Pancreatic Complications in Cystic Fibrosis

The pancreas, located behind the stomach in the center of the abdomen, extends into the left side of the abdomen. It is connected to the first part of the intestine, the duodenum. The pancreas secretes enzymes that aid food digestion and help to regulate blood sugar.

In CF, the altered transport of electrolytes across pancreatic tissues leads to abnormal production of digestive enzymes. Decreased production of sodium bicarbonate makes pancreatic secretions dehydrated and thickened, blocking the pancreatic ducts. Despite these blockages, the pancreas continues to make more enzymes required for food digestion. These abundant enzymes damage the pancreatic tissue, eventually leading to fibrosis of the pancreas until it is no longer able to produce enough enzymes to properly digest food.

Pancreatic insufficiency occurs when the pancreas loses about 90% of its ability to secrete digestive enzymes. Patients become unable to digest food properly, which leads to the malabsorption of nutrients, or even malnutrition. Vitamins, such as A, B12, D, E, and K, and fats, are the most important nutrients that are not absorbed when a patient has pancreatic insufficiency. 

The impaired absorption of fats causes diarrhea, weight loss, and malnutrition, but supplemental pancreatic enzymes can help with digestion of fats and reduce diarrhea. Approximately 80% of CF patients develop pancreatic insufficiency.

The following vitamin deficiencies result from pancreatic insufficiency:

Vitamin A: Visual and Skin Changes

Vitamin B12: Anemia

Vitamin D: BoneAbnormalities

Vitamin E: NeurologicalProblems

Vitamin K: BloodClottingProblems

CK vitamins

CF2

Our Healthy Roadtrip Has Begun!

Roadtrippin’ With My Favorite Friends

Yesterday, Monday March 4th, was the launch of this semester’s Shack Neighborhood House nutrition education programming. Every semester and summer, the WVU Didactic Program in Dietetics implements a nutrition education program at the Shack Neighborhood House. The Shack is no stranger to this group of future Dietitians. The two organizations have been collaborating for years now. Over the summer we ran “Carrot Sticks”- a nutrition education program focusing on food culture, smoothies, and fruits/vegetables. In the fall, we ran a program called “Racing the Rainbow”- a nutrition education program that focused on different colors of the rainbow correlating to the different food groups.

All of our programs have a target population of youth, usually between the ages of K-5, or more specifically K-2. I’ve somewhat mastered a system as to how we organize each lesson plan within the programs.

Part 1- Nutrition education

–        MyPlate

–        Focus on a specific type of food (Example- berries, potatoes, avocados, etc.)

–        Focus on the specific benefits of our targeted food of discussion

Part 2- Snack incorporating the food(s) we’ve discussed

–        We make sure that the snack is interactive and they are required to make/build/construct it in an artistic nature

Part 3- Activity

–        We usually find crafts related to our lesson topic

–        I try to make sure that we find activities that the students can cognitively grasp, but also enjoy and learn from as well.

This week, we focused on the region of Oregon. And we discussed the benefits of potatoes but, focused more on the health benefits of berries. The undergraduates used a MyPlate visual as an aid to guide the students in questions, regarding different food groups.

Each week, I will put stickers on the region that we “drove” to on our healthy roadtrip across America.

“Our Healthy Roadtrip” will continue for 5 additional lessons (excluding March 25th because of WVU’s Spring Recess).  I took the liberty at creating a poster of the map of the U.S. to document all the different regions of the country, which the program will touch base on.

Only time will tell, if the Shack’s students start to really get into “Our Healthy Roadtrip” theme this Spring!

Shack Neighborhood House

RT

The location of our new nutrition education curriculum!

The location of “Our Healthy Roadtrip” program!

RTT

Shingles and Nutrition

shinglesShingles and Your Diet

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection that causes a rash that can be painful. According to MayoClinic.com, shingles typically resolves on its own, but medications can help hustle up the healing process and relieve pain. Certain nutrients have displayed pain-relieving assets, and incorporating these into your diet can help with shingles or painful difficulties.

