Health Talk with Adeola

health talk with Adeola
RECOGNISING STRESS AND HOW TO MANAGE IT

Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure. Stress is a common experience in everyday life. We feel stress in response to situations that we find difficult or challenging. People have different ways of reacting to stress, so a situation that feels stressful to one person may be motivating to someone else.

Whilst a bit of stress can help to motivate us to reach our goals; too much stress can be bad for our bodies and minds. Feeling over-burdened at work, reacting to a major life event, and coping with a difficult situation we were not expecting are some examples of things people report as causing a high level of stress. Stressful life events do not necessarily have to be negative events. For example, events such as starting a new job, moving house and getting married can all be stressful. Overall these positive and negative pressures of life turn into stress when you feel unable to cope.

Telltale signs of stress building up include:

  • Not being able to sleep properly with worries going through your mind.
  • Minor problems causing you to feel impatient or irritable.
  • Not being able to concentrate due to many things going through your mind.
  • Being unable to make decisions.
  • Drinking or smoking more.
  • Not enjoying food so much.
  • Being unable to relax and always feeling that something needs to be done.
  • Headaches and muscle tension in the neck and shoulders
  • Feeling tense. Sometimes ‘fight or flight’ hormones are released causing physical symptoms. These include:
  •  Feeling sick (nauseated).
  • A ‘knot’ in the stomach
  • Feeling sweaty with a dry mouth.
  • A ‘thumping’ heart (palpitations).

Signs and symptoms of stress overload

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Cognitive symptoms:                                          
  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying
Emotional symptoms:
  • Depression or general unhappiness
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Moodiness, irritability, or anger
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Other mental or emotional health problems
health talk with Adeola
Physical symptoms:
  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Chest pain, rapid heart rate
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Frequent colds or flu
Behavioral symptoms:
  • Eating more or less
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

Effects of chronic stress

If you tend to get stressed out frequently, like many of us in today’s demanding world, your body may exist in a heightened state of stress most of the time. And that can lead to serious health problems. Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body. It can suppress your immune system, upset your digestive and reproductive systems, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and speed up the aging process. It can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.

Health problems caused or exacerbated by stress include:

  1. Depression and anxiety
  2. Pain of any kind
  3. Sleep problems
  4. Autoimmune diseases
  5. Digestive problems
  6. Skin conditions, such as eczema
  7. Heart disease
  8. Weight problems
  9. Reproductive issues
  10. Thinking and memory problems

Improving your ability to handle stress.

  1. Realise when it is causing a problem and identify the causes: An important step in tackling stress is to realise when it is a problem for you and make a connection between the physical and emotional signs you are experiencing and the pressures you are faced with.
  2. Review your lifestyle: Are you taking on too much? Can you do some things in a more leisurely way?
  • Eat Healthily: There is also a growing amount of evidence showing how food can affect our mood.
  • Be aware of your smoking and drinking: If possible, try to cut right down on smoking and drinking. They may seem to reduce tension, but in fact they can make problems worse. Alcohol and caffeine can increase feelings of anxiety.
  • Exercise: well proven to reduce stress.
  • Take Time Out: To relax and do some self care.
  • Get some restful sleep: Relieves tiredness and helps you think clearly to deal with stress.
  • Build supportive relationships: friends or family can offer help and practical advice can support you in managing stress. Joining a club, enrolling on a course, or volunteering can all be good ways of expanding your social networks and encourage you to do something different.

Treatment

health talk with Adeola
health talk with Adeola

Some people find they have times in their lives when stress becomes severe or difficult to cope with. See a doctor if stress  becomes worse. Further treatments  eg pyschological therapies or medication may be appropriate.

Take away bite:

If you continue to feel overwhelmed by stress, seeking professional help can support you in managing effectively. Do not be afraid to seek professional help if you feel that you are no longer able to manage things on your own. Many people feel reluctant to seek help as they feel that it is an admission of failure. This is not the case and it is important to get help as soon as possible so you can begin to feel better. Remember stress is a risk factor for and can precipitate physical and mental health problems so seek help when you feel stressed and are unable to cope and/or function.

Best wishes,

Dr Adeola.

Health Talk with Adeola

Acknowledgements: NHS inform, Mental Health Foundation, Patient UK, Help Guide. American Psychiatry Association

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Health Talk With Adeola

health talk with Adeola

Welcome to another edition of Health Talk. May I humbly ask our female readers to please read this! Can you also kindly pass on to the wonderful men in your life. Husband, brothers, fathers, friends… please don’t exclude anyone. 🙏🏽 Thanks.

Aunty Lulu.

This month on Health Talk, let’s talk about Men’s health …

Hello 👋 everyone … it’s time to give men some attention .

Men generally have much lower health care seeking habits than women. Some men feel it’s not manly to seek such help and would man it up for as long as they can. We want men to be aware that it’s okay to discuss freely with their doctors and timely too, to prevent the negative outcomes of delayed health seeking behaviours .

A lot more men are coming forward to seek health care realising that many men share these concerns and can choose to see male doctors if it makes it easier to disclose sensitive health concerns ..

Two particular areas where men find it difficult to seek help are :

  1. Mental health
  2. Male genital problems

MENTAL HEALTH

Mental health conditions can creep in slowly and it can be a challenge at times to actually come to the realisation and the acceptance that one is struggling with it .

