Tag Archives: endometriosis

Chronic Pain – What You and Your Physicians Can Do To Really Help

The notion of a pain awareness month is an odd thing; probably even more so to those suffering from chronic pain. Typically the idea with these periods of recognizing diseases and conditions is to create sensitivity among the general public toward one’s condition. In this and the next Straight, No Chaser, we will not only do that but will build upon that and provide those sufferers of chronic pain some better tools to make those emergency room visits more productive.
chronic-pain
I’d begin by asking you to get more in touch with your “you sensitivity” and learn to differentiate between different types of pain. It’s important for you to know the difference.

  • Clearly there’s acute pain from injury. You break a jaw or twist an ankle, you’re going to hurt.
  • There’s acute exacerbations of pain from disease. You have sickle cell anemia? Cancer? Lupus? Sciatica or other low back pain? Arthritis? Migraines? You will have acute flare ups.

Then there’s chronic pain. Remember, sometimes pain happens without injury or disease. Pain is simply a signal communicated from your body to you through your brain. Acute pain is normal and is meant to alert you to somehow protect yourself or get help. Chronic pain is different. Those signals coming from your nervous system can be sporadic or haphazard, and they may be more reflective of dysfunction within the nervous system than a disease or injury. It can even be psychogenic (due to matters of your mind). Regardless of the cause, chronic pain is well, a pain.

There are many established conditions that cause chronic pain, such as the following:

chronicpain-circle3

Maybe the point of this post isn’t to tell those of you who suffer from chronic pain things you don’t already know as much as it is to organize your thoughts and approach to your pain. After all, it’s not like there are cures for chronic pain besides eliminating the underlying condition (which reminds me to remind you not to fall for the many medical scams promising instant and permanent relief to these medical conditions). The first step really is to help you appreciate the need for becoming better sensitized to your condition.

Many patients with chronic pain suffer horrible outcomes because they become desensitized to pain, learn to ignore it, and misinterpret a new, unrelated pain condition (maybe with a few similarities), failing to get evaluated before it is too late.

If you suffer from chronic pain, it’s key to know the things you can do to improve your quality of life. Strengthening your mind to reduce stress and avoid fixating on your medical condition is very important. Learning to relax actually is treatment; your body has pain-reducing chemicals, including those that directly treat pain and promote healing, and others that prevent release of internal pain producers. Find someone with whom you can discuss relaxation and stress reduction.

chronicpain2

Engage the fight to get better within your physical limitations.

  • Exercise remains key. Depending on your situation, walking, running, biking and/or swimming can dramatically improve your situation. Be advised that the extremes (not exercising at all or doing so too much) can actually worsen the situation.
  • Stretching and strengthening similarly produce benefits to those with chronic pain. This should sound like a good reason to become involved with a personal trainer or have a physical therapist.
  • Regular sleep and avoidance of nicotine (stop smoking!) will also help.

Your physician may discuss multiple other possible treatment modalities, such as the following:

  • Acupuncture
  • Behavioral therapy can reduce your pain and decrease your stress through methods that help you relax, such as meditation, tai chi, and yoga. Give it a try. It works for many people.
  • Brain stimulation therapy
  • Local electrical stimulation
  • Occupational therapy teaches you how to perform routine activities of daily living in a way that reduces your pain and/or avoids reinjuring yourself.
  • Osteopathic manipulation therapy (OMT)
  • Psychotherapy

Regarding medication, for many people use of medication (especially narcotics) becomes a crutch and a slippery slope. Over the counter medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are quite effective for many causes of pain. Use of narcotics should be measured and part of an overall plan, not a tool for a quick fix or to get you out of your doctor’s face. It is part of reality that even if you are not a drug-seeking patient, with enough exposure to narcotics you will develop tolerance (less effectiveness at the same dose) and become addicted. You should want to avoid this fate.

The pain, mental duress and reduction in quality of life associated with chronic pain can be lessened with you learning how to approach and understand your pain, taking appropriate steps to reduce things you do to exacerbate the pain, increasing the things you do to lessen the pain, and working with your health care team to provide you with appropriate support and treatment.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Endometriosis

endowhat

Guys, it’s not condescending to note that it’s really tough to be a woman. There are so many different medical conditions women have to deal with that men don’t. Many of these just don’t even make sense (well, they make medical sense, but not common sense…). Take the example of endometriosis. This is a condition that millions of women suffer from in which cells that are supposed to live and grow in the lining of the womb (uterus), migrate, implant and grow in other parts of the body. What does that mean to the woman? For starters, it means menstrual-type activity that normally occurs in the womb can occur elsewhere. That just seems cruel. In any event, here’s your what, how, why and what to do for endometriosis.
How?
If you understand that every month a woman’s menstrual period represents the shedding of cells from the inner lining of the womb lining, then you’re most of the way to understanding endometriosis. Endometriosis is the result of these shedded cells migrating, implanting and growing outside of the uterus.
Where?

endometriosis

Tissue that migrates from the womb (endometrial lining) most commonly implants onto the ovaries, bladder, intestines, rectum and pelvic lining, although other locations are possible.
Who gets it?

endometriosis-2

You’re more likely to develop endometriosis if someone in your family (e.g., mother or sister) has it, if you started your periods at a young age, if you’ve never had children, if your periods are irregular (i.e., frequent or last more than seven days at a time) of if you have a closed hymen (vaginal opening).
What happens next?

endometlook

One oddity of these endometrial implants is they tend to stay affixed to their new areas in a way that didn’t occur in the womb. Because this is the tissue that is involved in menstruation, they can grow and bleed in conjunction with your menstrual cycle.
What are the symptoms?
Any, all or none of the following may occur. Endometriosis may exist without symptoms, but it’s most typically defined by pain.

