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5 Things You Should Tell Your Doctor, No Matter How Embarrassing

5 Things You Should Tell Your Doctor, No Matter How Embarrassing

Stinky smells. Unbearable inner-thigh itching. Foreign objects in rather…foreign…places. We’ve all experienced one degree of embarrassing ailment or another–but when is it time to swallow your pride, buck up, and go to the doctor? Here are five things you should always mention to your doctor…no matter how embarrassing they might be.

1. “I put something where it doesn’t belong and it’s still there.”

X-Ray with Vibrator in Rectum
    Image via Wiki

    We’ve all been there. Crayons in the nose, popcorn kernels in the ear, shampoo bottles in the…wherever a shampoo bottle might fit. Foreign objects lodged in bodily orifices are generally problems we relegate to childhood curiosity and naivety, making it all the more embarrassing and mortifying to talk about. To top it off, revealing your ailment to your physician means also revealing how your situation came to be, a topic many would be apt to avoid. Nevertheless, leaving these objects lodged and untreated, or, worse, doing harm to yourself by trying to extract the object without professional help, can be worse than the fleeting feelings of embarrassment at the doctor’s office.

    Most foreign object dislodgements are accomplished via gentle suction, specialized instruments in accordance with the orifice, and sometimes even magnets. The potential harm of leaving objects stuck in your ear can cause bleeding, discharge, inflammation, and possibly damaged hearing, while objects “lost” up your nose can cause infection, foul odor, and may eventually become a breathing obstruction. While objects stuck in your rectum or vagina might be the most embarrassing to talk about with a physician, they also present the most danger, and if left untreated can cause serious tissue damage, infection, internal bleeding, and even death. Rest assured, patient-confidentiality will protect your identity in these instances–though if you’ve managed to lodge something particularly impressive in your rectum, you may find your anonymous x-ray posted on the website where radiologists share the weirdest things they’ve encountered in people’s butts.

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    2. “I can’t stop itching my crotch.”

    giphy
      Image via giphy

      Letting your doctor know of a persistent itch, especially if there are lumps, bumps, or discharge, is a must, as these are common symptoms for many STDs. Fortunately, an itchy crotch is often more symptomatic of tinea cruris, also known as jock itch, a fungal infection caused by friction, heat, and humidity. These infections usually start off as a minor itch in the crease where your legs join your torso, but can soon become red, oozing, crusty, and incredibly itchy. If left unchecked, these patches can spread to your legs, your derriere, and your genitals. In the worst cases, untreated jock itch can become more serious, giving rise to abscesses, ulcers, and even skin infection.

      Despite the name, anybody can get jock itch, regardless of whether they’re an athlete or not, and, though it’s more common in men, women can get it too. Fortunately, jock itch is easily treatable with antifungal medication such as OTC sprays and lotions, or more heavy-duty prescription antifungal pills. Let your doctor know as soon as you notice symptoms as itching, especially when paired with other symptoms such as discharge or an unpleasant odor, can be indicative of other, more serious complications.

      3. “My downstairs smells fishy…literally.”

      something stinks
        Image via flickr

        You might word this one a little differently, but strong, unpleasant, or odd odors emanating from the genitals affect both men and women, and can be precursors to more serious problems–especially if accompanied by discharge or an itch as described above. For those experiencing all three of these symptoms, chances are high that you have a yeast infection. Yeast infections are so common that as many as 75% of women will experience at least one of them in their lives–hardly anything to be embarrassed about. Though rare, men can contract them too and generally exhibit the same symptoms.

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        Other reasons that a woman might be experiencing a strong fishy odor, especially when accompanied by discharge, include vaginosis or trichomoniasis, the latter usually accompanied by green-colored secretions. On the other hand, men complaining of a foul, fishy odor coming from the penis might be suffering from a UTI or, if they are diabetic, ketonuria.

        Most of these complications are treatable via OTC antifungal medication or prescribed antibiotics. It’s worth noting, however, that everybody is probably going to smell different downstairs, and some folks might just naturally smell stronger than others. In the past, women in particular have resorted to dangerous home-remedies such as a pat down with talcum powder to “keep fresh”–do not do this, unless you want to get ovarian cancer. While there are many ways of managing unpleasant odors downstairs, nothing beats good hygiene.

