World Alzheimer’s Day: How to Reduce Your Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory, thinking, and other important mental functions. As the disease progresses, it affects a person’s ability to carry out simple tasks like getting dressed or making a cup of coffee. There are an estimated 5.8 million people living with this disease in the United States alone. While Alzheimer’s is most common in people aged 65 years or older, nearly 200,000 people in the United States suffer from younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease. How can I reduce my risk for Alzheimer’s disease? Alzheimer’s disease is often associated with old age, but it’s not a normal part of aging. Though there is no proven way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, there’s a lot you can do to lower your chance of getting it. In fact, the same things that are good for your heart and body may also reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease, including: • Regular Check-ups Research shows a strong connection between Alzheimer’s and conditions like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Visiting the doctor for regular preventive care screenings will help lower your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Preventive care focuses on illness and disease prevention and includes wellness visits, immunizations, and screenings for blood pressure, cancer, cholesterol, depression, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes. • Regular Exercise Excess weight increases your risk for conditions like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Research has also found that obesity can change the brain in a way that increases your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Regular exercise helps increase blood flow to the brain, which makes your brain healthier. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 30 minutes of activity at least five times a week. • Regular Stimulation People who keep learning and stay social might have a lower risk for the cognitive decline typically associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Though the exact reason is not clear, this type of mental stimulation may strengthen connections between nerve cells in the brain. When you see your doctor regularly, they can detect and treat conditions or diseases early, before they become serious or life threatening. Get the corWorld Alzheimer’s Day: How to Reduce Your Risk For Alzheimer’s Disease Family Medicine.

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory, thinking, and other important mental functions. As the disease progresses, it affects a person’s ability to carry out simple tasks like getting dressed or making a cup of coffee.

There are an estimated 5.8 million people living with this disease in the United States alone. While Alzheimer’s is most common in people aged 65 years or older, nearly 200,000 people in the United States suffer from younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

How can I reduce my risk for Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is often associated with old age, but it’s not a normal part of aging. Though there is no proven way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, there’s a lot you can do to lower your chance of getting it. In fact, the same things that are good for your heart and body may also reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease, including:

  • Regular Check-ups
    Research shows a strong connection between Alzheimer’s and conditions like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Visiting the doctor for regular preventive care screenings will help lower your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Preventive carefocuses on illness and disease prevention and includes wellness visits, immunizations, and screenings for blood pressure, cancer, cholesterol, depression, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Regular Exercise
    Excess weight increases your risk for conditions like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Research has also found that obesity can change the brain in a way that increases your risk for Alzheimer’s disease.Regular exercise helps increase blood flow to the brain, which makes your brain healthier. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 30 minutes of activity at least five times a week.
  • Regular Stimulation
    People who keep learning and stay social might have a lower risk for the cognitive decline typically associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Though the exact reason is not clear, this type of mental stimulation may strengthen connections between nerve cells in the brain.

When you see your doctor regularly, they can detect and treat conditions or diseases early, before they become serious or life threatening. Get the correct health services, screenings, and treatment you need live a longer and healthier life from the board-certified physicians at PVHC Family Medicine.

Your Pregnancy Step by Step

Your Pregnancy Step by Step

Pregnancy is a unique time in a woman’s life. There are a lot of physiological changes that take place to support a growing embryo or fetus. Pregnant women (and their placentas) produce different hormones that cause a broad range of changes like persistent nausea, breast pain, temporary darkening of your skin and many other common symptoms.

What happens to my body during pregnancy?

A full-term pregnancy typically lasts 40 weeks. During that time a woman’s body undergoes many temporary and sometimes unexpected transformations. The weeks are grouped into three trimesters:

