• What You Need to Do to Control Your Blood Pressure

    If you are living with hypertension (high blood pressure), you should take action to reduce your numbers so you are not at increased risk for a heart attack or stroke. This video from the American Heart Association explains how you can take steps to improve your blood pressure and encourage others to do the same.

    Consistent monitoring of your blood pressure is the first step you should take. This allows you to see your progress toward your blood pressure goal and helps you identify any variation that you should discuss with your physician. Working with friends and family will help you stay on track and make positive changes that benefit everyone.

    For referral to a cardiologist or primary care physician who can help you achieve your blood pressure goals, call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (408) 559-2011.

  • How Much Physical Activity Does Your Heart Need Each Day?

    If you are trying to improve your heart health, physical activity is the first step in the right direction. People of all ages need regular exercise, which supports heart health in a number of ways. You should utilize both aerobic and weight training activities to see the biggest payoff. To determine how much exercise you should get every day, consider the following factors.


    Senior Couple Exercising In Park

    Toddlers need exercise, but they do not need to follow any formal regimen of activity . Mom and Dad and older siblings can play along as younger children run, jump, ordance.  Check with your local Y or community center for group play activities for young children

    Older kids can enjoy more structured activity with at least an hour of exercise each day.  Your child’s personality can guide you in selecting organized sports, active play, dance, biking, running or martial arts training that has a special appeal.  Encourage your child to try new activities and to include a variety of individual and group activities.

    More adults are finding that active athletics support their emotional health as well as physical health.  Five 30 minute sessions of  moderate activity each week can make a big difference in meeting your health and wellness goals, especially your goals for heart health.

    If you are overweight you have a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, and you might want to get more frequent exercise to encourage weight loss. To promote a healthier weight, you will want to keep your aerobic exercise routine fresh by regularly increasing the distance you walk or run or by increasing your speed. Muscle strengthening exercise is also important for weight loss efforts, so this should be part of your routine, too.

    Current Level of Fitness
    No one starts an exercise program achieving ideal targets for physical activity. While daily running or high-intensity workouts may be your ultimate goal, you should start where you are comfortable. Walking is a great choice for activity, because almost anyone can start a walking regimen with no worry of overstressing the body and no equipment needs besides a good pair of walking shoes

    Anyone beginning an exercise program or planning major changes should talk with his physician first.  Trust us, he’ll be glad to hear that you’re taking heart health seriously and will have supportive recommendations on the best ways to achieve your goals.

    For referral to a cardiologist or primary care physician who can help you meet your heart health objectives, call (408) 559-2011 to speak with someone at our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line.

  • What You Need to Know Before Considering Bariatric Surgery

    Those who suffer from severe obesity often have trouble losing weight. While diet and exercise provide an important starting point, many people need additional help shedding pounds. That’s where bariatric surgery comes in. If you’re interested in having bariatric surgery performed at Good Samaritan Hospital, there are a few things you should know.

    diet journal

    Whether You’re a Good Candidate
    Bariatric surgery is not meant for just anyone who wishes to lose weight. This type of procedure is reserved for people with severe obesity or a serious health problem linked to obesity. Generally, surgeons reserve bariatric surgery for individuals who have a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or more. If you’re obese and cannot lose weight through diet and exercise, bariatric surgery may be a good choice for you.

    Weight loss surgery is not a solution by itself. Successful patients participate in pre-surgery education programs and psychological evaluation to improve long-term success after surgery. The most successful patients participate in on-going support groups as they adjust to new lifestyles with a focus on meeting their new nutritional needs and building strength and fitness.

    Choosing a Weight Loss Surgery Center
    Good Samaritan Hospital recommends individuals considering weight loss surgery educate themselves about the full range of procedures available today. This is not a one-size-fits-all decision, so choosing a program where there are multiple surgical options is important. Talk with weight loss surgery physicians about their qualifications and their philosophies about how weight loss surgery fits into a total program of improving health and wellness.