Depression and Anxiety – which are the commonest types can start insidiously and can be subtle resulting in most men suppressing it . These conditions when not not dealt with it can soon take over, become obstructive and interfere with optimal functioning in every areas of life .
Please seek help early and there are lots of interventions available from talking therapies and/or medications among other means.

MALE GENITAL PROBLEMS

These are, but not limited to testicular /scrotal pain or lumps and bumps which can be a symptom of infection, cysts, hydrocoele, varicocoele or something more serious like testicular cancers which are common in younger men.

Erectile dysfunction is another condition that men find difficult to discuss but these are amenable with medications and can alert doctors to underlying heart problems or diabetes amongst other causes that would otherwise be missed. Erectile dysfunction also commonly occur as a side effect of some medications . Doctors do listen and treat this with confidentiality and lots of sensitivity.

Prostate problems can manifest as difficulty in passing urine ,poor stream or needing to urinate frequently amongst other symptoms.This is common in older men and most find it embarrassing but again there can be sensitive discussions about treatment options as well as the important need to exclude prostate cancer .

***Breast swellings and lumps can occur in men and this should necessitate an urgent visit to the doctor to exclude serious causes .

The above is just an overview to raise awareness and to encourage men to seek help early and I will be discussing each problem more deeply as necessary as we go along .

Thank you for your time and I will be happy to answer your questions.

Adeola.

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Health Talk With Adeola

health talk with Adeola

Welcome to another volume of Health Talk with Dr. Adeola. In this episode, she tackles ‘weight loss’.

May I implore our dear readers with successful weight loss stories to kindly share – so others can be encouraged, and/or emulate your achievements.

Enjoy.

Feb 2019

Hello everyone … it’s February already !

Let’s talk about Weight loss and special diet: the new ‘in thing’ and that which we are all either trying to lose or at least maintain..

I don’t intend to preach, I know it’s hard to get the balance right especially when it seems to be a struggle against nature (especially after kids for females 😀) and for both gender as we grow older.

Diet

The most important factor is what we eat; if we do not control this, all other modalities to achieve weight loss may be ineffective . In the simplest form weight gain or loss is the result of the difference in what comes in and comes out of our body : how much our body uses up for energy and what is left to be stored up as fat.

There are lots of diets advertised but whatever dietary methods is chosen, it is important to make sure it’s the right one and there aren’t any medical problems that can make the method harmful for the individual concerned.

We should also be aware that for some people, some medical conditions and/or medications make it more likely to gain weight or more difficult to lose weight. These group may need their doctors to prescribe weight loss medications to assist them in their efforts. However, weight loss medications are more likely to be effective with diet control.

The diet chosen should also be sustainable long-term: it should be a diet one enjoys and can incorporate into everyday meals at home rather than a short term one else there usually will be rebound weight gain after stopping – which is more demoralising than where one started from.

Exercise

Exercise is very useful for burning off what the body doesn’t need, toning up and also for cardiovascular fitness – which is important for overall body metabolism and a determinant of general health and fitness.

Some simple fitness routines can be incorporated into a busy schedule such as walking to the shops, taking the stairs etc. There are exercises that can be done without necessarily going to the gym or buying expensive gadgets and these are available freely over the internet.

Please note that attending a gym is great – because it affords access to structured programmes by fitness trainers but, inability to access the gym shouldn’t be a deterrent to achieving almost equally effective exercise and workouts.


An exercise routine also has to be simple enough to follow (simple doesn’t equate easy 😀)otherwise we won’t follow through …

We all aspire to maintain a healthy diet and to engage in regular exercises, we are in the race together and so we wish ourselves best of luck😊

Adeola

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Health Talk With Adeola

health talk with Adeola

Maintaining health and preventing ill health.

Some factors we can’t modify, for example we can’t do anything about our age, sex, genetic-makeup ( eg family health history )and constitutional make up ( eg height ) : all these have non modifiable effects on our health but we can make little adjustments to other modifiable areas that can impact on our health .

The factors which are modifiable are :

What’s on the table ? Diet
How are we moving ? Exercise
Our waist line ? Weight
Our habits. ? Smoking /excessive alcohol use
Any downtime ? Relaxation
What’s on upstairs ? Mental health ?

Perfection is not possible but little positive changes in these aspects above can help maintain health , prevent ill health, improve current health problems , reduce the chance of adverse health outcomes and sustain the mind positively with improvement in overall well being .
Best of luck 😊

Thank you

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Health Talk With Adeola

health talk with Adeola

Welcome to Health Talk With Adeola. I posted a topic for discussion last week Here

Below is my advice on the posted topic.

So , period problems … heavy prolonged and/ or painful bleeding is what ladies usually complain about .

Usually caused by hormonal changes during your normal cycle and this though bothersome is usually harmless and can be helped in general terms by simple measures , appropriate contraception and medications but there can be other causes which can necessitate your visit to the doctors so it is important you see your doctor to help you clarify , suggest treatment options and put your mind to rest as to whether it’s just a season of your normal reproductive life ( varying from puberty to the peri menopause) or whether there are possibly more potentially serious but treatable causes to be investigated . Always be safe . Check with your doctor .

Adeola.

 

Please feel free to share your opinion/experience or ask questions in the comments. Don’t hesitate  to contact me or Dr Adeola directly.

 

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