Sometimes, patients may find it difficult (or embarrassing) to consult a physician when they notice certain ‘warning’ signs and symptoms. They either take it lightly and neglect it or visit their doctor when the symptoms become unbearable.
There are certain medical conditions that patients tend to ignore and hide from others. They suffer the symptoms in silence without letting anyone else know.
This is a common condition that many people hide. When someone’s bladder is overactive, the person goes to the restroom often, sometimes as frequently as eight to ten times during the day and two to three times at night. Most people do not realize that this is a condition that needs medical attention.
Overactive bladder affects people of all ages, including children and the elderly. Usually, the cause is unknown. Anxiety can make the problem worse. The type of fluid one drinks can also influence his/her symptoms. People with neurological diseases are at particular risk of an overactive bladder.
While assessing the patient for an overactive bladder, the doctor will ask questions about their problem and general health and may perform an internal examination. He/she may check for infection by doing a urine test. The patient will be asked to complete a 4-day frequency/volume chart to record the time of voiding and volumes of urine he/she passes. The patient may also have a flow test which includes passing urine in a special machine to measure the strength of the flow and to check whether the person empties the bladder completely.
The doctor may prescribe medications to relax the muscles and nerves responsible for this urge to urinate, and alleviate the symptoms.
If the symptoms fail to respond to conservative and medical treatment, the patient may have a urodynamic test, which is a special test to measure pressures inside the bladder.
Many individuals believe that lapses in cognitive function and memory can happen as we age. However, memory loss is a condition that needs medical attention. Factors that can cause deterioration in memory include vitamin deficiencies, blood clot in the brain, use of recreational drugs and alcohol, sleep deprivation, stress and side effects of certain medications. It is vital to discuss management approaches with the physician and address treatable causes.
Although some individuals may experience memory lapses, others may have serious underlying conditions like dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Treatment strategies for memory loss involve teaching and practicing mental techniques to help keep the mind sharp and attentive.
Sexual Health Issues
Many people are reluctant to open up to their physicians about sexual health and activity, thinking the topic to be taboo, controversial, or beyond the scope of a medical consult. However, it is important to know that sexual issues can be associated with medical conditions. For example, adverse effects of certain medications can impact sexual function. Hence, discussing issues about sexual health and function with a physician and getting them treated is as essential as managing other health issues. Management of issues concerning sexual health can improve psychological well-being and help prevent other chronic ailments like heart disease and cancer.
Multiple sexual partners and unprotected intercourse can lead to various sexually transmitted diseases and need to be addressed.
This may not seem like a medical condition, but in some instances, it can indicate an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Occasional cravings for sweets or junk food is fine, but when someone has persistent cravings, even if they are not hungry, it requires medical consultation. These cravings may result from a nutritional disorder (such as vitamin C, iron, and magnesium deficiency), or it may be related to mental health conditions.
When people experience loss or traumatic events, it is normal to feel sad and process the grief. However, if feelings of sadness persist for an extended period (weeks to months), along with symptoms like a lack of energy, poor appetite, trouble sleeping, or loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy, it needs to be discussed urgently with the doctor. The medical practitioner will refer the patient for counselling. A combination of counselling and medications to elevate mood may be prescribed to combat depression.
Snoring is common, and people tend to ignore it. However, persistent snoring may be due to a pre-existing sleep disorder or a respiratory condition known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea usually results from a blockage in respiratory passages and can progress to pulmonary hypertension or heart failure.
The most common symptoms of obstructive sleep apneas include loud snoring, episodes in which people stop breathing during sleep — which will be reported by another person, panting during sleep, waking up with a dry mouth and headache, insomnia and hypersomnia, difficulty focusing during day time, and feeling agitated.
Sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that may occur during sleep apnea increase blood pressure and strain your heart. People with obstructive sleep apnea might be likely to have repeated heart issues, stroke, and fluctuations in heart rate (atrial fibrillation). Therefore, it is crucial to have a clinical consultation if an individual has frequently been snoring.
Urine can leak from the bladder when people cough, sneeze, laugh, or during any activity that increases intra-abdominal pressure. Sometimes, people may see brown spots in their underwear, which happens due to urinary incontinence. People may be hesitant, uncomfortable, or afraid to discuss this issue with family, friends, and healthcare providers.
However, urinary incontinence is a serious issue that needs to be discussed with a physician. If left untreated, urinary incontinence leads to urinary tract infections, problems with sexual intercourse, vaginal ailments in women, etc. Management approaches like bowel or bladder training, dietary modifications, exercises, and surgery can help alleviate symptoms and improve the quality of everyday life.
Find the cause of such conditions by getting a whole body check-up
It is important to open up to loved ones and the physician about health issues such as these and get the support and management insights to help get on the road to recovery. Sometimes, the embarrassment, hesitancy, and fear may stem from the fact that patients don’t always know the underlying cause(s) for these issues.
Avoid this scenario by joining a preventive healthcare program and getting a personalized, comprehensive, full-body check-up to identify underlying medical conditions before they progress. By getting full-body check-ups and subscribing to a preventive healthcare program, people can understand how their bodies respond to different diseases and detect early warning signs and symptoms of various chronic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.