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.

What are the risk factors for stroke in young adults?

The risk factors of stroke in older adults include high cholesterol levels and hypertension. Younger adults can also have these risk factors, but they’re more likely to require stroke care for other reasons. You can hear about these reasons when you watch this featured interview with a stroke care specialist at Southern Hills Hospital.

Drug use and stroke risk
One of the things stroke care teams consider is the possibility of illicit drug use. Drugs like cocaine and amphetamines are a well-known cause of stroke.

Amphetamines: Amphetamines can cause stroke even among new users, either during or after their use. Amphetamines result in rapid changes in heart functioning and blood pressure. Long-term amphetamine use increases stroke risk by affecting the blood vessels in the brain.

Cocaine: Long-term use can cause cerebrovascular disease, which raises the risk of stroke even in younger adults without other risk factors. Short-term use can also cause stroke by causing bleeding on the brain.

Blood vessel malformations and stroke risk
Arteriovenous malformation is an abnormality that affects the blood vessels in or on the brain. Over time, the weakened blood vessels can rupture and bleed on the brain, causing stroke.

Some people with abnormal blood vessels experience warning signs that there is a problem, such as seizures, localized head pain and functional impairments like vision or speech problems.

Holes in the heart and stroke risk
It’s possible to have a hole in the heart. One example is a patent foramen ovale, which is a hole between the two upper chambers of the heart. A hole in the heart adversely affects the circulation of blood, and it raises the risk of a blood clot traveling to the brain—causing stroke.

Southern Hills Hospital is a certified Primary Stroke Center. Our stroke care team coordinates with EMS personnel, so we are ready to diagnose and treat the patient as soon as he or she arrives at our hospital in Las Vegas. Call 911 for emergency care for a stroke, or, for non-emergent questions only, call a registered nurse at (702) 916-5023.

What your doctor wants you to know about your heart health

Your heart is one of the hardest working organs in your body, and it’s time to get better acquainted with it because heart health is crucial at every age. The next time you see your doctor, ask about your risk of heart problems. Many people think that the main risk factors of heart disease aren’t modifiable, such as your family medical history. However, the cardiologist featured in this video wants his patients at Southern Hills Hospital to know that there are plenty of controllable risk factors of heart disease. Becoming more familiar with your heart and your risk factors puts you in control of your health.

Hearts can grow larger
Telling someone, “You have a big heart,” is high praise. But when a cardiologist says it, it spells trouble.

A heart can enlarge in response to the following problems:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart valve disease
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Pericardial effusion
  • Anemia
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Damage from a heart attack

The enlargement of a heart is an attempt by your body to pump more blood. But enlarged hearts are problematic because the following complications can develop:

  • Heart failure
  • Heart murmur
  • Blood clots
  • Cardiac arrest and sudden death

A woman’s risk of heart problems is different from a man’s risk
The same risk factors of heart disease can affect a woman or a man, but in some cases, they can have a greater impact on the woman. According to the National Institutes of Health, women with diabetes are three times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease compared to men with diabetes.

Heart attacks can affect young patients
Even if you haven’t noticed any gray hairs yet, there is a possibility that a heart attack could occur. Heart attacks have been reported in patients in their 30s and even in their 20s.

This can be particularly problematic because younger patients might assume they can’t possibly be having a heart attack, and so consequently, they fail to seek emergency care. Know your risk factors and the signs of a heart attack, and don’t delay getting to the ER.

Southern Hills Hospital is an accredited Chest Pain Center—a designation that reflects our commitment to providing superior care for the best possible outcomes. Call 911 now if you need emergency care in the Las Vegas area. A registered nurse, available at (702) 916-5023, welcomes your general questions about our hospital services.

Talking to your doctor about heavy menstrual bleeding

Heavy menstrual bleeding can cause serious disruption to the lives of the women who experience it. If you believe that your menstrual bleeding could be abnormal, talk to your women’s health physician. He or she can pinpoint the cause and provide treatments that will get you the relief you need. Here is what you need to know about heavy menstrual bleeding and some tips for starting the conversation with your physician.

What causes heavy menstrual bleeding?

As mentioned in the video, there are a number of different causes of heavy menstruation, including:

  • Uterine fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Hormonal fluctuations

When you visit your physician to discuss your heavy periods, the first thing he or she will do is to perform tests to determine the exact cause. Finding the cause is the first step in getting the right treatment.

What treatments are available?

