• Foods that can help you stay hydrated in the California heat

    Dehydration can develop more rapidly during the hot summer months, especially if you enjoy exercising outdoors. Certain groups of people, including seniors, young children and ill patients, are also at a higher risk of dehydration. Drinking plenty of water is the best way to stay hydrated, but you can complement your water intake by choosing healthy foods with high water content. If you have any concerns about your typical daily diet, a healthcare provider at Riverside Community Hospital will be happy to offer personalized, patient-friendly guidance.


    Fruit is an excellent choice for supporting hydration and overall nutrition. The types of fruit with the highest water content include the following:

    • Watermelon
    • Strawberries
    • Grapefruit
    • Cantaloupe

    The following fruits contain slightly less water, but are still excellent choices.

    • Peaches
    • Pineapples
    • Oranges
    • Blueberries
    • Raspberries
    • Plums
    • Apples
    • Pears
    • Cherries
    • Apricots

    Whole fruit is nutritionally preferable compared to fruit juice and canned fruit. Enjoy whole fruit as is for a snack or dessert, or chop up several kinds for a delicious fruit salad.


    Many Americans don’t eat enough veggies on a daily basis. By increasing your intake of veggies, you can keep your body hydrated and well-nourished. The following choices have high water content:

    • Cucumbers
    • Lettuce
    • Celery
    • Zucchini
    • Radishes
    • Broccoli
    • Spinach
    • Eggplant


    If you find the taste of plain water a bit boring, it can be more challenging to meet your daily hydration needs. Try the following healthy beverages to complement your water intake:

    • Coconut water
    • Low-sugar yogurt smoothie
    • Milk
    • Decaf tea
    • 100% fruit juice
    • Juiced vegetables
    • Ice water with a squeeze of lemon or lime

    Avoid alcohol, which is dehydrating, and soda, which provides empty calories.

    Following these easy tips will help you prevent heat-related illnesses this summer, but just in case, compassionate emergency care is always available at Riverside Community Hospital. Our emergency care team is comprised of top specialists who live and work in the same Riverside communities as our patients. You can speak with a registered nurse by calling (951) 788-3463, but please direct medical emergencies to 911.

  • Can too much sun make you sick?

    The sun may make human life possible, but it can also be incredibly damaging to human health. Unprotected sun exposure increases the risk of photodermatitis, sun poisoning and skin cancer. Additionally, the soaring summer temperatures place Californians at an increased risk of heat-related illnesses. At Riverside Community Hospital, you’ll find the expert medical guidance you need to protect your family.


    Photodermatitis is a condition in which the skin reacts abnormally to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Certain people may be at a higher risk of being particularly sensitive to sun exposure, including the following:

    • People who are taking certain medications
    • Patients with lupus or eczema
    • People with certain genetic factors

    Photodermatitis can be acute, which means it develops suddenly and doesn’t last for a long time. Or, it can be chronic. The possible signs and symptoms include the following:

    • Itchy blisters and bumps
    • Raised areas of the skin
    • Swelling, redness and pain
    • Fever with chills
    • Nausea
    • Headache
    • Skin lesions
    • Areas of darkened skin

    Sun poisoning

    Sun poisoning refers to extreme sunburn that causes skin inflammation. Prevention is always best, but if sun poisoning does occur, it’s recommended that patients seek emergency care. The following signs and symptoms can be indicative of sun poisoning:

    • Large blisters
    • Nausea
    • Dizziness
    • Fever
    • Fainting
    • Dehydration
    • Rapid pulse
    • Rapid breathing
    • Headache
    • Skin swelling

    Additionally, sun poisoning is characterized by a rash-like skin reaction. The skin becomes quite red and dry before it peels. The effects of sun poisoning can last longer than a week.

    Skin cancer

    Photodermatitis and sun poisoning, along with any other sort of unprotected sun exposure, can increase the risk of skin cancer. Although skin cancer may take longer to develop than sun poisoning, the result can be life-threatening.

    Early detection of skin cancer is crucial, so consider scheduling a skin cancer screening annually. Your doctor may also recommend doing a self-check of your skin every month.

    Heat-related illnesses

    The hot summer sun can make you more susceptible to developing heat-related illnesses, which have immediate and potentially serious effects on health. Heat cramps are the mildest form of these progressive illnesses, followed by heat exhaustion and, lastly, heatstroke.

