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Women Health

Submitted by Nick on February 4, 2011

Women Health

Mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, no matter what role they play, they do it with love and care. As care takers though, many women neglect their own health. Due to negligence, lack of knowledge about specific women’s health issues, or lack of insurance, many women have to make tough choices about healthcare. As age catches up with you, every individual may suffer from certain health problems, depending on lifestyle and family history of diseases. Apart from these common factors, women also suffer from health problems due to menopause.

Young women suffer from gynecological health problems like irregular periods, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), fibroids, and conditions arising from hormonal imbalance. During and after pregnancy, women’s health includes nutrition and wellbeing of the child and the mother.
Often women ignore their own health, while focusing all their attention on their partner or children.

They may miss early signs of diabetes, heart diseases, and osteoporosis. Another women’s health concern focuses on cancer and women-related cancer risks such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and so on. In addition to a family physician, it is important that women refer to a health specialist who is well-equipped to deal with medical conditions specific to women.

Medical conditions such as osteoporosis, obesity, and depression are more common in women than in men. While health care is expensive, government laws try to subsidize women’s health insurance and introduce programs such as free or subsidized health check-ups and annual mammograms. Do not ignore signs and symptoms of diseases due to expensive medical care or prescription drugs.

Both at the state and federal level, women’s health centers partner with other women centric non-profit organizations to make medicines and medical facilities available to everyone in the society. Reach out through these organizations to receive the best medical care possible.

Women health issues. Contrary to popular belief, breast cancer is not the top women’s killer disease. Cardiovascular disease claims more women every year than cancer. While medical research in women’s health has expanded greatly in the past decade, some preventive measures may help fight some of these women’s health threats.

Here is a list of the top 10 diseases that women may suffer from and health tips to avoid the same.

• Cardiovascular diseases and fatalities arising from stroke or heart attack afflict women as much as men. High cholesterol fuels the risk of stroke among women. Factors such as age, family history, lifestyle, and so on may influence conditions such as blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, and high cholesterol. Women must make necessary lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet and proper exercise to avoid fatalities arising from a stroke.

• Lung cancer is the number one cause of death among women, followed by breast or colon cancer. Early evaluation may spell the difference between treatment and fatality. Early stages of cancer maybe treated through medication and chemotherapy. Early detection of tumors helps the doctors in surgical removal before they turn dangerous or spread. Another chronic lung condition that women risk suffering from is COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Exposure to cigarette smoke, even second-hand smoke, chemical pollutants, and exposure to constant air pollution increases the chances of COPD in women.

• Alzheimer’s, an aging medical condition, is one of the most common mental illnesses in women, especially after the age of fifty. While there is no concrete method to prevent Alzheimer’s, women must follow physical and mental fitness to avoid this condition. Ensuring that you are mentally fit is almost as important as being physically fit. Practice mental exercises, breathing exercises, and meditation to de-stress and find mental peace. Explore new places, ideas, and people. As you grow older, find hobbies that will keep you mentally ticking and promote concentration.

• Obesity and type-2 diabetes among women is growing at an alarming rate. Complications arising from type-2 diabetes can lead to heart diseases, nerve damage, kidney or liver problems, vision problems, and so on. Diet and exercise play an important role in maintaining weight and preventing diabetes. A regular check-up of blood sugar levels is essential if you are suffering from diabetes or have a family history of the medical condition. Excess weight or losing weight suddenly, irritability, uncommon fatigue, and exhaustion are all signs of oncoming diabetes that women should not overlook.

• Common medical conditions such as cold and flu may turn deadly if not treated. Complications may arise from viral flu when a weakened immune system cannot fight back. Flu vaccines for children are essential since their developing immune system may not be able to fight the viral infection. Similarly, women must also take preventive measures against the flu by getting the annual or seasonal flu vaccines on time.

• Everyday injuries such as slipping in the bathroom to major motor accidents may cause injuries. Left untreated, these injuries may turn fatal. Women must treat wounds immediately and request a complete check-up after an injury to ensure that no bodily harm has occurred. Do not put off X-rays, scans, or MRI that can indicate any damage or injury. Similarly, women must schedule regular mammograms, colonoscopies, and blood pressure and blood sugar tests.

• A healthy diet can also prevent the risk of kidney disease amongst women. Limiting sodium intake, red meat, refined flour products, processed food and alcohol are just some of the preventive measures women can undertake to stay fit and free of diseases.

Mental health. Women’s mental health is an important aspect of her overall health needs. However, women possess unique mental health needs. We need to understand and approach women’s health bearing this in mind. Many mental illnesses have their roots in childhood. Childhood trauma, juvenile rape, and substance abuse by parents may all trigger mental health issues amongst women. Some of them may surface later in life as chronic depression, thoughts of suicide, insomnia, eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, and other personality disorders.

Post pregnancy, women may suffer from postpartum depression. Hormonal imbalances may alter mood and energy levels. Many women suffer from guilt since depression keeps them away from their children. There is a lack of self worth and the feeling that they are ‘bad mothers’. Postpartum depression maybe treated through therapy, counseling, and medication. Left untreated, postpartum depression can affect the wellbeing of the mother and the newborn.

Midlife crisis can be devastating for women. Apart from hormonal changes during menopause, women may undergo a downward shift in their self-confidence levels. Changing body shape, the loss of beauty and youth, lack of energy and mood swings may cause women to suffer from depression and body image issues. A supportive family and involved community may help women undergo this transition more smoothly. It is important to seek professional help for mental illnesses. The first step is to know that you are not alone and causes of mental illness may be more common than you think. Cast side the taboo of involving a doctor or family friend to help you find a solution to your mental problem. Many psychological problems like obsessive compulsive disorders, anxiety disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorders go unidentified among women. As part of your recovery process from your ailment, you may choose what works for you: family and friends, church and faith, trained guidance counselor, company resource, or local support groups such as YWCA, AA, and so on.
Women’s health must focus on her physical and mental needs. Moreover, women must remain alert to signs and symptoms of diseases. Maintaining a healthy diet, physical fitness, and stress-free lifestyle can improve her health and keep her energetic. Bonding with family, making new friends, and keeping her mind open to new ideas gives women a sense of purpose and mental agility that may lower the risk of mental illnesses.
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