Sleep Tight, Tonight!
The Heart Truth for Women
Stroke: Know the Signs.
Act in Time.
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What Is a Stroke?
A stroke, sometimes called a “brain attack,” occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. When a stroke occurs, brain cells in the immediate area begin to die because they stop getting the oxygen and nutrients they need to function.
Know the Signs
“Because stroke injures the brain, you may not realize that you are having a stroke,” states Dr. Ann Geisen of River Valley Hospital & Clinics. “To a bystander, someone having a stroke may just look unaware or confused. Stroke victims have the best chance if someone around them recognizes the symptoms and acts quickly.”
The symptoms of a stroke are distinct because they
Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arms and legs, especially on one side of the body
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
Sudden loss of balance and coordination,
Sudden severe headache with no known cause
Not ALL of the warning signs occur during a stroke. If you believe someone is having a stroke—if he or she suddenly loses the ability to speak or move an arm or leg on one side, or experiences facial paralysis on one side—call 911 immediately. Don’t ignore the signs!
Act in Time
Stroke is a medical emergency. Every minute counts when someone is having a stroke. The longer blood flow is cut off to the brain, the greater the damage. Immediate treatment can save people’s lives and enhance their chances for successful recovery.
Risk Factors Increasing Chances of Stroke
The best treatment for stroke is prevention. There are several risk factors that increase your chances of having a stroke:
High blood pressure
Controlling these risk factors will greatly reduce your chances of having a stroke. If you smoke—quit. If you have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes or high cholesterol, getting them under control—and keeping them under control—will greatly reduce your chances of having a stroke.
Stroke: Know the Signs. Act in Time.
Simple Four-Step Test–Act F.A.S.T.
Use the following tool to help you recognize stroke symptoms and act F.A.S.T.:
FACE – Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
ARMS – Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
SPEECH – Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred? Can he/she repeat the sentence correctly?
TIME – If the person shows any of these
symptoms, time is important. Call 911 or
get to the hospital fast.
This may come as a surprise, but the leading cause of death in women over age 25 isn’t breast cancer. It’s heart disease. In fact, while only 13% of women think they’re at risk for heart disease, it is responsible for nearly two times the number of deaths in American women than all types of cancer—including breast cancer.
“Many times, death could be avoided as women often have undiagnosed warnings weeks, months and sometimes even years before they suffer a heart attack,” states Dr. Martin Long, Cardiologist at River Valley Hospital. Dr. Long continues, “Long-term warning signs in women include nausea, overwhelming fatigue and dizziness. Many women report having a hard time getting physicians to take their complaints seriously, and their symptoms are often chalked up to ‘stress.’ Women are also more hesitant than men to contact a doctor for treatment during a heart attack. This is in part because their symptoms don’t fit the ‘classic descriptions’ of heart attacks, so they don’t think they are indeed
Classic symptoms of heart attacks—tightness in chest, arm pain and shortness of breath—are symptoms most men experience. The top five symptoms in women include:
Shortness of breath
Women are also more likely to experience other symptoms (particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain) in conjunction with chest pain.
What to do:
If a woman suspects she’s having a heart attack, time is of the essence. Immediate care can save lives, so call 911 within five minutes of the
onset of symptoms. Less time that passes means less likelihood of
Clot-busting therapy should also be administered as soon as possible; even taking an aspirin at home before the ambulance arrives could help save the life of someone suffering a heart attack.
Women ages 26-55 have two times the death rate of men of similar age after a heart attack. Find out your risk factors, know the symptoms and, most importantly, seek medical treatment even if you aren’t 100% sure it’s a heart attack. It’s your life: know how to save it.
To learn more about heart disease and its causes, symptoms and how to prevent it, visit the American Heart Association’s website.
Get the Facts
Cardiovascular disease kills about one woman a minute.
64% of women who die suddenly of heart disease have no previous symptoms.
More women than men will
die within the first year after a
The rates of women who die from cardiovascular disease are much higher than those who die from breast cancer.
Source: American Heart Association/Go Red For Women
Osteoporosis: Building Strong Bones & Fighting Fractures
Over 10 million Americans over age 50 suffer from osteoporosis.
But with proper treatment and care, osteoporosis can become a
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is the most common skeletal disease and is categorized by a
low bone mineral density, resulting in increased risk of bone fracture.
How does it happen?
From birth until about 35 years of age, bones are constantly in a process of reformation. After 35, the reformation process becomes less efficient. More bone is lost, and less is regenerated. This can leave bones brittle, increasing the chance of fracture.
Whom does it affect?
Osteoporosis is most likely to affect postmenopausal women, although men are affected as well. Other risk factors include: smoking, low body weight, Asian or Caucasian race, low calcium intake, excessive alcohol intake, history of fractures as an adult, low physical activity, anorexia, hyperthyroidism and certain anti-depressants.
How is it diagnosed?
Osteoporosis develops slowly and silently with no symptoms. Those with osteoporosis often don’t realize they have a low bone mineral density until they experience a fracture, usually of the wrist, hip or spine. Doctors can diagnose osteoporosis before a fracture occurs with X-rays, ultrasounds and CT scans.
Early detection is critical. Consider your risk factors and discuss prevention with your doctor—especially women who have not yet reached menopause.
How is it treated?
A variety of options are available:
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Taking estrogen back to premenopausal levels, HRT has proven to reduce bone loss and increase bone density, but it is controversial due to certain risks and side effects.
