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By Nurse Barb Dehn
Disclosure: I was invited to attend an event about IBS-D by Salix Pharmaceuticals and am working with them to help get information out about how to talk about IBS-D symptoms and treatment options. Salix provided me with a stipend and paid for my travel and accommodations related to the event; however, all opinions are my own.
I really like this photo of models who’ve had their tummies painted to represent what it’s like to have Irritable Bowel Syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D). Between the cramping, bloating, pain and let’s face it, the frequent and unpredictable trips to the bathroom, if you have IBS-D, this might be exactly how you feel.
Could you have IBS-D? Take Nurse Barb’s Quiz
If you answered yes to these questions, then you should talk to your healthcare provider and ask if you could be like the up to 16 million Americans with IBS-D. Your HCP should evaluate your clinical history, perform a physical examination, ensure diagnostic criteria for IBS-D are met and that alarm features are absent before making a diagnosis.
Experts weigh in on IBS-D – It’s unpredictable
Recently I attended an informational event with Dr. Mark Pimentel, Executive Director of the Medically Associated Science and Technology (MAST) program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.
Dr. Pimentel explained that living with IBS can be enormously frustrating and that people with IBS-D don’t often know when they’re going to need to visit the bathroom, which can cause people to limit their lives for fear of not being able to find a restroom.
Imagine getting up and not knowing if you’ll visit the bathroom once or let’s say 12 times that day and not knowing when the urgent need to use the restroom will come up.
If you have IBS-D, then you don’t have to imagine this, you may know what it’s like to not know when you have stop what you’re doing and find a bathroom––Quickly. No wonder people start to stay home and skip doing the things they love.
And, despite a lot of well-meaning advice about what foods to eat and which ones to avoid, people with IBS-D may find that they are unable to predict if they will experience symptoms on any given day. It can be frustrating and depressing.
Quick Facts on IBS
• Some people with IBS experience constipation in more than 25% of bowel movements and diarrhea in more than 25% of bowel movements, this is known as mixed IBS.
What Causes IBS-D
– Aha! Could this information help us find effective treatments?
– Stay tuned.
Find a Gastrointestinal specialist
If you think that you might have IBS-D, then DO find a gastrointestinal specialist, known as a GI specialist, who has experience with IBS-D. Your primary care provider may not be as familiar with the latest research and treatments.
I know that this may be embarrassing to talk about, but the talk doesn’t have to be as uncomfortable as the symptoms. I really like this website: LetsTalk-2 that has resources and a list of questions for you to talk to your health care provider about.
My tips for preparing to talk to your health care provider about your symptoms
Questions about IBS-D for your health care provider
Treatment options for IBS-D
Dr. Pimentel presented data about a treatment option for IBS-D that has helped provide significant relief of both abdominal pain and diarrhea. Click here to learn more about an IBS-D treatment option.
If you’re asking this question, you’re not alone. If you’re under 30 about 1/3 of women use something slippery (lube or lubricant) to help everything glide and slide with sex. If you’re in your 50’s or beyond, it’s more like 50- 75%.
Which lubricant is best? Well that depends. Most of the manufacturers of lube have several different varieties for any situation. Here are some guidelines:
– These include Good Clean Love, KY, Sliquid, Aloe Cadabra, Sylk, Yes
– These can be used with any toy made out of anything
– Ok with all condoms
– Available in sugar-free flavors
– If you’ve used a water based lubricant and it’s feeling a little dry, instead of applying more lubricant, you can use a little bit of water to rehydrate the lubricant. (hint- your saliva will also work)
– Won’t stain the sheets and rinses off with water
Here are the facts:
Myth #1: All “Milks” are the Same
Myth #2 Milk is loaded with….. (more…)
There’s lots of reasons why sex might be painful after you turn 50. For many women as estrogen levels decline during midlife, their vaginas become much more dry and don’t have the same elasticity or ability to stretch.
What you might notice
Many women I speak to are surprised to learn that they can take birth control pills in their 40’s and early 50’s as long as there are no contraindications. Many women who are in Perimenopause, that is the time when there are a lot of menstrual irregularities, the start of hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness, will benefit from taking a low dose birth control pill to help with their symptoms as well as provide contraception.
Fertility after 40
While fertility rates do decline after 40, if a woman is still having her period, even if it’s irregular, she can become pregnant. Contraception is advised if a woman does not want to become pregnant.
I hear from a lot of women who are suddenly ready to have a baby. They want to be pregnant as soon as possible. Others are considering pregnancy and trying to get prepared.
Stop All Birth Control
It may sound obvious, and that’s because it is! If you’re ready to become pregnant, then the first thing to do is to STOP using any birth control.
With most birth control methods once you stop using them, your menstrual cycle will start up again. It may take a few weeks to see a period return, but the process that leads to your period resumes as soon as you stop birth control.
Has the switch flipped and you’re starting to think about becoming pregnant? Have you started to notice more pregnant women everywhere you go?
Does it seem like there’s a new mom pushing a stroller on every street corner? Do you see Dads with little ones in carriers? If so, you just might be starting to think about becoming a mom yourself. This is sometimes known as the pre-contemplative phase where ideas take seed and start to grow in your mind.
Questions to consider
Every woman approaches this process from their own unique perspective. Here’s some questions to consider:
I am a sponsored blog partner of Ensure®, and all of the opinions contained in this video are my own.
This summer I spent time in my kitchen trying lots of recipes that increase the amount of protein and nutrients to maintain muscle health and that also taste great. I came up with this yummy Strawberry Surprise Smoothie that uses Ensure High Protein as the base. The surprise is the addition of butternut squash instead of banana or other fruit.
I hope you enjoy it. Everyone who’s tried it loves the taste and can’t believe they’re drinking butternut squash.
In a blender combine:
1 bottle of Ensure® High Protein Vanilla Flavor
3/4 cup of strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup raw pecans
1/3 cup of butternut squash (steamed until soft, and cooled)
Blend until smooth
Optional: add 1/2 cup of ice to blend for your preferred consistency
You can click here for more information on maintaining muscle health.
To watch more of my videos on YouTube, click here.
Each 8 oz serving contains:
Calories: 479, Protein: 21.1 grams, Fat: 24.5 grams, Sodium: 184 mg, Potassium: 870 mg, Carbs: 49 grams.
Disclosure: Abbott partnered with influencers such as me for it’s Ensure® Program. As part of this Program, I received compensation for my time. Abbott/Ensure believes that consumers and influencers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Abbott/Ensure policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.
Meet my friend Trisha. She loves to fly so much that when she’s not a private corporate jet pilot, she can be found winging her way across the country working as a flight attendant.
Trisha is a healthy woman in her 40’s who is passionate about staying in shape. She loves to walk or bike to the beach and then swims in the ocean to stay in shape. She is energetic and enthusiastic and loves new adventures.
I am a sponsored blog partner of Ensure, and all of the opinions contained in this post are my own. Please do check below for additional disclosures.
Many of my patients talk about how their bodies change after 50, from sagging skin and wrinkles to weight gain around the abdomen. We discuss weight and resistance training, but there’s something more that is often overlooked – are we getting enough protein for our muscles?
After age 40 we all lose about 8% of our lean muscle mass each decade. That means that by age 70, most adults will have lost about ¼ of their muscle mass. After age 70, people continue to lose 15% of their muscle mass per decade. When a person is in the hospital or is confined to bed, their muscle loss is accelerated.
Many people are surprised to learn that our hearts and many organs are made of muscle or surrounded by muscle, which means that it’s not just the large muscles in our legs and arms that are affected by muscle loss, also known as sarcopenia. (more…)