Men and women are alike in so many ways, but there are traits, experiences, and issues that are unique to women especially when it comes to health. Here are five health concerns among women and ways to address them.
1. Heart Disease
Heart disease accounts for 29% of death among women. However, their main concern is not death per se but underdiagnosis.
The symptoms of heart disease among women vary from men, and it is harder to detect. For women, heart disease is not typically associated with chest pain, but can be simply described as pressure or tightness. Some women go through life not knowing that they have the illness, and simply attribute symptoms like shortness of breath or not being able to walk up the stairs to the normal feeling of being tired. In most cases, heart disease among women are only diagnosed when the situation is severe.
The good news is, women don’t have to fall prey to heart disease. There are ways to prevent the illness and most have to do with making healthy lifestyle choices. Eat a balanced diet, avoid smoking, exercise, get enough hours of sleep, and go to regular check-ups with your doctor so that you can keep your health in check and detect any condition early on.
Lung, breast, and cervical cancers are the cancers that affect women the most.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women, and coming next to it is breast cancer. In 2016, it is estimated that there will be 246,660 new cases of breast cancer among women. Cervical cancer used to be one of the leading cause of death among women, but the mortality rate has gone down by more than 50% in the last 30 years, thanks to the increased use of pap test. However, cervical cancer is still a main concern among women today.
While cancer can be a fatal disease, it’s not a death sentence. There are ways to lessen your chances and available treatment options. Again, the key is to live a healthy lifestyle and be aware if you have any risk factors to the disease.
Osteoporosis refers to “porous bone”, and this condition happens when you lose too much or produce too little bones, making them weak and frail. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, Osteoporosis is a threat to 44 million Americans, and 68% are women. Further, one in two women will develop the disease.
Health habits from a woman’s childhood to adulthood play a significant role on her chances of developing the disease, because bones build up and develop until age 30. During that period, it’s essential to eat food rich in calcium and vitamin D as these nutrients aid in bone repair and development. Exercise and avoiding cigarettes and alcohol can also help prevent the disease.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depressive disorders affect 12 million women each year. This is typically triggered by lost connections with family and loved ones, because women tend to live longer and become alone later on in life. In some cases, depression can be triggered by postpartum disorders after pregnancy.
Depression can be avoided by maintaining healthy relationships and connection with other people. It’s also about finding a purpose to go on each day.
5. Maternal Health
According to the World Health Organization, there’s an estimated 830 women who die each day due to pregnancy and childbirth related causes that could have been prevented.
If you want to avoid maternal health problems, learn essential information about prenatal care and seek medical attention before, during, and after pregnancy. It also pays to maintain a healthy lifestyle filled with a balanced diet, exercise, enough sleep, and devoid of substance use such as alcohol and nicotine.
Women can avoid the health concerns discussed above through making healthy lifestyle choices and recognizing any risk factors they may have for certain illnesses. Good health is partly made up of making informed decisions, and women need to start making those as early as they can so that they can enjoy a good quality of life as they age.