Palms West Hospital
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Palms West Hospital is proud to have provided the Western Communities with healthcare excellence since 1986.

Fruits and Vegetables: How to Eat More of What's Good for You

A well-balanced diet is vital to good health and longevity. Understanding how food and nutrition impact your body and your wellness can help you make the right choices when it comes to the items you put on your plate. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends eating two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables each day to provide your body with the vitamins and nutrients it needs—keep reading to find out how you can easily incorporate these foods into your daily diet.

Experiment with Smoothies

Healthy smoothies are a great pick-me-up that are appropriate for any meal or snack. With an endless variety of recipes to create, you can incorporate a wide range of fruits and vegetables into your diet; you can also add protein and calcium by including lowfat milk or yogurt to your drink. However, it’s important to note information such as calories and sugar in each smoothie recipe you try, as some smoothies can contain a high number of calories.

Create Vegetable Kabobs

Florida is the perfect place to enjoy outdoor grilling for most of the year. When you’re planning a grilled lunch or dinner, consider adding vegetable kabobs to your menu for flavor, variety, and good nutrition. Some of the most popular vegetables for grilling include mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes. You can even add a dash of healthy omega-3 fatty acids by drizzling your kabobs with olive oil for a richer flavor.

At Palms West Hospital, we offer the food and nutrition resources you need to keep your family healthy and well. During hospital and rehab stays, patients are provided with a variety of meal selections and guidelines based on your physicians’ recommendations for excellent health. You can speak with a registered nurse about our medical services near Loxahatchee, FL, including pediatrics, orthopedics, and general surgery, by phone at (561) 345-7009, or visit our website for more information.


When to See a Doctor About Your Child's Digestive Health

Virtually every child will experience an upset tummy at some point and it’s not unusual for children to display selective eating habits. This is why it can be difficult for parents to know when it’s time to seek the guidance of a specialist in pediatrics. As a general rule of thumb, parents might seek medical help at Palms West Hospital when children experience severe symptoms or milder symptoms that persist longer than a couple of weeks.

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain in pediatric patients could be indicative of a number of problems. Sometimes, kids get tummy aches simply because they ate too much. But in some cases, abdominal pain could indicate food poisoning, gastroenteritis, or gastritis. It might also indicate inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which typically presents as abdominal pain and cramps that frequently recur. The abdominal pain of IBD can be accompanied by recurrent diarrhea, fatigue, rectal bleeding, and delayed growth. If your child’s abdominal pain is persistent or severe, it’s time to see his or her pediatrician.

Constipation

Children sometimes experience constipation, perhaps in addition to abdominal pain. Constipation is often due to lifestyle factors, such as lack of proper fluid intake or exercise and a low-fiber diet. It’s not unusual for some children to develop constipation during the potty training years, in which case it may be attributable to stress. It may be time to call the pediatrician when a child is failing to pass at least one bowel movement every other day, experiencing pain with bowel movements, or displaying bloody stool.

Vomiting

Vomiting can occur when a child becomes nervous, worried, or excited. It can occur due to minor medical issues such as viral infections or major problems such as meningitis, intestinal blockages, or appendicitis. It’s time to call the doctor when a child cannot keep fluids down, vomits more than once, or has bloody vomit.

The Children’s Hospital at Palms West brings together leading specialists in pediatric medicine, including specialists in gastroenterology and emergency care. Palms West Hospital invites parents in Loxahatchee, FL, to explore our medical services on our website. Or, call a registered nurse any time of the day or night at (561) 345-7009.


Understanding the Important Reasons to Breastfeed Your Baby

Breastfeeding is a natural way to feed your baby, but it doesn’t come easily to all mothers and babies. Many mothers have difficulties with latching and positioning, but the lactation consultants available at the obstetrics unit of Palms West Hospital can help families overcome these challenges. Sticking with breastfeeding through the challenging first few weeks is a worthwhile endeavor, since it offers unique benefits for both babies and mothers.

Benefits for Babies

After birth, the first milk that a breastfed baby receives is called colostrum. Colostrum is packed with essential nutrients and antibodies to protect your baby from infections. Colostrum stimulates the development of your baby’s digestive system. The regular milk that comes in a few days after birth also contains the nutrients and antibodies your baby needs to thrive. Breastfed babies might have lower risks of going on to develop childhood obesity, asthma, leukemia, lower respiratory infections, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), type 2 diabetes, and ear infections. Additionally, research suggests that children who were breastfed as babies may display better verbal intelligence than those who were not.