    Good Samaritan Hospital’s Weight Loss Surgery Center has earned several national recognitions of quality outcomes for patients including: ACS-ASMBS Center of Excellence, Blue Cross of California Center of Expertise designation and the Aetna Institutes of Quality designation. Our bariatric surgeons are members of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and our Nurse Specialists have specialty certifications in Bariatrics. Our support group facilitators are Certified Life Coaches.

    It’s important to have a detailed conversation with your doctor before you opt for bariatric surgery. To set up an initial consultation, call Good Samaritan Hospital at (408) 559-2011.

  • Exploring the Long-Term Effects of Bariatric Surgery

    People who consider bariatric surgery are often first concerned with weight loss. However, this procedure offers numerous other benefits for general wellness. If you’re serious about bariatric surgery, it is beneficial for you to learn all about the long-term effects of the surgery. The doctors at Good Samaritan Hospital will gladly answer all of your questions related to bariatric surgery and how it can improve your life.

    Less weight.

    Smaller Meal Sizes
    While there are several different kinds of bariatric surgery, they all have the same outcome—to reduce the amount of food that the patient can consume at one time. Some methods also affect the way your body metabolizes food. Immediately after your surgery, you will only be able to consume about one quarter cup of food per meal. Going forward, you will have to adapt eating and drinking habits so you can stay hydrated and get the right nutrients before getting full. That’s why responsible weight loss surgery programs require pre-surgery education and strongly encourage continued participation in support groups after surgery.

    Significant Weight Loss
    According to most estimates, more than 80% of bariatric surgery patients do very well after their procedure. Most patients lose 100 pounds or more after three years, with most of the weight being lost in the first year. However, merely undergoing the surgery is not enough to achieve long-term weight loss—patients must also commit themselves to healthy eating, drinking, and exercise habits.

    Reduced Risk of Health Problems
    Obesity is linked to numerous health problems, including cancer, stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. Since bariatric surgery can drastically reduce your weight, it can also reduce your risk of suffering life-threatening conditions. If your body mass index (BMI) is above 40, or if you have a serious obesity-related condition, there’s a good chance that bariatric surgery will help you lead a much healthier life.

    Quality Weight Loss Surgery Options
    Good Samaritan Hospital’s Weight Loss Surgery Center has earned several national recognitions of quality outcomes for patients including: ACS-ASMBS Center of Excellence, Blue Cross of California Center of Expertise designation and the Aetna Institutes of Quality designation. Our bariatric surgeons are members of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and our Nurse Specialists have specialty certifications in Bariatrics. Our support group facilitators are Certified Life Coaches.

    Call (408) 559-2011 to make an appointment with a physician affiliated with the Weight Loss Surgery Center at Good Samaritan Hospital and learn all about the short-term and long-term benefits of bariatric surgery.

  • Understanding the Dietary Needs of Bariatric Surgery Patients

    If you’ve tried unsuccessfully to lose weight through diet and exercise, bariatric surgery may be an effective option for you. Before you seriously consider bariatric surgery, however, you should become familiar with your post-surgery nutritional needs.

    This video offers a glimpse at what patients can expect to eat following bariatric surgery. Since bariatric surgery involves a reduction in the patient’s stomach, patients can expect much smaller portion sizes and changes in how their bodies metabolize food. Most post-surgery diets begin with protein shakes and slowly progress to normal foods in the following weeks.

    If you’re interested in bariatric surgery, turn to the medical professionals at Good Samaritan Hospital. You can call us at (408) 559-2011 to find a Board-certified physician affiliated with our Weight Loss Surgery Center .

  • Ensuring Another Year of Good Heart Health

    Heart disease is a leading cause of death among men and women in the United States. The most unfortunate aspect of this is that most cases of heart disease can be avoided. Sedentary behavior, poor diets, and high levels of stress all contribute to heart disease. To reduce the number of heart attacks in 2014, Good Samaritan Hospital recommends that you consider making a few heart-healthy New Year’s resolutions.

