Recently I had a mental health check-up at the surgery. I also had the normal checks done, like blood pressure, weight, alcohol checks etc and asked to book some blood tests for cholesterol and anaemia. I actually hadn't been to the doctors for about 18 months because I like to treat myself rather than waste the NHS resources for a cold or sickness bug. But not wanting to go to the doctors is also not a good thing, because quite often there are times that we need to see a doctor but we are quite embarrassed with the changes we have during middle age. Urgh! Middle age - however, did I get there?
The doctor is more than qualified to understand our symptoms that we might find embarrassing, but hundreds and thousands of people are also choosing to treat themselves every day for the same reasons. So here are some middle age changes that we might not want to see the doctor about but you can usually get alternatives from your pharmacy or drug store.
Menopause - The menopause usually hits women around the age of 51, and that is still quite young in women these days (I say that because I am 46 this year and fast approaching 51 years old). Menopausal symptoms can start as early as 45 with hot flushes, irregular periods, anxiety, low sex drive as well as other symptoms. But there is help there from the doctor because he can give you HRT which is hormone replacement therapy to help you as you work through the menopause. He can also suggest counselling or CBT help through anxiety and depression. You can also help yourself by looking at alternative methods of coping with the menopause like wearing lighter clothes to help with hot flushes and keeping yourself cool at night if you suffer from night sweats. You might also find that certain foods will trigger night sweats or hot flushes so it might be best to limit how much of that food you ate. Always go and see a doctor if you can't cope with the symptoms of the menopause because there is help out there for you. But if you feel like you can handle it yourself, then there is help If you don't want to go to the doctor you can also try some vitamins from your local beauty store or alternative therapies as these have worked for women over the years. Some people claim that vitamins B and E help with menopausal symptoms, you can buy these off the shelf at your local drug store.
Depression - This shouldn't really be on the list because it shouldn't have to be an embarrassing awkward illness to go and see the doctor about. But it is still stigmatised and people worry about going to see the doctor. So many people are affected by depression and it's often worse as you get older because you maybe can't do as much as you did when you were younger or you are coping with children leaving home or maybe a complete change in circumstance. Depression is not a sign of weakness, going to the doctor and seeking help for depression is a sign of strength. You don't have to have antidepressants, you can work through with counselling or other methods but always chat with your doctor about these options and never ever feel worried about going to the doctor. You can also get alternative therapies from health food shops and drug stores to help with mild depression. Try to avoid triggers and stress.
Incontinence - Urinary incontinence is more common in women than it is in men and it's nothing to be worried or ashamed about. Weak bladder muscles or overactive bladder muscles can be a cause of incontinence in women as well as stress incontinence where the pressure is put on your bladder. Incontinence can range from slight accidents where you will leak a little when you laugh or sneeze to A heavier leak, where you might want to go and see the doctor. Incontinence is also a symptom of another illness that you might not know that you have so it's worth getting checked out. You can also buy some amazing incontinence products these days and the knickers that you get are really quite pretty.
Lack of sex drive - We all like sex, yeah? But sometimes we get to a point in our life fluctuates and we seem to lose our sex drive. In women, it is normally around the menopause that their sex life declines, or if you're younger, it will increase before your period is due. This is because of the hormone changes in your body. With men, it's often caused by stress, depression, low testosterone, and age. This is one of the medical problems that seem to deter men from going to the doctors because men feel guilty and ashamed that it's happening to them. Did you know that 10% of men of all ages suffer from erectile dysfunction? So it's more common than you think and it's not just something that you might be suffering from. Erectile dysfunction is caused by a lack of blood flow and it stops you from getting an erection. But did you know you don't have to go to the doctors for this one? As from the 16th of April 2018, you can buy Viagra Connect over the counter at your local pharmacy providing there are no other medications that you're taking that well contraindicate the use of the medication. This means that you won't have to wait for a doctors appointment and can just buy it after a chat with the pharmacist in one of their consulting rooms. What Is Viagara Connect? You can find out more by clicking the link and also how to buy it online.
Aches and pains - In September I got a sore leg, now this was a dull ache to start with, but it got worse until December when I finally went to the Drs to see about my leg, I was really embarrassed because I felt like It was a childhood ailment and grown-ups don't get sore legs. I was embarrassed that I had to go for something as simple as a sore leg and that it seemed like it as a waste of the doctors time. It turned out that it wasn't, I had hurt the ligaments underneath my knee cap and I needed to see a physiotherapist. Aches and pains can be something more serious than you think, especially as you get older and are more prone to things like arthritis and osteoarthritis. You will also find as a woman that you will suffer from more aches and pains as you go for the menopause.