When people are in pain they either express it openly or suffer in silence, but there are some things that the majority of the population just avoid talking about no matter how much pain they are experiencing. Research shows that many North Americans are even too shy or embarrassed to discuss certain health issues with their doctors even though they are desperate for pain relief.
Have you ever been in horrible pain, but are too embarrassed to talk to your doctor about pain relief? If you answered yes, you are not alone. Studies show that millions of Americans shy away from certain subjects because they find it too uncomfortable to discuss them with their own family doctors and by doing so they could be making a big mistake. In many cases the pain gets worse or the condition progresses and can lead to life-threatening illnesses.
Doctors say parents seem to have no problem discussing the two p’s; pee and poo, when they bring their kids in for check-ups, but when it comes to themselves it is a whole different story. According to the World Health Organization over 200 million people around the world have bladder problems. In the United States many of the people who experience pain associated with urinary issues fail to report it to their doctors. Physicians at the famed Mayo Clinic say it is important to report such pain immediately; that bladder problems could be a sign of a serious medical condition. It can also impact your social life, and prevent you from participating in physical activities. It is much the same with bowel issues. For example, ignoring blood in your stool is a major no-no. While it could be hemorrhoids, which are easy to treat, it could also be the first signs of colon cancer.
It is not known exactly how many men and women in the United States suffer from bouts of pain during intercourse likely because they don’t report it; however, research reveals that the problem is common. A survey of obstetricians in the U.S indicates that sexual problems are not discussed enough with patients. A small sampling of patients from just one clinic in New Jersey revealed that 587 women with sexual problems were suffering in silence.
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Many doctors believe that one of the biggest taboo subjects for women is pain during intercourse. This could be due to an infection, pelvic inflammatory disease or a number of other conditions that require medical attention. Men also are reluctant to talk about pain associated with intercourse. Doctors say it is silly to suffer and not seek pain relief. In some cases the problem could be as simple as an allergic reaction to a condom. In other cases it could be related to prostate problems.
Many physicians report that other problems related to male or female organs are often difficult for patients to bring up.
It isn’t just talking to a doctor that is difficult for some people who are in pain. Chronic pain sufferers don’t always like to discuss their problems with family and friends. Chronic pain often involves a long list of symptoms such as inflammation, joint stiffness, headaches, muscle pain, arm, leg and back soreness. Physicians say many patients who have chronic pain feel like people around them either don’t want to hear about their ailments or will start to think that it is all in their heads. For years there has been a stigma attached to chronic pain, much like the stigma attached to those who suffer from depression.
Whether it is complaining about your joint stiffness or telling a doctor about an embarrassing pain, psychologists say the best approach is to acknowledge out loud that the subject is normally “taboo”. This will make everyone more comfortable. You can try making a joke or try talking to a nurse first. Some patients have indicated they feel more at ease speaking with the nurse first as opposed to the doctor. The most important thing to remember is that your doctor has heard it all and getting pain relief is important for more than one reason.
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