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    • Pediatric Care
    • Vaccine

    Why Childhood Immunizations Are So Important

    Immunizations save thousands of lives each year by preventing serious illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths. They also protect those who can't be vaccinated, like young children and the elderly, through herd immunity. Dr. Vanessa Slots highlights the crucial role of vaccines. Immunizations Your Child Needs (and when) Birth to 6 Months Hepatitis B: Shortly after birth, first vaccine dose Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP), Polio, Haemophilus Influenza (HiB), Pneumonia, Hepatitis B and Rotavirus: Ages 2, 4 and 6 months, boosters and vaccines One Year to 18 Months MMR and Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine: Age 1, first vaccine dose Hepatitis A, HiB and Pneumonia: Age 1, booster DTaP: 15 months, fourth vaccine dose Hepatitis, second dose: 18 months Flu Vaccine: 6 months and older, annually* *In the year after receiving their first dose, an infant will need a booster one month later. Four Years Old MMRV, DTaP and Polio, final dose: Four years of age Pre-Teen and Beyond Tdap and Meningitis: Before starting middle school, children receive these vaccines. They are also old enough to start the HPV vaccine, an essential vaccine for all young adults to protect against cancer, genital warts and cervical dysplasia.

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    • Emergency Care
    • Drowning
    • Safety

    What You Need To Know About Cold Water Drowning

    Northern Nevada's stunning lakes, including Lake Tahoe, with its average summer water temperature of 50 degrees, present a potential risk of hypothermia. Unlike mild 50-degree air, water at the same temperature poses severe, life-threatening risks, including rapid-onset hypothermia and drowning. Awareness of the symptoms and taking proper precautions are crucial to prevent cold-water drowning. The 4 Phases of Cold-Water Drowning 1. Cold Shock Response: This response affects breathing and happens within the first minute. An automatic gasp reflex occurs in response to rapid skin cooling. If the head goes below water, water may be breathed into the lungs, resulting in drowning. A life jacket will help keep your head above water during this critical phase. Additionally, hyperventilation, like the gasp reflex, is a response to the cold and will subside. Panic will make this worse, so the key is to control breathing. 2. Cold Incapacitation: This response occurs within the first five to 15 minutes in cold water. In order to preserve core heat, vasoconstriction takes place decreasing blood flow to the extremities to protect the vital organs. The result is a loss of movement to hands, feet, arms and legs. Unless a life jacket is being worn, the ability to stay afloat is next to impossible. 3. Hypothermia: Important to note, it can take 30 minutes or more for most adults to become hypothermic. So there’s time to take action and survive. Keeping panic at bay is critical, as you have more survival time than you think. Symptoms include: Shivering Slow and shallow breathing Confusion Drowsiness or exhaustion Slurred speech Loss of coordination Weak pulse 4. Circum-rescue Collapse: This experience can happen just before rescue and is not well understood. Symptoms range anywhere from fainting to death. Some experts believe an abrupt drop in blood pressure may cause this final stage of cold water drowning, post-rescue. Additional Safety Tips and Helpful Resources Always wear a personal flotation device as well as a wetsuit or drysuit. Your personal flotation device is the most important piece of water safety gear. Try not to panic as the first phases will subside. Controlled breathing is to staying calm. Research suggests the body can withstand the cold longer than we think. The Heat Escape Lessening Posture (HELP) is a position which helps conserve energy if you’re wearing a personal flotation device. By hugging your knees to your chest, this posture helps maintain body heat for some time.

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    • Food and Nutrition
    • Pediatric Care

