What is Your Body Telling You?

New MessageOur physical body takes a hit when we experience stress. Even if that stress is not especially negative or traumatic, our body takes the wear.

And if the stress involves danger or trauma, or continues over a significant period of time, our body may just “shut down” in some way.

It has been estimated that 75% or more of the time a patient visits a primary care physician the true reason is stress, psychological difficulty, or something related. In other words, most of the time the problem did not BEGIN with a physical problem or body dysfunction.

That doesn’t mean the physical symptoms aren’t real. It means that our entire being is connected together, and what affects one part affects all the others as well.

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The Bad (or Good) News about STDs

Fearful WomanThere’s one part of my job as an OB-Gyn physician that I dread. And I’ve had to do it several times in the last two weeks.

I dread telling a woman she has just been diagnosed with an STD.

Within just the past few days I’ve had to address HIV, HPV, herpes, and chlamydia. There’s just no easy way to tell someone that kind of news. The tears, the physical distress, the fear, often the shame, in a woman’s face just tears at my heart.

“I never thought this would happen to me.” “I thought I was being careful.” “Will this stop me from having children in the future?” “How am I going to tell my partner?”

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A Time for Everything

The Byrds Turn Turn TurnThe Byrds sang it: “A time to every purpose under heaven.”

I wonder how many people who still sing Turn! Turn! Turn! realize that the lyrics were taken essentially word-for-word from the Bible, Ecclesiastes ch. 3. It talks about a truth that those of us who live in this super-charged ultra-fast over-connected society often forget.

As an OB-Gyn physician I rejoice when it’s a time to be born. But I struggle to not feel like a failure when it’s time for one of my patients, or worse yet a close friend or family member, to die.

I find myself looking for the time to laugh and dance. I struggle to embrace the time to weep and mourn.

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Alzheimer’s Disease: A Scary Thought

Elderly WomanWhat was I going to write about? Oh yes, I remember. I just had a senior moment there.

Have you ever felt like that? Are you worried about whether it’s “just” a “senior moment”, or something much more scary – Alzheimer’s?

Losing one’s mental capacity ranks near the top on any list of fears about the future as people get older. The good news about some of our health care advances is that people are living longer. The bad news is that with living longer comes a significant risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia.

Of all the topics we have asked our listeners to comment on from the Dr Carol Show, this one generated more response than any other. When we asked our listeners if they would want to know if they were going to get Alzheimer’s disease, and what they would do differently if they were, here’s a sample of the responses:

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Staying Healthy On the Road

Healthy meal of Broccoli and Lean meatKeeping a healthy lifestyle is a challenge at any time. But when you’re traveling it takes special determination to keep from falling back into less healthy eating and exercise patterns.

When you’re on the road your schedule is disrupted. You get tired. There may be meetings to get to. Fast food, airport food, restaurants, hotel breakfasts – none of those make it easy to eat fresh unprocessed food. And with fatigue and change in routine your ability to resist temptation may be less than normal as well.

If you travel only a couple times a year, eating less healthy or not getting exercise may be a small thing. But it’s very different if travel is a frequent part of your life.

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