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    Essential Screening Exams for Women

    Last updated 4 days ago

    Screening exams are an important part of taking control of your own health. By keeping up with your doctor’s recommendation for screening exams, you can catch health problems in their early stages, when they are the most treatable. Your doctor will work closely with you to determine which types of screenings are necessary for you depending on your personal health history, but here is a look at common tests most women need to protect their health.

    Blood Pressure

    Your blood pressure numbers are among the most significant indicators of your overall health. Your doctor will test your blood pressure at every appointment for this reason. Good blood pressure is below 120/80. If your blood pressure falls between 120/80 and 139/89, your doctor may want to monitor you more closely. If your numbers are higher than that, your doctor may want you to consider blood pressure medication and lifestyle changes, such as reducing your sodium intake.

    Breast Cancer Screening

    By getting regular screenings for breast cancer, your doctor can pinpoint any abnormal changes in your breast tissue early so treatment can begin if needed. Mammograms are the gold standard for breast cancer screenings and can usually be performed in the women’s services department of your hospital. Your doctor will determine when you should begin mammograms and how often you should have them based on your breast cancer risk factors.

    Pap Test

    Pap tests are performed to screen for cervical cancer. Because this type of cancer rarely causes symptoms, this screening test is crucial. You should begin getting Pap tests by age 21 or when you become sexually active. Your doctor will determine how often you should have the test after that. Most women have them every one to five years.

    Make the Women’s Services unit at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas your partner in good health. In addition to maternity care, we’re here for all of your women’s health needs. You can learn more about this and all of our hospital services, from geriatric psych and emergency care to orthopedic surgery, by calling (702) 880-2100.

    Warning Signs of Mental Illness to Recognize During Mental Health Awareness Month

    Last updated 11 days ago

    May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so it’s the perfect time to stop and consider the signs and symptoms of these common illnesses. At Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center, we’re pleased to serve individuals over 55 who are suffering from mental illness from our RISE Behavioral Health Unit, providing inpatient treatment to an often-underserved age group. Treatment for mental health problems is possible, so if you recognize these symptoms in yourself or someone you love, seek help right away. 

    Social Withdrawal

    When people experience mental illness, social withdrawal is a common symptom. A person may withdrawal socially because he or she feels too depressed to take part in his or her usual activities or because he or she is concerned that others will notice changes in his or her behavior. For instance, someone who is having problems with memory or speech may begin to avoid social situations so that friends and family can’t see these changes. This kind of withdrawal can lead to new problems in relationships and at work and school.

    Exaggerated Beliefs

    With the onset of mental illness, people may display exaggerated beliefs about their abilities to influence or understand events. This exaggerated sense of power may also be coupled with a heightened sense of suspiciousness of others and paranoid thinking patterns.

    Changes in Sleeping and Eating Patterns

    Mental illness can disrupt both sleep and appetite. In some cases, mental illness can trigger insomnia, while in other instances, a person suffering from mental illness may suddenly sleep significantly more than he or she did before. Similarly, those experiencing mental illness may dramatically change their eating habits, leading to weight fluctuations.

    The RISE Behavioral Health Unit at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center offers a 14-bed inpatient unit for those over 55 and an outpatient treatment program for patients 50 and over. If you or someone you love needs behavioral health support, request a referral to our Las Vegas hospital. Additionally, we provide a full range of medical services, including stroke care, maternity care, or orthopedic surgery. You can learn more by calling (702) 880-2100. 

    Women's Health Alert: Stroke Symptoms Often Overlooked in Women

    Last updated 18 days ago

    Women often underestimate their risk for stroke, which means that they often overlook the symptoms. When a stroke occurs, urgent care is essential for minimizing brain damage and saving lives, so failing to pay attention to the warning signs can be deadly. The fact is that women are more likely to experience a stroke then men, and they are twice as likely to die from stroke as breast cancer. Arm yourself with this information about the symptoms of stroke in women so you can act quickly if they strike.

    Numbness on One Side of the Body

    During a stroke, it’s common for one side of the body to go numb. This can occur in the face, arm, or leg; or it may impact the entire side. You can usually see this symptom in someone else because one side of the face will droop. To test for this numbness, try raising both of your arms. If one drifts downward, you could be experiencing a stroke.

    Altered Mental Status

    Another name for stroke is brain attack, and because the brain is involved, stroke victims often experience altered mental status. Look for signs like sudden drowsiness, disorientation, confusion, and agitation. It’s also possible to experience hallucinations. Although both men and women can have these symptoms during a stroke, they are much more common in women.

