Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center
Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center is committed to providing the highest quality of care while serving the communities of southwest Las Vegas.

When is it common to see signs of schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness that can cause a range of different psychoses. Diagnosing the disease can be challenging, and paying attention to the age of the patient is one strategy behavioral health specialists use in evaluating symptoms. Although schizophrenia can happen at any age, there are certain points in life that it is more common to see the illness than others.

Typical ages for schizophrenia diagnosis
Schizophrenia occurs in men in women at different ages. For men, symptoms usually appear during the late teens and early 20s. Women tend to develop symptoms later, in their late 20s and early 30s.

Schizophrenia can be diagnosed in patients at any age. However, it is not common for people younger than 12 or older than 40 to learn that they have the disease.

Prodromal period
The prodromal period is a time during which the first symptoms of schizophrenia may be apparent. This usually happens during the teen year, but because the symptoms are non-specific, families and behavioral health specialists do not always recognize them. During the prodromal period, teens who are developing schizophrenia may display these symptoms:

  • Change in sleep habits/chronic sleep problems
  • Irritability
  • Change in friend groups
  • Dropping grades

These symptoms can often be considered typical teenage behavior. However, if teens have a family history of psychosis or experience episodes of disordered thoughts or paranoia, a behavioral health specialist may be able to make a diagnosis.

Early diagnosis
Schizophrenia is a chronic disease without a cure, but it can be managed. Getting an early diagnosis is an important part of successfully managing the disease. Treatment that starts after the very first psychotic episode a person experiences can help to prevent future complications.

If you are concerned about your own symptoms or the symptoms of someone you love, the behavioral health department at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center is here to help. To get a referral to a specialist, call our hospital in Las Vegas at (702) 916-5023.

What to know about the different types of arthritis

Many people think of arthritis as a singular condition, but there are more than 100 different forms of the disease. The different forms of arthritis are treated in different ways, and they can cause a wide range of varying symptoms. If you have joint pain and see an orthopedic specialist, one of the first things he or she will do is diagnose the type of arthritis you have to make an effective treatment plan. Here is a look at some of the most common forms of arthritis and how physicians approach their treatment.

Osteoarthritis is a form of generative arthritis. It occurs when the cartilage between the joints breaks down, allowing the bones to rub together painfully. It often affects large, weight-bearing joints, such as hips and knees, and most often occurs in older people.

Treatments for osteoarthritis vary depending on the location of the arthritis and severity of the symptoms, among other factors. Resting joints, maintaining a healthy weight, exercises to strengthen the muscles around the joints, and pain medications are often used for treatment. In some cases, joint replacement surgery is necessary.

Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of inflammatory arthritis. It occurs when the immune system attacks the joints when it mistakes them for foreign invaders. In addition to joint damage, rheumatoid arthritis can cause damage to internal organs and the eyes.

Medications to minimize the immune response are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, with the goal of preventing joint damage and damage to other parts of the body. With medication, the disease can go into remission.

Gout is a form of metabolic arthritis. When high levels of uric acid build up in the body, it can attack the joints and cause a sudden onset of extreme pain. Gout usually comes and goes and becomes chronic in many people.

Medications and dietary changes to reduce the levels of uric acid in the body can help to control gout.

Arthritis can be debilitating, but Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center is here to help. From our diagnostic imaging team to our orthopedic surgery department in Las Vegas, we can diagnose and treat the wide-ranging forms of arthritis. Take the first step towards a pain-free life today by calling us at (702) 916-5023.

Are the symptoms for stroke always the same?

Most people have heard the anagram FAST to describe stroke symptoms. FAST reminds people that facial drooping, arm drooping, and slurred speech means it’s time to call 911, because those are the most common symptoms of a stroke. Much like heart attacks, however, not everyone who has a stroke experiences the same kinds of symptoms. If you suspect that your symptoms could indicate a stroke, don’t delay emergency care, even if you aren’t experiencing the traditional signs.

Non-traditional stroke symptoms
As the video explains, there are many symptoms that people don’t immediately associate with strokes that may actually indicate that one is occurring. Some of these signs include:

  • Headache

  • Feeling disoriented

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Feeling confused

Even though these symptoms can indicate many different medical conditions, when they occur, getting emergency care is important. Getting an accurate diagnosis and the appropriate treatment can help to prevent future complications.

