Regional Medical Center of San Jose
Regional Medical Center of San Jose offers world-class healthcare to residents throughout the greater San Jose community.
408.259.5000

How does arthritis affect women?

Arthritis is an umbrella term that encompasses over 100 different diseases that affect the joints and connective tissues. Many forms of arthritis disproportionately affect women, including the most common forms of the disease, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Because most forms of arthritis are chronic, women who are diagnosed need ongoing care.

Women and arthritis statistics
Approximately 25.9% of women have arthritis, compared to 18.3% of men. Some forms of arthritis, such as lupus, occur almost exclusively in women. Eight out of 10 adults who are diagnosed with lupus are women. Arthritis can happen to women at any age. Some forms of the disease are most common in seniors, while other can appear during childhood or during the childbearing years.

The reason that arthritis is more common in women is not understood, but there are some clues. Hormones, bone length, and bone shape in women may all play roles, along with genetic predisposition and environmental factors.

Arthritis impacts on women
Arthritis can affect women in many ways. Women with arthritis can experience:

  • Financial insecurity, due to inability to work and the cost of medical care
  • Delayed schooling
  • Withdrawal from social life
  • Poor quality of life
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Increased risk of early death

Many women with arthritis experience long-term absences from work or school, which can significant, long-term impacts on earning potential and access to health insurance.

Arthritis during pregnancy
The way pregnancy impacts arthritis depends on the specific type of the disease a woman has. For example, women with rheumatoid arthritis often experience a remission during pregnancy. However, some medications used to treat arthritis can increase the risk of miscarriage or can be harmful to developing babies. Women with arthritis who become pregnant must work closely with their healthcare team to manage their symptoms safely.

If you’re suffering from joint pain or need help with an arthritis management plan, choose Regional Medical Center of San Jose. Our hospital provides a comprehensive range of medical services and can help you live your healthiest life. To find out more about our services or to get a referral to a physician in San Jose, please call (888) 762-8881.

Making the connection between Afib and stroke

Atrial fibrillation, or Afib, is a significant risk factor for stroke, but not all Afib sufferers recognize that their chances of having a stroke are higher than other people’s. Afib sufferers should be vigilant about symptoms, so they can get stroke care quickly if needed, and get informed about the things they can do to cut their stroke risk.

What is Afib?
Afib occurs when the upper chambers of the heart, called the atria, beat erratically or quickly. When this happens, blood begins to pool in the heart, where it can potentially form a clot.

Afib affects over two million people in the US and is most common in people over 60. It frequently doesn’t cause any symptoms, so many sufferers don’t know that they have it unless their physicians refer them for cardiac testing.

Why does Afib increase the risk of stroke?
People with Afib have an increased risk of stroke because of the clots that can form in the heart when the beats of the atria are irregular. These clots can break off and travel through the blood vessels to the brain.

In the brain, the clot can partially or completely block blood flow, causing an ischemic stroke to occur. Tissue in the part of the brain that is being cut off from the flow of blood will die, causing potentially permanent complications. About 15% of people who have strokes have Afib. People with Afib are five times more likely to have a stroke than other people.

How can I reduce the risk of stroke with Afib?
Approximately 80% of strokes associated with Afib could be prevented. To cut the risk of stroke when you suffer from Afib, try these strategies:

  • Take medications as directed by your doctor

  • Maintain a healthy weight

  • Exercise regularly

  • Eat a diet of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains

  • Limit alcohol

  • Don’t smoke

  • Manage other conditions that increase stroke risk, such as diabetes and high blood pressure

When stroke symptoms occur, seek emergency care at Regional Medical Center of San Jose . Our Comprehensive Stroke Center provides the prompt treatment necessary for better stroke outcomes. To find out more, contact our hospital in San Jose at (888) 762-8881.

How do you know you have a food allergy?

Food allergies can be mild or serious, with some allergies triggering anaphylactic shock and the need for emergency care. Although many people think that food allergies occur and are diagnosed during childhood, they can develop or worsen at any time in life. It is even possible for people to develop allergies to foods that they have eaten without any issue in the past. Could food allergies be causing your symptoms? Here is a look at some of the signs of food allergies.

Anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction that requires emergency care. It occurs when the immune system over-responds to exposure to an allergen and floods the body with chemicals. These chemicals cause you to go into shock. For some people, anaphylaxis is the first indication of an allergy.

Anaphylaxis causes:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Cardiac arrest

Allergy symptoms
For many people, mild to moderate symptoms that occur after eating a certain food are indicators of an allergy. These symptoms include:

  • Rash
  • Itchy skin or throat
  • Watery eyes
  • Hives
  • Shortness of breath/wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Nausea/vomiting

In most cases, these symptoms appear within minutes of eating food, but a delayed reaction is possible hours after being exposed to the trigger food.