        4. “I have a heavy flow.”

        giphy (1)
          Image via giphy

          If Mean Girls made one thing clear to viewers around the world, it’s that women can’t help it if they’ve got a wide-set vagina and a heavy flow. However, what Tina Fey and Lindsey Lohan didn’t mention in their comedy romp is that women experiencing a heavier menstrual flow than normal may want to let their doctors know, despite the myth that periods simply become heavier as women age. “As menopause approaches, your periods may come closer together or farther apart, but they shouldn’t necessarily be heavier,” says Suzanne Kavic, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. While heavier flow can sometimes be attributable to a simple hormonal imbalance or change, it could be a sign of more serious problems such as uterine cancer, uterine fibroids, or infections such as pelvic inflammatory disorder.

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          If it turns out that your period is heavy due to a hormone change, a doctor will most likely prescribe hormone supplements or a switch-up from your normal contraceptive. For infections, on the other hand, physicians will most likely prescribe an antibiotic treatment, while the most severe ailments such as uterine fibroids or cancer will range from a uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) to more serious surgical procedures and chemotherapy.

          5. “I smoke, drink, and do drugs.”

          maxresdefault
            Image via YouTube

            While the others on this list are inherently embarrassing in nature due to physiology and our levels of societal acceptance concerning genitalia, admitting to your doctor that you smoke, drink, or do drugs can be embarrassing for different reasons. Stigmas surrounding addiction and mental health are still pervasive today, causing even light users of illicit substances to forgo informing their physicians of use–not to mention the negative stigmas attached to anything bordering on the wrong side of the law.

            Regardless of whether you’re a hardcore habitual user or just a social smoker or drinker, your risk of complications due to various diseases rises significantly. Those who smoke between just one and four cigarettes a day, for example, are two to three times more likely than a non-smoker to be hospitalized for a major heart-related event. Drinking responsibly is much less harmful to your health, but still may increase your risk of complications such as cancers.

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            More serious users of drugs and alcohol may be suffering from addiction, and should never feel embarrassed about seeking help. Some types of addiction can be inherited, and addiction is often times coupled with other psychiatric problems, with some statistics showing that people with drug addiction are roughly twice as likely to suffer from other mood and anxiety disorders. If you think you need help, do not hesitate to get it.

            “This is uncomfortable for me to talk about, but…”

            In the end, you shouldn’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about your health problems, and going in with a strategy can help. MI Blues Perspectives lists five tips for talking to your doctor about embarrassing topics, including being honest about your embarrassment, using a note or letter to communicate in writing if that works for you, or remembering that this is most likely not the first time the doctor has dealt with your particular problem.

            Remember, staying alive and healthy generally beats the brief pang of embarrassment. Embarrassing situations, provided they turn out all right, are often opportunities to look back and laugh. I leave you with this quote from English actress and comedian, Miranda Hart:

            “The embarrassment of a situation can, once you are over it, be the funniest time in your life. And I suppose a lot of my comedy comes from painful moments or experiences in life, and you just flip them on their head.”

            Featured photo credit: Wikipedia via upload.wikimedia.org

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            Andrew Heikkila

            Owner-Operator of Earthlings Entertainmnet

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            Last Updated on March 30, 2020

            Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

            Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

            Feeling tired all the time?

            Have you ever caught yourself nodding off when you’re watching TV, listening to someone drone on during a meeting or even driving a car?

            I know I have, especially when I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive.

            Feeling tired all the time may be more widespread than you think. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

            If you’re tired of feeling tired, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

            In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re feeling tired all the time and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

            What Happens When You’re Too Tired

            If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

            Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

            • You may have trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired within your brain.
            • You may experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not because your brain’s neurotransmitters are misfiring.
            • You may get dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
            • You may find it more difficult to exercise or to perform any type of athletic activity.
            • Your immune system may weaken causing you to pick up infections more easily.
            • You may overeat because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids even when you’re not hungry.
            • Your metabolism slows down so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

            Are you saying that feeling tired can make me overweight?

            Unfortunately, yes!

            Feeling tired all the time can cause you to put on the pounds especially around your waist. But it is a classic chicken and egg situation, too.

            Heavier people are more likely to feel fatigued during the day than lighter ones. And that’s even true for overweight people who don’t have sleep apnea (source: National Institutes of Health).

            Speaking of sleep apnea, you may be wondering if that or something else is causing you to feel tired all the time.

            Why Are you Feeling Tired All the Time?

            Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

            Here’s a quick overview of each root cause of feeling tired all of the time:

            1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep restorative sleep.
            2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness which could be triggered by numerous issues such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
            3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

            The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance or emotional trauma.

            It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

            Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

            Feeling Tired vs Being Fatigued

            If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

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            Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

            Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep.

