• 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
    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.

    Infertility
    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.

    Medications
    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.

  • Do you need to be screened for colorectal cancer?

    Screening for colorectal cancer is lifesaving. Because polyps associated with colorectal cancer tend to grow slowly, screenings allow doctors to find them and remove them, often long before they become cancerous. As with all kinds of cancer, getting an early diagnosis of colorectal cancer makes treatments easier and more effective. Is screening right for you? Here are some of the factors your physician will consider when making the right choice for you about colorectal cancer screenings.

    How old are you?
    The risk of colorectal cancer increases with age. Most people over age 50 can benefit from periodic screening tests. How often you should be screened after 50 depends on a number of different factors, including the type of screening you had and the results of those tests.

    The typical schedule for testing is every 10 years if you have a colonoscopy , and every five years if you have another kind of screening, such as CT colonography, flexible sigmoidoscopy or double-contrast barium enema.

    Do you have a family history of colorectal cancer?
    If you have a first-degree relative—a parent, sibling, or child—who has had colorectal cancer, then you have a heightened risk of the disease. In this case, your physician may recommend that you start colorectal cancer screenings before age 50 and that you have them more often.

    Your risk of colorectal cancer can be further heightened if your relative was diagnosed before he or she turned 45 or if you have more than one relative with the disease. These factors will also influence screening recommendations made by your physician.

    Have you had colon polyps?
    If you have had a previous screening during which colon polyps were discovered, then you may need to have additional screenings more frequently. The number of polyps that were discovered and whether they were removed in pieces will impact when you need further screening tests.

    The Cancer Center at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center offers comprehensive cancer diagnostic testing and treatments in Thousand Oaks with a multidisciplinary team of healthcare providers. Get more information about our cancer team by calling (877) 888-5746.

  • Eating right during pregnancy if you are underweight

    Maintaining a healthy weight is more important than ever during pregnancy . Many people focus on avoiding excessive weight gain, but being underweight can be equally as damaging to you and your baby. Being underweight increases the risk of premature labor and your baby having a low birth weight. Healthy eating and monitoring your weight gain with your doctor will make it easier to gain an appropriate amount of weight. Here is a look at what you need to know.

    Healthy pregnancy weight gain for underweight women
    You are considered to be underweight if your BMI, or body mass index, was less than 18.5 before pregnancy. If you fall into this range, then your physician will likely recommend that you gain between 28 and 40 pounds during your pregnancy.

    When you gain this weight, the baby will account for approximately seven to eight pounds of the weight, while about seven pounds will be in fat and nutrient stores for the baby. The rest of the weight will be distributed throughout the placenta, uterus, blood, amniotic fluid, breast tissue, and your uterus.

    Time of pregnancy weight gain
    Most women gain between one and four pounds during the first trimester, though your physician may recommend that you gain more if you are underweight. Keep in mind that weight gain may be difficult during this time because of morning sickness.

    During the second and third trimesters, most women gain between one and two pounds per week. However, your physician may recommend that you gain more if you remain underweight.

    Healthy eating habits during pregnancy
    If you are underweight during pregnancy, your physician will want you to increase your weight by eating healthy foods. Consider these eating tips to help you gain weight in a way that is healthy for you and your baby:

    • Never skip breakfast. Add extra protein, such as peanut butter or cheese, to your usual meal.
    • Snack on yogurt or dried fruit between meals.
    • Increase the amount of high-quality fasts, such as olive oil and avocados, in your meals.
    • Drink fruit juice made with real fruit without added sugars.

    The Birthing Center at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center helps moms-to-be stay healthy through every stage of pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Contact our hospital in Thousand Oaks today by calling (877) 888-5746 to learn more about our family-centered birth center or to request a referral to a women’s services specialist.