Allergy testing
If your physician suspects that you could have a food allergy, he or she may recommend testing. Skin prick tests are common. During these tests, your physician will put a small amount of the suspected trigger on your skin and then use a small needle to prick the surface of your skin, allowing the trigger to seep in. If a bump appears at the exposure site, you may be allergic to that substance.

Oral food challenges are another kind of testing. During these tests, your physician will give you a small amount of a suspected trigger to eat and observe your reactions as you eat larger amounts of it. This allows for definitive diagnoses of food allergies.

The ER at Regional Medical Center of San Jose is open around the clock to treat anaphylaxis and other conditions that require emergency care in San Jose. To get more information about our services, please call (888) 762-8881.

Valuable reasons to volunteer in your community

You don’t need a superpower to be someone’s hero. All you need is a willingness to make your community stronger by serving others. Millions of caring individuals like you support worthy causes throughout the world by volunteering their time. If you’d like to give your time, but you aren’t quite sure how to get started, consider checking out the volunteer opportunities at Regional Medical Center of San Jose. We’ll match you to a position that aligns with your interests and abilities.

You’ll make a real difference in the lives of others
The most compelling reason to volunteer in your community is to help others. An enduring sense of altruism is what makes humanity unique. Dedicated volunteers fulfill important roles, such as the following:

  • Serving as a mentor to at-risk youth
  • Preparing healthy meals for disabled seniors
  • Facilitating adult literacy
  • Staffing domestic violence and homeless shelters

There is a never-ending need for volunteers in every community across the country. Many people step up and become volunteers simply because they feel morally obligated to help others. Other volunteers decide to serve their communities because they had previously been recipients of volunteer services, and now they feel that it’s their turn to repay the community.

You’ll be able to pursue your passions
The opportunities for volunteering are virtually endless. Wherever your passions lie, you’re sure to find a position that aligns with them. Volunteer positions are available in these areas:

  • Healthcare
  • Senior care
  • Animal welfare
  • Children and youth
  • Environment
  • Social justice
  • Political activism
  • Cultural heritage preservation
  • Physical fitness/coaching
  • Hunger
  • Homelessness
  • Veteran support

These are just a few of the many possibilities. Even if you don’t find a local opportunity that interests you, you could start your own. Quilters and knitters can donate the fruits of their labor to nursing homes, for instance.

You’ll support your socio-emotional health
Volunteering is good for the soul. In fact, there’s evidence that volunteering later in life can help seniors reduce their risk of depression, disability and social isolation.

Regional Medical Center of San Jose would like to thank our many volunteers who work tirelessly to bring cheer to our patients and visitors. The entire team at our hospital in San Jose is committed to improving quality of life and giving new hope to our patients. Call (888) 762-8881 to speak with a registered nurse at our state-of-the-art hospital.

Compiling information for your ICE card and emergency plan

Are you prepared for emergencies? Natural disasters, motor vehicle accidents, house fires and healthcare emergencies can occur unexpectedly. If you aren’t prepared, it’s more challenging to navigate the aftermath of an emergency. The ER doctors at Regional Medical Center of San Jose encourage our fellow Californians to be prepared with family emergency plans and ICE cards.

Making ICE cards
In case of emergency, or ICE cards are wallet-size documents that everyone can carry with them. You can order a pack of cards, print them from preparedness websites or simply design your own. Every ICE card should have the following information:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Blood type
  • Allergies
  • Medical conditions
  • Medications
  • Emergency contact name and number
  • Doctor name and number

ICE cards for minor children should also have the names and numbers of the parents.

Updating ICE cards
It’s important to keep your family’s ICE cards up to date. Any time a family member is diagnosed with a new medical condition or is prescribed a new medication, you should add this information to his or her ICE card.

Creating emergency plans
Would your loved ones know what to do if a disaster struck? Emergencies don’t always happen when a family is together in one place. Each family member should know how to get in touch with each other and where to go in the event of a natural disaster, such as an earthquake.

If someone in your family has a disability, special preparedness steps should be taken. Consider talking to the family physician about what your loved one would need in the event of a major emergency. For instance, if a loved one is using durable medical equipment that requires electricity, you’ll need to know what to do if there is an extended power outage.

Write down your family’s emergency plan and make sure everyone knows what to do.

For all of life’s healthcare challenges, Regional Medical Center of San Jose is here for you. Our doctors and nurses are highly trained, compassionate individuals who care for patients as if they were family. Call 911 for emergency care in San Jose, or call a registered nurse at (888) 762-8881 for general healthcare questions.

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