  • Pain during or following sexual intercourse
  • Pain with bowel movements
  • Painful periods
  • Pelvic/low back pain at any time during the menstrual cycle
  • Premenstrual and menstrual pain and/or cramping in the lower abdomen
  • Intestines obstruction (blockage) or other abnormal functioning (rarely)

How is this figured out?
Your job is to recognize the symptoms and seek assistance. Tests may include a vaginal ultrasound and direct visualization of your pelvis via a procedure called laparoscopy, which also allows for treatment.
How is this treated?
There’s a wide range of treatment, which depends on your level of health, the presence/significance of symptoms and your desire to have children in the future.
Options range from symptomatic treatment with exercise, relaxation techniques and pain medication to hormonal medications and surgery to remove areas of the endometriosis. The options are assessed and used based on the particulars of each patient. Details of individual medical and surgical options are discussed at www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com.
What’s the end result?

Endometriosis-Awareness

The treatments mentioned are often effective in improving symptoms but not in providing a cure. A cure is most likely to occur by removal of the womb (uterus), fallopian tubes, and both ovaries (a hysterectomy/oophorectomy).
Complications of endometriosis can include infertility, but this is not universal. More commonly, pain interferes with the activities of daily living, there are large cysts in the pelvis (called endometriomas) and post-menopausal cancer presents in the affected areas.
You should get evaluated for endometriosis if a family member has endometriosis or has particularly problematic menstrual periods or if you are having difficulties becoming pregnant (especially after trying for one year).
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Chronic Pain

The notion of a pain awareness month is an odd thing; probably even more so to those suffering from chronic pain. Typically the idea with these periods of recognizing diseases and conditions is to create sensitivity among the general public toward one’s condition. In this and the next Straight, No Chaser, we will not only do that but will build upon that and provide those sufferers of chronic pain some better tools to make those emergency room visits more productive.
chronic-pain
I’d begin by asking you to get more in touch with your “you sensitivity” and learn to differentiate between different types of pain. It’s important for you to know the difference.

  • Clearly there’s acute pain from injury. You break a jaw or twist an ankle, you’re going to hurt.
  • There’s acute exacerbations of pain from disease. You have sickle cell anemia? Cancer? Lupus? Sciatica or other low back pain? Arthritis? Migraines? You will have acute flare ups.

Then there’s chronic pain. Remember, sometimes pain happens without injury or disease. Pain is simply a signal communicated from your body to you through your brain. Acute pain is normal and is meant to alert you to somehow protect yourself or get help. Chronic pain is different. Those signals coming from your nervous system can be sporadic or haphazard, and they may be more reflective of dysfunction within the nervous system than a disease or injury. It can even be psychogenic (due to matters of your mind). Regardless of the cause, chronic pain is well, a pain.
There are many established conditions that cause chronic pain, such as the following:

chronicpain-circle3

Maybe the point of this post isn’t to tell those of you who suffer from chronic pain things you don’t already know as much as it is to organize your thoughts and approach to your pain. After all, it’s not like there are cures for chronic pain besides eliminating the underlying condition (which reminds me to remind you not to fall for the many medical scams promising instant and permanent relief to these medical conditions). The first step really is to help you appreciate the need for becoming better sensitized to your condition. Many patients with chronic pain suffer horrible outcomes because they become desensitized to pain, learn to ignore it, and misinterpret a new, unrelated pain condition (maybe with a few similarities), failing to get evaluated before it is too late.
If you suffer from chronic pain, it’s key to know the things you can do to improve your quality of life. Strengthening your mind to reduce stress and avoid fixating on your medical condition is very important. Learning to relax actually is treatment; your body has pain-reducing chemicals, including those that directly treat pain and promote healing, and others that prevent release of internal pain producers. Find someone with whom you can discuss relaxation and stress reduction.

chronicpain2

Engage the fight to get better within your physical limitations.

  • Exercise remains key. Depending on your situation, walking, running, biking and/or swimming can dramatically improve your situation. Be advised that the extremes (not exercising at all or doing so too much) can actually worsen the situation.
  • Stretching and strengthening similarly produce benefits to those with chronic pain. This should sound like a good reason to become involved with a personal trainer or have a physical therapist.
  • Regular sleep and avoidance of nicotine (stop smoking!) will also help.

