• How to Handle Diabetes Complications

    When patients are first diagnosed with diabetes, many of them are surprised by the many ways the disease affects their health and daily lives. Diabetes places patients at an increased risk of many other health problems, including peripheral neuropathy, vision loss, heart disease, and even periodontal disease. The importance of high-quality diabetes education in preventing and managing complications should not be overlooked. If you live in Las Vegas, consider joining one of the diabetes education classes at Southern Hills Hospital .

    Coping with Peripheral Neuropathy
    Peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage in the limbs and extremities, especially the legs and feet, which can cause burning or stabbing pain, numbness, and tingling. If you experience troublesome neuropathic pain, consider asking your doctor about medical treatments that can help. It’s important for diabetics to inspect their feet daily for signs of wounds or infections, including toenail infections. The numbness of peripheral neuropathy can make it difficult for patients to detect injuries. Any abnormal changes should receive prompt medical attention to prevent other complications such as amputation.

    Managing Your Eye Health
    One of the potential complications of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to blindness. Like other complications, diabetics can reduce their risk of this medical problem by regulating their blood glucose levels carefully. Quitting smoking, controlling cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and visiting an ophthalmologist regularly for eye exams are other important steps to take.

    Preventing Gum Disease
    Diabetes interferes with the immune system’s ability to fight germs effectively. Among other problems, this means that diabetics are at an increased risk of periodontal disease. If left unchecked, gum disease can eventually result in tooth loss. Proper at-home oral hygiene and regular trips to the dentist’s office are strongly recommended for diabetics.

    The diabetes educators at Southern Hills Hospital are dedicated to helping patients live life well despite their diagnosis. Diabetic adults in the Las Vegas area can attend our three informational sessions : Overview of Diabetes Management, Proper Nutrition, and Medication Usage. Call a registered nurse at (702) 880-2700 to inquire about diabetes education and our other hospital services.

  • Everyday Tips for Improving Your Spinal Health

    It’s easy to take the health of your spine for granted—until you begin to experience back pain. Chronic back pain is a debilitating problem that adversely affects quality of life and productivity. It’s a common cause of disability and a leading reason for hospital visits. The neuroscience and orthopedic specialists at Southern Hills Hospital encourage our neighbors throughout Las Vegas to be proactive about their spinal health.

    Core Strength
    You might already know that lifting heavy objects improperly can readily lead to back pain. Learn more about the importance of proper biomechanics by watching this video, which features a neurosurgeon at our hospital. In addition to lifting properly in everyday life, lifting weights in the gym can improve spinal health by strengthening the core muscles. Consider working with a fitness trainer to develop a program of squats, deadlifts, and bench presses that build your core muscles. Other core strengthening exercises can be done without any special equipment, including the glute-bridge, front plank, and hip rotation.

    Sleep Hygiene
    Have you ever woken up with a stiff neck? The position a person sleeps in can influence back and neck health. Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Side-sleeping is recommended, but make sure your pillow is high enough to keep the cervical spine in a neutral position. Consider using a body pillow to keep your body in the right alignment during sleep and place a small pillow between your knees.

    Smoking Cessation
    Smoking results in numerous debilitating and life-threatening health problems. If you were looking for one more reason to quit, the health of your spine might convince you. Smoking constricts the blood vessels, which inhibits the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the intervertebral discs. This impairs the back’s ability to maintain its health and repair damage, which contributes to back pain. If you smoke, consider talking to a doctor at your community hospital about effective smoking cessation methods.

    Southern Hills Hospital is a leading provider of minimally invasive spine surgery. If you suffer from persistent or severe back pain and you live in the Las Vegas area, consider talking to one of our neurosurgeons about your treatment options. You can request a referral to a specialist at our hospital by calling our Consult-A-Nurse line at (702) 880-2700.

  • Your Guide to Healthier Holidays

    Holiday weight gain, stress , and lapses in fitness are common problems, but they certainly aren’t inevitable. Using a few simple strategies can help you maintain your wellness while still enjoying your family’s holiday traditions. If your family in Las Vegas requires emergency care or other hospital services during the holidays, Southern Hills Hospital is always available.

    Proactively Manage Your Stress
    Preparing for family get-togethers, shopping for gifts, and doing other holiday chores can spike your stress hormone levels. If you’ve had trouble with excessive stress during past holiday seasons, try a proactive approach this year. Getting organized can help curb your stressors. Make a list of everything that must be accomplished by certain dates and then create a week-by-week to-do list. Develop a healthier stress response by experimenting with various relaxation strategies like deep breathing or giving yourself a brief time-out in a quiet room. Many stressed out people find that comedy can shake the holiday blues. When you sense yourself becoming overly stressed, repeat a comedic or nonsensical mantra to yourself that serves as a reminder to relax.

    Set Training Goals
    Embrace exercise for its positive benefits, rather than looking at it as a self-inflicted punishment for drinking too much eggnog. One way to motivate yourself to exercise regularly is to sign up for a competitive event such as a 5k race. Every time you go out for a jog, visualize yourself crossing the finish line and beating your own personal record.

    Find a “Buffet Buddy”
    Did you know that people who dine with health-conscious individuals may be more likely to make smarter food choices? Before you go to an office potluck or family gathering, enlist the help of a buffet buddy. The two of you can agree to stick close to each other and encourage each other to make healthy food and beverage selections .

    Southern Hills Hospital is your family’s source for high-quality health care this holiday season. From emergency care to geriatric psychiatry to cardiac care, our community hospital in Las Vegas is always available to meet the medical needs of our valued neighbors. Call (702) 880-2700 if you have a general question about our hospital services.

  • Getting the Facts About Pancreatic Cancer

    Each year, tens of thousands of people in the U.S. are either diagnosed with pancreatic cancer or die from it. The average lifetime risk of pancreatic cancer is relatively low. Patients who do develop this life-threatening disease require specialized hospital care. If you have questions about your health and you live in the Las Vegas area, consider talking to a provider at Southern Hills Hospital.

    It often isn’t detected in its early stages.
    Many patients who develop pancreatic cancer are not diagnosed until the disease has already spread beyond the pancreas. This is partly because pancreatic cancer does not often cause alarming symptoms in its early stages and because there are no routine screening guidelines for it. As the disease progresses, patients may suffer from upper abdominal pain that spreads to the back, jaundice, decreased appetite, and depression. Blood clots are a possible complication. It’s important to note that symptoms like abdominal pain can be indicative of many different medical conditions and do not necessarily mean that cancer is developing. Patients who experience persistent changes in their health might consider talking to their family physicians.

    A person’s health history can influence the risk of cancer.
    Since pancreatic cancer can be difficult to detect based on symptoms alone, patients who are at a high risk of this disease might consider asking about having a screening test. High-risk patients include those who are heavy drinkers or smokers. Having a family history of pancreatic cancer or certain genetic mutations, diabetes, pancreatitis, and overweight or obesity are other risk factors of pancreatic cancer.

    It’s a difficult type of cancer to treat.
    There are several treatment options for pancreatic cancer, but it can be difficult to treat successfully once the disease has spread beyond the pancreas. When the cancer is confined to that organ, surgery is often effective. A pancreatectomy is surgery to remove the pancreas and perhaps nearby structures like the gallbladder, spleen, and lymph nodes. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and lifestyle changes are other commonly recommended treatment options.

    Southern Hills Hospital is dedicated to making continual improvements to our hospital to better serve the needs of our patients throughout the greater Las Vegas area. Our hospital is your source for high-quality surgical services, stroke care, emergency care, orthopedic treatments, and many other specialty medical services. To speak with a registered nurse and request general information, you can call (702) 880-2700.