9 questions you're too scared to ask about your body

Which of these questions are you not asking? As embarrassing as it may be, the time to start asking is NOW.

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  • Our bodies are complex machines. Taking care of them can be a challenge. And sometimes weird problems crop up that can be embarrassing to ask a doctor about. Here are nine of those questions that may have most of us too scared to speak up.

  • Is hair loss in women a reason to talk to a doctor?

  • While women almost never deal with receding hairlines, they do have hair loss concerns. According to WebMD, there are various causes for thinning hair or spots of baldness. Many women have known the thinning that accompanies childbirth (hair growth could take up to two years to return to normal), and stress is a common cause as well. Thyroid problems or polycystic ovary syndrome can be causes too, so if you're experiencing hair loss it's a good idea to check with a doctor to find out if there are bigger health concerns at play.

  • When should blood in the stool be a concern?

  • Anyone who has heavy or continuous bleeding in their stool should head straight for the hospital, and the same goes for any bleeding that is accompanied by "severe abdominal pain or cramping" or "anal pain," the Mayo Clinic advises. It's good to note as well that blood in the stool isn't always red. If the bleeding is at the anus or in the lower gi tract, it will be red most of the time, but if the bleeding is coming from earlier in the digestive system (upper gi, stomach), it will not be red. If blood in the stool lasts for more than a day or two, go to the doctor. If you're younger than 40 and have constipation, it likely doesn't warrant testing. But those older than 40 may need tests such as a colonoscopy to rule out the possibility of cancer.

  • What kind of memory loss is an indication of something bad?

  • Stress and busy lives have many of us forgetting where we put our keys, when that appointment was, and the grocery list. And forgetfulness is often a normal part of aging, too. More serious symptoms may not be related to dementia or Alzheimer's, or even stress; they can be related to medications, vitamin B12 deficiency, or thyroid, kidney, or liver disorders, according to the National Institute on Aging. If memory is an ongoing problem or even gets worse, talk to your doctor, who can diagnose the cause or send you to a specialist.

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  • Should a man in need of a prostate exam visit a male or a female doctor?

  • There does not seem to be any official answers to this concern. Choosing a doctor for any exam or procedure involves a variety of considerations that will be unique to the patient. Some men may think a female doctor won't be as gentle as a male (who may have more empathy because of shared experience) with their sensitive areas; others may think that a female's hands will be smaller and thus lead to less discomfort during an exam.

  • What can be done about 'leaking' when sneezing, coughing, or jumping?

  • Most women who have given birth know the worry: The sneezing or coughing from a cold, a good laugh, or the jumping parts of a fun aerobic workout can cause leakage of urine. And men can experience it too, especially as they age. The best solution is to engage in exercises that help to strengthen the pelvic floor. While women likely have heard about (and keep forgetting to do) "Kegels," men can do similar exercises, too.

  • Is it normal for a man to have discharge from his nipple?

  • Women who aren't pregnant or breastfeeding may sometimes have discharge from their nipples, but to rule out any health concerns, they should contact their doctors, the Mayo Clinic advises. Men who have discharge should definitely get in touch with their doctors as it may be a sign of breast cancer.

  • Can overly sweaty feet be managed?

  • Some people's feet actually sweat so much that they slip around inside their shoes, the American Podiatric Medical Association notes. Sweating may also lead to odor. The APMA suggests washing feet daily with antibacterial soap, drying thoroughly, and then using cornstarch, foot powder, or an antifungal powder. You can also wear "wicking" socks that draw moisture away from feet, and change socks during the day. There are even machines people can use at home that employ iontophoresis, a technique "which uses water to conduct a mild electrical current through the skin."

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  • How can a woman tell if discharge is normal or not?

  • Women put up with loads of indignities when it comes to their bodies. Their periods, childbirth, changes in their breasts over time ... all bring questions and concerns. Discharge from the vagina can be normal or not. Basically, "if it's clear with no scent or a slight musky odor," according to lifescript.com, it's nothing to worry about. But "white with a cottage cheese texture" could signal a yeast infection, a fishy smell along with itchiness could mean a bacterial infection, and "foul-smelling" discharge could indicate a sexually transmitted disease. Go to the doctor to get help with any of the above.

  • What should you do about a boil?

  • Just the name of this biblical plague sounds gross. And having a bump that's red or filled with pus anywhere on the body is uncomfortable and icky. Most boils are caused by staphylococcal bacteria, or just "staph." Usually, they will run their course with time. But see a doctor, WebMD says, if you get a fever, your lymph nodes are swollen, if red streaks appear around the boil, if it doesn't drain or a second boil appears, or if you have diabetes or any problems with your immune system.

  • No matter your concern, give that hard-working immune system some TLC by supplementing your body's natural intelligence and capacity to fight disease and heal itself with Cell-IQ's Immune-Q.

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Cathy Carmode Lim is the founder of RatedReads.com, a website that reviews books and gives them ratings according to content. She is also a copy editor and blogs at LifeandLims.com.

Website: http://RatedReads.com

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