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.

Walking your stress away

No matter how much you try to avoid it, stress is a part of life. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress, the way you manage it has an enormous impact on how it affects you and your health. Exercise can be a powerful part of stress relief for many people, whether you are facing occasional bouts of stress or prolonged periods of chronic stress and anxiety. Patients of all ages who visit their providers for help with stress management are likely to have exercise as part of their treatment plans, because of its powerful ability to manage stress without medication.

How does stress impact your body?
The impact of stress on the body can be far-reaching. When you suffer from chronic stress, your body is coping with an influx of the hormone adrenaline. In small doses, adrenaline can be a good thing. It spurs your body into action so that you are ready to face an acute stressor. Adrenaline is responsible for the “fight or flight” response people feel when they are facing a threat.

Adrenaline—and the responses it causes in your body—are meant to be present only until the threat has passed. When you suffer from chronic stress, adrenaline stays in the body for an extended period of time. This can lead to heart disease, weight gain, insomnia, high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression.

How can walking help?
Exercise has been shown to reduce stress levels and be an effective means of controlling anxiety. Walking may be the most beneficial exercise of all for people dealing with chronic stress. Research has indicated that a 10-minute walk can be as effective as a 45-minute workout in curbing anxiety.

To use walking to deal with stress, walking frequently is more important than walking far or for long. Aim to walk at least five times per week, for about 30 minutes at a time, for lasting benefits.

If you’re suffering from the effects of chronic stress, speak to a behavioral health specialist at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center. From inpatient geriatric psych care in Las Vegas to comprehensive outpatient services, we help patients overcome a multitude of behavioral health issues . Call us today at (702) 916-5023 to get a referral to one of our providers.

How occupational therapy helps families with autistic children

For families dealing with autism, occupational therapy can make a dramatic difference. Occupational therapy helps children with autism overcome issues that affect their behavior and development by teaching new ways of tackling problems. This kind of intervention can be helpful for children in a number of different places on the autism spectrum and in a number of different settings. Here is what families need to know.

What is occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy is designed to help people accomplish tasks that they want to accomplish in ways that work for them. It is useful in helping people with a number of different diagnoses, from people who are learning new ways of doing everyday activities after suffering brain damage from a stroke to children who have been diagnosed with autism and need to learn how to function in a classroom.

The goal of occupational therapy is to help everyone do the things that they want to do, even if they have obstacles that prevent them from doing things the way that other people do. For families that are affected by autism, this usually means developing a customized therapy plan, based on personal symptoms and needs.

How is occupational therapy used to help children with autism?
For people with autism, occupational therapy is usually centered on sensory processing issues. Many children with autism experience sensory processing problems, which can make it difficult for them to manage sensory stimulation. This is why many children with autism dislike loud noises or touch.

Through occupational therapy, children can learn to process sensory stimulation in a more effective way. This can allow them to cope better in classrooms and at home, and it can help reduce behavioral issues that are associated with sensory issues.

Could occupational therapy be beneficial for your family as you deal with autism? Let a physician at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas help you make a customized autism management plan that meets your family’s needs. To learn more about our programs or to get a physician referral, call (702) 916-5023.

Is tuberculosis a modern health concern?

Every year on March 24, hospitals around the U.S. recognize World TB Day. March 24 is the anniversary of the date on which Dr. Robert Koch announced that he’d discovered the cause of tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Since that day in 1882, researchers have made remarkable strides in treating and preventing this serious disease. Although TB is no longer a leading cause of death among Americans, it’s still a health concern. At Southern Hills Hospital, we applaud the public health advocates who are working tirelessly toward a TB-free world.

Tuberculosis control efforts
TB was once a widely feared disease in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it killed one out of every seven people during the early 1900s.

Although the bacterium that causes TB was discovered in 1882, it wasn’t until the 1940s that doctors had drugs to treat it. For the next few decades, the incidence rate of TB in the U.S. declined. Unfortunately, there was a resurgence of TB during the 1970s and 1980s.

TB is both preventable and curable, but it continues to be a health concern today. This is partly because of the rise of drug-resistant TB. This means that the disease doesn’t respond well to certain drugs used to treat it.

Tuberculosis identification
Tuberculosis is a very serious disease that requires emergency care. TB often settles in the lungs, where the bacteria attack the tissue and can even create holes in the lungs. TB is identifiable by the following signs and symptoms.

  • Chest pain
  • Severe cough that can last longer than three weeks
  • Cough that produces blood or sputum
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Chills
  • Night sweats
  • Fever

The drugs used to treat active TB usually need to be taken for at least six months. It’s very important that patients complete the full course of medication. Otherwise, drug-resistant TB can develop.

