Pelvic Floor Disorder: Let’s Talk About It!
Pelvic Floor Disorder (PFD) is a term used to describe a group of disorders that affect the pelvic floor. Made up of muscles, ligaments, and connective tissue, the pelvic floor supports internal organs such as the bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum. When the pelvic floor is weakened, there is no longer the support required for these organs to function properly, which results in conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, or bowel incontinence.
One out of every four women suffers from some sort of pelvic floor disorder. PFD affects women across all life stages, races, and ethnicities. Risk factors include pregnancy, obesity, diet, smoking, previous surgeries, physical and emotional stress, and more. There are also other health conditions – such as Parkinson’s Disease – that affect nerves which weaken the pelvic floor muscles.
Many women who suffer from pelvic floor disorders believe it’s a natural part of the aging process and that nothing can be done to alleviate their symptoms. They spend hundreds of dollars on products for incontinence, believing that they must live with their symptoms instead of seeking treatment – but this doesn’t have to be the case. There are effective treatments for PFD that enable a woman to continue living her everyday life, but the first step is to tell a healthcare provider about your symptoms.
Although your OB/GYN may have knowledge about PFD, it is a good idea to see an expert physician who has specialized experience with this disorder – that’s where an urogynecologist comes in. An urogynecologist is a doctor who has received special training in conditions that occur within the pelvic organs and surrounding muscles and tissue, treating problems including incontinence, overactive bladder, pelvic organ prolapse, and recurrent urinary tract infections. Improving your quality of life is their goal, and they have the knowledge and the experience with a variety of treatment options proven to relieve – or cure – disorders of the pelvic floor.
For most women, speaking to a doctor about these issues can be embarrassing, but with one in four women suffering from some sort of PFD, patients must advocate for themselves by having open communication with their doctor. Here are some tips for overcoming the embarrassment and becoming your own healthcare advocate:
Make a list. Before your appointment, make a list of your symptoms as well as any questions you may have. Include a complete list of prescription and over the counter medications and any previous surgeries you have had. This will save time during an appointment that naturally has time constraints.
Just say it! During your appointment, be open and honest about your symptoms, fears, and frustrations. Many women who suffer from a PFD limit their activities to compensate for their symptoms. Your healthcare provider will be able to educate you on treatment options so that you don’t miss out on your favorite activities.
Practice daily care. After your appointment, staying on top of your regular physical care is essential. According to your type of PFD. Your doctor may suggest specific daily care tasks, such as limiting fluid intake, doing pelvic floor exercises, and/or losing weight.
Enlist a loved one. Daily encouragement is crucial for the mental, emotional – and sometimes physical – support of a woman with a PFD. Be honest with your loved ones about needs and allow them to help in ways they can.
If you suffer from Pelvic Floor Disorder or have similar symptoms, don’t wait to discuss the issue with your doctor. As you can see, there is hope! We at the Veranda are here to help guide you from diagnosis to treatment. Call us at 229-883-7010 and make an appointment with us today.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is the month we draw attention to breast cancer at the national level – providing support and encouragement to individuals struggling with breast cancer while teaching others the importance of early detection. The most effective way to catch breast cancer early is a mammogram. Statistics from the American Cancer Society say breast cancer death rates are down 39% since 1989, attributed to both improvements in treatment and early detection by mammograms. This “No FEAR Plan” created by the National Breast Cancer Foundation, is a great way to remind us how important our health is to our families and us.
NO F.E.A.R. PLAN
F- Find medical help as soon as you discover something different about your breasts, such as nipple discharge, dimpling of the tissue, a redness, or other unusual symptoms.
E- End bad habits such as overeating, excessive alcohol, smoking, and other things that deteriorate your health.
A- Allow other people to surround you with care and help.
R- Run away from bad attitudes and unhealthy thoughts that fuel the fire of fear.
It is time to live your life free of fear and anxiety.
The Veranda is here to help you with education and services. Instead of dreading mammograms, let’s embrace the opportunity for good health together!
Fall Foods that Minimize Menopause Side Effects
Menopause is a natural part of aging for every woman, but symptoms like hot flashes and weight gain are a rite of passage that most of us would like to avoid. The good news is that simple lifestyle choices, such as eating certain foods or avoiding others, may help reduce the most common symptoms of menopause. Knowing which foods are helpful, and which ones aren’t will give you more control over balancing your body’s changing needs.
- Hot flashes during menopause may be eased or aggravated just by the food choices you make. Eating dark green veggies like Swiss chard may be helpful, while hot or spicy foods may cause hot flashes to seem even worse.
- Apples – fall’s fruit of the season, may also calm inflammation throughout the body, which can increase for some women during menopause. An added benefit – apples can also provide a good source of fiber.
- Try to keep your calorie counts lower by packing raw vegetables and a plant-based, high-protein item like hummus for a snack. If you enjoy barbecue fare, opt for grilled chicken breast or grilled fish over burgers and hot dogs to cut back on your saturated fat intake.
Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Dip
- 3/4 cup International Delight Pumpkin Pie Spice Creamer
- 1 3.4 oz package pumpkin spice instant pudding
- 1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
- Graham cracker crumbs for garnish, and graham crackers for dipping
- In a bowl, whisk together the International Delight Pumpkin Pie Spice Creamer with pumpkin spice instant pudding. Set aside for about 5 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese and sugar.
- Add in pudding to cream cheese mixture and beat.
- Once well combined, fold in the 2 cups of thawed whipped topping and refrigerate.
- When ready to serve, fill bowl with Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Dip topped with graham cracker crumbs.
If you can’t find pumpkin spice instant pudding (it is seasonal), you can use either vanilla or cheesecake instant pudding with a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.