    Motivating Kids to Eat Healthy Foods

    Do you have a picky eater in your household? Or maybe you've got a snack monster who’s all about chips and candy? We're here to share a few fun strategies to motivate your little superheroes to snack on healthy foods instead! Rainbow Power-Up Eating a rainbow isn't just for unicorns! Different colors mean different powers: Red foods like strawberries and tomatoes help your heart. Orange foods like carrots and sweet potatoes help your eyes spot things like an eagle! Green foods like spinach and broccoli help you grow super strong bones. So, create a plate with as many colors as possible. The more colors, the more powers! Super Smoothies Blend your favorite fruits, such as bananas, berries and mangoes. Add some milk or yogurt and a handful of spinach. Your kids won't taste the spinach, and they'll drink a supercharged smoothie that gives them the energy to tackle any challenge. Create a Parfait Packed with Delicious Layers! Veggie Villans Who said veggies can't be fun? Turn them into heroes by giving them cool names and fun shapes. Make carrot sticks "Captain Crunch" or broccoli florets "Broc the Rock." Dip them in hummus or peanut butter for an extra flavor kick. Snack Attack Plates Create snack plates that are as fun as they are nutritious. Combine: Cheese cubes Grapes or apple slices Nuts or seeds Whole-grain crackers Mix and match these for your perfect plate! Make Your Own Trail Mix  Fuel-Up Challenges Challenge your kids to eat three different healthy foods each day. Turn it into a family game to see who can eat the most colors or try the most fruits and veggies. You can even draw up a "super snacks" chart to keep track of your progress. Final Super Tip! Even superheroes have cheat days. Don't worry if your family doesn't eat healthy every meal. Just aim to eat more of the good stuff than the not-so-great stuff. Your kid's bodies will reward them with tremendous energy, focus and strength.

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    • Women's Health

    Dr. Carilyn Hoffman's Guide to Menopause Medication & Relief

    Women undergo multiple hormonal changes throughout their lives, leading to different physical and emotional experiences. Dr. Carilyn Hoffman, at Renown Women's Health, explains these confusing life stages and helps decode menopause. Perimenopause: Transitioning Towards Menopause Defined as the time "around menopause," perimenopausal symptoms are caused by hormonal fluctuations that occur as the ovarian function declines. Levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease, and follicle stimulating hormone increases. These hormonal fluctuations may cause a range of symptoms including: Irregular or abnormal periods: Initially cycles intervals vary in length by greater than 7 days, then in later stages the interval increases to greater than 60 days between cycles Hot flashes and night sweats: This is the most common symptom and 50-82% of women will have vasomotor symptoms Mood swings and memory problems Anxiety or insomnia Heart palpitations Decreased libido and vaginal dryness Weight gain and thinning hair Increased risk of urinary tract infections Decreased bone density Menopause Menopause is defined as year without a menstrual cycle and marks the timeframe when the ovaries stop making estrogen. This signifies the end of the reproductive years. The average age of menopause is 51; however, the menopausal transition can last about 8 years. This means that women in their late 30’s and 40’s may start to have symptoms of perimenopause. The worst vasomotor symptoms are typically experienced at the one-year mark since the last period. Unfortunately, some women experience symptoms throughout the entire menopausal transition. Postmenopausal After 12 months without a menstrual cycle, a woman is confirmed to be postmenopausal. This is sometimes difficult to define, as women may have had procedures that cause menstrual suppression such as a uterine ablation or hysterectomy or they may still be on contraception. Sometimes, lab work may be recommended to help determine menopausal status. However, due to the broad time period that the menopausal transition occurs and the variations in normal hormone levels throughout a cycle, lab work is not always helpful. Dr. Hoffman explains the importance of thorough counseling for patients seeking to "check their hormone levels." She emphasizes that menopause is diagnosed clinically, focusing more on the individual's symptoms rather than lab values. This approach ensures that patients understand the implications of the test results and the treatment strategy. Menopause Medical Management Medical management of symptoms should be tailored to the individual’s concerns. Abnormal Bleeding: There are a range of medications, IUDs and procedures available if the main concern is irregular or prolonged menstrual bleeding during perimenopause.  Hot Flashes and Night Sweats: Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): HRT is currently the most effective method for relieving vasomotor symptoms. However, it's important to discuss potential risks with a healthcare provider, as HRT can increase your risk of blood clots and breast cancer. If improperly prescribed, it can also increase the risk of uterine cancer. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends the lowest dose for the shortest duration. Low-dose antidepressants: SSRIs/SSNIs may mitigate hot flashes and mood disorders for those who are not candidates or prefer to avoid HRT. Currently, only Paroxetine is FDA-approved for this use.  Fezolinetant: This is a newly FDA-approved non-hormonal medication that works at the brain's level to treat vasomotor symptoms. Gabapentin: This is an anticonvulsant medication that has been shown in several studies to be helpful for vasomotor symptoms, but it is not currently FDA-approved. Genitourinary Symptoms of Menopause:  Vaginal estrogen: Vaginal dryness and pain with intercourse due to thinning vaginal tissue is a common symptom of menopause. Vaginal estrogen is highly effective at decreasing these symptoms and has fewer side effects than systemic HRT. Ospemifene: This is a selective estrogen receptor modulator that is a non-hormonal FDA-approved medication for severe vaginal dryness. Natural Symptom Relief Strategies: Nutrition: Incorporate calcium, vitamin D, and high-quality protein to support bone health and muscle maintenance. There are limited studies on phytoestrogens (found in soy and tofu) and vasomotor symptoms. While the data doesn’t necessarily support that these phytoestrogens relieve symptoms, no detrimental effects were found and these tend to be high quality and healthy proteins. Exercise: Regular physical activity can ease menopausal symptoms and support weight management. Data doesn’t support that this reduces vasomotor symptoms, but it can be helpful in weight management and sleep quality. Beverage choices: Limiting alcohol and caffeine can help decrease the frequency of vasomotor symptoms and may also improve sleep quality. Alternative remedies: One study shows that Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture are effective at relieving vasomotor symptoms. There is not enough evidence to recommend Black Cohosh, and it is associated with liver toxicity in high doses. Studies don’t show that St. John’s Wart or Gingko Balboa are any better than placebo.  Always mention your alternative medical therapies to your provider as some do interact with other prescribed medications. By understanding and recognizing that the symptoms of menopause are real and treatable, women are empowered to manage this transition better and can maintain their well-being and quality of life. Please schedule an appointment with Renown Women’s Health if you’d like to discuss your menopause symptoms with a provider.

