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.

How will exercise fit into your diabetes treatment plan?

Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, exercise will play a central role in your treatment plan. Being physically active can help you avoid many of the complications that are associated with diabetes and will help to keep your weight in check. Here is a look at some of the ways you can use exercise as part of your diabetes treatment plan.

Lower your blood glucose levels

Being physically active can help to lower your blood glucose levels and help you maintain good blood glucose control. If you have type 2 diabetes, you may be able to manage your blood glucose without medication using diet and exercise, under the guidance of your physician. Anyone with diabetes can reap the benefits of better blood glucose control by exercising.

Be sure to check your blood glucose before you exercise to prevent hypoglycemia. If you have type 1 diabetes and are experiencing high blood glucose with ketones, don’t exercise unless your physician says it is okay. Exercising when ketones are present in the blood can make blood glucose spike even higher in type 1 diabetics.

Maintain a healthy weight

With both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, maintaining a healthy weight is important. Excess weight impacts your body’s ability to use insulin effectively, which exacerbates the symptoms of type 2 diabetes and forces type 1 diabetics to have to take increasing insulin doses to maintain their blood glucose levels.

Although people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin for life, people with type 2 diabetes are sometimes able to stop or reduce their medications if they lose weight.

Boost your circulation

Diabetes can cause damage to your blood vessels that interfere with blood flow. By exercising, you can make your blood flow more efficiently. Healthy blood flow will reduce the risk of many diabetes complications, including heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and kidney damage.

Before you start a new exercise regimen, schedule an appointment with your physician at Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center to make sure it is safe for you. Do you need a physician in Las Vegas to help you improve your diabetes management? Contact our hospital today at (702) 916-5023.

How far can quitting smoking go for your health?

Are you ready to take one of the biggest steps you can take for better health? If so, it’s time to give up smoking. Smoking impacts every part of your body, and giving it up has the same kind of far-reaching effects. Every minute that you are not smoking decreases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and much more. Here is a closer look at how quitting smoking can impact your health.

Healthier lungs
As mentioned in the video, some forms of lung damage are not curable, but giving up smoking still improves your lung health. When you stop smoking, you can prevent further scarring of your lungs, your cilia grow back and being to function normally, and you may be able to prevent COPD.

If you already have lung disease, giving up your cigarettes can slow its progression and make your symptoms less severe. You may notice that you actually cough more right after you give up cigarettes—that is a sign of your lungs healing.

Healthier heart
No other risk factor is responsible for more heart disease and more heart attacks than smoking. When you quit, your risk of having a heart attack will decrease within 24 hours, and it will keep getting lower the longer you go without smoking. Quitting improves your heart health in a number of ways, including:

  • Thinner blood that moves through your blood vessels easier—this reduces the amount of stress on your heart and cuts your chances of heart attacks and strokes
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure

Healthier body
Giving up smoking causes dramatic changes throughout your body. Here are just a few of the impacts you can expect:

  • Better hearing
  • Reduced belly fat—which means a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Normal estrogen levels
  • Fewer episodes of erectile dysfunction
  • Clearer skin
  • Stronger bones
  • Lower risk of cancer

Quitting is hard, but your doctor can help. Contact Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas and request a referral to one of our physicians. We can help you kick the habit for good and enjoy a healthier life. Call us today at (702) 916-5023 for more information.

Breathe cleaner air at home for better lung health

When you think of lung health and the impact of air pollution, there is a good chance that you picture things like car exhaust and smoke stacks. In reality, the air in your home may be much more polluted than the air outdoors, and it could be impacting your health. If already have lung health issues, such as asthma or COPD, then your air at home could be responsible for triggering acute crises that require emergency care. How clean is your indoor air at home, and what can you do to improve it? Here is what you need to know.

Common indoor air pollutants
Indoor air pollutants can come from a variety of places. Some common pollutants founds in the air in people’s homes include:

  • Dust and dust mites
  • Animal dander
  • Pollen
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Emissions from volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as those found in some forms of paint

Signs of contaminated air
You may suspect that the air in your home is polluted based on the symptoms you experience. These symptoms may be worse in young children, seniors, and people with chronic medical conditions. Here are some of the symptoms associated with poor interior air quality:

  • Recurring respiratory infections
  • Chronic coughing, sneezing, and wheezing
  • Frequent asthma attacks, in people with the condition
  • Skin rashes and irritation
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches

In addition to physical symptoms, you may notice signs of polluted air around your home. For example, you may notice that you have to dust more frequently than you used to or that it is difficult to keep plants alive.

