Mills-Peninsula Health Blog

Be Well, Be Well Informed

Food Allergies in Kids: What to Know

Blackboard showing foods that can cause food allergies.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 8 percent of children under age 18 have food allergies. Those with asthma or other allergies are twice as likely to have a food allergy. Peanuts cause more serious allergic reactions than any other food. Milk and eggs are not far behind. Other allergens include wheat, soy, corn, tree nuts, seafood and sesame seeds.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction, also referred to as an anaphylactic reaction, can include difficulty breathing, hives, an itchy throat, vomiting and shock. If the condition is severe, epinephrine (adrenaline) may need to be administered to restore breathing.

“Most of the other symptoms resolve in four to six hours,” Mills-Peninsula pediatrician Amita Jain, M.D., says. “In rare instances, an anaphylactic reaction can be fatal.” Read More

National Healthcare Decisions Day: Express Your Care Preferences


April 16 – the day after tax day – is National Healthcare Decisions Day, a day set aside to tackle another important issue: planning and expressing your future health care preferences.

“This day is a good time to encourage your family and friends to make their health care wishes known,” says Ann Jones, R.N., a Mills-Peninsula palliative care nurse. “This process starts with clarifying values, identifying and expressing care preferences and selecting an agent to express health care decisions if a person is unable to speak for him or herself.” Read More

Three Tips for Building Strong Bones


The secret to strong bones? It’s not just about boosting calcium.

Nine million Americans have osteoporosis and 48 million more are at risk of getting the disease, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Calcium helps strengthen bones, but many Americans, particularly women, don’t consume enough of this essential nutrient. So it’s no surprise that more than 40 million Americans took calcium supplements in 2012.

Natalya Denissov, M.D., a Mills-Peninsula family medicine doctor, says boosting calcium is important, but supplements are not the answer for most people.

“People need to make sure they get enough calcium, especially women who are pregnant or post-menopausal,” she says. “But get it from food, not a pill.” Read More

Easing Menopause Symptoms (Video)

Menopause affects every woman differently. In this video, Mills-Peninsula obstetrician/gynecologist Rebecca Dupont, M.D., offers tips for easing menopause symptoms, from simple ways to cool hot flashes to hormone treatments for women experiencing extreme symptoms.

Healthpoints – 17 – Surviving Menopause from Peninsula TV on Vimeo.



Raising Healthy Kids (Video)

Healthy, active living starts early in life. Debra Barra-Stevens, M.D., a pediatrician at Mills-Peninsula Health Services, offers these simple guidelines to help get your child on the right track –  from childhood into adulthood – and enjoy a healthy lifestyle for years to come.

Healthpoints – 18 – Raising Healthy Kids from Peninsula TV on Vimeo.

Breakfast Made Easy (Video)

With excuses ranging from “I don’t have time” to “I work out in the morning,” breakfast has become the most skipped meal of the day. But despite its bad rap, breakfast may be one of the best things you can do for your body.

Carolyn McCune, a registered dietitian at Mills-Peninsula Health Services, offers these tips on how to start your morning right.

Healthpoints 14 – Why Eat Breakfast? from Peninsula TV on Vimeo.

Get the Truth About Gluten

More than a million Americans have sworn off gluten, claiming that a gluten-free diet has helped them shed unwanted pounds, boost their energy and feel healthier. But is this increasingly popular trend beneficial or even safe?

People who eat gluten-free diets typically avoid bread, crackers and pasta. And that’s just the start. Found in a myriad of foods such as salad dressing, soy sauce, mustard, baked beans and more, the gluten protein helps breads rise and sauces thicken. Cutting this common compound out of your diet can be surprisingly difficult.

“The avoidance of gluten is only important if you are experiencing uncomfortable or dangerous symptoms,” Mills-Peninsula gastroenterologist Vino Verghese, M.D., says. “Gluten by itself is not a harmful substance. It’s simply a protein complex found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye.”

Read More