Riverside Community Hospital
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Healthy Lifestyle Changes: Breaking the Cycle of Broken Resolutions

Have you been resolving to get healthier, but find your goals hard to reach? For most of us, making big lifestyle changes can be extremely difficult. In this video, Hannah Curlee, from NBC’s hit show The Biggest Loser, provides some helpful tips for breaking the cycle of broken resolutions and taking control of your health. From identifying specific behaviors to celebrating milestones, Hannah’s advice can help you to change your life by making healthy changes.

If you are struggling with losing weight, contact the weight loss experts at Riverside’s Center for Surgical Weight Loss can help. For more information, contact Riverside Community Hospital at (951) 788-3000.


Heart Health: Tips for Traveling with Heart Disease

Heart Care

In recent years, more and more Americans are choosing to travel to more remote and exotic locations for longer periods of time. If you are considering taking a vacation to a beautiful, faraway place and suffer from heart disease, there are many things to consider before and during your trip. Read on to learn more about staying heart healthy throughout your vacation. 

Before You Go
For those with cardiovascular disease, the first and most important step to take before traveling is to visit your primary care physician or cardiac specialist. Your doctor will be able to evaluate the state of your overall health and provide information about your cardiac status. Although most patients with heart disease are safe to travel, it may not be recommended for those suffering from unstable conditions, such as angina or congestive heart failure. During your meeting with your physician, you may also consider asking him or her about any vaccinations you may need or if you should purchase emergency evacuation insurance. 

Another important precaution is to document your relevant medical information and keep it with you at all times during your trip. Include any medications you may be taking, a baseline electrocardiogram, the name and contact information of your doctor, and a brief letter from your doctor describing your condition. Carry all of your medications with you and pack enough to last for the entirety of your trip.

During Your Flight
Traveling in the pressurized cabin of an airplane exerts certain forces on the body that are important for heart patients to consider. When traveling via airplane, be sure to:

  • Stay hydrated
  • Move around frequently, especially on longer flights
  • Make advanced arrangements to acquire oxygen if needed
  • Ensure that your pacemaker can safely make it through airline security, if applicable

When You Arrive
Once you have arrived at your vacation spot, be careful not to overexert yourself or cause your body any undue stress. Stay hydrated and avoid ingesting too much salt when eating out.

Remember, one of the most important things you can do is to relax and enjoy your vacation. If you have any further questions about your health or how to travel safely with a chronic illness, please contact Riverside Community Hospital. Our healthcare professionals are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call—simply dial (951) 788-3000 today.


Obesity: Causes and Treatment

Obesity

Obesity is a rapidly growing epidemic in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of American adults are now obese. Although standards are different for teenagers and children, obesity is generally defined as carrying weight over the ideal body mass index range of 18.5 to 24.9. Once over this range, the degree of obesity can be scaled as follows:

  • Overweight: BMI of 25.0 to 29.9
  • Obese: BMI of 30.0 and above
  • Morbid obesity: BMI of 40.0 and above (or 35 and above with chronic health condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure)

Obesity is caused by an imbalance in the relationship between caloric intake and caloric expenditure. When we eat, the body converts food into calories to be used for basic body functions and physical activity. When the amount of food that we eat provides more calories than are spent through activity, excess weight gain occurs. When this balance is disrupted for extended periods of time, obesity can result.

Being overweight can have serious health consequences. Obese patients are at a higher risk for developing many chronic health conditions, including high cholesterol, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, there are ways for patients struggling with obesity to regain control of their health. Below are a few of the ways that obese men and women can work to lose weight.

  • Diet and exercise
    For some patients, closely monitoring caloric intake using a food diary and committing to an exercise program can be effective in combating obesity.
  • Behavior therapy
    Behavior therapy can be used to help patients understand the underlying cause of their condition. With the assistance of a therapist, patients can find out when and why they overeat and what they can do to overcome these unhealthy habits.
  • Bariatric surgery
    In combination with behavior therapy and lifestyle modification, bariatric surgery can be extremely effective in helping patients lose weight and keep it off in the long-term. By reducing the size of the stomach, appetite is greatly reduced and only small portions can be consumed at a time. The absorptive capabilities of the small intestine can also be altered to decrease fat and nutrient uptake after meals, further reducing the amount of calories consumed.

If you are struggling with obesity, let Riverside Community Hospital help. Consult with one of our weight loss specialists to find the right treatment for you. Find a physician today by calling (951) 788-3000.


Organ Donation: Giving the Gift of Life

Your loved ones may not know everything about you, but they should know if you are an organ donor. Having the support of your family and friends can help you to save the lives of multiple organ recipients and provide them with a second chance at a normal, active life. 

April is National Donate Life Month. Become a lifesaver in your community by enrolling to be an organ donor and sharing your decision with your friends and family. If you are interested in learning more about registering or the process in general, visit OrganDonor.gov or contact the healthcare team at Riverside Community Hospital at (951) 788-3000.


Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism: Signs & Symptoms

Alcoholism

When considering alcohol-use disorders, experts make a distinction between alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Those suffering from alcohol abuse continue to imbibe even after experiencing health, legal, family, or occupational problems. After a period of time, this condition can progressively lead to alcoholism, in which a person becomes physically dependent on alcoholic beverages. If you are worried that a loved one, friend, or coworker may have a problem with alcohol or if you are wondering whether you may have a problem, read on for some of the common signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

Alcohol abuse can be the result of several contributing factors, including social pressures, depression, emotional stresses, and physical pain. Those who abuse alcohol will often exhibit a pattern of drinking that leads to the following signs:

  • Neglecting responsibilities at home, school, or work due to excessive drinking or being hung over
  • Using alcohol unsafely, such as while driving or mixing alcohol with specific medications
  • Getting into legal trouble while drinking, whether it is due to violence or driving under the influence
  • Continuing alcohol use despite relationship problems with friends, family, spouse, or significant other
  • Drinking to reduce stress after a stressful day at work or after a disagreement with a friend or family member

Although not all alcohol abusers progress into alcoholism, it is a major risk factor for the condition. The signs and symptoms of alcoholism include all of those associated with alcohol abuse, but also involve the following:

  • Withdrawal symptoms, which can include anxiety, trembling, nausea, sweating, insomnia, depression, fatigue, and irritability
  • Inability to stop drinking, even with the persistent desire to do so
  • Discontinuing other activities that were once quite enjoyable, such as hobbies, time with friends, and going to the gym
  • Increased tolerance for alcohol over time
  • Spending more time drinking or recovering from drinking episodes than doing anything else

Alcohol-related disorders are serious health issues and increase a person’s risk of developing many severe medical conditions. If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol abuse or alcoholism, seek help today by contacting the Consult-A-Nurse Healthcare Referral at (951) 788-3000 offered by Riverside Community Hospital. Our nurses are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to offer advice and support.


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