this week?  What’s on your to do list or calendar?  How did you arrive at that plan?  How will you go about accomplishing it?  The Psalmist presents a guide for our work life that most people do not practice.  It’s not because we are bad people, it’s just that we’re busy and we are educated, prepared and pretty skillful.  Most of the time we feel like we know what we’re doing and we have deadlines to make and goals to accomplish so we just get on with it.  But I wonder how much success we are robbing ourselves of by not allowing God to order our steps.

By SMH Webmaster on 3/10/2015 11:30 AM
The recent weather has me excited for the fresh-grown produce that will start to become more abundant in the grocery stores and at the farmer’s market. Let’s review this years Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen shoppers guides to pesticides in produce, put together by the non-profit organization Environmental Working Group (EWG).

You will notice the Dirty Dozen list below includes 2014’s list (in brackets), which has the same 12 foods, just shuffled around slightly. Apples consistently rank at the top of the list, and strawberries surprisingly dropped towards the bottom of the list. 

If you are able to purchase organic food, do so. If your access to organic products or financial resources don’t allow, use the EWG Dirty Dozen guide and be particular on what items you purchase non-organic. 

By SMH Webmaster on 3/9/2015 8:36 AM
Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.  Matthew 4:11 NLT  

After his baptism Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness where he fasted for forty days.  When Jesus was weak and hungry the devil came and tempted him in three ways (verses 3-10).  In each case Jesus resisted the temptation by quoting the scriptures. 

It is interesting to note that Jesus was physically at his weakest when the devil came to tempt him.  A closer look at the three temptations will indicate that they were designed to weaken him spiritually.  The first temptation was intended to sow seeds of doubt as to who Jesus was, “If you are the son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” There are times when our physical circumstances can make us wonder who we are or if we really matter.  Sickness and emotional suffering may cause us to doubt that God cares but they do not change the reality that God is.  Jesus was able to look past his circumstances and trust the word of God, just...
By SMH Webmaster on 3/4/2015 4:57 PM
Over the past five years, rates of ADD/ADHD diagnoses have skyrocketed. More than half of children diagnosed with this condition will receive some form of prescription medication. While most parents and doctors agree that the least medication in our little ones is best, sometimes parents feel medication is the last and final option. Before you start your child on a medication, consider the following:

Your child might have a nutritional deficiency. Although blood can’t accurately test all nutrients, there are a handful of nutritional tests that should be ruled out with childhood mood or behavior concerns. Some children struggle with communicating symptoms to parents. If your child suffers with headaches, stomach aches or other pain conditions, this could be connected with the behavior concerns. Diet is always high on the list of things to adjust with any behavior concern. Optimizing nutrient intake, while minimizing inflammatory foods can be very helpful.  Children need lots of sleep....
By SMH Webmaster on 3/4/2015 11:05 AM
It’s that time of year again when we head indoors for the winter, and cold and flu season starts to emerge. With the recent spread of respiratory virus Enterovirus 68 that Dr. Sweat blogged about last week, many families are worried about what this season might hold. Here are my top six diet and lifestyle tips to help prevent and/or treat a cold or flu:

• Eat lightly Starting to feel the onset of the cold/flu? Your next stop shouldn’t be at an all-you-can-eat buffet, or stopping by the local pub for some fried cheese sticks. Instead, stop by the grocery store, pick up some broth soup and orange-colored produce. Orange-colored produce, like carrots, sweet potatoes or cantaloupe contain beta carotene. Beta carotene helps strengthen the integrity of your respiratory tract. The stronger your cells in your respiratory tract, the less likely a virus is going to be able to enter your system.

• Keep your membranes moist! This means drinking plenty of plain water. Also,...
By SMH Webmaster on 3/4/2015 10:47 AM
“…she pestered him daily with her words and pressed him, so that his soul was vexed to death, that he told her all his heart…” Judges 16:16, 17 KJV


It is one of the most famous stories in the Bible.  It is a story about a hero, about good versus evil.  It has a strongman and a femme fatale.  It’s a story about passion and purpose set in a time of struggle and oppression.  It’s a story about strength and weakness, failure and forgiveness, tragedy and triumph.  It’s a story for all ages.  It’s the story of Samson and Delilah.


Samson was chosen before birth to be a deliverer in Israel.  He had been set aside as a Nazarite and given a special gift of super human strength.  With this strength he killed a lion with his bare hands, defeated Philistine armies single handedly and walked off with the gates of a city, posts and all.  But as strong as Samson was he had a weakness.  His weakness was that he didn’t know he had a weakness.  He was a man driven by desire and because of his great...
By SMH Webmaster on 3/3/2015 9:01 AM
Measles has been a hot topic in the news recently. Prior to all this press, we have not heard about or seen much of this disease. Here are some measles facts and what to look for in your loved ones, since a lot of parents with small children have never seen anyone with this illness.