Prescription Medications: Some medications have been proven to stop and/or slow the loss of bone density. They work most efficiently with adequate amounts of calcium and exercise.
Physical Therapy: Effective for women who also have curvature of the spine.
Lifestyle Changes: Eating a healthy diet with plenty of calcium and getting adequate amounts of exercise can help fight bone loss.
How is it prevented?
The best way to prevent weak bones is easy—start by building strong ones! No matter how old you are, it is never too late to start. Here are some steps you can take to stop your bones from becoming weak and brittle.
Diet: Get adequate calcium and vitamin D. The amount a body needs changes over time, so consult a doctor for the correct amount for you.
Exercise: Strength training combined with weight-bearing exercise, like walking or jogging, helps strengthen muscles and bones.
Tobacco: Smoking increases bone loss, reduces the amount of calcium the body absorbs and decreases the amount of estrogen a woman’s body makes.
Alcohol: Avoid excessive alcohol, which can decrease bone formation and reduce the body’s ability to absorb calcium.
Posture: Practice good posture to avoid putting excess stress on
Take a Stand Against Osteoporosis!
What you will learn:
Causes and prevention strategies
Ways to improve your bone density
Comprehensive home exercise program
Wear comfortable clothing
Bring a bottle of water
Bring a towel
Bring an exercise mat if possible
Fee of $35 includes:
CALL NOW TO REGISTER! (800) 777-1663
August 24, 2016
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Join our fitness expert for an interactive Osteoporosis Seminar at River Valley Hospital.
Let’s face it: Sleep is important, and even a few nights of poor slumber can have an adverse effect on your body and mind. So don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor if your sleep problems persist—it could be a sign of something more serious.
We all have trouble catching our zzz’s from time to time. But you can make it easier to get good shut-eye every night by trying these simple, no-drug tips:
1. Avoid the buzz. Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine within 4-6 hours of bedtime. Alcohol may help you fall asleep initially, but it can disrupt the quality of your slumber and cause you to wake up during the night. Caffeine, simply put, stimulates the brain and keeps you awake.
2. Keep your bedroom quiet, dark and comfy. Eliminate disruptive sounds and light, even if it means shooing your snoring dog out of bed or, if your alarm clock has illuminated numbers, throwing a cloth over it. If necessary, upgrade your mattress to give your body the support it needs for a comfortable night’s rest.
3. Keep it cool. Lower body temperature helps promote sleep, so keep your thermostat between 69-72 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, use lighter PJs and blankets rather than heavy ones.
4. Stay on schedule. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends. If you can’t fall asleep, get out of bed and do something quiet; then go back to bed when you’re sleepy.
5. Take a nap—maybe. Many people find that taking a quick 15-minute nap during the day helps them feel more alert and less sleepy, especially after a poor night’s rest. Others find that naps disrupt their sleep. Studies vary on what’s really best, so do your own “nap study” to find out what works best for you.
6. Exercise at the right time for you. Exercise in the morning may help you sleep better at night. But strenuous exercise too close to bedtime might make you feel too energized to fall asleep.
7. Eat right. Avoid going to bed hungry, but don’t hit the hay with an over-stuffed tummy as that could keep you up. Some foods can help promote sleep, like tuna, eggs, avocados, asparagus, almonds, potatoes and bananas. Milk may help, too. But try not to drink more than four ounces of fluids after 8 p.m. so you don’t have to get up overnight to use the bathroom.
8. Avoid smoking. Nicotine is actually a stimulant and has the same effects as caffeine, so don’t smoke close to bedtime. Or better yet, not
Sleep Tight, Tonight! Eight Tips to Get Better Sleep
1300 Valley Drive
Springdale, ND 58993
(800) 777-1663 www.rivervalleyhosp.com
Nursing Care Assistant
Ambulatory Care Unit
Liz Wendlandt discovered what an amazing place River Valley Hospital is long before she became an employee. “My sister was a patient here in the 80s,” she says. “Every time I visited her, I was so in awe of the first-class treatment and compassionate care that she and the other patients received, day in and day out. From that time on, I always wanted to be a part of the love that was spread throughout this hospital.” Liz got her chance in 1999 when she left her job at a different hospital and drove straight to River Valley Hospital to complete a job application. To her surprise, she got the job the very next day. “The most rewarding thing for me is watching patients who I helped care for leave this hospital, all healed up and with a smile on their face. Nothing can beat that.”
Our 30-Minute Promise
While emergency room overcrowding and long waits to receive care seem all too familiar in hospitals across America, River Valley Hospital has confronted this problem and worked to improve efficiencies and shorten wait times in our emergency department. River Valley Hospital now has a 30-Minute ER Service Standard: Patients will be placed in an exam bed or will begin to receive treatment within 30 minutes of entering the hospital. Of course, if patients need immediate care, they will receive it.
“Visiting an emergency room can be extremely stressful, and waiting for care only increases a patient’s fear and anxiety,” says James Kendall, MD, Emergency Room Director. “We want to show the community that our attention to their timely care and comfort is our first priority.”
The emergency staff at River Valley Hospital is highly trained in caring for both pediatric and adult patients and has embraced this opportunity to exceed expectations in the community we serve.
The information contained in Focus on Health is intended to inform and educate about subjects pertinent to health and should not be a substitute for consultation with a personal physician.