    Two women

    Avoid Packaged Foods
    Generally speaking, food that comes in cardboard or plastic packaging is filled with saturated fats, sodium, and cholesterol—all of which can seriously damage your heart and arteries. While it may be difficult to completely eliminate packaged foods, you can replace many items with fresh alternatives. Learning to cook with lean proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables is a great first step toward improving your whole family’s heart health.

    Quit Tobacco Use
    Tobacco has been shown to narrow the arteries and reduce the amount of oxygen that flows throughout the body. Quitting smoking is important for reducing the risk of numerous health conditions , including heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Quitting smoking is also important for reducing secondhand smoke, which can put your family members at risk. For help quitting, speak to a doctor about the various cessation methods or contact Breathe California.

    Find Time to Relax
    Chronic stress is another major risk factor for heart disease, as it tends to worsen other risk factors. In 2014, make an effort to reduce or eliminate the sources of chronic stress in your life. If work is getting to you, consider making some structural changes or finding a new position. It’s also important to find ways to relax every day—you’ll find that regular exercise can do wonders for your stress and overall heart health. Daily exercise as simple as a brisk walk can support your efforts to quit smoking and to deal appropriately with stress.

    With a little willpower and the help of Good Samaritan Hospital, you can make 2014 another heart-healthy year. To connect with a cardiologist who can best meet your specific needs, please call at (408) 559-2011 for a personalized physician referral The Society for Cardiovascular Patient Care has named Good Samaritan Hospital an accredited Chest Pain Center, and the hospital is a County-designed STEMI receiving hospital to provide specialized heart attack care.

  • Learning Why You Should Quit Smoking This New Year

    Every year, smoking is implicated as a major factor in the deaths of over six million people. To avoid becoming a part of that statistic, it’s important that you quit smoking as soon as possible.

    This video provides a few statistics on the dangers of smoking. The tobacco industry is always looking for new smokers to replace their deceased customers. Most of the time, children fill that role, and today, one out of every three children who smokes will die as a result of his habit. For the sake of your health and your children’s health, resolve to stop smoking in 2014.  

    The doctors at Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose will gladly help you find a way to stop smoking. Call (408) 559-2011 for a  personalized physician referral .

  • Making a New Year’s Resolution to Reduce Your Stroke Risk

    Make 2014 the year you take action to reduce your risk of stroke. A series of smaller resolutions can help reduce your personal stroke risk and also support improved cardiovascular health

    healthy eating and living

    Limit Tobacco Use and Alcohol Consumption
    Smoking has been proven to limit the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream, which makes it easier for clots to form. Heavy alcohol consumption has been shown to increase one’s risk of stroke by 50%. To reduce your risk of stroke and live a healthier life, it’s important that you stop smoking completely and limit your alcohol consumption to no more than one or two drinks a day. Have a candid talk with your physician about alcohol use, especially if you are taking prescription medication.

    Begin an Exercise Regimen
    If you don’t already have a regular exercise regimen, 2014 should be the year you start one. Regular exercise can reduce your risk of stroke by reducing your blood pressure and strengthening your arteries. Doctors recommend 30 minutes of exercise five days a week. Don’t feel like you have to run five miles every time you exercise—a brisk walk is a great place to start.

    Maintain a Nutritious Diet
    Having too much cholesterol in your bloodstream can significantly increase your risk of suffering a blood clot, thus increasing your risk of a stroke. To reduce your risk of both conditions, limit the calories, sodium, cholesterol, and saturated and trans fats in your diet. Opt for organic fruits and vegetables instead of foods that come in packaging. Doctors recommend at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

    Talk to Your Physician about Irregular Heartbeats
    People with irregular heartbeats related to atrial fibrillation have a substantially elevated risk of stroke. Simple non-invasive monitoring can help identify unusual patterns. Some irregular heartbeats require no treatment, others respond to medications and others are resolved with advanced treatment like ablation. If you feel that your heart beat is irregular or races, tell your doctor.

    Let the medical professionals at Good Samaritan Hospital help you make 2014 a stroke-free year. You can call us at (408) 559-2011 to find a family physician, cardiologist or neurologist who will meet your personal health needs.