  • First Trimester (Weeks 1-12)
    Hormonal changes during the first trimester affect every organ system in your body. During these first 12 weeks, your period will stop and you may experience extreme tiredness, tender breasts, nausea, constipation, frequent urination, headaches, heartburn, or mood swings. Your baby is also growing rapidly. His brain and spinal cord begin to develop as well as his major organs. This is a very crucial phase in your pregnancy and your baby’s development, and it is vital to meet your doctor as soon as possible.
  • Second Trimester (Weeks 13-28)
    The second trimester is often referred to as the ‘honeymoon period’ because nausea commonly subsides, emotions level out, and libido returns. During this time your abdomen begins to noticeably expand, making room for your growing baby. You will also start to gain weight, which is good for your growing baby but can mean aches, pains, and swelling for you. You will feel movement between 18-20 weeks as your baby’s arms and legs grow larger and stronger.
  • Third Trimester (Weeks 29-40)
    The third and final trimester often comes with insomnia and increased discomfort as your baby continues to grow and gain weight. Other common symptoms may include shortness of breath, heartburn, hemorrhoids, and swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face. Toward the end of this trimester you may notice your baby drop lower into your abdomen. Braxton Hicks or irregular contractions are very common during this trimester, but your doctor will educate you more on what is normal and what is not normal and should prompt you to go to the hospital.

As you move closer to your due date, your cervix will become thinner and softer and contractions will become stronger. This is a normal process that prepares your body for labor and delivery.

With all of these big, exciting changes happening in your body, it’s important to have a family doctor you feel comfortable with. Choosing a doctor that really knows you and your medical needs from puberty to pregnancy and beyond can provide you with uniquely individualized pregnancy care and services. Your doctor will likely care for your baby too, making this a unique experience for you and the family.

Pomona Valley Health Centers is proud to offer experienced, compassionate women’s health care at all four of our office locations. We provide pregnancy care, including for high-risk pregnancies, and have a multidisciplinary team approach to help you through this very important event in your life. If you’re in need of expert obstetric services for your pregnancy, trust your care to a board-certified Pomona Valley FM/OB doctor.

What Are the Top Issues for Women’s Health?

Women's Health

From family planning considerations to specific conditions and diseases, women face a different set of health challenges than men. For some, there are options to reduce your risk. For others, you may be able to lessen its symptoms.

The top issues for women’s health

  • Heart disease – The leading cause of death for women can also be preventable! Work with your doctor to recognize your potential risks, then make the necessary chances to diet and exercise. And of course, don’t smoke or vape, and limit alcohol.
  • Cancer – Although many people associate breast cancer with women, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and it occurs more often in young women. Also, lung, colon and uterine cancers (together), account for almost as many cancers as breast cancer. So, what can you do? Perform monthly breast self-exams, wear sunscreen, avoid smoking, get that colonoscopy, and if your periods become abnormal or you notice abdominal problems, see your doctor.
  • Stroke – Did you know? 60% of stroke deaths occur in women. Learn the stroke warning signs and remember … FAST: Face drooping, Arm weakness or numbness, Speech problems, Time to call 911.
  • Menopause – Hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and sleep problems. At the very least, menopause (which begins 12 months after your last period) can be an uncomfortable and frustrating time. To get through it, try to keep a healthy weight, eat a balanced diet, get plenty of exercise and explore stress management techniques like yoga and meditation.

Experienced, dedicated women’s healthcare throughout the Inland Empire

From well-woman checkups to menopause and osteoporosis care, we’re committed to keeping women healthy throughout life. At Pomona Valley Health Centers, we provide a complete range of women’s health services in La Verne, as well as in Claremont, Chino Hills Crossroads and Pomona. Count on us for personalized women’s healthcare, along with comprehensive family medicine, radiology, urgent care, physical therapy and more.

To schedule an appointment at a PVHC location near you, call 909-630-7829 or click here to use our online form.

Tips to Boost Women’s Health

Tips to Boost Women’s Health

Women are notorious for shouldering much of the mental and physical burden of managing a household. So, let’s take a moment to celebrate them, help them feel better and live longer with a few tips focused on boosting women’s health.

Manage your stress

Stress can have a significant and negative affect on a woman’s health and may lead to infertility, depression, anxiety and heart disease. Overscheduling can cause unnecessary stress, so get good at saying no. Instead, take time to meditate, read a book, relax in a bath or catch up on some much needed rest.

Exercise

Though many people have trouble making time to exercise, keep in mind that exercise is important for reducing your risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Exercise also helps elevate the mood, which is important for a woman’s mental health. So, add in a mix of cardio, resistance or weight training three to five times per week to help prevent disease and feel better.

