Riverside Community Hospital
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What are the chances of your child inheriting Duchenne muscular dystrophy?

Couples who are planning to conceive may sometimes wish to speak with an Ob/Gyn about their health history beforehand. A preconception health visit evaluates the medical conditions that may affect the pregnancy, the mother or the child. In some cases, an Ob/Gyn at Riverside Community Hospital may refer couples to a genetic counselor. A genetic counselor can explain the likelihood of the child inheriting a genetic disorder, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

The basics of Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Muscular dystrophy is a group of uncommon diseases. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a progressive genetic disorder. It causes muscle degeneration and weakness that typically starts very early in life, and becomes much worse by adolescence.

Because adolescent patients begin to experience heart and respiratory difficulties, in past years, they did not usually live long into adulthood. Life expectancy for these patients has been improved with better care, and many of these patients can now live into their 30s. Some of them have lived into their 40s and 50s.

The likelihood of inheriting the mutation
Female children inherit two X chromosomes. Male children inherit an X and Y chromosome. Since the genetic mutation that causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy occurs on the X chromosome, females are almost never affected by this disease.

Boys inherit the X chromosome from their mothers, which means the disease is passed down on the maternal line. Each son born to a mother who carries the mutation has a 50% chance of inheriting it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If a female does inherit the mutation, she isn’t likely to be affected because she has another X chromosome to compensate for the deficiency. However, she will be a carrier of the genetic disease, and her sons will have a 50% chance of inheriting it.

Riverside Community Hospital is a state-of-the-art medical center that provides a full range of medical services and specialty care. Every day, our team strives for healthcare excellence because our neighbors in Riverside matter to us. If you’d like to speak with a registered nurse or request a referral to an Ob/Gyn, you can call (951) 788-3463.


Why everyone should know the risks of glaucoma

Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of vision loss. Left untreated, it almost always leads to blindness, and some people who get treatment still lose their sight. By knowing the risk factors for glaucoma, you could reduce your risks of developing this serious eye health condition. Here is why understanding the risk of glaucoma is so important.

Anyone can get glaucoma.
Glaucoma does not just happen to older people or people with certain health conditions. Anyone can get glaucoma at any age. Some people are even born with a congenital form of the disease.

Therefore, receiving regular eye exams are incredibly important. Glaucoma responds best to treatments in its early stages, but it seldom causes symptoms until some degree of vision loss as already occurred. Only through regular eye exams can you know if have glaucoma before you begin to lose sight.

Vision loss is permanent.
Although there are treatments available to stop the progression of glaucoma that work for many people, any vision loss caused by the condition is permanent. No treatments are available to reverse blindness that results from glaucoma.

Early diagnosis and treatment are the only tools that can effectively prevent vision loss from glaucoma. Understanding your risk will make you more likely to get screened for glaucoma.

You won’t know you have it until it’s too late.
The first symptom of glaucoma is vision loss. Typically, people who develop glaucoma first notice that their peripheral vision is diminished. In some cases, people don’t notice the initial peripheral vision loss and only realize they have a problem when their forward sight is compromised.

When this happens, the disease is in an advanced stage. It’s important to be proactive about the risk before this happens.

Good health starts with regular preventive screening tests for a wide range of conditions. Your physician at Riverside Community Hospital can help you understand what tests are right for you, so you can get the personalized care you need. To learn more about our hospital services in Riverside, please dial (951) 788-3463.


What you can do for your heart beyond wearing red

National Wear Red Day takes place on February 2, 2018. This designation is intended to raise awareness about the risk factors of heart disease, and the importance of taking steps toward prevention. On this day, you’ll likely see plenty of people at heart hospitals and in your community proudly wearing red. Although it’s good to raise awareness, taking concrete steps to improve your health is even more important. Riverside Community Hospital connects patients with caring specialists who can provide personalized treatment plans and lifestyle recommendations.

Talk to friends and family about heart health
On National Wear Red Day, you can encourage your loved ones to be proactive about their own heart health. Schedule a physical exam for your partner, invite a co-worker to take a walk with you after work or ask your kids to help you prepare a low-sodium vegetarian meal. Share information about the importance of a heart-healthy lifestyle on your social media accounts.

Know your heart health numbers
Do you know your blood pressure and cholesterol level? If it’s been a while since you had a screening test, it’s time to schedule an appointment. See how your numbers compare to these ideal ranges:

  • Blood pressure: Below 120/80
  • LDL cholesterol: Below 100
  • HDL cholesterol: 60 or higher
  • Total cholesterol: Below 200
  • Body mass index: 18 to 25
  • Resting heart rate: 60 to 100

Set goals to improve your numbers
If all of your numbers are already ideal, then keep making healthy lifestyle choices to maintain your heart health. Otherwise, your doctor can help you learn about medical management options or lifestyle changes to improve your health.

Establish specific, reasonable goals for making lifestyle modifications. For example, instead of aiming to cut down on sugar, your goal could be to eliminate added sugar in coffee. Once you’ve mastered that, work on eliminating soda from your diet.

Every small change can help you reach your goal, and your doctor can give you guidance along the way.

