Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center
Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life. We strive to deliver high quality, cost effective healthcare in the communities we serve.

How autism can influence your child's health

Autism is a difficult developmental disorder to manage. And sometimes, children with autism also have co-existing health problems. You can count on the caring physicians and nurses at Los Robles Regional Medical Center to direct your family to the resources you need. Your child may also be referred to a specialist at our hospital.

Sleep disorders
One problem many parents encounter is the difficulty convincing a child with autism to stay in bed and go to sleep. Some parents have to bring their child back to bed multiple times each night. Some children with autism experience frequent nighttime awakenings, or they awaken far too early in the morning.

A child’s sleep disorder can affect the entire family’s health. For both the child and the other family members, sleep deprivation can result in:

  • Poor concentration
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Decline in immune function
  • Poor judgment

Additionally, children with autism who are sleep deprived are more likely to display hyperactivity, aggressive behaviors and inattentiveness.

Gastrointestinal disorders
A diagnosis of gastrointestinal problems often goes hand-in-hand with an autism diagnosis. Children with autism are more likely to suffer from the following:

  • Chronic constipation
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Food sensitivities

In addition, many children with autism are extremely selective eaters. Some of them will only consume a very limited list of foods.

Picky eating can result in nutritional deficiencies, which may worsen gastrointestinal symptoms. A deficiency of fiber in a child’s diet, for example, can exacerbate chronic constipation.

Anxiety disorders
Every child deserves to have a happy and healthy childhood. But many children with autism suffer from anxiety. Some common anxiety problems include:

  • Social phobia
  • Excessive worry
  • Separation anxiety
  • Extreme phobias
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder

Behavioral interventions can help children with anxiety disorders learn how to manage their symptoms.

At every stage of life, Los Robles Regional Medical Center is your family’s partner in health. From our Emergency Room to our pediatrics services, we focus on providing superior, family-centered care that improves quality of life. Call a registered nurse in Thousand Oaks at (877) 888-5746 to request a physician referral.

Should you be worried about a UTI?

Urinary tract infections are most common in women. In fact, over half of all women will get UTI symptoms at least once during their lifetime. This type of infection may affect any part of the urinary system, including the bladder, kidneys, ureter and urethra. Occasionally, a UTI can lead to serious complications. You’ll find the effective treatment you need at Los Robles Regional and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks.

Symptoms of UTIs
Watch the accompanying video to hear a urologist at Los Robles Regional explain some of the symptoms of urinary tract infections. Patients with UTIs may experience any of the following:

  • Increased urination frequency
  • Urgent urination
  • Urinating small amounts at a time
  • Bloody or cloudy urination
  • Itching in the genital region
  • Painful or burning urination
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Foul-smelling urine

In addition, some patients with UTIs may experience pain in the back, side or lower abdomen. Older patients may experience symptoms that seem to be unrelated to the urinary system, such as confusion, fatigue, problems walking or loss of appetite. If you think you have a UTI, your doctor may confirm the diagnosis and treat it.

Complications of UTIs
Complications of urinary tract infections aren’t common, but they are serious when they occur. The bacteria that cause UTIs may enter the kidneys, causing symptoms like:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Severe lower back pain

Seek medical care promptly if you think you might have a kidney infection.

Treatment for UTIs
Most UTIs are easily treated with a course of antibiotics. If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, always finish the full course of treatment, even after you start feeling better.

If you have a kidney infection, an ER physician may need to admit you to the hospital for IV antibiotics and fluids.

Women choose Los Robles Regional Medical Center because of our commitment to patient-centered, compassionate care. Our women’s health specialists in Thousand Oaks provide a full range of pelvic health and gynecologic urology services to help you live life to the fullest. If you’d like to learn more about our urology services, a registered nurse is available to help you at (877) 888-5746.

Why you should choose to walk more often

If cardiologists could prescribe exercise, they definitely would. Walking works muscles all over your body, including your heart muscle. By choosing to lead an active lifestyle, you may lower your risk of high blood pressure, poor cholesterol levels and heart disease. If you’ve already been diagnosed with a heart health problem, you can talk to a cardiologist at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center before starting a new exercise routine.

Benefits of walking routines
If you enjoy running and can do it safely, then by all means continue to run. But many people at risk of heart disease shy away from exercise because running just isn’t right for them. If you belong to the latter group, you may be happy to know that the American Heart Association wholeheartedly endorses moderate-intensity walking routines to protect heart health.

The American Heart Association took a look at a research study that analyzed data from over 33,000 runners and over 15,000 walkers. The results indicated that both walkers and runners had a comparable reduction in the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and possibly coronary heart disease. The improvements in health applied to moderate-intensity walking and vigorous-intensity running.

