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How not to make yourself crazy

Step 2: Give yourself time

Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. Anger. Resentment. Fear. Loss. Feelings are like traffic lights. They are warning signs that we do not ignore. So, let them come. Sit with them. Feel the feelings that rise to the surface. Just because you have the feeling, does not mean you have to act on it. So every day, during this grieving process, find a quiet space and let those feelings rise to the surface. Let them come with no judgment. We all grieve differently. For some, they need to talk it out. So call, whatsapp, text a friend and express the feeling. Post your feelings on your social media pages and engage with those who comment. For others, get a piece of paper or a journal and write it down. For others, doing something helps. So get a skipping rope and jump. Get outside the house and walk it out in your compound. Or even thorough clean and organize a specific room. The point is to give yourself permission to feel what you are feeling and then find a safe outlet for it. Do not rush.

By Catherine M. Ngarachu,
MA HOD Psychology,
Outspan Medical College

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Menses, also known as monthly periods/the red visitor/kunyesha…is part and parcel of a woman’s life during her reproductive years. For a majority, it slides by without much inconvenience however for some it represents the dreaded time of the month when everything turns upside down characterized by severe pain in the lower abdomen which may also radiate to the lower back and thighs. In medical terms this is referred to as dysmenorrhea ie painful menses. It’s generally experienced a day or 2 before menses and during menses. It can be severe enough to affect ones quality of life to the point of missing school/classes, work absenteeism or even needing to make visits to the hospital for injectable pain killers as oral pain killers offer no relief. When menses become a nightmare due to the pain, it is necessary to seek medical attention. There could be an underlying cause which tends to vary with age and it is therefore important to have it investigated as well as managed to ensure your quality of life is not affected. What are some of the common causes of menstrual pain?

a) Uterine fibroids : These are non-cancerous (benign) growths of the uterine muscle. They lead various symptoms including painful and/or heavy menses.

b) Endometriosis : This is a condition where the inner lining of the uterus is found in other areas within the abdomen or rarely even distant sites such as the brain. It is characterized by pelvic pain (both dysmenorrhea and general pelvic pain) but may also cause painful intercourse, pain on defecation and rarely even seizures during menses

c) Adenomyosis  : More common in older women especially those who have had several children. Occurs when the inner lining of the uterus grows into the muscle tissue of the uterus. It leads to heavy and painful menses d) Pelvic inflammatory disease This is an infection of the female reproductive tract that may also lead to painful menses

e) Congenital abnormalities : An abnormality in the development of the reproductive system can also lead to painful menses typically right from the onset of puberty eg if the hymen is completely sealed from birth and the menses cannot flow out of the reproductive tract. Sometimes there’s no specific identifiable cause What are some of the treatment options? Avoid repeated self-medication and always check with your gynecologist for the correct advice. A doctor will need to review your history, carefully examine you and probably order a few tests. Various treatment options are available with some more specific to the underlying cause. They include;

1. Analgesics : These are pain killers which vary in strength and recommended for you depending on the severity of pain experienced. Include medications like ibuprofen, buscopan, mefenaic acid, paracetamol, etc

2. Oral contraceptive pills : One of the non-contraceptive benefits of the contraceptive pills is reduction in menstrual pain.

3. Other hormonal treatments : This are especially useful in control of symptoms in conditions like endometriosis. Include options like progesterones as well as medications shut down the menstrual cycle (Gonadotropin analogues). Newer agents like Visanne are also available

4. Surgery : Your doctor may give this as an option depending on your individual context. This includes: laparoscopy for endometriosis, myomectomy (removal of fibroids) or even hysterectomy (removal of the uterus).

5. Alternative therapies : For some women exercise may reduce their cramps and for others placing a hot water bottle on the lower tummy during menses may provide some relief.

By Dr. Christine Murungi,
Consultant Obstetrician Gynecologist,
Outspan Hospital

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Out of the 15 leading causes of death, men lead women in all of them except Alzheimer's disease because many men don't live long enough to develop. Although the gender gap is closing, men still die five years earlier than their wives, on average.

While the reasons are partly biological, men's approach to their health plays a role too. Men go to the doctor less than women and are more likely to have a serious condition when they do go; research shows that as long as men are working and feeling productive, most do not consider the risks to their health.

It's obvious that what all this means is that men need to pay attention to their health. Rather than ignore, procrastinate, deny and defend, they need to face health issues head-on

Erectile dysfunction

Untreated diabetes in men can lead to erectile dysfunction and other urological problems, nerve damage (neuropathy), dehydration and damage to the eyes, kidneys and hearing. Men, after putting on weight, are more at risk for diabetes than are women. Additionally, men typically store fat differently than women, which increases their risk The link between chronic disease and erectile dysfunction is most striking for diabetes. Men who have diabetes are two to three times more likely to have erectile dysfunction than men who do not have diabetes. Among men with erectile dysfunction, those with diabetes may experience the problem as much as 10 to 15 years earlier than men without diabetes. Yet evidence shows that good blood sugar control can minimize this risk.

A man is considered to have erectile dysfunction if he regularly finds it difficult getting or keeping a firm enough erection to be able to have sex, or if it interferes with other sexual activity. Most men have occasionally experienced some difficulty with their penis becoming hard or staying firm. However, erectile dysfunction (ED) is only considered a concern if satisfactory sexual performance has been impossible on a number of occasions for some time. Men who have a problem with their sexual performance may be reluctant to talk with their doctor, seeing it can be an embarrassing issue. However, ED is now well understood, and there are various treatments available.

It is always worth consulting a physician about persistent erection problems, as it could be caused by a serious medical condition. Whether the cause is simple or serious, a proper diagnosis can help to address any underlying medical issues and help resolve sexual difficulties.

Majority of men with erectile dysfunction consider taking alcohol instead of talking about how they feel in-order to feel better. This usually makes things worse in the long run. Your work will suffer and alcohol often leads to irresponsible, unpleasant or dangerous behavior.

Come for help

Erectile dysfunction and low libido is a major health concern in men and one of the leading causes of suicidal ideation. The first step in addressing individual concerns, being honest with yourself, your partner and your doctor. After the above is brought up, treating coping with it will be easier and less stressful.


by Peter Kimani- Clinician and Medical Educator-OTRH

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