Thursday, September 23, 2010
Milk allergy symptoms often vary

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

Allergies to milk are more common than most people realize. In addition, the types of symptoms that those allergies can cause are many. Infants with milk allergy can have intestinal symptoms such as vomiting or loose stools. Sometimes the stools can contain blood. Some infants will show symptoms outside the intestine. Early onset of eczema is a good example. An infant who is only taking formula and develops eczema that young frequently has a milk allergy. Some infants who develop asthma symptoms can have a milk allergy. This is especially true for the infants who develop their symptoms after they move from formula to cow's milk. It is also true if the wheezing is not related to upper respiratory infections. In older children, allergies to milk can show up as behavioral issues. I tend to find about one child every five years whose ADHD symptoms are related to milk intake. A two week trial off milk, cheese and ice cream cures their ADHD. Now we have one more symptom to add to the list. A recent study was done by a children's GI clinic. The study looked at the patients they were seeing for chronic constipation. They put them all on milk free diets and about one third of them had their constipation disappear. Then they put that group back on milk and the constipation reappeared. When they removed the milk again, the symptoms improved. This is not a real surprise. We have known for years that milk allergy can cause constipation. We just thought that it was not this common. Thus there is now one more treatment to try for constipation which might allow some children to stop taking the chronic stool softeners that are so common. The problem is that a diet without milk becomes an issue for getting enough calcium and vitamin D. For that reason any child with this diagnosis needs to have nutritional counseling before stopping milk for an extended period. We sometimes take drinking milk for granted. However, since milk comes from cows it should not come as a surprise that some of us develop an allergy to such a foreign substance.

Autism Delaware recognized Autism Delaware's adult services division is one of three programs nationwide recently designated as an Effective Program by the National Advisory Panel of the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Model Project for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. POW&R (Productive Opportunities for Work and Recreation) has been part of Autism Delaware's services to the community since 2007. POW&R now offers services for adults throughout New Castle County and is starting services in Kent County. Through its recent merger with the Lower Delaware Autism Foundation, Autism Delaware plans to have POW&R services available in Kent and Sussex Counties by July 2012. POW&R is a unique community-based program, with full-time staff members dedicated to helping adults with autism spectrum disorders find and be successful at employment, volunteer activities and recreation. For more information, contact Katina Demetriou at 302-224-6020.

National Depression Screening Day With soaring gas prices, rising mortgages, and a recession looming, no one can blame you for feeling anxious or overwhelmed. These days it is common and understandable to be angry, worried and even gloomy, especially if you lost your job, your house or are stressed about paying bills. Worry, anger and stress are normal, appropriate and even necessary during life's difficult moments. But when negative feelings prevent you from doing your daily activities or interacting with friends and loved ones, it might be time to seek help. Attend Mental Health Association in Delaware's National Depression Screening Day event on Oct. 7 at several locations in Delaware. As part of the program, you will have the opportunity to complete a brief, written questionnaire, learn about the symptoms of depression, and how to help a friend or family member who may be at risk. You will also have the option of talking to a health care professional. Locally, the event will be held at Laurel State Service Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; La Red, by appointment; and Georgetown Easter Seals from 1 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 7-8. For more information about National Depression Screening Day or MHA in Delaware, visit

Competition to improve school meals Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the Recipes for Healthy Kids Challenge to improve school meals and the health of children across the nation through the creation of exciting new recipes for inclusion on school lunch menus. The competition - part of the First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative - will draw on the talents of chefs, students, food service professionals, and parents or other community members working together to develop tasty, nutritious, kid-approved foods. There will be a grand prize chosen by the judging panel as well as a Popular Choice winner based on public voting. The judges will also choose award winners for the top two recipes in each category. Winning teams will be invited to prepare their nutrition-packed meals alongside White House chefs. To recognize and share the culinary creativity nationwide the top ten recipes in each category will be published in a Recipes for Healthy Kids Cookbook to share with students and families. To learn more about the First Lady's Let's Move! campaign, visit The deadline for recipe submissions is Dec. 30. For more information, visit

Free Breast Health Forum Beebe Medical Center's Tunnell Cancer is offering a free breast health forum on Friday, Sept. 24 from 1 to 4 p.m., at the Salvation Army on Sussex Highway, next to Food Lion in Seaford. Breast health education will be available on-site. For those who qualify, referrals for no-cost mammograms will be offered the same afternoon. Drop-ins are welcome. All women 18 and older should have a clinical breast exam, and all women age 40 and older should have a yearly mammogram. Early detection saves lives. For more information about this free breast health forum, call 645-3100, ext. 2718. This initiative called SOS, Sharing Our Stories, Saving Our Sisters, is funded by a grant from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Philadelphia Affiliate.

'Expressions of Grief' conference Delaware Hospice's Family Support Center will hold a professional conference for professionals dealing with grief, "Expressions of Grief: Exploring grief styles by culture, faith and gender," from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Friday, Oct. 29, at the Delaware Hospice Center, 100 Patriots Way, Milford. Social workers, mental health counselors, chemical dependency professionals, nurses, funeral home services, chaplains, and anyone interested in learning more about grief are invited to this special conference where expert speakers will explore grief styles by culture, faith and gender.