Your physician may discuss multiple other possible treatment modalities, such as the following:

  • Acupuncture
  • Behavioral therapy can reduce your pain and decrease your stress through methods that help you relax, such as meditation, tai chi, and yoga. Give it a try. It works for many people.
  • Brain stimulation therapy
  • Local electrical stimulation
  • Occupational therapy teaches you how to perform routine activities of daily living in a way that reduces your pain and/or avoids reinjuring yourself.
  • Osteopathic manipulation therapy (OMT)
  • Psychotherapy

Regarding medication, for many people use of medication (especially narcotics) becomes a crutch and a slippery slope. Over the counter medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are quite effective for many causes of pain. Use of narcotics should be measured and part of an overall plan, not a tool for a quick fix or to get you out of your doctor’s face. It is part of reality that even if you are not a drug-seeking patient, with enough exposure to narcotics you will develop tolerance (less effectiveness at the same dose) and become addicted. You should want to avoid this fate.
The pain, mental duress and reduction in quality of life associated with chronic pain can be lessened with you learning how to approach and understand your pain, taking appropriate steps to reduce things you do to exacerbate the pain, increasing the things you do to lessen the pain, and working with your health care team to provide you with appropriate support and treatment.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Endometriosis

endowhat

Guys, it’s not condescending to note that it’s really tough to be a woman. There are so many different medical conditions women have to deal with that men don’t. Many of these just don’t even make sense (well, they make medical sense, but not common sense…). Take the example of endometriosis. This is a condition that millions of women suffer from in which cells that are supposed to live and grow in the lining of the womb (uterus), migrate, implant and grow in other parts of the body. What does that mean to the woman? For starters, it means menstrual-type activity that normally occurs in the womb can occur elsewhere. That just seems cruel. In any event, here’s your what, how, why and what to do for endometriosis.
How?
If you understand that every month a woman’s menstrual period represents the shedding of cells from the inner lining of the womb lining, then you’re most of the way to understanding endometriosis. Endometriosis is the result of these shedded cells migrating, implanting and growing outside of the uterus.
Where?

endometriosis

Tissue that migrates from the womb (endometrial lining) most commonly implants onto the ovaries, bladder, intestines, rectum and pelvic lining, although other locations are possible.
Who gets it?

endometriosis-2

You’re more likely to develop endometriosis if someone in your family (e.g., mother or sister) has it, if you started your periods at a young age, if you’ve never had children, if your periods are irregular (i.e., frequent or last more than seven days at a time) of if you have a closed hymen (vaginal opening).
What happens next?

endometlook

One oddity of these endometrial implants is they tend to stay affixed to their new areas in a way that didn’t occur in the womb. Because this is the tissue that is involved in menstruation, they can grow and bleed in conjunction with your menstrual cycle.
What are the symptoms?
Any, all or none of the following may occur. Endometriosis may exist without symptoms, but it’s most typically defined by pain.

  • Pain during or following sexual intercourse
  • Pain with bowel movements
  • Painful periods
  • Pelvic/low back pain at any time during the menstrual cycle
  • Premenstrual and menstrual pain and/or cramping in the lower abdomen
  • Intestines obstruction (blockage) or other abnormal functioning (rarely)

How is this figured out?
Your job is to recognize the symptoms and seek assistance. Tests may include a vaginal ultrasound and direct visualization of your pelvis via a procedure called laparoscopy, which also allows for treatment.
How is this treated?
There’s a wide range of treatment, which depends on your level of health, the presence/significance of symptoms and your desire to have children in the future.
Options range from symptomatic treatment with exercise, relaxation techniques and pain medication to hormonal medications and surgery to remove areas of the endometriosis. The options are assessed and used based on the particulars of each patient. Details of individual medical and surgical options are discussed at www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com.
What’s the end result?

Endometriosis-Awareness

The treatments mentioned are often effective in improving symptoms but not in providing a cure. A cure is most likely to occur by removal of the womb (uterus), fallopian tubes, and both ovaries (a hysterectomy/oophorectomy).
Complications of endometriosis can include infertility, but this is not universal. More commonly, pain interferes with the activities of daily living, there are large cysts in the pelvis (called endometriomas) and post-menopausal cancer presents in the affected areas.
You should get evaluated for endometriosis if a family member has endometriosis or has particularly problematic menstrual periods or if you are having difficulties becoming pregnant (especially after trying for one year).
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Chronic Pain

Print

The notion of a pain awareness month is an odd thing; probably even more so to those suffering from chronic pain. Typically the idea with these periods of recognizing diseases and conditions is to create sensitivity among the general public toward one’s condition. In this and the next Straight, No Chaser, we will not only do that but will build upon that and provide those sufferers of chronic pain some better tools to make those emergency room visits more productive.
chronic-pain
I’d begin by asking you to get more in touch with your “you sensitivity” and learn to differentiate between different types of pain. It’s important for you to know the difference.

