• Knowing the Causes and Cures of Atrial Fibrillation

    doctor listening to heart beat

    The heartbeat is regulated by an electrical system that tells the heart to contract and pump blood. With atrial fibrillation, or AFib, the upper chambers of the heart contract fast and irregularly due to rapid and disorganized electrical signals. AFib is the most common type of arrhythmia, and it often has no symptoms other than an irregular heartbeat , which may be heard during a yearly physical. While AFib may not have significant symptoms, it can cause serious complications such as a higher risk of stroke or heart failure. Below you can learn more about this condition to better understand your treatment options with AFib.

    What Happens in AFib?

    Atrial fibrillation occurs when electrical signals don’t travel through the heart normally. Causes for AFib may include damage to the heart from other conditions like high blood pressure, or it may occur without clear causes.

    What Are the Risk Factors?

    Millions of people have atrial fibrillation, and it is most often diagnosed in older adults. People with coronary heart disease, heart failure, structural heart defects, pericarditis, or hypertension are most likely to have AFib, because these conditions damage the heart and cause irregularities in its electrical system. Heavy drinking, psychological stress, and heavy caffeine use can also contribute to atrial fibrillation.

    What Kind of Treatment Is Available?

    There are several concerns with treating AFib . Medication may be used for several purposes—including blood clot prevention and heart rhythm control. Some procedures can also be effective for managing AFib. Electrical cardioversion is one procedure that delivers low-energy shocks to restore normal blood flow.

    If you have been diagnosed with AFib or an irregular heartbeat, Regional Medical Center of San Jose can provide the specialized care you need with our Cardiac Rhythm Services. You can find one of our cardiac physicians on our website or by calling (408) 259-4000 to speak with one of our registered nurses. 

  • Meet Regional Medical Center’s Diverse Cardiovascular Team

    Team of Multi-ethnic medical staff

    When it comes to medical care, doctor-patient communication is essential to quality and effectiveness. To meet the needs of the diverse region of San Jose, Regional Medical Center features a team of cardiovascular specialists fluent in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Farsi, and Chinese. This culturally diverse team of talented surgeons, nurses, cardiologists, and support staff ensures the highest quality cardiovascular care for every patient in need of specialized treatment for cardiac emergencies, heartbeat irregularities, blood disorders, and interventional peripheral procedures. With an expanded cardiac program, patients have access to the most advanced care for cardiac, lung, or vascular system conditions from a team dedicated to comprehensive excellence with around-the-clock care.

    To find a physician on the Cardiovascular Team at Regional Medical Center of San Jose , call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (408) 259-4000. Our nurses are available 24/7 to provide physician referrals and healthcare information. 

  • Stroke Before 50: Why Age Does Not Eliminate Risk

    In car

    There are many misconceptions about stroke that can prevent people from getting the emergency care they need to minimize brain damage and the long-term disabilities that may result. One of the most prevalent misconceptions is that stroke only affects older adults. However, stroke can arise in patients of all ages, which means that younger adults should not assume that they are immune from stroke. This article will offer a closer look at stroke in adults under 50 to break the age-related misconceptions of this life-threatening condition.

    Stroke Likelihood before 50

    About 10% of strokes occur in adults between the ages of 18 and 50. With more than 795,000 strokes occurring in the United States each year, there is a significant number of younger adults who face stroke.

    High Chances of Long-Term Disability

    While there has been an assumption in the medical community that young people are more likely to make a full recovery from stroke, recent research has found that many adults under 50 who suffer from stroke did not have the skills for independent living after a nine-year follow-up. Even in patients who seem to have a mostly positive recovery, there may be long-term damage that leads to permanent disability.

    Risk Factors for Early Stroke

    Stroke risk factors to consider beyond age include obesity, cigarette smoking, and poor diet, which are all preventable factors that young people should not ignore. Non-preventable risk factors such as family history are still important to recognize, because individuals with a family history of stroke may need to take more steps in stroke prevention. Women also have a slightly higher risk of stroke, which may be elevated by the use of oral contraceptives.

    Regional Medical Center of San Jose can help you manage your stroke risk and provide the emergency care you need when stroke symptoms are suspected. To explore our services in detail, visit our website or call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (408) 259-4000. 

  • The Road to Cancer Recovery

    When you are diagnosed with cancer, there are a number of resources that can facilitate your recovery. This video explains the Road to Recovery program from the American Cancer Society that can help patients get to the hospital for cancer treatment when they are unable to drive themselves. By reaching out for a helping hand in your cancer care, you can reduce your stress during treatment to focus on getting better.

    To find cancer treatment and resources that will allow you the best chances of a full recovery following your diagnosis, contact Regional Medical Center of San Jose. You can reach us on our website or at (408) 259-4000 to learn about our Cancer Care and community outreach services. 