Keynote speaker will be Thomas Golden, LCSW, an international grief educator and published author, who will present, "The Secrets of the Masculine Side of Healing."Golden has taught mental health professionals around the world about men and boys and their unique paths in healing from stress, grief and trauma. Other speakers include Dr. Judith Ramirez, EdD, manager of the Psychological Services & Outreach Department of Tunnel Cancer Center through Beebe Medical Center, and the Rev. David Oppold, BA, MDiv, ordained pastor and Hospice chaplain. Registration fee is $99 per person and $75 per student.Breakfast and catered lunch are included.Continuing Education credits are 6.0hours for social workers (NASW) and 7.5 hours for nurses, professional mental heath counselors, chemical dependence professionals and funeral services staff (Delaware State Board). Deadline for registration is Wednesday, Oct. 27 and early registration is recommended as space is limited to 50 participants. To register, call Vicki Costa at 856-7717, ext. 1129, or

Cancer Support Group The Wellness Community-Delaware offers a general cancer support group for people affected by cancer and their loved ones held at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford. The monthly support group meets in the second floor conference room of the Cancer Care center on the third Monday of each month from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The next meeting takes place on Sept. 20 at 4:30 p.m. The Wellness Community, an affiliate of the Cancer Support community, is dedicated to helping people affected by cancer enhance their health and well-being through participation in a professional program of emotional support and hope. Facilitators are trained mental health professionals with a master's degree or more. Call 645-9150 for information or to register for this program. All support groups offered at the Wellness Community are free of charge. This program is made possible by the support of Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford.

Breast cancer support group Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc. (DBCC) has expanded its Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey, a program for women newly-diagnosed with breast cancer, by partnering with Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center in Seaford. The free, monthly program is offered at the Cancer Center located at 801 Middleford Road, Seaford, the third Thursday of each month from 3 to 4 p.m. The program is facilitated by Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center professional staff - Terri A. Clifton, MS, NCC, Cancer Care coordinator; Mary Brown, RN, DSN, manager Cancer Care Center; and Wendy Polk, nutritionist - with assistance from Lois Wilkinson, DBCC special projects manager, who helps facilitate the program at Bayhealth. Of particular value to newly-diagnosed women is DBCC's Peer Mentor Program through which they are paired with a long-term survivor for one-on-one support. To learn more about Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital Cancer Center, call Lois Wilkinson at 672-6435. Registration is required and light refreshments and small gifts are provided.

Delaware Hospice's Bereavement Counselor, Paul Ganster, LCSW, will lead an eight-week grief support group on "Grieving the Loss of a Loved One," on Thursdays, from Oct. 14 through Dec. 9, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford. There is no fee for this service which is provided as a community outreach by Delaware Hospice. To register, call Paul Ganster, LCSW, at 357-7147, or send him an email at

Breast Health exams postponed The Breast Health seminar and exams that were to have taken place at The Salvation Army in Seaford from 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24 have been postponed until a later date. We apologize for any inconvenience. For more information, call The Salvation Army at 668-7412.

Nemours tops for technology Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) announced that Nemours, a premiere healthcare system for children operating in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Florida, is a 2010 recipient of its prestigious HIMSS Davies Organizational Award of Excellence. The award is presented to health care systems and facilities that effectively use health information technology, such as electronic health records, to improve the safety and quality of patient care. All Nemours clinics and the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children are linked to NemoursOne across four states. Nemours Children's Hospital in Central Florida will be online when it opens in 2012. NemoursOne, in combination with its data warehouse, has developed a streamlined medication reconciliation process, a challenge nationwide, with an outpatient system-wide rate currently at 88 percent.

'Strides Against Breast Cancer' "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" is the American Cancer Society's premier event to raise awareness and money to fight breast cancer. The first annual "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk/Race" will be held in Sussex County on Sunday, Oct. 3, at Delaware Technical & Community College, Georgetown. The event will feature both a 5K walk and a 5K run. The walk will begin at 9 a.m.The 5K race will begin at 8:30 a.m. Registration will open for both events at 7 a.m. To participate, there is a $20 fee until Sept. 27 and $25 after Sept. 27.A special tent will be set up to celebrate survivors and honor loved ones lost to breast cancer along with special activities and tokens for survivors. For more information, visit

CPR training opportunities Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will offer community CPR classes to anyone interested in learning CPR at the Nanticoke Training Center located on Water Street in Seaford. Participants will learn how to perform the basic skills of CPR on adults, children and infants and how to help an adult, child or infant who is choking. Classes are open to participants 12 years old and up. This program is specifically designed for those who prefer to learn in a group environment with feedback from an instructor.The target audience is those who have a duty to respond to a cardiac emergency because of job responsibilities or regulatory requirements. Cost is $30. Late registrations (if seating is available) will be an additional $5. To register, or for details, contact the Nanticoke Hospital's Training Center at 629-6611, ext. 8919.Pre-registration is required.