  • Clearly there’s acute pain from injury. You break a jaw or twist an ankle, you’re going to hurt.
  • There’s acute exacerbations of pain from disease. You have sickle cell anemia? Cancer? Lupus? Sciatica or other low back pain? Arthritis? Migraines? You will have acute flare ups.

Then there’s chronic pain. Remember, sometimes pain happens without injury or disease. Pain is simply a signal communicated from your body to you through your brain. Acute pain is normal and is meant to alert you to somehow protect yourself or get help. Chronic pain is different. Those signals coming from your nervous system can be sporadic or haphazard, and they may be more reflective of dysfunction within the nervous system than a disease or injury. It can even be psychogenic (due to matters of your mind). Regardless of the cause, chronic pain is well, a pain.
There are many established conditions that cause chronic pain, such as the following:

chronicpain-circle3

Maybe the point of this post isn’t to tell those of you who suffer from chronic pain things you don’t already know as much as it is to organize your thoughts and approach to your pain. After all, it’s not like there are cures for chronic pain besides eliminating the underlying condition (which reminds me to remind you not to fall for the many medical scams promising instant and permanent relief to these medical conditions). The first step really is to help you appreciate the need for becoming better sensitized to your condition. Many patients with chronic pain suffer horrible outcomes because they become desensitized to pain, learn to ignore it, and misinterpret a new, unrelated pain condition (maybe with a few similarities), failing to get evaluated before it is too late.
If you suffer from chronic pain, it’s key to know the things you can do to improve your quality of life. Strengthening your mind to reduce stress and avoid fixating on your medical condition is very important. Learning to relax actually is treatment; your body has pain-reducing chemicals, including those that directly treat pain and promote healing, and others that prevent release of internal pain producers. Find someone with whom you can discuss relaxation and stress reduction.

chronicpain2

Engage the fight to get better within your physical limitations.

  • Exercise remains key. Depending on your situation, walking, running, biking and/or swimming can dramatically improve your situation. Be advised that the extremes (not exercising at all or doing so too much) can actually worsen the situation.
  • Stretching and strengthening similarly produce benefits to those with chronic pain. This should sound like a good reason to become involved with a personal trainer or have a physical therapist.
  • Regular sleep and avoidance of nicotine (stop smoking!) will also help.

Your physician may discuss multiple other possible treatment modalities, such as the following:

  • Acupuncture
  • Behavioral therapy can reduce your pain and decrease your stress through methods that help you relax, such as meditation, tai chi, and yoga. Give it a try. It works for many people.
  • Brain stimulation therapy
  • Local electrical stimulation
  • Occupational therapy teaches you how to perform routine activities of daily living in a way that reduces your pain and/or avoids reinjuring yourself.
  • Osteopathic manipulation therapy (OMT)
  • Psychotherapy

Regarding medication, for many people use of medication (especially narcotics) becomes a crutch and a slippery slope. Over the counter medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are quite effective for many causes of pain. Use of narcotics should be measured and part of an overall plan, not a tool for a quick fix or to get you out of your doctor’s face. It is part of reality that even if you are not a drug-seeking patient, with enough exposure to narcotics you will develop tolerance (less effectiveness at the same dose) and become addicted. You should want to avoid this fate.
The pain, mental duress and reduction in quality of life associated with chronic pain can be lessened with you learning how to approach and understand your pain, taking appropriate steps to reduce things you do to exacerbate the pain, increasing the things you do to lessen the pain, and working with your health care team to provide you with appropriate support and treatment.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Endometriosis

endowhat

Guys, it’s not condescending to note that it’s really tough to be a woman. There are so many different medical conditions women have to deal with that men don’t. Many of these just don’t even make sense (well, they make medical sense, but not common sense…). Take the example of endometriosis. This is a condition that millions of women suffer from in which cells that are supposed to live and grow in the lining of the womb (uterus), migrate, implant and grow in other parts of the body. What does that mean to the woman? For starters, it means menstrual-type activity that normally occurs in the womb can occur elsewhere. That just seems cruel. In any event, here’s your what, how, why and what to do for endometriosis.
How?
If you understand that every month a woman’s menstrual period represents the shedding of cells from the inner lining of the womb lining, then you’re most of the way to understanding endometriosis. Endometriosis is the result of these shedded cells migrating, implanting and growing outside of the uterus.
Where?

endometriosis

Tissue that migrates from the womb (endometrial lining) most commonly implants onto the ovaries, bladder, intestines, rectum and pelvic lining, although other locations are possible.
Who gets it?

endometriosis-2

You’re more likely to develop endometriosis if someone in your family (e.g., mother or sister) has it, if you started your periods at a young age, if you’ve never had children, if your periods are irregular (i.e., frequent or last more than seven days at a time) of if you have a closed hymen (vaginal opening).
What happens next?

endometlook

One oddity of these endometrial implants is they tend to stay affixed to their new areas in a way that didn’t occur in the womb. Because this is the tissue that is involved in menstruation, they can grow and bleed in conjunction with your menstrual cycle.
What are the symptoms?
Any, all or none of the following may occur. Endometriosis may exist without symptoms, but it’s most typically defined by pain.

