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.

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.

What are the signs of endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a painful condition affecting women in their child-bearing years. It can interfere with fertility and significantly interrupt the daily life of sufferers. For women with severe cases, surgery may be necessary. If you are experiencing the following symptoms, consider talking to your physician about whether endometriosis could be to blame.

Pain is the most common symptom of endometriosis. For women with endometriosis, the tissue the typically lines the uterus grows outside of it, often along the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and throughout the abdominal cavity. This tissue often responds to hormonal changes in the same way it does inside of the uterus, so it bleeds during your menstrual cycle.

Because the blood cannot be expelled in the same way it is from your uterus, it builds up and causes pain and pressure. Depending on the location of the tissue growth, women may experience:

  • Intense menstrual cramping
  • Pain in the back and pelvis
  • Painful sex
  • Painful bowel movements

Bleeding Between Periods
Women with endometriosis may experience bleeding between their periods. This bleeding can range from mild spotting to flows similar to menstruation. It can be difficult to predict when the bleeding will occur, making it difficult to manage.

Endometriosis isn’t the only women’s health issue that can cause bleeding between periods, so it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis of the cause if you are experiencing this symptom.

It is possible to get pregnant when you have endometriosis, but it is more difficult. Physicians are not sure why endometriosis interferes with fertility, but the excess tissue may make it difficult for the sperm and egg to reach each other or the lining of the uterus may not be properly developed for implantation.

Approximately 50% of women who are struggling to conceive have endometriosis.

Endometriosis can be a debilitating and frustrating condition, but the women’s health providers at Los Robles Health & Medical Center can help. We offer comprehensive women’s health services for gynecological conditions, as well as obstetrics and breast care. To get a referral to a specialist, please call (877) 888-5746.

Common causes of poisoning found around the house

When most people think of poisoning, they think of food poisoning, which occurs when a food is infected with dangerous bacteria, viruses, of fungi. Although food poisoning is certainly common, you may be surprised at the other toxins that are lurking around your home. These toxins are dangerous to both kids and adults, and they are ingested, immediate treatment in the emergency room is required. Here are just a few of the potential sources of poisoning that are likely to be in your home.

Personal care products
Children are especially prone to poisoning by personal care products, including cosmetics, shampoos, and even toothpaste. These items can be nearly irresistible to kids, thanks to bright colors and intriguing scents, but ingesting them can be extremely dangerous.

Some personal care products are dangerous when ingested in even small amounts. Some products, such as toothpaste, are safe when used as intended but can cause poisoning when ingested in large quantities. If you think your child has eaten any personal care products, go to the emergency room, even if you aren’t sure if he or she ingested a dangerous amount.

Cleaning products
Laundry pods have become a common culprit in household poisonings, but any kind of laundry product is toxic when ingested. Other cleaning products, from kitchen sprays to toilet cleaners, will also cause poisoning.

Cleaning products can also cause poisoning when inhaled. Some products create dangerous fumes when mixed, so it is important to follow the instructions on the label carefully.

Both over-the-counter and prescription medications can be a source of poisoning for kids and adults. Taking the wrong medications or taking more than the recommended dose can both lead to poisoning.

It is extremely important to get an emergency care quickly in the case of poisoning caused by a medication overdose or accidental exposure to a medication.

Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center offers emergency care around the clock for patients of all ages. Visit our emergency room in Thousand Oaks for all of your family’s urgent medical needs, or call (877) 888-5746 to learn more about our hospital services.

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