First of all, routine vaccination includes a measles vaccine at 12-15 months of age with a second dose no sooner than 28 days later, usually between the ages of 4-6. If your child is up-to-date on vaccinations and over the age of 1, he or she should have immunity. The vaccine develops the anti-measles antibody in 95-98 percent of patients, with long-term immunity present in about 90 percent of patients. This means, however, that even if you have been vaccinated, you may still be at risk, though the risk is small.

By SMH Webmaster on 3/2/2015 11:23 AM
“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get.” Matthew 6:16 NLT

The Bible speaks of two kinds of fasting, one in which you refrain from eating and the other a lifestyle of kindness.  In Jesus day it was taught that fasting should be done two days a week and the ritual included abstaining from food and sometimes drink, putting ashes on your head and having a mournful demeanor.  This was the most commonly practiced for of fasting.  Prayer was always a part of the fasting experience.  People fasted as part of religious practice but sometimes they fasted and prayed because they were facing a major calamity and wanted to appeal to God with a sense of earnestness and urgency.  A couple of examples of this would be, when the Jews faced the threat of genocide because of Haman’s plot (see the story of Esther) and the response of the people...
By SMH Webmaster on 2/23/2015 12:00 AM
“Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation.  Harken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: For unto thee will I pray.  My voice shalt thou hear in the morning.  O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.”  Psalm 5:1-4 KJV

How do you begin your day?  How did you begin your day, today?  What was your first thought?  What was your first action?  For some it might have been an expression of gratitude for another day of life.  Some of us might have muttered something about hating Mondays while wishing for a longer weekend.  Others of us may have stumbled in our morning stupor toward the coffee pot before ever thinking a conscious thought.  But what was that thought when it eventually came?

The verses above, from the fifth Psalm, direct us to morning prayers.  I must admit there are mornings when I’m not sure what I want to say to God.  On mornings like these I usually borrow someone else’s words. 

Since we began the month of February with a prayer...
By SMH Webmaster on 2/10/2015 4:55 PM
Teaching your child how to swallow pills can be a hair-pulling experience for parents, but a very important skill for your child to master. I still have vivid memories of my mother trying to teach me how to swallow a multivitamin around age 8. She roughly broke up an Oreo cookie and had me practice swallowing pieces (she will deny this was her method). Here are some tips on how to teach your child to effectively swallow pills. It is best to start the learning process around ages 6-11. 

First, demonstrate the process. Have them watch you swallow a supplement/medication/empty capsule. Show the capsule on your tongue, drink liquid and then show them that the pill is gone.  Have your child take several sips of water prior to trying these methods. A moist throat will make it easier for the pill to go down.  Go to your local health food store and purchase small and empty clear capsules, usually size 2 or 4. Have your child place a capsule in his or her mouth and take a sip of water to get the capsule to float. Then have them look down, and swallow.  ...
By SMH Webmaster on 2/3/2015 2:14 PM
Doctor visits are sometimes stressful. It seems there’s so much to remember and you may become easily confused by options and instructions. You should always feel satisfied and confident about your health care plan. Read below for some insider tips on how to make the most of your doctor’s visit.

Before You Go

Being prepared for a visit with your doctor is the first step. Before your appointment, follow this simple checklist to ensure you receive the most complete care possible.  

Be specific when scheduling your appointment. When the receptionist or nurse knows exactly why you are making the appointment, he or she will be able to tell you what to expect and if you need to bring anything. This also helps them to schedule the correct amount of time with the doctor, allowing ample time to discuss any complex issues.  Make a list of questions you have and prioritize them according to importance. Generally, try to focus on three topics to make sure each is covered adequately. If you don’t get to all of them, ask if you can follow-up via email. Most clinics now offer email communication between health care providers and patients for those less urgent questions.  ...
By SMH Webmaster on 1/27/2015 4:51 PM
Is anyone else sad to see Restaurant Week go? I love the opportunity to try area restaurants or menu options I haven’t experienced yet. However, if your New Year’s resolution is still in play and you have hard time making healthy choices, dining out can be a challenge. This February, Shawnee Mission Health (SMH) is partnering with seven Johnson County, Kan., restaurants to help you put your heart health first while helping the community at the same time.

February marks the beginning of American Hearth Month, dedicated to raising awareness of heart disease, the leading cause of death for both men and women. One of the best ways to fight heart disease is by following a healthy diet that incorporates whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and is low in saturated fats. 