  • Pain during or following sexual intercourse
  • Pain with bowel movements
  • Painful periods
  • Pelvic/low back pain at any time during the menstrual cycle
  • Premenstrual and menstrual pain and/or cramping in the lower abdomen
  • Intestines obstruction (blockage) or other abnormal functioning (rarely)

How is this figured out?
Your job is to recognize the symptoms and seek assistance. Tests may include a vaginal ultrasound and direct visualization of your pelvis via a procedure called laparoscopy, which also allows for treatment.
How is this treated?
There’s a wide range of treatment, which depends on your level of health, the presence/significance of symptoms and your desire to have children in the future.
Options range from symptomatic treatment with exercise, relaxation techniques and pain medication to hormonal medications and surgery to remove areas of the endometriosis. The options are assessed and used based on the particulars of each patient. Details of individual medical and surgical options are discussed at www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com.
What’s the end result?

Endometriosis-Awareness

The treatments mentioned are often effective in improving symptoms but not in providing a cure. A cure is most likely to occur by removal of the womb (uterus), fallopian tubes, and both ovaries (a hysterectomy/oophorectomy).
Complications of endometriosis can include infertility, but this is not universal. More commonly, pain interferes with the activities of daily living, there are large cysts in the pelvis (called endometriomas) and post-menopausal cancer presents in the affected areas.
You should get evaluated for endometriosis if a family member has endometriosis or has particularly problematic menstrual periods or if you are having difficulties becoming pregnant (especially after trying for one year).
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Pain Awareness Month and Your Chronic Pain

Print

The notion of a pain awareness month is an odd thing; probably even more so to those suffering from chronic pain. Typically the idea with these periods of recognizing diseases and conditions is to create sensitivity among the general public toward one’s condition. In this and the next Straight, No Chaser, we will not only do that but will build upon that and provide those sufferers of chronic pain some better tools to make those emergency room visits more productive.
chronic-pain
I’d begin by asking you to get more in touch with your “you sensitivity” and learn to differentiate between different types of pain. It’s important for you to know the difference.

  • Clearly there’s acute pain from injury. You break a jaw or twist an ankle, you’re going to hurt.
  • There’s acute exacerbations of pain from disease. You have sickle cell anemia? Cancer? Lupus? Sciatica or other low back pain? Arthritis? Migraines? You will have acute flare ups.

Then there’s chronic pain. Remember, sometimes pain happens without injury or disease. Pain is simply a signal communicated from your body to you through your brain. Acute pain is normal and is meant to alert you to somehow protect yourself or get help. Chronic pain is different. Those signals coming from your nervous system can be sporadic or haphazard, and they may be more reflective of dysfunction within the nervous system than a disease or injury. It can even be psychogenic (due to matters of your mind). Regardless of the cause, chronic pain is well, a pain.
There are many established conditions that cause chronic pain, such as the following:

chronicpain-circle3

Maybe the point of this post isn’t to tell those of you who suffer from chronic pain things you don’t already know as much as it is to organize your thoughts and approach to your pain. After all, it’s not like there are cures for chronic pain besides eliminating the underlying condition (which reminds me to remind you not to fall for the many medical scams promising instant and permanent relief to these medical conditions). The first step really is to help you appreciate the need for becoming better sensitized to your condition. Many patients with chronic pain suffer horrible outcomes because they become desensitized to pain, learn to ignore it, and misinterpret a new, unrelated pain condition (maybe with a few similarities), failing to get evaluated before it is too late.
If you suffer from chronic pain, it’s key to know the things you can do to improve your quality of life. Strengthening your mind to reduce stress and avoid fixating on your medical condition is very important. Learning to relax actually is treatment; your body has pain-reducing chemicals, including those that directly treat pain and promote healing, and others that prevent release of internal pain producers. Find someone with whom you can discuss relaxation and stress reduction.

chronicpain2

Engage the fight to get better within your physical limitations.

  • Exercise remains key. Depending on your situation, walking, running, biking and/or swimming can dramatically improve your situation. Be advised that the extremes (not exercising at all or doing so too much) can actually worsen the situation.
  • Stretching and strengthening similarly produce benefits to those with chronic pain. This should sound like a good reason to become involved with a personal trainer or have a physical therapist.
  • Regular sleep and avoidance of nicotine (stop smoking!) will also help.