When a serious or persistent infection affects your family, the emergency care providers at Southern Hills Hospital are here to help 24/7, every day of the year. The health and safety of our patients are important to us because they are our neighbors in Las Vegas. Call 911 if you have a true medical emergency, or call a registered nurse at (702) 916-5023 if you have general questions about our medical services.

Understanding the link between drinking and GI health

Excessive alcohol consumption can affect your health in some surprising ways. For instance, people with alcohol use disorder are more likely to develop frequent infections and heart problems. Alcohol can even affect whole bodily systems, such as your digestive system. The accompanying video features a doctor at Southern Hills Hospital. He introduces the main ways in which alcohol affects your gastrointestinal health.

How alcohol affects your liver
Your body isn’t able to store alcohol; unlike the food you eat. When you drink alcohol, metabolizing it becomes your body’s top digestive priority. This places excessive strain on your liver, as this organ is responsible for processing the alcohol.

As a result of excessive alcohol consumption, the liver cells become damaged and are replaced by scar tissue. This is called liver cirrhosis. The scar tissue isn’t able to function like normal liver tissue.

Over time, the liver begins to fail. Liver failure affects the many other functions of the liver, including the following:

  • Blood clotting
  • Toxic waste processing
  • Hormone metabolism
  • Nutrient metabolism

Liver cirrhosis can result in death. It also increases the risk of liver cancer.

How alcohol affects your pancreas
The pancreas, which is an organ in the abdomen, performs important digestive tasks. People with alcohol use disorder are at an increased risk of acute pancreatitis, which is the inflammation of the pancreas. This condition can sometimes be life-threatening.

Acute pancreatitis requires emergency medical care, and often requires hospitalization. It can cause intense, long-lasting pain that begins in the upper abdomen, along with these symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Rapid pulse
  • Swollen, tender abdomen

Pancreatitis interferes with your digestive system’s ability to digest food. Patients are at risk of severe malnutrition.

How alcohol affects your stomach
Another way alcohol endangers your GI health is its effects on the stomach. Alcohol irritates the stomach lining because it triggers the overproduction of acids. This can result in:

  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Acid reflux
  • Ulcers

Additionally, heavy alcohol use increases the risk of stomach cancer.

Gastroenterology Services at Southern Hills Hospital is committed to maintaining the highest standards of patient care and safety. Our team has specialized training and experience, and it’s important to us to give each patient the best possible health outcome. Call a registered nurse at our hospital in Las Vegas at (702) 916-5023.

How does your diet influence your colorectal cancer risk?

What you eat can influence your energy level and mood. It can affect your sleep and the microbiome of your gut. And, of course, what you eat contributes to your health, including your risk of certain cancers. There isn’t a foolproof way of preventing cancer, but the choices you make can manage your risk. Individuals throughout the greater Las Vegas area are always welcome to discuss their healthcare concerns with a physician at Southern Hills Hospital. You can also request a preventive health screening, such as a routine colonoscopy.

Risks of colorectal cancer
Anything that might increase your risk of a certain disease or disorder is a risk factor. Be aware that having one or multiple risk factors doesn’t mean you’re definitely going to develop a certain health condition. Similarly, patients at a low risk of diseases may still develop them.

Knowing your health risks is still important because it helps you make smart decisions with the guidance of your doctor.

Foods to choose
Researchers are still investigating why some foods seem to be associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer. It’s generally thought that a high-fiber diet offers a protective effect, but more research is needed. Still, your doctor will likely recommend that you increase your consumption of vegetables, fruits and whole grains if you’re concerned about your risk of colon cancer.

Foods to limit
Although there is no definitive evidence, the research suggests that having a diet high in red meats and processed meats may increase the risk of colorectal cancer. These foods include the following:

  • Hot dogs
  • Corn dogs
  • Bacon
  • Sausages
  • Salami
  • Smoked meat
  • Dried meats
  • Beef jerky
  • Canned meat
  • Corned beef
  • Salted and cured meat
  • Processed luncheon meats

Processed meats also tend to be high in sodium, so limiting these items is beneficial for your cardiovascular health as well as your risk of colorectal cancer.

Other research studies have focused on the possible link between alcohol consumption and colorectal cancer. One or two drinks on an occasional basis aren’t likely to raise your risk, but regular or excessive alcohol consumption might.

Southern Hills Hospital encourages patients in Las Vegas to be proactive about their health. Our compassionate physicians provide personalized guidance to each patient, including a review of individual risk factors, and recommendations for nutritional improvements. You can request a referral to a doctor at our state-of-the-art hospital by calling (702) 916-5023.

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