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Transgender and Intersex

Transgender people are people who experience a mismatch between their gender identity and their assigned sex. Transgender people are sometimes called transsexual if they desire medical assistance to transitionfrom one sex to another. Transgender is also an umbrella term: it may include people who are not exclusively masculine or feminine (people who are genderqueer, e.g. bigender, pangender, genderfluid, or agender), third gender, or cross-dressers.
Being transgender is independent of sexual orientation: transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, etc., or they may consider conventional sexual orientation labels inadequate or inapplicable.
The term “transgender” can also be distinguished from “intersex”. Intersex is a term that describes people born with physical sex characteristics “that do not fit the typical description of male or female bodies”.
The degree to which individuals feel genuine, authentic, and comfortable within their external appearance, and accept their genuine identity is called “transgender cong-ruence”.
Many transgender people experience “gender dysphoria”. Gender dysphoria is the medical term used to describe people who experience significant distress with the sex and gender they were assigned at birth. Some people with gender dysphoria seek medical treatments such as hormone replacement therapy, sex reassignment surgery, or psychotherapy. Not all transgender people desire these treatments, and some cannot undergo them for financial or medical reasons.
Transgender people face discrimination and unfair treatment in many cultures and situations.
So let’s talk about intersex! As an introduction; let’s discuss some embryology. Emryology is the science that studies the development of embryos and fetuses in the womb.

The external genitalia of males and females are undifferentiated at 4 and 6 weeks of pregnancy, and then start to differentiate at 10 weeks for males and 20 weeks for females. The final illustrations are the external genitalia at birth. It is important to realize that the same initial tissue makes up different structures in males and females.
Some people have different circumstances, that prevent them from developing along the same path that others do. The results of these developments may be “intersex individuals” who have sex characteristics of both males and females.
“Intersex” is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.

Let’s have a look at some images by dr. Frank Netter. For example, a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside. Or a person may be born with genitals that seem to be in-between the usual male and female types—for example, a girl may be born with a noticeably large clitoris, or lacking a vaginal opening, or a boy may be born with a notably small penis, or with a scrotum that is divided, so that it has formed more like labia. Or a person may be born with mosaic genetics, so that some of her cells have XX chromosomes and some of them have XY.
Though we speak of intersex as an inborn condition, intersex anatomy doesn’t always show up at birth. Sometimes a person isn’t found to have intersex anatomy until they reach the age of puberty, or find themselves infertile adults, or die of old age and are autopsied. Some people live and die with intersex anatomy without anyone (including themselves) ever knowing.

Which variations of sexual anatomy count as intersex?
In practice, different people have different answers to that question. Imagine the sex spectrum as the color spectrum. There are different wavelengths that translate into colors most of us see as red, blue, orange, yellow. In the same way, nature presents us with sex anatomy spectrums. Breasts, penises, clitorises, scrotums, labia, gonads—all of these vary in size and shape.

The “sex” chromosomes can vary a lot, too. But in human cultures, sex categories get simplified into male, female, and sometimes intersex, in order to simplify social interactions.

So, nature doesn’t decide where the category of “male”,“intersex”, and “female” begin and end. Humans decide. Humans decide whether a person with XXY chromosomes or XY chromosomes and androgen insensitivity will count as intersex.

There is no evidence that children who grow up with intersex genitals are worse off psychologically, than those who are altered.

In fact, there is evidence that children who grow up with intersex genitals do well psychologically. In other words, these surgeries happen before the age of assent or consent, are unnecessary. Parents often ask for these operations because they fear discrimination against their children.
“Ambiguous” genitalia are not diseased, nor do they cause disease; they just look “funny” to some uninformed people. And this no reason to cut a child’s body parts off. A better solution would be to increase the society’s awareness about intersex.

There is substantial evidence that people who have been treated under the “optimum gender of rearing” model have suffered harm, psychological and physical.

And parents consenting to intersex surgeries do not appear to be fully informed about the available evidence, about
1-alternatives available to them;
2-about the risks associated with surgeries,
3-or about the theoretical problems underlying the “optimum gender of rearing” approach.

For example, they are typically not told the evidence that gender identity may emerge to an important degree from prenatal hormonal actions on the brain—and thus, that you can’t “make” a child a maintain a particular gender identity in the long term by doing surgery on him or her in infancy.