Your physician may discuss multiple other possible treatment modalities, such as the following:

  • Acupuncture
  • Behavioral therapy can reduce your pain and decrease your stress through methods that help you relax, such as meditation, tai chi, and yoga. Give it a try. It works for many people.
  • Brain stimulation therapy
  • Local electrical stimulation
  • Occupational therapy teaches you how to perform routine activities of daily living in a way that reduces your pain and/or avoids reinjuring yourself.
  • Osteopathic manipulation therapy (OMT)
  • Psychotherapy

Regarding medication, for many people use of medication (especially narcotics) becomes a crutch and a slippery slope. Over the counter medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are quite effective for many causes of pain. Use of narcotics should be measured and part of an overall plan, not a tool for a quick fix or to get you out of your doctor’s face. It is part of reality that even if you are not a drug-seeking patient, with enough exposure to narcotics you will develop tolerance (less effectiveness at the same dose) and become addicted. You should want to avoid this fate.
The pain, mental duress and reduction in quality of life associated with chronic pain can be lessened with you learning how to approach and understand your pain, taking appropriate steps to reduce things you do to exacerbate the pain, increasing the things you do to lessen the pain, and working with your health care team to provide you with appropriate support and treatment.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, AmazonBarnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright, Sterling Initiatives, LLC. 2013-2015
 

Straight, No Chaser: Endometriosis

endowhat

Guys, it’s not condescending to note that it’s really tough to be a woman. There are so many different medical conditions women have to deal with that men don’t. Many of these just don’t even make sense (well, they make medical sense, but not common sense…). Take the example of endometriosis. This is a condition that millions of women suffer from in which cells that are supposed to live and grow in the lining of the womb (uterus), migrate, implant and grow in other parts of the body. What does that mean to the woman? For starters, it means menstrual-type activity that normally occurs in the womb can occur elsewhere. That just seems cruel. In any event, here’s your what, how, why and what to do for endometriosis.
How?
If you understand that every month a woman’s menstrual period represents the shedding of cells from the inner lining of the womb lining, then you’re most of the way to understanding endometriosis. Endometriosis is the result of these shedded cells migrating, implanting and growing outside of the uterus.
Where?

endometriosis

Tissue that migrates from the womb (endometrial lining) most commonly implants onto the ovaries, bladder, intestines, rectum and pelvic lining, although other locations are possible.
Who gets it?

endometriosis-2

You’re more likely to develop endometriosis if someone in your family (e.g., mother or sister) has it, if you started your periods at a young age, if you’ve never had children, if your periods are irregular (i.e., frequent or last more than seven days at a time) of if you have a closed hymen (vaginal opening).
What happens next?

endometlook

One oddity of these endometrial implants is they tend to stay affixed to their new areas in a way that didn’t occur in the womb. Because this is the tissue that is involved in menstruation, they can grow and bleed in conjunction with your menstrual cycle.
What are the symptoms?
Any, all or none of the following may occur. Endometriosis may exist without symptoms, but it’s most typically defined by pain.

  • Pain during or following sexual intercourse
  • Pain with bowel movements
  • Painful periods
  • Pelvic/low back pain at any time during the menstrual cycle
  • Premenstrual and menstrual pain and/or cramping in the lower abdomen
  • Intestines obstruction (blockage) or other abnormal functioning (rarely)

How is this figured out?
Your job is to recognize the symptoms and seek assistance. Tests may include a vaginal ultrasound and direct visualization of your pelvis via a procedure called laparoscopy, which also allows for treatment.
How is this treated?
There’s a wide range of treatment, which depends on your level of health, the presence/significance of symptoms and your desire to have children in the future.
Options range from symptomatic treatment with exercise, relaxation techniques and pain medication to hormonal medications and surgery to remove areas of the endometriosis. The options are assessed and used based on the particulars of each patient. Details of individual medical and surgical options are discussed at www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com.
What’s the end result?

Endometriosis-Awareness

The treatments mentioned are often effective in improving symptoms but not in providing a cure. A cure is most likely to occur by removal of the womb (uterus), fallopian tubes, and both ovaries (a hysterectomy/oophorectomy).
Complications of endometriosis can include infertility, but this is not universal. More commonly, pain interferes with the activities of daily living, there are large cysts in the pelvis (called endometriomas) and post-menopausal cancer presents in the affected areas.
You should get evaluated for endometriosis if a family member has endometriosis or has particularly problematic menstrual periods or if you are having difficulties becoming pregnant (especially after trying for one year).
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you have on this topic.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what  http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offer. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2015 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Pain Awareness Month and Your Chronic Pain

Print

 
The notion of a pain awareness month is an odd thing; probably even more so to those suffering from chronic pain. Typically the idea with these periods of recognizing diseases and conditions is to create sensitivity among the general public toward one’s condition. In this and the next Straight, No Chaser, we will not only do that but will build upon that and provide those sufferers of chronic pain some better tools to make those emergency room visits more productive.
chronic-pain
I’d begin by asking you to get more in touch with your “you sensitivity” and learn to differentiate between different types of pain. It’s important for you to know the difference.

  • Clearly there’s acute pain from injury. You break a jaw or twist an ankle, you’re going to hurt.
  • There’s acute exacerbations of pain from disease. You have sickle cell anemia? Cancer? Lupus? Sciatica or other low back pain? Arthritis? Migraines? You will have acute flare ups.

