• The effects of arthritis on your mental health

    Most people think of joint pain when they think of arthritis, but the effects of this condition extend beyond the physical. The chronic pain and lack of mobility associated with arthritis can also have far-reaching implications on mental health. For people with arthritis, mental health care can be as important to a treatment plan as orthopedic or rheumatologic care. Here is a closer look at how arthritis can impact mental health.

    Arthritis and mental health
    Mental health issues are common in people with arthritis. According to one study, people with arthritis reported having problems with their mental health on five days out of 30 , while people without arthritis reported having the same symptoms on only three days out of 30.

    People with arthritis are thought to experience two to three times worse mental health than those without it. This includes people with all types of arthritis.

    Reasons for mental health impacts
    Although researchers are not sure why people with arthritis have more mental health problems, such as depression, than people without arthritis, but there are some factors that they believe could contribute to these symptoms. These contributors include:

    • Chronic pain
    • Frustration with lack of mobility
    • Inability to work
    • Cost of medical care
    • Co-occurring medical conditions

    Not everyone with arthritis experiences these issues, but they can contribute to poor mental health when they do occur.

    Treating mental health issues in people with arthritis
    People with arthritis should discuss depression, chronic stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues they are experiencing with their physicians. Addressing these problems can improve quality of life and may help make living with the physical symptoms of arthritis more tolerable.

    Seeing an orthopedic specialist or other physician on a regular basis for arthritis care can also help to control the physical symptoms of the disease, which may in turn help to improve mental health.

    Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center provides care for the physical and mental symptoms of arthritis through our orthopedic and behavioral health teams . Contact our hospital in Las Vegas today at (702) 916-5023 to request a referral to one of our physicians.

  • 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.