Five questions you’re too scared to ask about your body

News Hour:

Our bodies are complex machines. Taking care of them can be a challenge. And sometimes weird problems crop up that can be embarrassing to ask a doctor about. Here are nine of those questions that may have most of us too scared to speak up.

Is hair loss in women a reason to talk to a doctor?

While women almost never deal with receding hairlines, they do have hair loss concerns. According to WebMD, there are various causes for thinning hair or spots of baldness. Many women have known the thinning that accompanies childbirth (hair growth could take up to two years to return to normal), and stress is a common cause as well. Thyroid problems or polycystic ovary syndrome can be causes too, so if you’re experiencing hair loss it’s a good idea to check with a doctor to find out if there are bigger health concerns at play, reports FamilyShare.

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When should blood in the stool be a concern?

Anyone who has heavy or continuous bleeding in their stool should head straight for the hospital, and the same goes for any bleeding that is accompanied by “severe abdominal pain or cramping” or “anal pain,” the Mayo Clinic advises. It’s good to note as well that blood in the stool isn’t always red. If the bleeding is at the anus or in the lower gi tract, it will be red most of the time, but if the bleeding is coming from earlier in the digestive system (upper gi, stomach), it will not be red. If blood in the stool lasts for more than a day or two, go to the doctor. If you’re younger than 40 and have constipation, it likely doesn’t warrant testing. But those older than 40 may need tests such as a colonoscopy to rule out the possibility of cancer.

What kind of memory loss is an indication of something bad?

Stress and busy lives have many of us forgetting where we put our keys, when that appointment was, and the grocery list. And forgetfulness is often a normal part of aging, too. More serious symptoms may not be related to dementia or Alzheimer’s, or even stress; they can be related to medications, vitamin B12 deficiency, or thyroid, kidney, or liver disorders, according to the National Institute on Aging. If memory is an ongoing problem or even gets worse, talk to your doctor, who can diagnose the cause or send you to a specialist.

Should a man in need of a prostate exam visit a male or a female doctor?

There does not seem to be any official answers to this concern. Choosing a doctor for any exam or procedure involves a variety of considerations that will be unique to the patient. Some men may think a female doctor won’t be as gentle as a male (who may have more empathy because of shared experience) with their sensitive areas; others may think that a female’s hands will be smaller and thus lead to less discomfort during an exam.

What can be done about ‘leaking’ when sneezing, coughing, or jumping?

Most women who have given birth know the worry: The sneezing or coughing from a cold, a good laugh, or the jumping parts of a fun aerobic workout can cause leakage of urine. And men can experience it too, especially as they age. The best solution is to engage in exercises that help to strengthen the pelvic floor. While women likely have heard about (and keep forgetting to do) “Kegels,” men can do similar exercises, too.

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Md. Rafiuzzaman Sifat, a CSE graduate turned into journalist, works at News Hour as a staff reporter. He has many years of experience in featured writing in different Bangladeshi newspapers. He is an active blogger, story writer and social network activist. He published a book named 'Se Amar Gopon' inEkushe boi mela Dhaka 2016. Sifat got a BSc. from Ahsanullah University of Science & Technology, Bangladesh. He also works as an Engineer at Bangla Trac Communications Ltd. As an avid traveler and a gourmet food aficionado, he is active in publishing restaurant reviews and cutting-edge articles about culinary culture.
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