    Heat exhaustion and heatstroke both require immediate medical attention. They can cause:

    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Weakness and fatigue
    • Little to no sweating and urine output
    • Rapid heartbeat
    • Rapid, shallow breathing

    For all of life’s medical emergencies, your family can count on Riverside Community Hospital to provide the superior care you deserve. Along with our patient-focused emergency care, we specialize in bariatric weight loss, robotic surgery and organ transplants. To request a physician referral, call a registered nurse in Riverside at (951) 788-3463.

  • Why is it harder for women to lose weight?

    It might not seem fair that some people seem to be able to eat anything they want without gaining a pound, while other people struggle to maintain their weight or to lose a little. It probably isn’t just your imagination that the men in your life seem to shed pounds far more easily than women. When you watch this video, you’ll learn why metabolism plays an important role in this discrepancy. This video features a bariatric weight loss specialist at Riverside Community Hospital. If your weight is interfering with your health, consider talking to a bariatric weight loss specialist about your options.

    What your basal metabolic rate is

    Your basal metabolic rate is the average number of calories your body uses each day while at rest in a typical environment. In other words, these are the calories that are necessary to keep your heart pumping and your airways breathing.

    Basal metabolic rate is influenced by a person’s height, current weight and age. It also depends on whether a person is male or female. Men naturally tend to have a higher basal metabolic rate than women do, which means their bodies burn more calories each day regardless of their activity level.

    How basal metabolic rate influences weight loss

    Your basal metabolic rate is significant for weight loss because, with a low rate, your body needs fewer calories each day. Any calories you consume beyond this threshold must be used for physical exertion. Otherwise, weight gain occurs.

    How women can achieve their weight loss goals

    Although it can be disheartening to learn that you may be predisposed to lose weight more slowly than an average man, there are ways you can effectively change your body composition. Building more lean muscle mass, for example, will boost your basal metabolic rate.

    Bariatric weight loss isn’t right for every patient, but for good candidates, it can pave the way for a healthier lifestyle and better quality of life. For the superior care and personalized guidance you deserve, you can turn to the bariatric weight loss specialists at Riverside Community Hospital. Residents of Riverside can call our nurse referral line at (951) 788-3463.

  • How to follow up on an ER visit

    As much as they care about their patients, ER physicians do prefer not see them more than once. Unfortunately, the lack of follow-up care after an ER discharge can sometimes increase the likelihood of a repeat ER visit. To keep your family healthy and out of the ER as much as possible, the team at Riverside Community Hospital provides patient-focused, easy-to-follow discharge instructions that are personalized based on the diagnosis. You can hear more about our discharge protocols when you watch this video, which features one of our caring registered nurses. She explains the importance of following up with your primary care physician.

    Read your discharge instructions carefully

    Before you leave the Emergency Room, a healthcare provider will explain your discharge instructions to you and provide you with a written copy. If someone accompanied you to the ER, you may wish to have that person join in the conversation to help you keep track of your health at home.

    Keep your written instructions and refer to them if you’re unclear about any aspect of your diagnosis and treatment.

    Call your primary care physician

    In many cases, patients are advised to follow up with their primary care doctors. Since primary care doctors typically have busy schedules, it’s best to call him or her as soon as possible.

    During your appointment, discuss your symptoms and diagnosis with the doctor, and explain what you’ve been doing at home to take care of your health. Ask your physician if you need any further tests, exams or treatments, and discuss any issues you might have experienced with prescribed medications. Your doctor may recommend that you follow up with a specialist.

    Check for available test results

    If your hospital offers an online patient portal, you can use it to keep track of your health information. Your account will include information such as:

    • Your recent and upcoming visits
    • Your diagnoses
    • Your medications and dosages
    • Your test results

    Using your patient portal can help you coordinate your follow-up care with your primary doctor.

    Riverside Community Hospital is known for providing superior, compassionate emergency care to families throughout Riverside. Our hospital attracts top physicians and specialists because of our unwavering commitment to maintaining the highest standards of patient care and safety. Please direct medical emergencies to a 911 dispatcher, or you can call a registered nurse at (951) 788-3463 for general healthcare questions.