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During the natural course of events, a women's body starts its reproductive phase with menarche and at about 50 years of age, attains menopause. This is when the reproductive function ceases and the ovaries stop producing the hormone estrogen and progesterone. In some cases, for various reasons including medical, the ovaries stop functioning earlier, and this is medically termed early or premature menopause. Menopause that occurs before 40 years of age is termed premature menopause; it is due to primary ovarian insufficiency and occurs in 1% of the women. If it occurs between 45 to 50 years, it is termed early menopause.
Causes: Normal ageing, family history, genetic disorders, autoimmune disorders, toxins, and surgery are some reasons that could lead to premature menopause.
Effects: Estrogen and progesterone have a lot of beneficial effects on a women's body. Reduction in their levels leads to some of the below changes:
- Emotional changes like mood swings, irritability, and in some cases depression, especially in premature menopause.
- Irregular cycles before complete cessation of the menstrual cycles.
- General mucosal dryness leading to vaginal dryness, dry skin, dry eyes.
- There also would be urinary incontinence and reduced sex drive due to reduced hormone levels.
- For women who still would want to have children, infertility would be a big cause for concern. This could lead to other emotional issues, worsening the depression.
- Osteoporosis - Bones lose their density and get weak and are more prone to fracture.
- Cardiovascular health - Post menopause, women are more prone to heart attacks and stroke. Though not fully proven, this is believed to be true as the good role that estrogen plays on blood vessels is negated with menopause.
- Accelerated ageing - Menopause leads to accelerated damage of genetic structures, thereby leading to faster ageing. This also leaves a feeling in the women of being less attractive and less desirable.
There is also a good news, that after menopause women are at lesser risk of cancer - especially breast and ovarian.
It is not easy for women to handle premature menopause. The body undergoes some changes much earlier than expected, and it requires a lot of support and caring and comforting to come to terms with it - especially if associated with infertility or chemotherapy for cancer. Emotional issues of not being able to have children and feeling less attractive require frank talks to boost the person's confidence and increase self-worthiness.
It is easier said than done, but one of the key ways to handle premature menopause is an open discussion. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
An ankle sprain can make life miserable. A sudden twist or stretching (due to incorrect walking, incorrect posture, wearing high heels, walking on an uneven and rough surface, exercise, games) can result in ligament(s) tear (partial or complete tear), affecting the ankle. An ankle sprain is often confused with a twisted ankle. However, the two are different as chalk and cheese. A sprained ankle can be extremely painful, taking few weeks to months to heal completely (depending on the severity).
An ankle sprain is independent of age and sex, affecting anyone and everyone under the sun. The symptoms characteristic of an ankle sprain includes:
- The affected region of the ankle may swell up immediately.
- Difficulty in walking. In severe forms, a person may find it difficult to place a step.
- The area appears bruised and tender.
- Excruciating pain and discomfort (severe case).
- Stiffness and, in some cases, discoloration of the skin around the tear.
At no point should the sprain be taken lightly. Seek medical assistance at the earliest. Negligence on your part can aggravate the situation. In extreme cases, an ankle sprain can add to your agony and discomfort, affecting the joints, bones, blood vessels, tendons, and cartilage.
Diagnosis and Treatment:
Accurate diagnosis can make the treatment effective, thus accelerating the recovery process. In case of an ankle sprain;
- Physical examination of the affected area and a thorough case study is an important diagnostic step followed by many doctors.
- X-ray of the affected ankle region can help in a better and more accurate diagnosis.
The course of treatment depends on the extent of the damage. In case of a minor sprain, doctors mostly recommend
- Keeping the affected ankle area bandaged (ACE bandage) and well protected. A crutch or a brace is a blessing for people who face difficulty in walking.
- Time and again, apply a cold compress on the sprained ankle. A cold compress can help reduce the swelling effectively.
- In case of extreme pain and swelling, your doctor may recommend an acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen
- Rest as much as possible. While sleeping, use cushions or pillows to keep the leg elevated.
Precaution and Care:
A little alertness and agility on your part can help to deal with an ankle sprain better.
- In the case of a severe sprain, try and avoid self-medication as much as possible. It can do you more harm than good.
- Exert minimum or no pressure on the affected ankle area.
- Indulge in some strengthening exercise as recommended by your physician. It is advisable that you warm up before any exercise.
- Avoid heavy, strenuous work as much as possible.
- Wearing correct footwear is important. Women who have had an ankle sprain should avoid wearing heel shoes. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Orthopedist.