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    • Pediatric Care

    Pediatric Sepsis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

    Sepsis happens when a person's body reacts too strongly to an infection. Usually, our bodies fight infections with help from our immune system. But with sepsis, the body fights too hard, and that can be dangerous. Dr. Julianne Wilke, Pediatrics and Critical Care Medicine, examines pediatric sepsis's causes, symptoms and treatments and provides tips on preventing this potentially fatal condition. Most Common Causes Pediatric sepsis is a particularly concerning form of sepsis that can occur in children and infants. Therefore, it is vital for parents and caregivers to be aware of the indications of pediatric sepsis and to understand the causes. Bacterial infections are the most common cause of pediatric sepsis, accounting for over 80% of cases. Common Bacterial Causes: Staphylococcus infections (including Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureas - MRSA) Streptococcal infections (including those causing pneumonia and group B strep) Escherichia coli, or more commonly; E. coli Klebsiella and Pseudomonas infections Viral Infection Causes: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) Influenza Parainfluenza Adenovirus Human metapneumovirus Coronaviruses (including COVID-19) Other Causes: Fungal infections (but are relatively rare) Parasites, such as Giardia lamblia Pediatric Sepsis Symptoms Parents and caregivers need to be observant of sepsis symptoms in children and can include: Fever Extremely fast heart rate Rapid breathing Lethargy Pale or discolored skin Low blood pressure Confusion Slurred speech Abdominal pain Diarrhea & Vomiting Decreased urination Difficulty breathing Use the acronym SEPSIS: S – Slurred speech and confusion E – Extreme shivering or muscle pain/fever P – Passing no urine all day S – Severe breathlessness I – “I feel like I might die.” S – Skin mottled or discolored If any of these symptoms are present, seeking immediate medical attention is imperative.

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    • Dermatology Services
    • Skin Care

    Are You Using the Right Sunscreen?