            But fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive (source: Science Direct).

            Symptoms of fatigue include:

            • Difficulty concentrating
            • Low stamina
            • Difficulty sleeping
            • Anxiety
            • Low motivation

            These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness but they usually last longer and are more intense.

            Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. But there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

            How Much Sleep Is Enough?

            The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

            Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

            So, quantity and quality do matter when it comes to sleep.

            The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

            Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

            Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[5] So, you should definitely plan on getting seven hours of deep restorative sleep every night.

            If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is most likely reason you feel tired all the time.

            And that is good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

            It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

            4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

            Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

            1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
            2. Exercising regularly
            3. Using stressbusters
            4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

            So, I know it is possible to change your lifestyle even when you’re working crazy hours and have lots of family responsibilities.

            After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

            In addition, I lost two inches off my waist and looked and felt better than ever.

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            I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

            Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

            • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy including getting enough sleep.
            • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day ideally for six days a week.
            • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
            • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

            The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight and to achieve overall wellness.[6]

            And yes, there does seem to be an important correlation between being lean and feeling rested.

            But overall based on my personal experience and Dr. Sear’s scientific proof, the key to not feeling tired all of the time does seem to be 4 simple changes to your lifestyle.

            L — Living Healthy

            Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested and better overall.

            So, whether you’re sleep deprived or potentially suffering from fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you probably want to find a way to sleep better.

            In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger.

            As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

            Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

            1. Unplug

            Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. But tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime.

            So turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

            2. Unwind

            Do something to relax.

            Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating or taking an Epsom salt bath.

            3. Get Comfortable

            Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

            Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep.

            Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

            Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed.

            If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[7]

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            Above all, be gentle with yourself and count your blessings, some sheep or whatever helps.

            This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

            E — Exercise

            Many people know that exercise is good for them, but just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

            That’s what happened in my case.

            But when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my lifestyle.

            As part of my lifestyle upgrade, I knew I needed to move more.

            My friends who exercise all gave me the same advice: find an exercise you like to do and find a specific time in your schedule when you can consistently do it.

            That made sense to me.

            So, I decided to swim.

            I used to love to swim when I was young, but I hadn’t done it for years. The best time for me to do it was immediately after work, since I could easily get an open swim lane at my local fitness club then.

            Also, swimming became a nice reason for me to leave work on time. And I got to enjoy a nice workout before eating dinner.

            Swimming is a good way to get your cardio or endurance training. But, walking, running and dancing are nice alternatives.

            So find an exercise you love and stick to it. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training and flexibility training in during your daily 20-minute workout.

            If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try because you will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

            A — Attitude

            Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

            When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted. But there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued.

            Do you want to know what that master stress-busting technique was?

            Breathing.

            But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

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            Here’s how you do “Long-Exhale Breathing”:

            1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy (so you know you are breathing deeply from your diaphragm and not shallowly from your chest)
            2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air)
            3. Hold your breath while you count to 7 mentally and enjoy the stillness
            4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it)
            5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep, long exhale breath
            6. Repeat 3 times ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system

            This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

            When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[8]

            Plus, this is a great technique for helping you get to sleep, too.

            N — Nutrition

            Diet is vital for beating fatigue – after all, food is your main source of energy.

            If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels.

            Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated, time-consuming though.

            For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

            Unless your current diet is solely made up of fast food and ready meals, adjusting to a fatigue-fighting diet shouldn’t be too much of a shock to the system.

            Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

            1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
            2. Add a healthy fat or protein to your any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed. Please note that carb-only snacks lead to blood-sugar crashes that can make you eat more and they can keep you from sleeping.
            3. Fill up with fiber especially green leafy vegetables. Strive to get at least 25g per day with at least 5 servings (a serving is the size of your fist) of green vegetables.
            4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice and corn.
            5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
            6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives such as So Delicious Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream.
            7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive and nut oils.
            8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts such as Kite Hill Plain Yoghurt with 1g sugar or Lifeway Farmer Cheese with 0g sugar.
            9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice

            Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

            That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

            Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multi-vitamin or specific supplement.

            The Bottom Line

            If you are tired of feeling tired, then there is tremendous hope.

            If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices.

            If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes including:

            • Enough High-Quality Sleep with Bedtime Routine
            • Regular Exercise You Love
            • Stress Reduction with Long-Exhale Breathing
            • Fatigue-Reducing Diet

            Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle Is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

            More Tips to Help You Rest Better

            Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
            [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
            [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
            [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
            [5] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
            [6] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
            [7] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
            [8] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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