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By SMH Webmaster on 4/21/2015 11:52 AM
Every part of our lives has a milestone, even when we are older. Menopause can happen in your 40s or 50s, but the average age is 51 in the United States.  

Menopause is defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period and marks the end of menstrual cycles. Perimenopause, meaning “around menopause,” is the transition your body goes through leading up to menopause.

Although a natural biological process, it can trigger a sense of loss or sadness for some women. Even though it does signal the end of fertility, it does not mean that you are unable to stay healthy and vibrant.
By SMH Webmaster on 4/20/2015 11:48 AM
“And the King will say, I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the lease of these my brothers and my sisters, you were doing it to me.” Matthew 25:40 NKJV   In the business of healthcare we continually measure ourselves with a variety of performance metrics.  We use self-assessments such scorecards, dashboards, quality assessments of a wide variety that measure everything from admission to discharge and beyond.  We are evaluated by external organizations such as Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) and Press Ganey.  We recently completed a survey by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) to ensure that we are in compliance with safely standards and evidence based best practices.  We underwent thorough site inspections, chart and policy reviews and interviews.  We do all these things to demonstrate and evaluate our commitment to patient safety and quality.    I was discussing the purpose of quality and safety metrics with a non-healthcare...
By SMH Webmaster on 4/13/2015 8:47 AM
Growing research suggests that eating slower and more thoughtfully could help with weight problems. 

Whether we are sitting in front of the TV eating a bag of chips, shoving down breakfast in our car ride to work, or sitting at our favorite Mexican food restaurant finishing a basket of chips, before you know it, you have finished eating without even noticing it. Following this mindless eating trend will result in overeating, yet not feeling mentally satisfied with the meal.

Research suggests that applying mindful eating techniques can aid in healthful weight management. 
By SMH Webmaster on 4/13/2015 12:00 AM
“He was despised and rejected – a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.  We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.  He was despised and we did not care.” Isaiah 53:3 NLT   What’s the worst thing anyone has ever done to you?  Has anyone ever lied to you?  Has anyone ever broken a promise to you?  Have you ever been betrayed or sold out by someone you trusted? Have you been stolen from or disowned?  Over the course of a lifetime, we may experience many hurtful things and in my experience, the hardest things to bear are those hurts that come from people who are closest to us or that we trust the most.  If we take just a moment to reflect on some of these occurrences we can probably still feel the hurt.  But with the passage of time and some intentional work, directed at healing, we can learn to deal with most, if not, all of those hurts.   In the last week of the life of Jesus, he was lied to, sold out, denied, deserted and disappointed and these were done to him by his friends.  Then the authorities...
By SMH Webmaster on 4/8/2015 3:57 PM
From moving across the country to insurance changes, there are times in life when a change in primary care doctors is necessary. This can be a daunting task, but here are some tips to help ease the chaos of blindly picking someone from the online directories. 

There are a few different types of primary care doctors: pediatricians, family medicine doctors and internists. Pediatricians see children, from newborns to adolescents. Family medicine doctors see both children and adults. Family medicine doctors are also trained to deliver babies, and some of them still practice this. Internists see adults only. Finding the right option for you is a personal choice, but finding someone you trust is even more important.

Family and friends can be great resources. Talk to them about who they see and why they like them. They may also be able to clue you in on someone to avoid as well. If you are new to the area and do not know anyone well, co-workers can be a great source for recommendations. Don’t be afraid to ask around.
By SMH Webmaster on 4/6/2015 9:23 AM
“He is not here: for he is risen…” Matthew 28:6 Easter weekend is a high and Holy day on the Christian calendar.  The weekend celebrates what has come to be known as the Passion of Christ.  It begins on Good Friday with the death by crucifixion of Jesus and ends on Easter Sunday with the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.  These events are important to Christians because we believe that Jesus’ death on the cross paid the penalty for our sins and his resurrection is evidence that he has power over death and therein lies the hope of all Christians that through him we have eternal life.   The timing of the holiday is interesting because it moves every year.  It falls on the first Sunday after the full moon that follows the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere and coincides with a Saxon Pagan spring festival that I am not sure is even practiced anymore, some historians say it celebrated the goddess Eastra and occurs around the same time as the Jewish Holiday, Passover.  Eighth century Anglo-Saxon Christians...
By SMH Webmaster on 4/1/2015 8:20 AM
Did you ever think that the fruit or veggies in your refrigerator could contribute to your inability to have children? It seems that there is new evidence that this may be caused by certain pesticides used in growing certain crops. 

In the news this morning and circulating around the Internet is a story based on a newly published article from Dr. Chavorro and others from Harvard. They found that men who ate fruits and vegetables with higher levels of pesticide contamination were associated with a lower sperm count and fewer normal sperm. This was among men who were coming to an infertility clinic. The men who ate the most fruit and veggies had nearly half the amount of sperm as the men who ate the lower amount. Other studies have shown that men who live near greater agricultural centers such as Iowa and Missouri also had lower sperm counts.

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.  ...
SHAWNEE MISSION HEALTH LOCATIONS
Shawnee Mission Medical Center
9100 West 74th Street
Shawnee Mission, Kansas 66204
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913-676-2000
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Lenexa, Kansas 66227
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