    Seeking protection for yourself and your loved ones from the intense sun rays at northern Nevada's elevated altitudes? With so many choices available, selecting the ideal sunscreen can be daunting. To guide you through this, we consulted Dr. Angela Walker, a dermatologist from Renown Medical Group, for her expert insights. Sunscreen Application Dermatologists recommend a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30, but keep in mind that no sunscreen protects against 100 percent of UV radiation and that reapplication is necessary. “No matter the SPF, sunscreen must be applied adequately and frequently, meaning a quarter-sized amount to cover the face and neck and a full shot glass amount for the body when wearing a bathing suit,” said Walker. “Reapplication should be every 80 minutes.” Why not use a high SPF, such as 70 or 100? According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, they don’t offer significantly more protection than SPF 30 and mislead people into thinking they have a higher level of protection. Here’s the breakdown: SPF 15 blocks 93 percent of UVB rays SPF 30 blocks 97 percent of UVB rays SPF 50 blocks 98 percent of UVB rays SPF 100 blocks 99 percent of UVB rays Do specific populations require a higher SPF? Walker explains that infants, seniors, and those with a history of skin cancer must take precautions against UV radiation, as their skin is vulnerable. Sunscreen should be an absolute priority before spending time outdoors and avoiding prolonged sun exposure, wearing a hat with wide brim (recommended 4-inch brim) and UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) clothing. Due to the sensitive nature of an infant’s skin, babies under six months should not spend time in the direct sun. For infants and toddlers six months and older, whose skin is thinner than adults, a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (physical protectors) should be applied. Zinc and titanium are less likely to irritate because they do not penetrate the skin and instead sit on the surface and deflect UV radiation. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are vital ingredients to seek out in sunscreen due to their strong ability to deflect UV radiation. Sunscreen Terms Explained UVA = Long wave ultraviolet light. Penetrates deep into the dermis, the skin’s thickest layer, causing tissue damage that wrinkles and photo-aging and contributes to developing skin cancer. UVB = Short wave ultraviolet light. The biggest contributor to the development of skin cancer and are more prevalent during mid-day. SPF = Sun protection factor. Calculated by comparing the amount of time needed to burn sunscreen-protected skin vs. unprotected skin. So, SPF 15 means you can stay in the sun 15 times longer than you could without protection.

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    • Women's Health
    • Prevention and Wellness
    • Screening

    The Expanded Role of OBGYNs in Women's Healthcare

    Obstetrician-gynecologists (OBGYNs) see patients from menses (the monthly menstrual cycle that occurs as a part of the female reproductive system), pregnancy and childbirth through menopause and play a pivotal role in managing reproductive health and overall wellness. Dr. James Alexander with Renown Women's Health explains. "As experts in women's health, we are uniquely positioned to recognize subtle changes or symptoms that might indicate broader health issues. This comprehensive approach allows us to serve as a valuable first touchpoint for various health concerns." Preventive Screenings: A Proactive Approach One key aspect is an OBGYN's ability to recommend preventive screenings based on your symptoms, age, lifestyle and medical history. For instance, lipid screenings are critical for monitoring cholesterol levels, which can be a significant factor in women’s heart disease. An OBGYN keeps up with the current guidelines for routine screening as well as in women with risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or a family history of heart disease during your visit. By identifying risks and abnormal screening early, they can collaborate with you to implement lifestyle changes or treatments to reduce your risk of heart conditions. Schedule Your Screening Appointment Make an Appointment by Phone: 775-982-5000

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    • Women's Health
    • Pregnancy and Childbirth