  • Flu Prevention Guidelines for Your Household

    During flu season, you can stop the spread of the flu virus starting at home with some healthier habits around the house. Aside from getting a flu shot, there are several steps you can take to prevent the flu from getting into your home.

    This video explains that it’s best to stay home if you are sick and encourage coworkers or classmates to do the same. To stay healthy at home, sanitize and clean surfaces often—especially in common areas like the kitchen and bathroom.

    When you are in need of emergency care for flu complications, the ER at Regional Medical Center is ready to serve you with low wait times and streamlined emergency care . To learn more about flu prevention, call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (408) 259-4000. 

  • Living at a Healthy Weight for Life

    Fit young woman fighting off fast food

    Obesity is closely linked to the leading causes of death in the United States, such as heart disease, stroke, and several types of cancer. In order to live longer and prevent serious health problems later in life, you should make a commitment to living at a healthy weight with ongoing positive habits. A healthy weight is not achieved through crash dieting and rapid weight loss; rather, it is accomplished with habits that stick . This article will take a look at what you need to do to stay within a healthy BMI range in the long-run rather than getting stuck in a cycle of yo-yoing weight loss.

    Establishing a Balanced Diet

    Healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds each week, and this can be achieved through a diet that is low in sugars, fats, and processed foods. Foods to eat more often include fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean meats. This type of eating should continue even after a target weight is reached, though enjoying higher calorie options will not be harmful in moderation.

    Including Exercise in Your Routine

    Exercise is not an optional component of a healthy routine. In order to keep the heart healthy and promote weight management, you should get aerobic exercise for at least 150 minutes weekly and incorporate weight training into your routine.

    Knowing Triggers for Unhealthy Behaviors

    Slacking off on your exercise routine or eating unhealthy foods can be the result of stress or other emotional factors, so you may need to approach a healthy lifestyle knowing what might slow you down. When you account for these factors, you will be better able to face stress that might otherwise cause you to make unhealthy decisions.

    No matter what your weight loss goals are, Regional Medical Center of San Jose can empower you to achieve them with classes and free community resources. To learn more about how we can help you stay on track with your goals for the New Year, visit our website or call us at (408) 259-4000. 

  • What Is Known About Birth Defects and Prevention?

    The pregnant woman who has an examination

    Birth defects are health problems that occur during gestation as a baby is developing. In some cases, birth defects may be so severe that a baby may not fully develop in the womb or survive long after birth. Other birth defects may not be life-threatening, but they can lead to lifelong disabilities, which may be devastating for both children and their families. Therefore, it is important to understand the causes of major birth defects and possible methods of prevention. Research has offered insight to the causes of conditions like fetal alcohol syndrome and Down syndrome, but other birth defects still have unknown causes. Below is a look at some of the known facts about birth defect prevention that expecting moms should know.

    Uncontrolled Diabetes Can Cause Birth Defects

    Not only can diabetes have a negative effect on unborn babies, but it can be dangerous for pregnant moms as well. Women who have diabetes or those who develop gestational diabetes should work closely with their physicians to manage their blood sugar throughout pregnancy.

    Increasing Folic Acid Intake Can Prevent Birth Defects

    Folic acid is a B vitamin that promotes healthy cell development , and it is an essential nutrient for women even in the earliest stages of pregnancy. By consuming enough folic acid during pregnancy each day, expecting moms can significantly reduce the risk of having a baby with neural tube defects.

    Fetal Alcohol Disorders Are among the Most Preventable Birth Defects

    Drinking any amount of alcohol during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, which are among the most heavily researched and preventable birth defects. Women trying to get pregnant should not drink any alcohol, since it may have effects early on in gestation. Cigarette smoking is another known cause of significant birth defects, so women should quit before conception if possible.

    As you explore your options for prenatal care in San Jose, connect with Regional Medical Center to get to know our Birthing Center . You can schedule a tour of our birthing center online or by calling our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (408) 259-4000. 

  • Unexpected Ways to Stay Healthy in the New Year

    2015 New Year sign inside light bulbs

    For many people, a healthy New Year’s resolution may be to lose weight, quit smoking, or get more exercises. While these are great goals to set for 2015, they are not the only ways you can get your health on track. A few unique goals that can improve your health might include volunteering in the community or spending more time with family. Volunteering can boost your mood, and spending more time at home with family can promote health in a number of different ways. For example, you might cook dinner at home every night so that you build better eating habits for yourself and your kids.

    As healthcare needs do arise throughout the New Year, you can rely on Regional Medical Center of San Jose. You can reach us through our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (408) 259-4000, where you will be able to speak with one of our registered nurses 24/7. 

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