Then there’s chronic pain. Remember, sometimes pain happens without injury or disease. Pain is simply a signal communicated from your body to you through your brain. Acute pain is normal and is meant to alert you to somehow protect yourself or get help. Chronic pain is different. Those signals coming from your nervous system can be sporadic or haphazard, and they may be more reflective of dysfunction within the nervous system than a disease or injury. It can even be psychogenic (due to matters of your mind). Regardless of the cause, chronic pain is well, a pain.
There are many established conditions that cause chronic pain, such as the following:

chronicpain-circle3
Maybe the point of this post isn’t to tell those of you who suffer from chronic pain things you don’t already know as much as it is to organize your thoughts and approach to your pain. After all, it’s not like there are cures for chronic pain besides eliminating the underlying condition (which reminds me to remind you not to fall for the many medical scams promising instant and permanent relief to these medical conditions). The first step really is to help you appreciate the need for becoming better sensitized to your condition. Many patients with chronic pain suffer horrible outcomes because they become desensitized to pain, learn to ignore it, and misinterpret a new, unrelated pain condition (maybe with a few similarities), failing to get evaluated before it is too late.
If you suffer from chronic pain, it’s key to know the things you can do to improve your quality of life. Strengthening your mind to reduce stress and avoid fixating on your medical condition is very important. Learning to relax actually is treatment; your body has pain-reducing chemicals, including those that directly treat pain and promote healing, and others that prevent release of internal pain producers. Find someone with whom you can discuss relaxation and stress reduction.
chronicpain2
Engage the fight to get better within your physical limitations.

  • Exercise remains key. Depending on your situation, walking, running, biking and/or swimming can dramatically improve your situation. Be advised that the extremes (not exercising at all or doing so too much) can actually worsen the situation.
  • Stretching and strengthening similarly produce benefits to those with chronic pain. This should sound like a good reason to become involved with a personal trainer or have a physical therapist.
  • Regular sleep and avoidance of nicotine (stop smoking!) will also help.

Your physician may discuss multiple other possible treatment modalities, such as the following:

  • Acupuncture
  • Behavioral therapy can reduce your pain and decrease your stress through methods that help you relax, such as meditation, tai chi, and yoga. Give it a try. It works for many people.
  • Brain stimulation therapy
  • Local electrical stimulation
  • Occupational therapy teaches you how to perform routine activities of daily living in a way that reduces your pain and/or avoids reinjuring yourself.
  • Osteopathic manipulation therapy (OMT)
  • Psychotherapy

Regarding medication, for many people use of medication (especially narcotics) becomes a crutch and a slippery slope. Over the counter medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are quite effective for many causes of pain. Use of narcotics should be measured and part of an overall plan, not a tool for a quick fix or to get you out of your doctor’s face. It is part of reality that even if you are not a drug-seeking patient, with enough exposure to narcotics you will develop tolerance (less effectiveness at the same dose) and become addicted. You should want to avoid this fate.
The pain, mental duress and reduction in quality of life associated with chronic pain can be lessened with you learning how to approach and understand your pain, taking appropriate steps to reduce things you do to exacerbate the pain, increasing the things you do to lessen the pain, and working with your health care team to provide you with appropriate support and treatment. We at http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and 844-SMA-TALK are here to support your efforts. We welcome your questions.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what 844-SMA-TALK and http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Straight, No Chaser: Chronic Pain

chronic-pain

If I could talk to you about pain (oh wait, I can), I’d begin by asking you to get more in touch with your “you sensitivity” and learn to differentiate between different types of pain. It’s important for you to know the difference.

  • Clearly there’s acute pain from injury. You break a jaw or twist an ankle, you’re going to hurt.
  • There’s acute exacerbations of pain from disease. You have sickle cell anemia? Cancer? Lupus? Sciatica or other low back pain? Arthritis? Migraines? You will have acute flare ups.

Then there’s chronic pain. Remember, sometimes pain happens without injury or disease. Pain is simply a signal communicated from your body to you through your brain. Acute pain is normal and is meant to alert you to somehow protect yourself or get help. Chronic pain is different. Those signals coming from your nervous system can be sporadic or haphazard, and they may be more reflective of dysfunction within the nervous system than a disease or injury. It can even be psychogenic (due to matters of your mind). Regardless of the cause, chronic pain is well, a pain.
There are many established conditions that cause chronic pain, such as the following:

 chronicpain-circle3

Maybe the point of this post isn’t to tell those of you who suffer from chronic pain things you don’t already know as much as it is to organize your thoughts and approach to your pain. After all, it’s not like there are cures for chronic pain besides eliminating the underlying condition (which reminds me to remind you not to fall for the many medical scams promising instant and permanent relief to these medical conditions). The first step really is to help you appreciate the need for becoming better sensitized to your condition. Many patients with chronic pain suffer horrible outcomes because they become desensitized to pain, learn to ignore it, and misinterpret a new, unrelated pain condition (maybe with a few similarities), failing to get evaluated before it is too late.
If you suffer from chronic pain, it’s key to know the things you can do to improve your quality of life. Strengthening your mind to reduce stress and avoid fixating on your medical condition is very important. Learning to relax actually is treatment; your body has pain-reducing chemicals, including those that directly treat pain and promote healing, and others that prevent release of internal pain producers. Find someone with whom you can discuss relaxation and stress reduction.

 chronicpain2

Engage the fight to get better within your physical limitations.