Silent strokes
Some people who don’t have the typical symptoms of a stroke may have silent strokes. During a silent stroke, the person who is having a stroke doesn’t realize that it is happening. Even though silent strokes don’t cause symptoms, they still cause permanent brain damage.

Most people who have had silent strokes find out when they seek care for another problem. For instance, after a silent stroke, a person may experience memory loss or chronic headaches. A physician may recommend a brain scan to determine the cause and discover the evidence of the stroke during the scan.

Emergency stroke care
Getting emergency care for a stroke is the only way to reduce the risk of permanent damage and disability. Brain tissue is being destroyed every second during a stroke until treatment begins.

Because emergency stroke care is so important, don’t delay seeking treatment if you experience even mild symptoms that could potentially be a stroke.

Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center’s Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Center offers advanced stroke care in Las Vegas, from the emergency room to post-stroke rehab. For more information, call (702) 916-5023.

Why has asthma become more common?

Asthma is a common respiratory condition that seems to be on the rise. It is commonly diagnosed during childhood, but more adults are also being diagnosed with the condition than in the past. This increase in the rates of asthma can be seen everywhere from the emergency rooms of hospitals across the country to the offices of primary care providers, but why is asthma suddenly becoming more common? Although experts are still trying to figure out the answers, there are some theories that could explain this increase in disease.

As the video suggests, may experts point to an increase in air pollution as the cause of an increase in asthma rates. Particles in the air from chemicals, cigarettes, smoke from commercial facilities, and even farm animals could be causing people to experience asthma symptoms more often.

The rise in e-cigarettes could also be to blame. As mentioned in the video, no one really knows the long-term consequences of e-cigarettes. They could be releasing pollutants that exacerbate respiratory problems, including asthma, for people who are exposed to secondhand smoke, and they could also be increasing the risk of asthma in people who use them.

Hygiene hypothesis
The hygiene hypothesis is the idea that homes and public spaces are kept so clean in many developed countries that children’s immune systems are not able to develop appropriately. According to the hypothesis, children aren’t exposed to enough germs for their immune systems to develop the ability to tell the difference between dangerous germs and normal substances, so the body overacts to things like allergens, causing asthma symptoms.

According to the hygiene hypothesis, people who live on farms develop asthma and other respiratory issues at lower rates than others, because they are exposed to more germs. The hygiene hypothesis is also being examined as a cause of autoimmune diseases, like type 1 diabetes.

Asthma can be a disconcerting diagnosis, but at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center, we’re here to help you manage it every step of the way. From emergency care in Las Vegas for urgent symptoms to outpatient care to manage your condition, we have the treatments and providers you need. Contact us at (702) 916-5023 to request a referral to one of our physicians.

Exploring the unexpected health benefits of volunteering

When most people think about volunteering, they think about the impact their service has on the people who are benefiting from it. In reality, the people who give their time volunteering may be the ones who benefit from it most of all. Volunteering can positively impact your life in many ways, including by improving your health. As it turns out, donating your time as a volunteer could be one of the best ways to make a commitment to your health. Here is what you need to know:

Health and volunteering
Researchers have been exploring the impact of volunteering on health for an extended period of time through multiple studies. The results of these studies have indicated that there is a clear, positive relationship between your health and donating your time as a volunteer. Volunteering may affect your health in these ways:

  • Lower mortality rate
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Great functional ability

The health benefits of volunteering seem to increase the more you do it. The greatest benefits were found in people who volunteer for 100 hours per year or more.

Seniors and volunteering
Volunteering can be especially helpful to seniors. Seniors who volunteer receive the greatest health benefits from volunteering. They are less likely to experience things like depression and dementia, and they are less likely to experience physical health problems.

The reasons that seniors receive the largest number of benefits are unknown, but researchers think that volunteering helps them avoid a significant health risk: loneliness. Seniors are more likely than other age groups to face isolation, as well as depression and anxiety associated with being alone. Volunteering keeps seniors from being alone and gives them a social group.

Volunteer opportunities
There are volunteer opportunities throughout every community. The Corporation for National & Community Service connects people with volunteer opportunities, as can local churches, schools, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations.

Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center welcomes volunteers to assist with serving patients, greeting guests, and performing clerical work. Students, retirees, professionals, homemakers, and former patients all come together in our dedicated team of volunteers at our hospital in Las Vegas . To learn how you can volunteer your time, call (702) 916-5023.

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