Benefits for Mothers

Breastfeeding also confers health benefits on mothers. It can support the healing process after childbirth and it may decrease the risk of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and type 2 diabetes in women. It may even help mothers shed the weight they gained during pregnancy, since breastfeeding requires plenty of calories.

Benefits during Emergencies

For new moms who live in areas that are prone to natural disasters, breastfeeding can be a life-saver. During a natural disaster, access to clean water and formula may be limited. Breastmilk is readily available from breastfeeding mothers and it’s always at the right temperature.

The New Life Center at Palms West Hospital offers a warm, secure setting in which to welcome your baby into the world. In addition to our medical services, our obstetrics team in Loxahatchee, FL, provides lactation consulting and breast pump rentals. For general information about our obstetrics or other medical services, you can speak with a registered nurse at (561) 345-7009.


Spotlight on Aquatic Rehabilitation

If you’ve ever seen a specialist in orthopedics, then you might already be familiar with the basics of rehabilitation, which typically include physical therapy and occupational therapy. But did you know that not all rehab therapies take place on dry land? There are many benefits of aquatic rehabilitation, which is why Palms West Hospital is pleased to offer it to our patients.

Indications

Aquatic rehab therapy is appropriate for a wide range of medical conditions, especially neurological and musculoskeletal conditions. Patients with chronic problems such as arthritis and fibromyalgia can find relief by performing specialized exercises in a heated pool, as can those who are recovering from sports injuries or from surgery. Those with balance disorders, back pain, and spinal injuries might be referred to an aquatic therapy program. However, certain patients might not be good candidates for aquatic rehabilitation, including those with incontinence, non-healing ulcers or open wounds, chlorine allergies, and seizure disorders.

Functional Improvements

During an aquatic therapy session, patients perform a series of customized stretches and exercises while in the water. Patients may find that they gradually improve their muscle tone and strength, increase their range of motion, and develop better balance. These functional improvements translate to improved quality of life and ease of completing everyday activities.

Benefits

The functional improvements associated with aquatic rehab can also be achieved with land-based therapy, but aquatic therapy offers unique benefits. Because of the buoyancy of the water, there is less stress exerted on the joints. This means that exercises that would have been too painful on land may be possible in the water. Aquatic rehab is particularly beneficial for patients with balance impairment. Since the water slows down bodily movements, patients can complete exercises without the fear of falling and sustaining additional injuries.

The unique outpatient aquatic rehabilitation center at Palms West Hospital sets our medical services apart from others in the area. Our rehab center in Loxahatchee, FL, features a spacious, heated pool with an automated lift and programs designed specifically for the needs of patients with fibromyalgia and spinal trauma. You can connect with one of our registered nurses around the clock by calling (561) 345-7009.


Exploring the Complexities of Treating Chronic Pain

When patients arrive at the emergency care department with painful injuries, they might receive a short-term prescription for pain relievers. For many patients, this is sufficient. Unfortunately, some people go on to develop chronic pain, which can persist long after the original insult to the tissue has healed. Chronic pain can also be associated with chronic medical conditions such as arthritis. The complexities of chronic pain make the problem challenging to treat. Patients with these issues can turn to the providers of Palms West Hospital for compassionate medical services.

Pathophysiology

Pathophysiology refers to the way in which the body or its components are affected. When the nervous system senses an injury to the body, it fires off signals that register as pain. There is a good reason for pain sensations; they let your brain know that something is wrong and that you need to take care of it. However, chronic pain is different. When chronic pain arises from an ongoing bodily problem such as an untreated torn rotator cuff, it is thought that the pain continues because of the ongoing activation of the nerve fibers. However, the severity of the pain does not always correspond with the severity of the actual injury. And in many cases, chronic pain persists for months or years despite the healing of the original injury. The reasons for the sensitization and hyperactivity of the nerve fibers are still under investigation.

Treatment

Since it is usually not preferable to take strong pain relievers over a long period of time, pain management specialists and other doctors must find creative approaches to helping patients with chronic pain. Chronic pain treatment might include superficial injections like trigger point therapy or more invasive injections like epidurals. Some patients might even find relief of pain with tricyclic antidepressants. Other possible treatment modalities include physical therapy and other rehab services, muscle relaxation exercises, and biofeedback. It’s important for patients to clearly communicate their responses to treatment. Often, finding the right approach requires trial and error, and the close collaboration of patients and doctors.

At Palms West Hospital, you’ll find a continuum of care for acute and chronic conditions. The medical services available to Loxahatchee, FL residents include emergency care, rehabilitation, and general surgery. If you have a general question or would like a referral to a specialist, you can speak with a registered nurse by calling (561) 345-7009.


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