Tips for starting a walking routine
Walking is safe exercise for most people, but you can always check with your doctor if you’re concerned about a pre-existing health condition. Wear a pair of comfortable, supportive athletic shoes. Wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water, especially during the hot summer months.

If you’re having trouble getting motivated, it might help to avoid timing yourself. Just take a stroll around a park or head for a nature trail. Deliberately not timing yourself can help you see walking as an enjoyable activity, rather than a chore.

As your endurance builds, start timing yourself. Try to walk faster for longer periods, and choose routes with hills for a greater challenge.

Los Robles Cardiac and Cardiovascular Center has provided high-quality heart health services for more than four decades. Our heart hospital is nationally recognized for leading the way in cutting-edge cardiology interventions, but we also pride ourselves on our compassionate, individualized approach. Thousand Oaks residents can call (877) 888-5746 for general information about cardiology services at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center.

Could you have IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic, functional gastrointestinal disorder that affects the large intestine. It isn’t yet known exactly why some people develop IBS, but some experts think IBS may stem from a problem in the way the brain and the gut interact. Additionally, people with IBS tend to have triggers that cause a flare-up of symptoms. If you’ve been experiencing unusual gastrointestinal issues, or if you go to the Emergency Room for severe abdominal pain, the physicians at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center are here to help you reclaim your quality of life.

Common symptoms of IBS
IBS is often confused as being the same as inflammatory bowel disease, but these are two different diagnoses. Unlike IBD, IBS doesn’t cause inflammatory responses or any permanent damage to the digestive system. However, it can cause the following painful and uncomfortable symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain or cramps
  • Gas and bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Mucus in stool
  • Sensation of having an incomplete bowel movement
  • Bowel urgency
  • Loose stools
  • Abdominal pain that resolves after a bowel movement

If you experience gastrointestinal symptoms that are severe or that linger, it’s time to talk to your doctor. You can also start keeping a written record of which symptoms you experience, when they occur and what might possibly trigger them.

Possible triggers of IBS symptoms
Patients with IBS often find that eliminating trigger foods from their diet improves their management of the symptoms. Some common trigger foods include:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Dairy products
  • Cabbage
  • Onions
  • Wheat
  • Citrus fruits
  • Beans

It’s also thought that stress can make already existing symptoms worse.

Diagnostic steps to identify IBS
Diagnosing IBS can be tricky because there’s no one test that can definitively indicate this disorder. However, your doctor can perform a physical exam, review your medical history and discuss your symptoms.

A diagnosis of IBS is generally made if a patient experiences stomach pain for at least three days per week for at least three months. Additionally, a patient must show at least two other symptoms, such as pain that resolves after a bowel movement or pain that began when bowel habits changed.

You’ll find the compassionate, personalized care you need at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center. Our state-of-the-art hospital in Thousand Oaks maintains a longstanding tradition of healthcare excellence across all of our service lines. A registered nurse is available to take your general healthcare questions at (877) 888-5746.

Is disc replacement surgery right for you?

If back pain is interfering with your normal activities, disc replacement surgery is one option your physician may suggest. For some patients, disc replacement surgery is a good alternative to spinal fusion and may lead to better pain relief and long-lasting results. Could this be the right treatment for your back pain? Here are some factors your physician will work with you to consider when choosing a surgical procedure.

Facet joint health
As mentioned in the video, the health of the facet joints in the area of diseased discs is a critical factor in the success of disc replacement. If there is degenerative arthritis in the facet joints, then disc replacement may not provide sufficient relief.

If the facet joints only show mild signs of arthritis, some patients may still be able to undergo disc replacement. Patients with arthritis that has progressed further will typically get more relief from spinal fusion surgery.

Previous spine surgery
Disc replacement surgery is usually only recommended for people who have not had any major spinal procedures in the past. If you have had a major spine surgery previously, your physician may recommend spinal fusion instead.

Each case of disc replacement after another spine procedure is considered individually, so be sure to discuss your previous surgeries with your physician in full.

Being at a healthy weight makes it more likely that disc replacement procedures will be effective. If you are not at a healthy weight, your physician may ask that you try to lose weight before surgery or recommend a different procedure.

Being at a healthy weight will also reduce the risk of surgical complications, make it safer to undergo anesthesia and help you have a faster recovery.

At Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center, we perform a range of inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures within a center designed just for surgical care. Find out for yourself why our surgical center is consistently ranked second in patient satisfaction in the state by contacting us at (877) 888-5746 to request a referral.

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