• Riverside Community Hospital’s FREE Diabetes Health and Wellness Fair

    Diabetes Awareness

    November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and in recognition of that, Riverside Community Hospital will be hosting a FREE Diabetes Health and Wellness Fair!  The event will take place on Saturday, November 10 from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM, with a complimentary lunch at 1:30.  Be sure to come out for this great event!  Space is limited, so make sure to RSVP by November 3rd at (951) 788-3000!

  • Why Obesity Is a Problem in America

    Because obesity is associated with so many life-threatening health issues, it is one of the most pressing problems for public health in the United States. In this video, you can learn how obesity became such a widespread problem in America and how it can be controlled. Changes in dietary habits and the transition to more sedentary lifestyles have made obesity an epidemic in America, costing billions of dollars in healthcare every year.

    Find out how you can reverse the trend of obesity and keep your family healthy by visiting Riverside Community Hospital and joining our H2U program. Contact us for more information about our health outreach programs on our website or at (951) 788-3000.

  • Managing Diabetes: A Patient’s Guide to Everyday Wellness

    When you have diabetes, medication will be important in helping you regulate your blood glucose, but it is not the only therapy that you should incorporate into your diabetes management plan. As you work with your doctor, you will find that lifestyle changes can help you reduce or even eliminate your need for medication and feel healthier. Here are some steps you can take to prevent diabetes from taking over your life.

    Fresh kale

    Focus on nutrition

    Creating a diabetes-friendly diet will require knowledge of the glycemic index of the foods you eat so you know what foods will give you lasting energy and which ones will cause severe blood sugar spikes. You will want to include more foods in your diet that take a long time to burn off, as these will keep your blood glucose relatively stable throughout the day. These foods include whole grains, lean proteins, and fresh produce.

    Get up and get moving

    Exercise is important for patients with diabetes, because it is essential for weight management and good blood circulation. When you are starting an exercise program, consulting your doctor for recommendations on the right type of activity can help you ease into a routine so that you do not cause injury to yourself. Generally, aerobic activities are the best way to get your heart rate up, and these activities can range from moderate to rigorous exercise.

    Stay hydrated

    Drinking water is one of the simplest yet most beneficial ways to improve your health. You should drink six to eight glasses of water every day to support good circulation and digestion. Pure water is the best way to hydrate, but you can supplement your daily intake of water with non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic, sugar-free beverages, like unsweetened tea or lemonade made with artificial sweeteners.

    You can find more guidance on staying healthy with diabetes at any age with the Diabetes Education offered at Riverside Community Hospital. Learn more about our comprehensive health services on our website or by calling our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (951) 788-3000.

  • Best Exercises for Promoting Heart Health

    man exercising weight training workout fitness posture

    It’s no secret that exercise does a body good. Studies show it can help strengthen your heart and cardiovascular system, lower body fat, improve sleep and reduce stress, anxiety and depression, among other things.

    A sedentary or inactive lifestyle puts you at greater risk of heart disease, so getting regular daily exercise can help prevent it. According to the American Heart Association, exercising for as little as 30 minutes a day can make a difference.

    Heart hospital experts say combining aerobic exercise with strength training works best to combat heart disease.

    Aerobic exercise, also called cardio or cardiovascular training, moves the large muscles of the body in the arms, legs and hips. It helps your body use the oxygen in your blood better. Your heart rate rises for a while, you breathe more deeply and the body releases endorphins, the “feel good” hormones, to reduce stress and make you feel more relaxed. Examples of aerobic exercise include walking, dancing, biking and swimming.

    Walking is one of the easiest ways to improve your heart health. To start walking, you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment, just a good pair of sneakers. Enlist a friend to go on regular walks or find a walking group to help you stick with it. Walking buddies can make these outings fun and social as well as effective.

    Strength training or resistance training isn’t just for bodybuilders. Research shows older adults who lift weights two or three times a week can build muscle mass and bone density, which contribute to overall heart health. Push-ups, lunges and standing bicep curls with weights are all examples of strength training moves.

    Never rush into physical activity, especially if you’ve been a couch potato for a long time. Moderate exercise is generally safe for most people, but, if you’ve been inactive or have health problems, be sure to check with your doctor before starting any fitness program.