First

Add foods to your diet that are rich in lysine. Or you can take a lysine supplement. Lysine is an amino acid that may prevent herpes virus outbreaks, says the University of Maryland Medical Center. Dietary sources of this amino acid include meat, cheese, sardines, eggs, soybeans, beans and legumes. Fenugreek seed is also a good source of lysine.

Second

Eat shellfish, eggs, beef and dairy products, all of which contain vitamin B-12.

Third

Take a vitamin E supplement. Mount Auburn Hospital recommends taking 1,200 to 1,600 international units per day of vitamin E for postherpetic neuralgia. Dietary sources of vitamin E include almonds, spinach, broccoli, mangoes, tomatoes, peanuts and peanut butter.

Fourth

Stock up on foods high in vitamin C and zinc. MayoClinic.com states that shingles outbreaks can occur due to an impaired immune system, and vitamin C and zinc are essential in promoting a healthy immune system. Good sources of vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, broccoli, leafy greens, peppers and potatoes. Oysters, red meats, chicken, legumes and whole grains are also good sources of zinc.

What to Avoid when you have Shingles

Shingles

According to the Mayo Clinic, shingles are red, raw and very painful blisters that can appear anywhere on your body but typically appear as blisters that wrap around your torso. If you have previously had chicken pox, are over 50 and have a weakened immune system, you are most at risk for contracting shingles. The CDC advises you to stay away from infants, pregnant women and others who have compromised immune systems until your shingles outbreak has passed.

Foods to Avoid

Avoiding certain foods can help alleviate symptoms of shingles. Arginine is an amino acid that your body produces naturally, but you should avoid foods that contain it. Arginine helps the herpes zoster virus to replicate. Chocolate, nuts and gelatin contain high levels of arginine. Also, don’t consume foods such as saturated fats or refined carbohydrates, because those might cause further inflammation. In addition, avoid alcohol and caffeine because these can weaken the immune system.

Tigers May Hate Cinnamon But We Don’t

A balanced diet doesn’t have to be bland and boring. Some natural flavors will give your menu a healthy, tasty kick.

What’s In There?: A two-teaspoon serving of cinnamon has 12-15 calories. Cinnamon is a good source of manganese, calcium, iron,  and fiber.

Pros: Cinnamon was long used as a medicine in ancient times because of its anti-clotting and anti-microbial properties. Its scent has also been shown to boost brain function.

Choosing and Storing: You can purchase cinnamon in stick or powder forms. Sticks tend to last longer, but the powder has a stronger flavor. Store cinnamon in cool, dry place. Sticks can be kept for up to one year and powder for six months. Unless you entertain an army of applesauce eaters, stick with smaller quantities.

Using: Start your day off by adding cinnamon to your toast or oatmeal. Or add some spice to a black bean burrito with a dash of cinnamon. Beyond everyone’s favorite toast and pie recipes, cinnamon can be used to kick up your curry or add flavor to black bean burritos.

Synonymous with cold weather treats such as hot apple pie and homemade applesauce, cinnamon’s fame isn’t just for its flavor. The spice’s medicinal qualities have been well-documented. Cinnamon’s essential oils are considered anti-clotting and anti-microbial and shows promise in improving insulin resistance.

Here are 10 health benefits that are associated with cinnamon:

  1. Lower Cholesterol
    Studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol.
  2. Blood Sugar Regulation
    Several studies suggest that cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes.
  3. Yeast Infection Help
    In some studies, cinnamon has shown an amazing ability to stop medication-resistant yeast infections.
  4. Cancer Prevention
    In a study published by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland, cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
  5. Anti-Clotting
    It has an anti-clotting effect on the blood.
  6. Arthritis Relief
    In a study at Copenhagen University, patients given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week and could walk without pain within one month.
  7. Anti-Bacterial
    When added to food, it inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.
  8. Brain Health
    One study found that smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory.
  9. E. Coli Fighter
    Researchers at Kansas State University found that cinnamon fights the E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices.
  10. High in Nutrients
    It is a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.

    Cinnamon comes in different forms!!