Health is the most important concern of everyone’s life. But women nowadays are neglecting their health a lot. Those women who are housewives do not health precautions or visit a doctor, unless and until some emergency occurs and those women who are the working ones do not get time to take care of her health as they are just too busy in managing their home and office. This is how women take their health for granted as they are busy taking care of others. Whether we blame it on the changing lifestyle or lesser body resistance, health issues of the women are growing at much faster rate. There are certain common problems that many women go through at some point in their lives if not taken proper care. These health problems are more commonly seen in women than men. This article consists of the top ten health issues that are more observed in women and also their symptoms and risk factors. It also provides the prevention methods that women can adopt in their lifestyle in order to reduce the risk of these diseases and live a healthier and illness free life which is something that every women and in fact everyone desires for.
10. KIDNEY DISEASE
Kidney disease and mainly chronic kidney disease is seen in many women. The main reason of developing chronic kidney disease in women is either diabetes or menopause but drug toxicity and smoking also plays a part. It is usually seen in women of the age fifty years or older. Premenopausal women are less likely to acquire this disease. Estrogen which is female steroid sex hormones is believed to provide protection against kidney diseases. These hormones are diminished when women reach menopause and so is the protection against kidney diseases. Also, the absence of a particular hormone testosterone can cause rapid progression of chronic kidney disease when women are diabetic. Chronic kidney disease may require dialysis or kidney transplant that is a kidney replacement therapy to treat it. To avoid or to prevent this disease, women should eat healthy food that would keep the diabetes under control and should also keep monitoring the blood pressure.
9. ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
Several studies have indicated that women are at much higher risk of Alzheimer’s as compared to men. It is usually due to the reduced levels of female hormone estrogen which increases the risk of Alzheimer’s in women. Estrogen prevents memory loss that is accompanied with aging and reduction in levels of this hormone hence leads to impaired memory followed by impaired thought and speech and finally complete helplessness, which are the common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. There are no such ways to prevent Alzheimer’s but managing chronic conditions, maintaining social and mental fitness and including physical activity in daily routine can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. Also, women should avoid smoking as research suggests that there is a link between Alzheimer’s and smoking.
Stroke is a Cerebrovascular disease that is caused when blockage or bleeding occurs to a blood vessel to the brain. It is often considered as a man’s disease, actually kills more women than men. Women are at highest risk of stroke at the age from forty – five to sixty – five. Hypertension and diabetes are the most common reasons of stroke. Eating junk food, excessive work pressure, no diet control and lack of exercise add up to the causes. Although risk factors of stroke cannot be controlled, but women can control the contributing factors by avoiding smoking, making healthy lifestyle choices, limiting alcohol and controlling cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure.
7. BREAST CANCER
Breast Cancer is one of the most growing problems affecting women these days. Common factors leading to breast cancer are overweight, having children at later age, less breast feeding, race as white women are more vulnerable to breast cancer, early onset of menstruation, delay of menopause, not having children, alcohol and stress. To reduce the risk, women should avoid exposure to smoke, maintain a healthy weight, protect themselves from sun, limit alcohol, breast feed their newborn baby, eat plenty of vegetables and fruits and introduce physical activity in their daily routine.
6. HEART DISEASE
A leading killer of women is the heart disease. Heart diseases usually occur after menopause as estrogen is believed to provide protection to the heart. Risk factors for heart disease include increasing age, heredity, smoking, high blood pressure and cholesterol, physical inactivity, obesity, stress and diabetes. Women should limit foods high in sodium and saturated fat, keep blood pressure and cholesterol in control, manage blood sugar, maintain weight, manage stress, exercise and avoid smoking and drinking in order to prevent heart diseases and live a healthy life.
Though osteoporosis is seen in both men and women, but it mostly threatens the wellness of women. It affects the resiliency and strength of bones which thereby leads to bone breaks and fractures. Common risk factors are ethnicity as Asians and Caucasian are more prone to osteoporosis, excessive alcohol and smoking, wiry or thin – boned frame, anorexia, sedentary lifestyle, abnormal menstrual cycles and menopause. This disease is highly preventable and thus women should consume diet rich in calcium and vitamin D and should include weight bearing physical activity to increase the repairing ability of bones of the body.
4. CHRONIC LOWER RESPIRATORY DISEASES
Several respiratory illnesses that are occurring in the lower lungs are all collectively referred to as chronic lower respiratory diseases. Some common disorders that come in this category are chronic obstructed pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis and emphysema. In chronic obstructed pulmonary disease the airways are partly obstructed which makes it difficult to breathe and consequently damaging the lungs. Cigarettes are the root cause of chronic lower respiratory diseases. Air pollution, chemicals and occupational dusts also contribute in promoting respiratory diseases. To protect the respiratory health, women should minimize exposure to air pollution and chemicals, prevent respiratory infections, maintain good nutrition, weight and hydration and last but not the least should increase muscle tone. Most importantly, women should avoid smoking.
Diabetes is a condition where body is not able to maintain normal blood sugar or glucose levels. There are though 3 types of diabetes, Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational, but Type 2 is the most common one which is seen in women. Gestational occurs mostly during pregnancy. The most common causes are obesity and old age that make women conquerable to diabetes. Diabetes can further lead to many other health problems such as kidney failure, blindness, lower limb amputation, strokes and heart diseases. It is thus very important for women to keep diabetes under control which they can achieve, by including nutritious diet and exercise in their daily routine.
Depression which is developed largely due to hormonal changes affects women about 50% more as compared to men. Lifestyle factors such as substance abuse or disconnection from loved ones, stressful life event and history of childhood abuse also sometimes leads to depression. Menopause can also be viewed as one of the causes of depression. Other risk factors are marital problems, serious chronic illness and use of drugs. To help reduce depression women should spend quality time with their loved ones, should try to keep themselves busy in work, pets, community and volunteering. Basically, love is the ultimate cure to depression.
1. COLORECTAL CANCER
Colorectal cancer is the most common health issue affecting women nowadays. It is commonly known as bowel cancer which affects rectum and colon. Old age, overweight, smoking and inflammatory bowel diseases are the factors that increase the risk of colorectal cancer in women. This is often called the “Silent Disease” as the symptoms are not clearly visible or they do not show up until the cancer reaches a stage where it is difficult to cure it. Healthy diet and exercise are the only ways which can prevent colorectal cancer in women.