From diagnosis to follow-up, you’ll find a continuum of care at HeartCare Institute at Riverside Community Hospital . Our team of cardiovascular surgeons, cardiologists and nurses is committed to giving each patient the superior care he or she needs for the best possible outcome. Call 911 for medical emergencies, or call a registered nurse in Riverside at (951) 788-3463 for general information about our heart hospital.

What expecting moms can do to prevent birth defects

Birth defects can happen to any baby. However, there are many things you can do to ensure your baby has the best chance at being born without any issues. These steps will help promote the health of both you and your baby.

Take folic acid
Folic acid, a type of B vitamin, can help to protect your baby from birth defects, especially early in pregnancy. In fact, if you’re planning to become pregnant, taking a folic acid supplement can help to reduce the risk of brain and spine-based birth defects, such as anencephaly and spina bifida.

In addition to supplements, you can get folic acid from foods that been fortified with the vitamin and foods high in folate, such as leafy green vegetables, beans, and citrus fruits.

Avoid cigarettes, drugs and alcohol
Cigarettes, drugs and alcohol can significantly increase the risk of birth defects. There are many kinds of birth defects these substances can cause, including:

  • Cleft palates
  • Cleft lips
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Intellectual disabilities

There are no safe amounts of cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol to have during pregnancy. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor.

Manage your chronic health conditions
Birth defects can happen to any baby. However, there are many things you can do to ensure your baby has the best chance at being born without any issues. These steps will help promote the health of both you and your baby.

Take folic acid
Folic acid, a type of B vitamin, can help to protect your baby from birth defects, especially early in pregnancy. In fact, if you’re planning to become pregnant, taking a folic acid supplement can help to reduce the risk of brain and spine-based birth defects, such as anencephaly and spina bifida.

In addition to supplements, you can get folic acid from foods that been fortified with the vitamin and foods high in folate, such as leafy green vegetables, beans, and citrus fruits.

Avoid cigarettes, drugs and alcohol
Cigarettes, drugs and alcohol can significantly increase the risk of birth defects. There are many kinds of birth defects these substances can cause, including:

  • Cleft palates
  • Cleft lips
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Intellectual disabilities

There are no safe amounts of cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol to have during pregnancy. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor.

Manage your chronic health conditions
Some chronic health conditions can increase the risk of birth defects. For example, diabetes increases the risk of spina bifida and cleft palates. Having a chronic health condition can also put you at risk of complications during pregnancy, which can increase the chances of your baby having health problems.

If you have a chronic health condition, be sure to manage it carefully during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor as soon as you become pregnant, as you may need to make changes to some of the medications you take.

Having reliable healthcare throughout your pregnancy is essential for the wellbeing of you and your baby. Family Birthplace at Riverside Community Hospital is here to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy and delivery. For more information about having your baby at our hospital in Riverside or to get a referral to one of our women’s health specialists, please call (951) 788-3463. Some chronic health conditions can increase the risk of birth defects. For example, diabetes increases the risk of spina bifida and cleft palates. Having a chronic health condition can also put you at risk of complications during pregnancy, which can increase the chances of your baby having health problems.

If you have a chronic health condition, be sure to manage it carefully during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor as soon as you become pregnant, as you may need to make changes to some of the medications you take.

Having reliable healthcare throughout your pregnancy is essential for the wellbeing of you and your baby. Family Birthplace at Riverside Community Hospital is here to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy and delivery. For more information about having your baby at our hospital in Riverside or to get a referral to one of our women’s health specialists, please call (951) 788-3463.

Assessing your health before weight loss surgery

If you are considering bariatric surgery, there are several steps required to ensure the procedure is safe for you. Going through these health assessments will determine if you can expect a smooth recovery from surgery and if a weight loss procedure is likely to help you reach your goals. Here is a look at some of the health assessments you many need before weight loss surgery.

Thyroid function
January’s Thyroid Awareness Month helps increase awareness about the important link between weight and thyroid function. If you are suffering from hypothyroidism—also known as an underactive thyroid—then you could find it difficult to lose weight, as an underactive thyroid can suppress your metabolism.

A thyroid screening test before bariatric surgery will tell your physician if hypothyroidism is contributing to your weight. You will need treatment for an underactive thyroid before weight loss surgery and your thyroid will be closely monitored after your procedure so it doesn’t interfere with your weight loss efforts.

Emotional preparedness
As explained in the video, bariatric surgery is the start of your journey. To reap the benefits of your weight loss surgery, you will have to commit to a healthy lifestyle and new way of eating after surgery.

Your physician will work closely with you to make sure you’re emotionally ready for the demands of post-surgery life. If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or another emotional health issue, treatment can help.

Heart health
For any kind of surgery, it’s important that your heart is healthy enough for anesthesia and the demands of recovery. Your doctor will review your cholesterol, blood pressure, and other facets of your heart health to make sure that surgery is safe for you.

Your physician may ask you to lose a certain amount of weight before surgery in order to make the procedure safer for your heart.

Center for Surgical Weight Loss in Riverside at Riverside Community Hospital performs multiple forms of weight loss surgery and offers comprehensive patient education and support before and after our procedures. Find out if you are a candidate for bariatric surgery by calling (951) 788-3463 to request a referral.


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