Treating heavy menstrual bleeding depends on the cause. Some treatments your physician may discuss with you, depending on your diagnosis, are:

  • Endometrial ablation
  • Uterine artery embolization
  • Removal of uterine fibroids
  • Oral contraceptives/Hormonal IUDs
  • Oral progesterone (taken for approximately 10 days of each menstrual cycle)

In severe cases, some women opt for a hysterectomy. Hysterectomies permanently end menstruation, but they also lead to sterility. Your physician will discuss all of the pros and cons of this option with you if you are considering a hysterectomy.

How should I start the conversation with my physician?

Before your appointment, consider keeping a diary of your menstrual cycle, including the dates on which your periods started and ended and which days you experienced the heaviest bleeding. It can also be helpful to note the other symptoms you experience during your period and at other stages of your menstrual cycle.

Be prepared to answer questions about your overall health history and all of the medications you are currently taking. It can also be helpful to know if other women in your family experience heavy menstrual bleeding and if any of them have been diagnosed with a cause or successfully treated.

Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center is pleased to offer comprehensive women’s health services, including minimally invasive hysterectomies and maternity care in Las Vegas. You can request a referral to one of our specialists by calling our Consult-A-Nurse line at (702) 916-5023.

Keep your cool as summer hits Las Vegas

There’s no getting around it: summertime in Vegas is hot. Although the soaring temperatures make for great days at the pool, they can also put your health at risk. Fortunately, you can avoid the need for emergency care while enjoying everything the Las Vegas summer has to offer by taking a few smart safety precautions. Try these strategies to keep your cool no matter how hot it gets.

Stay hydrated

When it is hot outside, you need to be diligent about staying hydrated. Hot weather depletes your hydration quickly, which can put you at risk for headaches, heat exhaustion and heart problems. To fight off these complications, increase your water intake.

You need to drink more water in hot weather even if you’re not being active. Avoid drinks with added sugars and caffeine, which can actually make you more dehydrated. Water is the best choice. You can also choose foods with high water contents, such as watermelon and cucumbers. Remember that if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated, so reach for water regularly even if you don’t feel like you need a drink.

Get smart about scheduling

Typically, the hottest part of the day is between 10 AM and 3 PM, so avoid strenuous outdoor activity during that time. Plan your workouts for early mornings or late evenings, when the sun isn’t at its strongest, or consider exercising indoors.

If you are going to be outside during the peak heat hours, be sure you have access to shade and that you wear sunscreen, sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to protect yourself.

Know the signs of trouble

Heat exhaustion causes sweating, headache, nausea and dizziness. If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, get out of the sun—ideally indoors to an air-conditioned space—and apply cool, wet cloths. Small sips of water can also help.

Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate care. With heat stroke, dry, red skin, confusion, vomiting and loss of consciousness may occur. Seek emergency care by calling 911 if these symptoms occur.

At Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center, we’re here to keep you safe through every season, with around-the-clock access to emergency care in Las Vegas. To get more information about all of our hospital services, please call (702) 916-5023.

Encouraging the men in your life to seek preventive health care

Men are not always the best about seeking preventive health care, but every June offers an opportunity to get back on track. June is Men’s Health Month, a time dedicated to educating men and their loved ones about important issues, including preventive care. If the men in your life are reluctant to get the preventive care they need, point out these advantages to them.

Reduced risk of heart attack and stroke

One of the things that physicians check during preventive care appointments is blood pressure and cholesterol numbers. Each of these results tells doctors a great deal about your risk for having a heart attack or stroke.

When a physician diagnoses high blood pressure or high cholesterol, he or she can begin a treatment plan to get them under control so that they don’t lead to a heart attack or stroke. Without preventive care, however, the first time you may learn you have these conditions is when you are getting emergency care.

Men need these tests every 3-5 years between the ages of 18 and 39 and annually after that. If you have heart disease, your physician may want to check them more often.

Reduced risk of prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is generally slow to progress, so with early diagnosis, it is generally very treatable. Since men are screened for prostate cancer during their preventive care appointments, it gives them an opportunity to get diagnosed early, when treatment is less invasive and more effective.

Prostate cancer often doesn’t cause any symptoms in its earliest stages, so preventive screenings are even more important. Your physician may recommend screenings beginning at age 50, or earlier, based on your risk factors.

Reduced risk of colon cancer

Much like prostate cancer, colon cancer is slow moving and highly treatable when diagnosed early. During a colonoscopy, your physician can find and remove polyps before they even become cancer.

Most men start screenings at age 50, but your physician will help you determine the right time for you, based on your family history of the disease.

Encourage the men in your life to contact Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center for a referral to a physician who can provide preventive care. Simply call our hospital in Las Vegas at (702) 916-5023 for a physician referral and to get answers to your questions about our services.

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