Charlotte Smarty Pants

Charlotte Smarty Pants – Daily Scoop for Savvy Charlotte Moms

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August 5, 2017

Smarty Mom: Ekta Shah

I am SO excited to introduce you to this week’s ultra-Smarty Mom, Ekta Shah! Ekta and I met lift-tone-burning at Pure Barre Ballantyne a few years ago. I didn’t even know she was an allergy doctor until CSP posted a couple of articles from our friends at Levine Children’s Hospital featuring Ekta (love it when my two worlds collide!). I immediately stopped her at Pure Barre after the second article posted and peppered her with questions about her life and upbringing. She was nice enough to meet me for coffee one morning so I could get more in-depth. :-)

She’s originally from India, but was raised in the US. She’s a busy mama to beautiful twin girls, has such great perspective, and embodies everything I love about our melting-pot city. A big thank you to Ekta for not only being a Smarty Mom, but for being willing to be interrogated at Starbucks by this Charlotte native (Ekta – next time let’s make our interview at one of your fave Indian restaurants in town! Yum!!) ;-).

Smarties, meet Etka Shah! I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I did!

Smarty Mom: Ekta Shah

Married to: Ameesh Shah; married 11 years
Children: Anya and Sahana; age 7 1/2
Hometown: Germantown, TN
Years in Charlotte: 7
Occupation: Allergist
‘Hood: Marvin/Waxhaw

You’re a mom of twins! What’s surprised you the most about having twins?

Finding out that we were having twins was a BIG surprise. We went out for dinner after but were in such a state of shock that we sat there in silence. I think we were in disbelief for several weeks after finding out the news.

Has it gotten easier or harder as they’ve gotten older?

Definitely has gotten easier as they have gotten older. The first 2 years were very exhausting, but now it’s easier as they have gotten older and become more independent. They share many of the same activities and always have someone to play with.

You are originally from India. Tell us what brought you to the US.

My dad came to the US in the 1970s to get his masters in engineering and ended up staying for a job opportunity. My mom and I immigrated a few years later when I was three years. Read More →

May 30, 2017

From the Smarty Health Corner and Levine Children’s Hospital: Early Peanut Eaters May Avoid Allergies Later On

This post was originally posted on the Carolinas Healthcare System blog. A big thanks to them for allowing us to post it here for our readers!

It seems like common sense to avoid foods you’re allergic to. But new evidence reveals that sometimes, it might be better to do the exact opposite.

A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests that exposing children to peanuts at a young age could actually prevent the development of a peanut allergy later in life. Researchers fed peanut products to infants between 4 and 11 months old who were at high risk of developing a peanut allergy. Compared to a high-risk group of infants who weren’t fed peanut products, those who ate peanut products were far less likely to be allergic to the food by the time they turned 5.

Dr. Ekta Shah, a pediatric allergist with Carolinas HealthCare System

Dr. Ekta Shah, a pediatric allergist with Carolinas HealthCare System

Ekta Shah, MD, a pediatric allergist with Carolinas HealthCare System, thinks the researchers may be on to something. “We’ve suspected that the late introduction to peanuts is associated with a higher risk,” she says. “This is one of the first studies to demonstrate that the early introduction of an allergenic food can be beneficial.” Read More →

April 10, 2016

Sneeze, Sniff, Repeat: Safeguarding Your Kids from Seasonal Allergies

girl with handkerchief
Achoo! Sound familiar in your house? We LOVE our “green” QC, but we don’t love the allergies all that green can cause! Our friends at Levine Children’s Hospital have some great advice on dealing with those pesky seasonal allergies. This was first published on their blog, and we thank them for allowing us to share it with y’all!

Springtime is upon us – and with it, a growing chorus of sniffles and sneezes. More than one in three kids suffer from seasonal allergies, making the warmer months a tough time for little eyes and noses.

What symptoms should you look for in your child, and what can you do to help? Ekta Shah, a pediatric allergist with Carolinas HealthCare System, gives us the scoop.

Seasonal Allergy Basics

Seasonal allergies normally flare up from spring to fall, when trees, grasses and weeds make pollen – the yellow dust you see floating through the air and coating everything outdoors. Typically, the pollen comes from trees in early spring, grasses in the summertime, and ragweed in late summer and early fall.

Dr. Shah says the Carolinas sees this pattern – and then some.

“Here in the Southeast, our pollen season starts earlier and lasts longer,” says Dr. Shah. “Tree pollen can actually appear as early as February, and ragweed pollen can extend all the way into November.”

What to Watch For

Regardless of the pollen source, the symptoms it triggers are largely the same:

– Sneezing
– Runny nose with thin, clear mucus
– Nasal congestion
– Itchy nose, ears, eyes and throat
– Watery eyes
Read More →

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