The best way to be a better human is to learn something new about science every day. If we all accept each other with all our differnces, the world will be a much better place. Wishing you the best of health.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder that affects the large intestine (colon).
Spastic colon is another term for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), The term “spastic” describes spasms of muscles in the small and large intestines. But this term spastic colon isn’t always accurate, because IBS may also be associated with decreased motility/movement of the intestine.
The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome vary from person to person. The most common symptoms are:
Abdominal pain or cramping
Feeling bloated
Gas
Diarrhea or constipation — sometimes in alternating bouts.
Mucus in the stool
For most people, IBS is a chronic condition. The symptoms might get better or worse or even disappear completely over time.
But there are symptoms that may indicate a more serious condition, such as:
Rectal bleeding
Abdominal pain that progresses or occurs at night
Weight loss
Diarrhea and constipation can aggravate hemorrhoids. Also, when you avoid certain foods, you may not get enough of the nutrients your body needs.
IBS may negatively affect your quality of life, leading to discouragement or depression.
Diagnosis
Because there are usually no physical signs to definitively diagnose IBS, your doctor will diagnose it by ruling out other conditions.
If you don’t respond to that treatment, you’ll likely require more tests. So, be ready for a lengthy process of diagnostic tests sometimes, like: Imaging tests:
and Laboratory tests:
Treatments and drugs
Because it’s not clear what causes irritable bowel syndrome, treatment focuses on the relief of symptoms so that you can live as normally as possible.
In most cases, you can successfully control mild problems of irritable bowel syndrome by learning to manage stress and making changes in your diet and lifestyle. If your problems are moderate or severe, you may need more than lifestyle changes. Your doctor may suggest medications.
Dietary changes:
Eliminating high-gas foods. items as carbonated beverages, vegetables — especially cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower — and raw fruits, should be avoided.
Eliminating gluten. Research shows that some people with IBS report improvement in diarrhea symptoms if they stop eating gluten (wheat, barley and rye).
Eliminating FODMAPs. Some people are sensitive to types of carbohydrates found in certain grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy products. You may be able to get relief from your IBS symptoms on a strict low FODMAP diet and then reintroduce foods one at time. Talk to your dietitian about it.

Fiber supplements.
Anti-diarrheal medications.
Anticholinergic and antispasmodic medications.
Antidepressants.
Antibiotics.
&
Counseling.
Lifestyle and home remedies
In many cases, simple changes in your diet and lifestyle can provide relief from irritable bowel syndrome. Although your body may not respond immediately to these changes, your goal is to find long-term, not temporary, solutions:
1- Chew very well on your food. Take the time to chew your food into smaller and smaller pieces until it’s essentially a liquid before swallowing. The interaction that your saliva has with your food is very important for the digestion process. It will make
2- Experiment with fiber. Although it helps reduce constipation, it can also make gas and cramping worse.So, the best approach is to slowly increase the amount of fiber in your diet over a period of weeks. Foods that contain fiber are whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans.
3- Avoid problem foods. Keep a food diary, find out what upsets your colon, and eliminate it from your diet. If certain foods make your signs and symptoms worse, don’t eat them. These may include alcohol, chocolate, caffeinated beverages such as coffee and sodas, medications that contain caffeine, dairy products, red meat, and sugar-free sweeteners such as sorbitol or mannitol.
If gas is a problem for you, foods that might make symptoms worse include beans, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. Fatty foods also may be a problem for some people. Chewing gum or drinking through a straw can lead to swallowing air, causing more gas.
Take care with dairy products. If you’re lactose intolerant, try substituting yogurt for milk. Or use an enzyme product to help break down lactose. Consuming small amounts of milk products or combining them with other foods also may help. In some cases, though, you may need to stop eating dairy foods completely. In this case, make sure to get enough protein, calcium and B vitamins from other sources.
Herbs. Fresh Peppermint and peppermint may provide short-term relief of IBS symptoms.
Probiotics. Probiotics are “good” bacteria that normally live in your intestines and are found in certain foods, such as yogurt, and in dietary supplements. If you have irritable bowel syndrome, you may not have enough good bacteria. Adding probiotics to your diet may help ease your symptoms.
Drink plenty of fluids every day. Water is best. Alcohol and beverages that contain caffeine stimulate your intestines and can make diarrhea worse, and carbonated drinks can produce gas. So, water and herba teas are your best options.

4- Eat at regular times. Don’t skip meals. If you have diarrhea, eating small, frequent meals makes you feel better. But if you’re constipated, eating larger amounts of high-fiber foods may help move food through your intestines.
5- Exercise regularly. Exercise helps relieve depression and stress, stimulates normal contractions of your intestines, and can help you feel better about yourself. Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you have a medical problem.
6- Use anti-diarrheal medications and laxatives with caution. In the long run, these medications can cause problems if you don’t use them correctly. So, always check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medications, and read the patient information leaflet. You will find it packed with your medicine.
Always remember that a healthy lifestyle is the key factor to overcome IBS. All the best.