Throughout the month of February, restaurants Grand Street Café Lenexa, Newport Grill, Paradise Diner, Story, Tavern at Mission Farms, Tavern in the Village and Ya Ya’s will offer dishes that are low in fats and sodium and other ingredients...
By SMH Webmaster on 1/26/2015 10:30 AM
“Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”  Luke 11:1 NKJV   I received a text message from a friend in another state this weekend who I have not seen or spoken to since last July.  The message simply said that they had been thinking about me and praying for me for about a week.  It made me feel so good to know that I was being prayed for.  I reflected on events in my life over the last week and wondered which of those good things and special moments might have been as a result of those prayers.   Ronald Dunn says that prayer is like a guided missile, you can launch it from anywhere and it will always find its target, paraphrased from, “Don’t Just Stand There, Pray Something”.  So why don’t we pray more?  Prayer is the most potent weapon in the believer’s arsenal yet we resort to it so infrequently or when we feel we are out of other options.  “Why should the sons and daughters...
By SMH Webmaster on 1/20/2015 1:51 PM
Smoking cigarettes is bad for you. I hope that statement does not shock anyone reading this blog, but it seems that 40 million Americans are still smoking despite what we know. Cigarette smoking causes one of every five deaths in the United States according to the CDC. After an increase in the federal tax on cigarettes in 2008, there was a 10 percent decrease in smoking. There are, of course, other factors leading to a decrease in smoking such as alternative products like electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). 

E-cigarettes came to the United States after being developed in China in 2007. They do not contain tobacco, but do contain a liquid that is vaporized by a heating element and then inhaled (vaped). There is no smoke or carbon monoxide. The liquid in these cigarettes contains nicotine that is concentrated. The FDA currently does not regulate these products to the same extent as tobacco-containing cigarettes, and this has led to a wide array of products and markedly varied amounts of nicotine in each...
By SMH Webmaster on 1/19/2015 10:21 AM
“I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:13b-14 NLT   On this Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., holiday, we remember a man who lived this passage of scripture.  He was driven by a dream that all people should be treated with the dignity that every child of God deserves, regardless of ethnicity, the color of your skin, culture, religion, education level, financial status or the circumstances of your birth. The passage speaks of doing one thing but three things are mentioned.  Forgetting the past, looking forward to what lies ahead and pressing on to the end of the race.  Let’s face it, it is hard to forget the past and it is also unwise to do so.  “If you forget the past, you are doomed to repeat it”, says Sara Shepherd, author of “Pretty Little Liars”.  Our experiences of the past, good and bad, have much to do with who we are today....
By SMH Webmaster on 1/13/2015 4:43 PM
It’s January, which means time to stash away the holiday treats in the back of the fridge! I run a yearly 21-Day cleanse program at Shawnee Mission Medical Center, and our group officially starts the dietary protocol next week. I don’t want you to miss out on the opportunity to jump start your health goals, so here is a simplified version of a basic cleanse you could start on your own this coming Monday. 

Think of a cleanse as a way to reset bad habits and start down a more healthful path. Yes, you could lose weight by just doing the following basic plan. If weight loss is a goal, start a diet journal and write down everything you are consuming, plus all physical activity you are involved in during the week. Ask a friend, loved one or coworker to join you.

Select four of the options below to follow for a strict seven days:

Eliminate caffeine and alcohol. Eliminate refined and artificial sugars. Increase your vegetable intake to five servings daily.  Drink water – at least...
By SMH Webmaster on 1/12/2015 10:19 AM
“The fire will show if a person’s work has any value.” 1 Corinthians 3:14 NLT   The beginning of a New Year is a time of evaluation for most people.  We reflect on what took place in the previous year and we make plans to continue the good practices in our lives and discontinue the bad.  By the time we get to about week three many of us realize that we are not going to be able to sustain all of the changes we said we would make and we try to focus on the ones that we deem most important or some of us just give up.   The Apostle Paul, in the first letter to the Corinthian Church (chapter 3:9-15) talks about what the Life Application Bible calls the “ultimate performance review”.  In this letter, his readers are reminded that all our works will be evaluated and judged by fire.  The context of the passage suggests that it is a metaphor for the life of the believer and that the fire is symbolic of trials.  He first reminds us that the foundation on which we build is perfect, it is Jesus.  However, as we build on that foundation we will do so with a variety of building materials.  The building materials, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay and straw represent our actions and words.  Think of the ways in which you interact with others.  Which of these actions or words could be described as golden, precious or of lasting value?  Which of them would you describe as cheap, valueless or fleeting? ...
Shawnee Mission Medical Center
9100 West 74th Street
Shawnee Mission, Kansas 66204
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23401 Prairie Star Parkway
Lenexa, Kansas 66227
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