During a heart attack, the arteries leading to the heart muscle (called the coronary arteries) become obstructed, preventing oxygenated blood and nutrients from reaching the muscle. A stroke, sometimes called a “brain attack,” occurs when blood cannot reach the brain. Both situations are life threatening, can result in long-term disability, and require urgent care .
The symptoms of a heart attack are often experienced differently depending on the individual. Women, for example, are more likely to suffer a heart attack without the chest pain and pressure that most men experience. The most common symptoms of a heart attack include:
- Chest discomfort
Patients can experience chest tightness, squeezing, pressure, pain, or fullness when suffering from a heart attack.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body
Discomfort may be felt in one or both arms, the neck, the back, the jaw, or the stomach.
- Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath often occurs with or before chest discomfort.
- Other signs
Other signs of a heart attack can include anxiety, cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness.
Stroke symptoms can also differ between individuals and often depend on the region of the brain affected by obstruction in blood flow. The National Stroke Association recommends the FAST acronym to help remember the most common symptoms of a stroke:
- Face: During a stroke, one side of the face and body will often become numb or paralyzed, causing one side of the mouth to droop when smiling.
- Arms: Unlike the symptoms of a heart attack, patients suffering from a stroke will typically experience numbness, weakness, or paralysis in the limbs instead of pain.
- Speech: A stroke can make speaking and understanding language difficult.
- Time: As with a heart attack, time is of the essence when getting diagnosed and treated for a stroke.
Knowing the symptoms of a heart attack and stroke can help you or a loved one to seek help sooner, which can help to prevent long-term health problems that can result from these events. If your family is ever in need of emergency care, Regional Medical Center of San Jose is conveniently located and ready to help, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Our Chest Pain Center is also fully accredited as a center of excellence. You can learn more about our comprehensive emergency services by calling (408) 259-4000.
- Chest discomfort
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a common disease affecting the digestive tract. Those suffering from IBS can have a wide range of chronic and recurring symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, and bowel problems.
This video clip provides more information about irritable bowel syndrome, including the various symptoms that can be associated with it. Watch this video to learn more, and help spread the word about IBS.
If you are suffering from the symptoms of IBS or any other kind of abdominal discomfort, consider speaking with your doctor. To find a specialist in San Jose, call Regional Medical Center’s Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (408) 259-4000.
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 226, 870 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year, and approximately 39,510 women will die from the disease.
To detect this deadly disease early when it is most treatable, medical professionals have developed a set of breast cancer screening modalities and have provided recommendations to patients regarding breast care and when to get tested. While there is some disagreement between organizations about when to start screening and how often to do so, the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) agree that women with no symptoms or family history of breast cancer should have a mammogram performed every two years between the ages of 40 and 49. Women between the ages of 50 and 74 should be tested every year.
Current breast cancer screening options include mammography, breast exam by a healthcare provider, and the breast self-exam.
Mammograms use x-ray technology to form an image of the breast. Digital mammography provides clear pictures of the breast to help identify small tumors or lumps that cannot be felt during a physical exam.
- Breast exam by a healthcare provider
During a routine physical, your physician may give you a breast exam to check for any abnormalities, areas of inflammation, or lumps.
- Breast self-exam
Performed in front of the mirror, in the shower, or lying down, this series of thorough tests should be performed at least once a month to detect any changes in the breast tissue .
If you would like to learn more about the ACS and ACOG recommendations for breast cancer screening, speak with your physician or contact Regional Medical Center of San Jose at (408) 259-4000. Our Breast Care Center offers digital mammography, PET/CT scanning, breast ultrasound, and many other breast care services, with MRI to be added soon.
Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that can adversely affect many parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, eyes, liver, and skin. Patients affected by this disease may or may not experience symptoms. When symptoms occur, they can involve almost any organ system and include:
- Respiratory problems, including pain behind the chest bone, wheezing, dry cough, and shortness of breath
- General discomfort or uneasiness , which can include fatigue, fever, joint pain, weight loss, and overall feelings of illness and lack of well-being
- Skin issues , such as hair loss, rash, raised or inflamed scars, or red and firm skin sores
- Nervous system problems which may include seizures, poor coordination, tremors, headache, difficulty hearing, or weakness on one side of the face
- Eye symptoms, such as burning, dry eyes, pain, vision fluctuations, or discharge
- Other symptoms include nosebleed, swelling in the upper abdomen, muscle weakness, fainting spells, and dry mouth
The cause of sarcoidosis is unknown, but medical scientists believe that the disease occurs due to a malfunctioning of the immune system. This reaction may possibly be triggered by exposure to an infectious agent, such as a bacterium or virus, or an environmental toxin or allergen. Most scientists agree that genetic factors may contribute to an individual’s risk for developing this disease.