    Once cleared, challenge yourself to keep moving, but avoid an all or nothing attitude. That can lead to aches and pains that may sink your plans to live healthier before you see any benefits. It’s okay to gradually build up to exercising 30 minutes or more a day and remember to do warm-up exercises and cool down stretches to prevent soreness and injury.

    The key is to find activities you enjoy so you’ll want to exercise consistently and build a stronger, healthier heart.

    The HeartCare Institute at Riverside Community Hospital is dedicated to effectively treating and combating heart disease. If you would like to learn more about our comprehensive services, call Riverside Community Hospital at (951) 788-3000.

  • Weight Loss Surgery Resources

    – Learn the symptoms of depression and how the condition can be a complication of heart attack at FamilyDoctor.org.

    – Visit daVinciSurgery.com for the answers to some frequently asked questions about minimally-invasive robotic surgery

    male beauty

    Coronary artery bypass grafting can be performed with robotic assistance for shorter recovery times and reduced blood loss. Learn more about the procedure at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.

    – Compare the Lap-Band gastric banding procedure to other common bariatric weight loss treatments on this page from LapBand.com.

    – The Weight-Control Information Network provides an overview of bariatric weight loss surgery options, including adjustable gastric banding, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, and vertical sleeve gastrectomy.

    The referral specialists at Riverside Community Hospital’s 24-hour healthcare line can help you find a bariatric weight loss surgeon to discuss the benefits and risks of each procedure in detail. Call (951) 788-3000 to learn more about the services offered at our Center for Surgical Weight Loss.

  • What is Bariatric Weight Loss?

    Woman standing on bathroom scale

    Many people struggle with their weight and increasing numbers of Americans are tipping the scale into obesity, a serious and complex health problem.  Bariatric weight loss is surgery for patients diagnosed with the most severe type of obesity called “morbid” obesity.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 35-percent of US adults are obese. Some of the leading causes of death are obesity-related including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, breathing disorders and certain types of cancer. Yet for most people, obesity is preventable.

    An obese adult is defined as a person whose Body Mass Index, or BMI, is significantly greater than the range of weights generally considered healthy for their height. Doctors usually first treat obese patients with a plan to change their lifestyle through diet, exercise, behavior modification and medication.

    But genetics and environment can influence whether a person becomes obese and for some patients these changes bring only short-term results that are not enough to keep them healthy.

    The National Institutes of Health recommends bariatric surgery for obese people with a BMI over 40 (100 pounds or more of excess weight) or for people with a BMI over 35 (75 pounds of more of excess weight) who also have other serious obesity-related medical problems like diabetes.

    The surgery involves making the stomach significantly smaller to reduce nutrient intake and absorption. There are several surgical options. Some procedures close off most of the stomach with staples and reroute the gastrointestinal tract so food takes a different path during digestion. Others use a surgically implanted adjustable band around the stomach to restrict the amount of food an individual can eat at one sitting and give them a feeling of fullness.

    Whether or not to have weight loss surgery is a big decision. All surgery has risks and this type of surgery has life-changing consequences. It should not be considered a “quick fix.”  Reducing the size of the stomach helps patients eat less, but they still have to follow a careful diet and exercise plan and make other adjustments to get the weight off and keep it off.  Surgery should only be considered once all other methods of getting to and maintaining a healthy weight have failed.

    The Center for Surgical Weight Loss at Riverside Community Hospital offers advanced, minimally invasive surgical procedures for individuals seeking a more permanent weight loss solution. To attend a free educational seminar and learn more about your options, call our Bariatric Coordinator at 951-788-3432.  You can also find out more about our comprehensive services by calling our Consult-A-Nurse line at (951)788-3463.

  • Find Out More About Breastfeeding With These Resources

    Our recent articles have discussed tips for nursing a newborn, the link between depression and heart attack, the benefits of robotic surgery, and various bariatric weight loss procedures. For more information on these subjects, visit the following links or call Riverside Community Hospital at (951) 788-3000.


    – For a comprehensive guide to positioning your baby while breastfeeding, visit this page from La Leche League International.

    – Find tips on nursing your baby, including encouraging proper latching and monitoring your child’s milk intake, at WomensHealth.gov.

    – Learn about the many benefits of breastfeeding your newborn baby on this page from the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development.

    – The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists provides a list of commonly-asked questions regarding breastfeeding.

    – For an exploration of the link between depression and heart disease, visit the American Heart Association online.