  • Exercise remains key. Depending on your situation, walking, running, biking and/or swimming can dramatically improve your situation. Be advised that the extremes (not exercising at all or doing so too much) can actually worsen the situation.
  • Stretching and strengthening similarly produce benefits to those with chronic pain. This should sound like a good reason to become involved with a personal training or have a physical therapist.
  • Regular sleep and avoidance of nicotine (stop smoking!) will also help.

Your physician may discuss multiple other possible treatment modalities, such as the following:

  • Acupuncture
  • Behavioral therapy can reduce your pain and decrease your stress through methods that help you relax, such as meditation, tai chi, and yoga. Give it a try. It works for many people.
  • Brain stimulation therapy
  • Local electrical stimulation
  • Occupational therapy teaches you how to perform routine activities of daily living in a way that reduces your pain and/or avoids reinjuring yourself.
  • Osteopathic manipulation therapy (OMT)
  • Psychotherapy

Regarding medication, for many people use of medication (especially narcotics) becomes a crutch and a slippery slope. Over the counter medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are quite effective for many causes of pain. Use of narcotics should be measured and part of an overall plan, not a tool for a quick fix or to get you out of your doctor’s face. It is part of reality that even if you are not a drug-seeking patient, with enough exposure to narcotics you will develop tolerance (less effectiveness at the same dose) and become addicted. You should want to avoid this fate.
The pain, mental duress and reduction in quality of life associated with chronic pain can be lessened with you learning how to approach and understand your pain, taking appropriate steps to reduce things you do to exacerbate the pain, increasing the things you do to lessen the pain, and working with your health care team to provide you with appropriate support and treatment. We at www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and 844-SMA-TALK are here to support your efforts. We welcome your questions.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what 844-SMA-TALK and http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Straight, No Chaser: Endometriosis

 endometriosis-2
Guys, it really is tough to be a woman. There are so many different medical conditions women have to deal with that men don’t. Many of these just don’t even make sense. Take the example of endometriosis. This is a condition that millions of women suffer from in which cells that are supposed to live and grow in the lining of the womb (uterus), migrate, implant and grow in other parts of the body. What does that mean to the woman? For starters, it means menstrual-type activity that normally occurs in the womb can occur elsewhere. That just seems cruel. In any event, here’s your what, how, why and what to do for endometriosis.
How?
If you understand that every month a woman’s menstrual period represents the shedding of cells from the inner lining of the womb lining, then you’re most of the way to understanding endometriosis. Endometriosis is the result of these shedded cells migrating, implanting and growing outside of the uterus.

endometriosis

Where?
Tissue that migrates from the womb (endometrial lining) most commonly implants onto the ovaries, bladder, intestines, rectum and pelvic lining, although other locations are possible.
Who gets it?
You’re more likely to develop endometriosis if someone in your family (e.g., mother or sister) has it, if you started your periods at a young age, if you’ve never had children, if your periods are irregular (i.e., frequent or last more than seven days at a time) of if you have a closed hymen (vaginal opening).
What happens next?
One oddity of these endometrial implants is they tend to stay affixed to their new areas in a way that didn’t occur in the womb. Because this is the tissue that is involved in menstruation, they can grow and bleed in conjunction with your menstrual cycle.
What are the symptoms?
Any, all or none of the following may occur. Endometriosis may exist without symptoms, but it’s most typically defined by pain.

  • Pain during or following sexual intercourse
  • Pain with bowel movements
  • Painful periods
  • Pelvic/low back pain at any time during the menstrual cycle
  • Premenstrual and menstrual pain and/or cramping in the lower abdomen
  • Intestines obstruction (blockage) or other abnormal functioning (rarely)

How is this figured out?
Your job is to recognize the symptoms and seek assistance. Tests may include a vaginal ultrasound and direct visualization of your pelvis via a procedure called laparoscopy, which also allows for treatment.
How is this treated?
There’s a wide range of treatment, which depends on your level of health, the presence/significance of symptoms and your desire to have children in the future.
Options range from symptomatic treatment with exercise, relaxation techniques and pain medication to hormonal medications and surgery to remove areas of the endometriosis. The options are assessed and used based on the particulars of each patient. Details of individual medical and surgical options are discussed at www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com.
What’s the end result?
The treatments mentioned are often effective in improving symptoms but not in providing a cure. A cure is most likely to occur by removal of the womb (uterus), fallopian tubes, and both ovaries (a hysterectomy/oophorectomy).
Complications of endometriosis can include infertility, but this is not universal. More commonly, pain interferes with the activities of daily living, there are large cysts in the pelvis (called endometriomas) and post-menopausal cancer presents in the affected areas.
You should get evaluated for endometriosis if a family member has endometriosis or has particularly problematic menstrual periods or if you are having difficulties becoming pregnant (especially after trying for one year).
endometlook
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you have on this topic.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what  http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2014 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress