• West Hills Hospital Services

    Woman with a cold

    Learn all about the spread of influenza and how a flu shot can help protect you and your family against the illness this season at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation explains why type-I diabetes occurs, how it manifests, and what treatment entails.

    Discover the differences between type-I, type-II, and gestational diabetes at the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse .

    For an easily understandable explanation of the causes of diabetes, as well as statistics regarding the prevalence of the disease, visit this page from NIHSeniorHealth.gov.

    This handout from the CDC answers some frequently asked questions about diabetes , including what its symptoms are and how type-II diabetes can be prevented.

    Learn about the exciting advancements being made in cardiac surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System at daVinciSurgery.com.

    If you are looking for more information on nutrition, holiday safety, and diabetes, be sure to check out these helpful resources. You can also call West Hills Hospital & Medical Center any time at (818) 676-4000 for the answers to your health-related questions!

  • More Ways to Stay Healthy All Season Long

    If you are looking for more information on nutrition, holiday safety, and diabetes, be sure to check out these helpful resources. You can also call West Hills Hospital & Medical Center any time at (818) 676-4000 for the answers to your health-related questions!

    Woman in winter

    Visit ChooseMyPlate.gov for a guide to maintaining a healthy weight by paying attention to portion sizes.

    This fun quiz from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute explores how meal sizes have changed in the past 20 years and what amount of exercise is necessary to compensate.

    Review these portion size guidelines from the Missouri Diabetes Prevention and Control Program before heading out to your next holiday gathering.

    For a detailed guide to cooking safely with ranges, grills, and microwave ovens, read this page from the U.S. Fire Administration.

  • How to Avoid the Typical Holiday Weight Gain This Year

    While many people make New Year’s resolutions to lose the weight they put on over the previous two months, this can be a difficult task. A much easier and more surefire way to maintain your weight is to recognize and correct unhealthful habits in the following ways:

    young woman surprised

    Avoid Becoming Over-Hungry

    When you starve yourself in anticipation of a big meal, you are actually likely to eat far more than you would if you ate a small amount one to two hours before the event. Opt for a nutritious and filling snack such as apple slices and peanut butter or low-fat yogurt sprinkled with nuts.

    Focus on Fun Rather than Food

    Although many holiday gatherings place emphasis on the food served, there are ways to have a memorable time without constantly snacking. Catch up with a relative or old friend while sitting far away from food offerings, join younger family members for a game, or break out a musical instrument. If you must mingle near areas where food is set out, keep your hands occupied by holding a low-calorie beverage.

    Keep Portions in Check

    While it can be tempting to overindulge during large family meals, you can easily monitor your calorie consumption by paying attention to the amount of food you take . In general, a serving of a side dish is one-half cup, or roughly the same volume as half of a tennis ball, while one serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards. If possible, use a smaller plate, such as a salad plate, and avoid stacking layers of food on it. Be sure to wait at least 20 minutes after you begin eating to return for seconds.

    West Hills Hospital & Medical Center is dedicated to helping patients make healthy lifestyle changes. Our cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs promote physical conditioning in a comfortable, medically supervised environment. Call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (818) 676-4000 for more information on nutrition, fitness, and surgical weight loss .

  • A Biological Look at Coping with Stress

    While it is commonly believed that stress early in life impacts a person’s emotions and personality, it can actually leave an imprint on an individual’s DNA! Watch this video to learn all about stress, including the differences in how men and women handle strife and what you can do to increase feelings of wellbeing in difficult situations.

    Stress can become a struggle when a person’s naturally high-strung disposition combines with a lack of control over a situation that does not have a definitive end. Seeking social support and finding ways to exert control over the circumstances can help you feel better equipped to deal with stress.

    West Hills Hospital & Medical Center’s H2U membership includes a variety of free classes designed to foster social relationships while relieving stress. Call (818) 676-4000 to find out how you can join and start learning to knit, bowl, play bridge, and more!

  • Top Holiday Health Risks to Prepare for This Season

    The togetherness and festivity of the winter holidays often provide a false sense of security—unfortunately, injuries and illness are particularly prevalent during this time of year. By anticipating and taking steps to prevent the following misfortunes, you can help your family enjoy the holidays worry-free:  

    young female having a cold

    Burns and Scalds

    With the extra cooking and special decorating that comes with the holiday season, it is especially important to be cautious in preventing burns . Keep small children away from the stove and oven, and cook using the back burners so pots and pans cannot accidentally fall on them. When decorating, make sure that strings of lights have no loose or broken parts, and do not overload outlets. Remember that candles should be placed on stable furniture a safe distance away from cloth and vegetation, and must never be left unattended.

    Slips, Trips, and Falls

    Ladder injuries related to holiday decorating are a major concern, especially for the elderly, who may have impaired balance. Ladders should only be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and should be placed on a firm and dry area. To prevent other causes of falls, keep gifts and strings of lights clear of walkways, and clean up wrapping materials immediately after use.


    In the U.S., the winter months signal flu season , which can interfere with holiday festivities. In addition to suffering the discomfort of having the flu, certain people have a higher risk of developing severe complications—these include the elderly, small children, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems. You can reduce your chances of catching and spreading the flu by obtaining a flu vaccine as early in the season as possible.

    Even with the proper precautions, accidents and illnesses sometimes occur—which is why West Hills Hospital & Medical Center has the exceptional Grossman Burn Center as well as a cutting-edge emergency room . Find out more about staying safe this holiday season by calling (818) 676-4000.

  • Tips for Cooking Diabetes-Friendly Holiday Fare

    Sticking to a healthy eating plan can be difficult during the food-centered winter holidays, but with the right habits, you can easily keep your diabetes in check. Watch this video from the American Diabetes Association to find out how to eat well during holiday meals and learn two interesting ways of preparing vegetables.

    One of the easiest ways to maintain your diet while enjoying family gatherings is to simply fill half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, such as leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, peppers, and tomatoes. If it is up to you to prepare a dish, consider making a nutrition-packed salad featuring kale or putting a unique spin on steamed vegetables by serving them in acorn squash bowls.

    The clinicians here at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center can help you find more ways to manage your diabetes through lifestyle adjustments. Learn more about surgical weight loss or join one of our fitness classes by calling (818) 676-4000 today!

  • What Exactly Is Diabetes?

    Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that affects the ability of the body to process dietary sugar into glucose, which is used to fuel the body’s cells. This is a serious problem—if left untreated, diabetes can provoke or exacerbate heart disease, stroke, blindness, severe infection, and pregnancy complications. Here is an overview of the three major types of diabetes, their causes, and how they are treated:

    mini glucometer for measuring glucose level blood test

    Type-I Diabetes

    Formerly known as juvenile diabetes, type-I diabetes is an autoimmune condition that generally manifests between childhood and young adulthood. For unknown reasons, the body’s immune system begins to attack the pancreatic cells that produce insulin , the hormone required to turn sugar into glucose. Because type-I diabetics become unable to create their own insulin, they must receive the hormone artificially through injections or a subcutaneous pump.

    Type-II Diabetes

    Although this form of diabetes has a genetic component, it is largely seen as a lifestyle-triggered disease. It occurs when the body’s cells lose their ability to use insulin, and over time, the pancreas produces less and less of the hormone. Type-II diabetes is controlled with a combination of healthy lifestyle choices, medication to suppress glucose production, and pancreas stimulants.

    Gestational Diabetes

    Diabetes can sometimes develop during pregnancy, due to the effects of pregnancy hormones on the absorption of insulin. While this condition is generally temporary, ending after the baby is born, its occurrence can increase both the mother’s and the baby’s risk of having diabetes later in life.

    West Hills Hospital & Medical Center holds monthly glucose screening events that are free for H2U members, in order to increase the chances of detecting type-II diabetes before symptoms become prevalent. Call (818) 676-4000 to reserve your spot at our next event on December 18!

  • More Information on West Hills Hospital Services

    Fat and thin

    Know the myths and facts about stroke with the National Stroke Association.

    What happens during a stroke? Find out with this NINDS article.

    See what you can expect with a blood glucose test with this article from MedlinePlus.

    Explore the basic facts about type-II diabetes at Diabetes.org.

    ObesityAction.org can help you see the health risks that accompany obesity.

    Are you struggling to lose weight despite healthy changes in diet and activity level? The Center for Bariatric Surgery at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center has been designated by the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery as a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence. Our experienced surgeons are dedicated to helping our patients regain control of their weight and take a powerful step in the direction of health. To learn more about our program and find a bariatric surgeon in the West Hills community, call our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (818) 676-4000.