After I was diagnosed with prolapse, my doctor prescribed a hormone cream and I was given a vaginal pessary.
I’ve been trying to get used to it and sometimes I forget it’s there, but sometimes I find it uncomfortable.
How successful are these devices and is there an alternative?
Inside the pelvis is a “hammock” of muscles and ligaments called the pelvic floor, which in women supports the uterus, bladder, and rectum.
If these muscles are weak, as they can be due to aging, obesity, and after pregnancy, they don’t hold everything in place the way they should, so there may be some downward movement.
This is what doctors call prolapse, and it’s a common problem. The term “prolapse” actually covers a wide range of problems depending on which organ is affected and to what extent it “droops”.
After I was diagnosed with prolapse, my doctor prescribed a hormone cream and I was given a vaginal pessary. How successful are these devices and is there an alternative?
With significant prolapse, the uterus may protrude noticeably from the vagina. The type and extent of prolapse will affect symptoms, which may include heaviness, a dragging sensation, feeling of a lump, bladder symptoms, urinary incontinence, and painful intercourse.
A vaginal ring is one way to support prolapse for people who don’t want surgery. This is usually a donut-shaped plastic device that sits at the top of the vagina and supports everything.
It must be fitted by a doctor, and often takes several approaches to find the right size. Estrogen containing creams are used along with hormone replacement therapy creams to keep tissues healthy and comfortable.
Why I welcome the new “fat jab”
Last week, NHS health officials green-lit a new shot called semaglutide for obese people who are struggling to lose weight.
The weekly injection, which essentially tricks the body into thinking it has enough to eat, has been widely criticized, with some calling it unethical or dismissed as a “fat prick”.
But I applaud a drug that doctors like myself will soon be able to prescribe to people with obesity-related conditions like diabetes.
Whether we like it or not, obesity is a major problem responsible for most of the chronic diseases I see in the clinic.
Most patients tried every diet in the world, but nothing worked.
Therefore, any additional tool that we can offer is welcome. And I would rather that than another useless fad diet.
Gynecologists recommend pelvic floor exercises to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, and they are even more effective when a trained pelvic physical therapist is involved in the process.
Losing weight and preventing constipation are also important.
There are many surgical options for prolapse, depending on symptoms and general health, and this should be discussed with a gynecologist.
Notorious vaginal mesh surgeries have been performed for prolapse, but are now only done as part of research studies due to the complications they cause. Other surgical options are available, and new techniques are constantly being developed.
I have had very loose, floating stools for the past four weeks.
They are also more frequent than I’m used to, and sometimes I find myself leaking, which is frustrating. It doesn’t hurt me, but it’s not normal for me.
Should I work up the courage to see a therapist in case something serious happens?
A significant change in bowel function like this is an absolute reason to see a doctor.
The worry is that something is wrong with the pancreas, the gland in the abdomen that produces enzymes that break down food.
We need one of these enzymes to digest fat. Without it, the fat we consume stays in the intestines and ends up in the stool.
The medical term for this problem is called steatorrhea, and it can be a sign of pancreatic cancer. It can also be a sign of pancreatitis, when the pancreas becomes inflamed, sometimes due to gallstones.
Steatorrhea is also a sign of celiac disease, which is an inflammatory bowel disease and can be something that happens to people with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that affects the function of many organs.
To find out the cause, it is necessary to conduct an urgent examination to identify all these things.
The best type of pancreatic scan is a CT scan, but the doctor usually starts with an ultrasound as it is easier to obtain.
After eating, I find myself sweating profusely all over my body for an hour.
My GP did some tests that showed I had high blood sugar. He knows I don’t like taking pills, so he suggested a diet.
Do you think this will work?
Sweating after eating, known as taste sweating, is normal after eating hot and spicy foods.
But if it happens regularly, it could be a sign of an unusual condition involving nerve damage, specifically nerve damage in the mouth.
It can happen after surgery or injury, and can also be a side effect of certain medications.
We also see nerve problems in cancer, where the tumor presses on the nerve.
This is due to vitamin B12 deficiency and also in heavy drinkers.
Do you have a question for Dr. Ellie?
Write to [email protected] or Health, The Mail on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London, W8 5TT.
Dr. Ally can only answer in a general context and cannot respond to individual cases or give personal answers. If you have health problems, always consult your doctor.
And yes, it can also be the result of diabetes, which is actually the most common cause of autonomic nerve problems — the nerves that control involuntary movements like breathing, heart rate, and sweating.
To assess this type of problem, nerve function tests need to be arranged. This is usually done in a hospital.
Such an unusual symptom requires more testing than a blood test, especially if it is new and persistent.
Depending on the results of the nerve exam, a scan may also be required.
If all sinister causes have been ruled out, it may be worth considering medication or treatment if it is very worrying.
This will be under the supervision of a specialist with a referral to the hospital.
Specific treatments may include a cream or pill that blocks the nerves of the sweat glands, or Botox injections that have been shown to reduce sweating in the area where they are injected.
Only More Dentists Will Fix Our Oral Health Crisis
Have you been able to make an appointment with an NHS dentist lately?
I have read endless reports of people across the country waiting months for dental treatment.
I also heard horror stories, such as patients pulling out their decayed teeth with pliers, and teenagers having to wait two years for treatment for excruciating toothache.
Have you been able to make an appointment with an NHS dentist lately? I have read endless reports of people across the country waiting months for dental treatment.
The government has blamed the pandemic on the backlog and injected £50m into the resources of NHS dentists so they can see more patients.
But the real problem is that there are simply not enough dentists in some areas.
I have read about patients living in the Scottish countryside who have to travel for hours to see the only dentist in the area. And when that dentist gets sick, there’s nowhere to go.
So, how long have you been waiting for a visit to the dentist? Write and tell me.