  • Choosing the Right Weight Loss Procedure for You

    Bariatric weight loss surgery works by drastically reducing the capacity of the stomach in order to treat obesity and weight-related health conditions. Each of the following procedures offered at Riverside Community Hospital can be performed laparoscopically for minimal pain, scarring, and risk of infection:

    Adjustable Gastric Banding

    In this procedure, an inflatable band is placed around the top portion of the stomach in order to reduce its capacity without cutting any of the digestive tract. The surgical procedure is minimally invasive and carries few risks, making it a viable choice for many patients. In addition, the band may be deflated and even removed should complications occur.

    Lap-Band placed on a replica stomach.

    Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

    For an even more dramatic reduction in caloric intake, a patient may elect to undergo roux-en-Y gastric bypass, a permanent procedure in which a small part of the upper stomach is portioned off and the middle section of the small intestine is attached in order to bypass the highly absorbent duodenum. The lower stomach and beginning of the small intestine are also attached so that the intestines form a “Y” shape. Because of the complexity involved in surgically rearranging the viscera, complications such as dumping syndrome may occur.

    Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

    Rather than reducing stomach size by sectioning off a small part of the organ for use, this surgery calls for the removal of two-thirds of the stomach, leaving a long tube that remains naturally connected to both the esophagus and small intestine. The elimination of stomach tissue is thought to reduce the amount of the hunger hormone ghrelin that is released into the body, a benefit that does not occur with other volume-restricting procedures.

    The referral specialists at Riverside Community Hospital’s 24-hour healthcare line can help you find a bariatric weight loss surgeon to discuss the benefits and risks of each procedure in detail. Call (951) 788-3000 to learn more about the services offered at our Center for Surgical Weight Loss.

  • Heart Healthy Foods from Riverside Community Hospital

    Nutritional label

    Following a healthy diet can both taste good and be good for you! Research shows eating right may help prevent heart disease, the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States.

    Heart hospital nutrition experts say a good first step is to learn to read food labels so you are aware of the calories and ingredients in the foods you choose. As you write up a shopping list, plan meals that emphasize fiber-rich whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats and fish, along with dairy products that are fat-free, one-percent and low fat.

    Eat fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors like red tomatoes, orange sweet potatoes and dark green leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach.  Aim for five or six servings per day.

    Stay away from fatty meats and fried foods. Instead, choose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them without adding saturated or trans fat. 

    The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week. Oily fish like salmon, mackerel, trout and sardines contain omega 3 fatty acids, which are good for the heart. Its guidelines also suggest if you drink alcohol, drink in moderation which means one drink per day for women, two drinks per day for men. 

    Cut down on sugary, high fat and high sodium foods like cakes, cookies, hot dogs, sausages and pizza.  Aim to eat less than 1,500 milligrams of salt (sodium) per day.

    Avoid trans fat because it lowers HDL or good cholesterol while increasing LDL or bad cholesterol in the blood. If a label says “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredient list that’s a sign that the food contains some trans fat.  Trans fat is found in many processed foods like crackers, chips and other snacks. 

    You can replace saturated fats with healthy unsaturated fats like canola oil and olive oil.  You don’t want to outlaw fat completely from your diet, but use it sparingly. Your total fat intake should be no more than 25 – 35% of your total daily calories.

    Other heart healthy tips include keeping an eye on portion size and staying away from tobacco and tobacco smoke.

    With the wide variety of foods available today, it is possible to make heart healthy choices from morning ‘til night, whether you’re eating at home or going out. 

    The HeartCare Institute at Riverside Community Hospital is dedicated to effectively treating and combating heart disease. To find out more about our comprehensive services, call Riverside Community Hospital at (951)788-3463.choices from morning ‘til night, whether you’re eating at home or going out.

  • Donating Organs Saves Lives

    Did you know that through organ donation, one person can save the lives of as many as eight people? Learn more about organ donation and its importance, especially for minorities, in this video from the Health Resources and Services Administration.

    Many people avoid registering as an organ donor out of fear that they will not be given high-quality medical treatment in the event of an emergency. However, a doctor’s number-one priority is to ensure the health of his or her patients. Only when every lifesaving avenue has been exhausted will organ donation begin to be considered.

    Find out how to register as an organ donor by calling Riverside Community Hospital at (951) 788-3000. Our nurses are available 24/7 to answer your health-related questions and provide physician referral services.