• Which mental disorders affect teens most?

    Mental disorders are not just a problem for adults. Many disorders start during adolescence, but unfortunately, many teens go undiagnosed because of lack of awareness of their vulnerability to mental illness or because symptoms are written off as typical teenage behavior. Too often, teens don’t get treatment until they need emergency care due to a suicide attempt or other major incident. Getting treatment early for mental disorders can prevent complications in the long term, so for teens who are suffering, care is essential. Here is a look at some of the most common mental disorders to affect teens.

    Depression —also sometimes called major depressive disorder or clinical depression—is common in teens. Without treatment, teens can experience poor grades, social isolation, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts.

    Symptoms of depression can affect nearly every part of life. Some common signs of depression in teens include:

    • Weight changes
    • Changes in sleeping patterns
    • Becoming withdrawn
    • Loss of interest in usual activities
    • Changes in peer group

    Eating Disorders
    Teens are vulnerable to anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder. Young women are most likely to develop these disorders, but an increasing number of males are experiencing them as well. If teens don’t get treatment, the impacts on their physical health can be life threatening.

    Eating disorder symptoms vary depending on the disorder. Some signs that the disorders have in common are:

    • Preoccupation with food and weight
    • Food rituals, such as only eating one kind of food or excessive chewing
    • Withdrawal from social groups
    • Mood swings

    Schizophrenia typically presents itself in the late teens and early 20s for men. Women may not develop the disease until their late 20s. However, in many cases, early warning signs for schizophrenia appear during adolescence. If teens can get treatment when these initial symptoms appear, they can often achieve better control of their disease and prevent serious future complications.

    Some signs of schizophrenia in teens are:

    • Sleep changes
    • Complaint about being watched or talked about
    • Disordered thinking
    • Hallucinations

    If you’re a teen or parent concerned about mental health, Regional Medical Center of San Jose is here to help. Getting a diagnosis is a crucial first step, so contact our hospital in San Jose for a physician referral . Call (888) 762-8881 to find a physician who is right for your needs.

  • 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 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.