Sarcoidosis has no known cure. Once a diagnosis has been made, there are various medications that can be administered in the effort to alter the course of the disease. Corticosteroids are the most common treatment, followed by other drugs, such as methotrexate. Unfortunately, each available treatment is only used with varying success and comes with a range of side effects.
April is National Sarcoidosis Awareness Month. If you are interested in learning more about this unfortunate disease, visit the National Sarcoidosis Society website or contact the healthcare experts at Regional Medical Center of San Jose at (408) 259-4000.
Every year, organ donation provides patients with organ failure a second chance at normal, active lives. Unfortunately, the number of donors does not match those in need, and many patients do not get donor organs in time.
In this video, you can learn more about one man’s experience with organ donation. In 1998, Chris was diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure, an irreversible disease. With the help of a generous donor, Chris overcame his incurable disease through organ transplantation.
Becoming an organ donor is easy and can save a life. To find out more about enrolling as an organ donor in your state, visit OrganDonor.gov or contact Regional Medical Center of San Jose at (408) 259-4000.
Learn even more about proper nutrition, heart health, and more by looking through the articles below. Still have questions? Contact the staff of Regional Medical Center of San Jose at (408) 259-4000.
- Angina, or chest tightness, is one of the many symptoms associated with coronary heart disease . Visit this health guide from The New York Times to find out more about the symptoms and causes of this common medical condition.
- Cardiac catheterization is frequently used to evaluate or detect the presence of a wide variety of cardiovascular disorders. Read this guide from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for more information about coronary angiograms.
- Following the American Heart Association’s guidelines for their Simple 7 Program can help you to live a longer, healthier life free of heart disease—see the recommendations for this program on the association’s website.
- Poorly managed diabetes can lead to a variety of unpleasant health complications, including diabetic retinopathy. The National Eye Institute provides more information about this condition on their website.
- Your body needs some fat to function properly, but some fats are healthier than others. This article found on GirlsHealth.gov briefly describes the different types of dietary fats and where they are found.
- Tracking and scoring your eating habits can be a helpful way to evaluate your nutrition and make necessary changes. Visit ChooseMyPlate.gov to track your meals and learn more ways to stay healthy.
- Do you know the warning signs of medical emergency? This article found on the National Stroke Association website lists the major symptoms of stroke .
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, emergency room wait times have increased to over an hour in recent years. Fortunately, the emergency room wait times at Regional Medical Center of San Jose are about half of the national average.
- As a parent, it can be difficult to decide when your child is suffering from a medical emergency. This guide from KidsHealth.org may help you to become more aware of your available treatment options .
- If you are still looking for more information regarding the correct procedure for breast self-examination, visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation website.
Medical emergencies , such as a stroke, heart attack, and traumatic injury, tend to happen when least expected. Preparing for these life-threatening situations is especially important. Through ample preparation and thorough planning, you can expedite the treatment process and may help to prevent or minimize the consequences of severe medical illness or injury. Read on to learn some helpful ways to plan ahead for a medical emergency.
- Know the symptoms
For life-threatening conditions, such as a heart attack or stroke, knowing the symptoms and warning signs can make all the difference in seeking treatment in time. For a stroke, remember the National Stroke Association’s FAST mnemonic: Face, Arm, Speech, and Time. If the face is drooping or movement is hindered on one side of the body or if the victim is having trouble with speech, they may be having a stroke. Heart attack symptoms often include chest pain, numbness, shortness of breath, and anxiety.
- Learn first aid
Knowing first aid procedures, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), can help to save the lives of your loved ones and complete strangers. Learning the basics of first aid will not only help you to save lives, but will also help you to stay calm and approach medical emergencies with more confidence.
- Have medical information ready and available
Before a medical disaster strikes, have your medical information ready in a specific location. Having information about current medications, allergies, and medical conditions can help emergency personnel to provide prompt, effective treatment.
The Emergency Care services at Regional Medical Center of San Jose are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to serve the men and women of our community. As the first medical center in the country to use the Rapid Medical Evaluation™ method of treatment, our patients are seen by a healthcare provider in half the amount of time than the country’s average wait time. To learn more about how our emergency facility can help diagnose your loved ones faster, contact our health line today at (408) 259-4000.
- Know the symptoms
There are many factors that can increase your risk of developing heart disease. Although some of these factors, such as age and gender, cannot be controlled, the majority of risk factors are within your control to change.
In this video, you can learn more about how the American Heart Association is empowering the men and women of America to learn their risk factors and take steps toward healthier lives. Through their Simple 7 Program , you can learn to make better choices and make lifestyle changes to decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease and experience a longer, healthier, more satisfying life.
Regional Medical Center of San Jose is working to promote the continued health of patients in our community. You can learn more about our state-of-the-art, comprehensive cardiovascular program by visiting our website or contacting our staff at (408) 259-4000.