BackTable / ENT / Podcast / Episode #97
Lifestyle Medicine in Pediatric ENT
with Dr. Julie Wei
In this episode of BackTable ENT, Dr. Gopi Shah and Dr. Julie Wei, president of the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology, discuss how lifestyle medicine can resolve common chronic pediatric ENT complaints.
BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2023, March 21). Ep. 97 – Lifestyle Medicine in Pediatric ENT [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com
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Dr. Julie Wei
Dr. Julie Wei is a pediatric ENT surgeon, professor, clinical researcher, author, and speaker.
Dr. Gopi Shah
Dr. Gopi Shah is a practicing ENT at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX.
First, Dr. Wei explains the “milk and cookie disease”, a condition she coined that relates to a triad of symptoms in children that include chronic cough, nasal congestion, and rhinorrhea. In her practice, she noted that consuming dairy and sugar products close to bedtime was directly correlated with the triad of symptoms. Thus, she emphasizes that diet is the main pillar in lifestyle medicine in children.
She then explains her general workup for pediatric patients. She notes that pediatric ENT patients often have multiple complaints, so it is helpful to categorize each as chronic or acute. She always asks how many total ounces of milk the child consumes in a day, the type of milk, and the timing of dairy consumption. She has noticed that excess consumption of sugary beverages, yogurt products, and flavored milk have correlated with increased ENT complaints in children. However, Dr. Wei emphasizes the importance of educating parents about a diet of moderation instead of judging or shaming them. Dr. Wei notes that in teenagers, sleep hygiene is even more important and that eating is tied to emotions and mental states.
She encourages pediatric ENTs to share previous patient stories and to be familiar with the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines. Other techniques for family counseling include: prioritizing key changes for a short duration and giving specific action items. She also explains how she created a pilot study and discovered that increased sugar consumption correlated with increased inflammatory cytokines.
Finally, she discusses her published books, blog posts, and online courses about the importance of lifestyle medicine in pediatric ENT.
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