Eat well

Fortify your health with fresh fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and lean meats. Include non-fat dairy products as well to help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Depending on your age, you need between 800 and 1,500 milligrams of calcium each day. If you’re not getting enough vitamins and nutrients in your diet, consider taking a multivitamin and calcium supplement to support your overall health.

Get plenty of rest

Even though it can be tempting to catch up on chores, emails or your favorite television show when the house is quiet at night — choose sleep. It will improve your memory, reduce your risk of heart disease, and help you stay focused and alert throughout the day.

Check for breast cancer

Take a moment during your morning or evening routine to check your breasts for any unusual lumps or changes in your breasts and do not delay in contacting your doctor if you have any concerns. Start this routine in your 20s and schedule yearly mammograms once you turn 40 years old.

Women’s health needs change as they age, but following a few simple tips may help improve your quality of life for years to come. For information about Pomona Valley Health Centers women’s health services, contact us today at 909-630-7829.

10 Tips For A Healthy Pregnancy

10 Tips For A Healthy Pregnancy

If you haven’t already discovered, there is a lot of information that the Internet, books and family and friends are eager to share with you about pregnancy. It can be overwhelming, to say the least. How can you know what is best for you and your baby? Luckily, the doctors at Pomona Valley Health Centers have put together a list of the 10 essential things you need to know to have a healthy pregnancy.

10 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

We understand you want to do what’s best for you and your baby during your pregnancy. Here are our essential tips to help give your baby a great start to life:

Get early prenatal care

If you are planning to start a family, or have just found out that you are expecting, good prenatal care is essential for you and your baby. During your first visit, your doctor will be able to confirm your pregnancy and screen for certain medical conditions that could lead to complications.

Maintain a healthy diet

While it’s okay to occasionally give in to your cravings during pregnancy, it’s important to keep in mind that you typically only need an additional 300 calories per day. Make sure you are getting enough protein and calcium each day and avoid deli meats to prevent yourself from consuming bacteria that could harm your baby.

Take prenatal vitamins

Ask your doctor which prenatal vitamins are best for you and your baby, particularly how much folic acid and calcium you’ll need. Prenatal vitamins ensure you are giving your baby the important vitamins and nutrients it needs, like folic acid, iron, calcium and DHA. These vitamins play an important role in bone, vision and brain development.

Exercise regularly

Regular daily exercise increases your chance of having a vaginal delivery and helps you manage the common discomforts of pregnancy. Exercise can also aid in postpartum recovery. However, if you did not exercise regularly before becoming pregnant, check with your doctor before starting an exercise regimen.

Listen to your body

The first and third trimesters come with fatigue, which is your body’s way of telling you to take it easy. So, listen to your body and sit back with a good book or take a nap when you are feeling tired.

Eliminate alcohol and limit caffeine

It’s important to take good care of your body during pregnancy. We recommend you avoid alcohol, limit your caffeine intake and steer clear of any nonprescription drugs throughout your pregnancy. Indulging in alcohol can adversely affect your baby’s brain or spinal development, too much caffeine has been linked to a higher instance of miscarriage, and nonprescription drugs can lead to birth defects or behavioral problems.

Limit your exposure

If you work around chemicals or other substances known to cause birth defects, it’s important to take the necessary steps to protect your baby. It’s also important to use non-toxic household cleaning solutions throughout your pregnancy to limit your risk of exposure.

Visit your dentist

Hormonal shifts during pregnancy can leave you with an increased risk of gingivitis. Increased progesterone and estrogen levels interact with the bacteria in plaque, leading to swollen, tender or bleeding gums.

Wear sunscreen

Your skin is more susceptible to sunburn and chloasma (dark, blotchy spots on the face) when you are pregnant, so it’s important to apply a sunscreen that is at least SPF 30 or higher and avoid tanning beds.

Know when to call the doctor

If you have any of the following symptoms, the Center for Disease Control recommends contacting your doctor:

  • Vaginal bleeding or leaking of fluid
  • Contractions that are 20 minutes apart or less
  • Pain of any kind
  • Strong cramps
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Decreased activity of the baby
  • Shortness of breath

Our team is dedicated to providing expert care for women during every stage of their lives — from adolescence, to preparing for childbirth, to menopause and beyond. For more information about our women’s health services, contact us today at 909-865-9152.