Improving indoor air quality
There are many things you can do to improve the quality of your indoor air. Take these steps to make your air cleaner at home:

  • Open windows to air out your home.
  • Change your air filters regularly
  • Choose high-quality air filters that trap more pollutants
  • Choose low VOC paints

If air quality is a persistent issue, have your HVAC system inspected. Cleaning out your HVAC ducts can help.

Don’t let respiratory infections and other lung health issues prevent you from doing the things you love. The physicians of Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center can help you achieve and maintain good health. Get a referral to a physician in Las Vegas today by calling (702) 916-5023.

Not all strokes have the same symptoms

Most people are conditioned to recognize the common symptoms of a stroke, such as vision changes, speech issues, and facial and arm paralysis. Although these symptoms are usually a good indicator that someone needs stroke care, they are not the only signs that a stroke could be occurring. Being aware of the more uncommon stroke symptoms will help you recognize them in yourself of someone else. Because every second counts when it comes to stroke care, taking action to get treatment as soon as possible can save brain tissue and lives.

What are some uncommon stroke symptoms?
For many people, stroke symptoms can be mild and nonspecific. Some of the symptoms that could indicate a stroke that are easy to overlook include:

  • Balance difficulties
  • Behavioral changes
  • Tremors
  • Full or partial seizures
  • Grip strength changes
  • Foreign language syndrome
  • Headaches

These symptoms don’t always indicate that a stroke has occurred, but they do mean that someone should be evaluated in the ER, so that treatment can begin, if necessary.

Who is most likely to have uncommon stroke symptoms?
Anyone can experience these kinds of stroke symptoms, although they may be more common in younger stroke patients and those having hemorrhagic strokes. Younger patients who experience these symptoms can be even more at risk, since they are less likely to think they could be having a stroke, so they are less likely to seek emergency care quickly.

How are these kinds of strokes diagnosed?
For patients who seek emergency care, these strokes are diagnosed in the ER the same way strokes with more traditional symptoms are, through imaging tests and lab tests. The treatment is also the same.

As explained in the video, sometimes patients don’t find out that they have had a stroke until they undergo imaging tests for another condition. For instance, a patient seeking care for chronic headaches may have a brain scan that reveals areas of stroke damage.

During a stroke, every second treatment is delayed is a second in which more brain tissue is being attacked. Go immediately to the ER at Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center for treatment at our Nevada Neuroscience Institute, a Joint Commission Certified Primary Stroke Center. More information about our stroke care program in Las Vegas is available by calling (702) 916-5023.

Mental health red flags you shouldn't ignore

It’s easy to tune out the warning signs of a mental health problem and explain them away as something else. However, like physical health problems, untreated mental health conditions can have serious consequences. By taking fast action when you suspect you could have a mental health issue, you can get the treatment you need to control your symptoms and get back to enjoying your life. If you notice these mental health red flags in yourself or someone you care for, consider seeking the help of a mental health specialist.

Prolonged feelings of sadness
Everyone feels sad, unmotivated, and withdrawn from time to time. These feelings usually come and go, and they typically don’t stick around for extended periods. When they do, an underlying mental health condition could be to blame.

Feeling persistent sadness and lack of motivation for more than two weeks could indicate depression or another mental health issue that needs treatment. A mental health specialist can often treat these symptoms and help people coping with these issues re-engage with the things they enjoy in their lives.

Risk-taking behavior
Mental health problems often trigger risky, out-of-control behaviors. Risk taking can have a number of different forms, including:

  • Drug use
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Sexually promiscuity
  • Violence

For some people, these behaviors are part of a pattern, while others may show a sudden and drastic increase in risk taking. Treating the underlying mental health issue will give someone engaging in these actions more control over their behaviors and help to protect them from the consequences.

Significant weight changes
Mental health issues can have a major impact on weight. For some people, a significant weight loss can indicate an eating disorder, such as anorexia. In others, large weight gains can be symptomatic of a change in appetite and behavior.

Any significant weight change should be evaluated by your doctor to determine if a physical or mental health problem could be the cause.

At Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center, we provide extensive behavioral health services in Las Vegas, including our RISE outpatient program and our special department dedicated to geriatric psych. Contact us today on our Consult-a-Nurse line at (702) 916-5023 to ask for a referral to one of our specialists.

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