    Heart Attack-Like Symptoms

    Women tend to have different stroke symptoms than men, and among those are symptoms most often associated with heart attacks. During a stroke, women may have chest pain, nausea, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. They may also have limb pain and sudden hiccups. These symptoms always require urgent care, so go to the emergency room right away, where the doctor can determine if you’re having a heart attack or stroke.

    The emergency room and neurosciences team at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center stand ready to provide critical care to stroke patients and to support their recoveries. Find out more about our Las Vegas hospital and stroke care program by calling (702) 880-2100. 

    Signs of Alcohol Abuse in Older Adults

    Last updated 25 days ago

    The aging process presents a number of challenges to individuals as they grow older, and as a result, many older adults will turn to alcohol as a means of self-medication. Unfortunately, alcohol abuse is widely under-recognized in seniors, so it is rarely met with the appropriate care and treatment. Below, you can learn about some of the signs of alcohol abuse in seniors, which is often treatable through a dual-diagnosis strategy to address both alcohol consumption and related mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, or dementia.

    Reduced Interest in Social Activities

    After the loss of a spouse or transition to an assisted care facility, seniors may feel isolated even when they are around other people. In these situations, alcohol consumption may seem like a source of comfort, though interest in social interaction may continue to decline as alcohol abuse becomes a more significant problem.

    Defensive or Aggressive Behaviors

    Making excuses or taking on a defensive attitude is a tell-tale sign of substance abuse at any age, so you should not ignore these behaviors if you observe them in an elderly loved one. Some older adults may also feel the need to hide their alcohol consumption by keeping a stash of alcoholic beverages hidden in the home.

    Increased Alcohol Consumption during Family Events

    Older adults may not always work to hide their alcohol use, so you may notice that an older loved one will consume multiple drinks during holidays and other family gatherings. While the occasional drink is not much to worry about, drinking three or more alcoholic beverages in a single gathering may be the sign of a bigger problem in an older relative.

    Declining Health

    Alcohol may have negative reactions with certain prescription medications, causing significant health problems that may lead to frequent illness or even hospitalization. Plus, alcohol can have a stronger effect on older adults, leading to health problems when prescription medications are not a factor.

    If you suspect that an elderly loved one is struggling with alcohol abuse, you can find the right approach to care with RISE Behavioral Health at Southern Hills Hospital. This dedicated mental health unit caters exclusively to patients 50 and older with inpatient and outpatient programs to meet the needs of your loved one. Learn more about how our services can help your older relatives fight alcohol abuse by calling us at (702) 880-2100 today. 

    Causes and Cures for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

    Last updated 1 month ago

    Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a common condition affecting about 10-15% of American adults, though only about half of this group has had a diagnosis of the condition, because many people do not alert physicians of their symptoms. With IBS, patients may have pain, anxiety, and fatigue related to changes in the frequency and appearance of bowel movements. If you are one of the many Americans suffering from IBS, it is important to know what signs to look for and identify potential causes that may be controlled for greater comfort and wellness. Keep reading to discover the facts of this condition during IBS Awareness Month this April.

    Causes

    There is no known cause for IBS, though there are a number of physical conditions that could be related to IBS. Some of these conditions include infections, GI mobility problems, brain-gut signal problems, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. In many cases, certain foods can trigger symptoms and worsen IBS. Stress is also a contributor of flare-ups with increased symptoms.

    Symptoms

    IBS is characterized by ongoing symptoms of abdominal pain and changes in bowel movements—which may include diarrhea, constipation, or both. Because IBS is a chronic condition, symptoms will persist for months at a time or come and go over a period of years. Bloating and general abdominal discomfort are also common in patients with IBS. While IBS is not linked to other health problems or permanent damage to the GI tract, it can be a consistent source of pain and discomfort, so treatment is still important.

    Treatments

    Your doctor will work with you to explore some of the physical conditions that may contribute to IBS, as these underlying conditions can guide your treatment approach. For example, if you have bacterial overgrowth, antibiotic therapy may provide relief. Other medications that may be used to treat IBS include fiber supplements, laxatives, and low-dose antidepressants. Probiotics have also shown success in relieving the symptoms of IBS. In addition to these clinical therapies, your doctor may recommend some lifestyle changes to help you eat better, manage stress, and improve your mood.

    If you are experiencing IBS symptoms, connect with Southern Hills Hospital to find the right physician for your needs. You can contact us on our website or call (702) 880-2100 to speak with one of our registered Las Vegas nurses. 

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Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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