    What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

    Dr. Carilyn Hoffman with Renown's Women's Health explains the symptoms, causes and treatments of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) (also referred to as Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD)), a prevalent condition among women of reproductive age that influences hormonal balance, metabolism and fertility. Make an appointment with Renown Women's Health Click here to schedule Call to schedule: 775-982-5000 PCOS Defined PCOS is a constellation of symptoms characterized by two of the three criteria: multiple small cysts on the ovaries visible via ultrasound, irregular periods and signs of hyperandrogenism. Other symptoms include infertility, insulin resistance, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Symptoms of PCOS The symptoms of PCOS can vary from woman to woman, but some of the most common include: Irregular menstrual cycles: This is often one of the first signs of PCOS. Women may experience fewer than nine periods a year, more than 35 days between periods, frequent spotting, and/or abnormally heavy periods. Excess androgen levels: High levels of male hormones may result in physical signs such as excess facial and body hair (hirsutism), severe acne and male-pattern baldness. Polycystic ovaries: Enlarged ovaries containing numerous small cysts can be detected via ultrasound.     Causes and Risk Factors The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but several factors may play a role: Genetic predisposition: A family history of PCOS increases the risk. Insulin resistance: High insulin levels might increase androgen production, causing difficulty with ovulation. Obesity: Women with elevated BMI’s are more likely to have PCOS, although 20% of women with PCOS are not obese. Diagnosis and Treatment Dr. Hoffman outlines that diagnosing PCOS requires a medical history review, a physical exam, blood work and an ultrasound to evaluate the ovaries. Treatment options can range from lifestyle modifications, like diet and exercise and weight loss, to medications for menstrual regulation, fertility assistance, and rarely surgery. Lifestyle Changes A healthy lifestyle is a cornerstone of managing PCOS. Regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and weight management can help reduce symptoms and the risk of long-term health issues. In overweight patients, weight loss as little as 5% has been shown to improve symptoms of PCOS. Medication Medications may include hormonal contraceptives to regulate menstrual cycles, anti-androgens to reduce hair growth and acne, and Metformin to address insulin resistance. Fertility Treatment For women with PCOS who are trying to conceive, ovulation induction with clomiphene or letrozole is sometimes necessary. Sometimes a referral to a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist is needed for more advanced technologies like IVF. Health Implications PCOS is not just about cystic ovaries or irregular periods; it can have profound implications on a woman's overall health. Women with PCOS are at an increased risk for several conditions, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and endometrial cancer.

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    • Recipes
    • Pet

    Perfect Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Puppy Treats

    This holiday season, sprinkle some extra joy for your favorite furry pals by whipping up these easy, AKC-approved dog treats. With simple ingredients and quick baking times, they're the perfect last-minute surprise to show your pet some love. Turn it into a delightful gift by snagging some adorable, budget-friendly canisters (easily found at dollar or thrift stores) and fill them to the brim with these homemade goodies. It's a merry, tail-wagging gift that's sure to make this season the most pet-friendly one yet! 🎄🐾🍪

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    • Recipes

    Cranberry-Jalapeño Cream Cheese Dip

    Add a dash of holiday cheer to your gatherings with this vibrant Cranberry-Jalapeño Cream Cheese Dip. Its festive red and green hues perfectly capture the spirit of the season, while the delightful blend of sweet, spicy, tart, and creamy flavors is sure to delight and tantalize your guests' palates. Simple to prepare, this appetizer is an irresistible addition to any holiday feast!

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    • Dermatology Services
    • Skin Care

    Winter Skin Care: 5 Must-Know Pro Tips

    As the seasons shift, so do the demands of our skin. We sat down with Heidi Nicol, a seasoned aesthetician at Renown Dermatology, Laser & Skin Care, to uncover the secrets of pampering your skin during the winter onset. The aftermath of summer often leaves us with dry, dull skin and unexpected breakouts. However, a few tweaks to your skincare regimen can make this seasonal transition smoother. 1. Re-evaluate Your Cleanser Now might be the opportune moment to transition to a non-drying cleanser. The one that worked wonders in the summer might be aggressive for the colder months. Nicol suggests opting for a "gentle" cleanser that effectively cleanses and exfoliates without including abrasive ingredients. 2. Amp Up the Hydration With the dip in temperature, your skin craves a richer moisturizer. Seek out products enriched with Hyaluronic Acid. This powerhouse ingredient amplifies your skin's ability to retain moisture, ensuring it stays supple throughout the day. 3. Introduce Retinol If retinol isn't a staple in your skincare arsenal yet, consider introducing it now. Its prowess in diminishing sun-induced brown spots and fine lines is unparalleled.

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    • Recipes

    Mysterious Mummy Hot Dogs

    This easy, kid-friendly recipe just might be the perfect pre-trick-or-treating meal that will vanish before your eyes! Serve with veggie sticks and mustard and ketchup for dipping. Several healthy hot dog options, such as vegan, turkey and chicken, are available in most grocery or health food stores.

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