On this International Women's Day 2022, we salute all of the women in our lives. We honor and respect you as goddesses. ❤️
How much do we know about the risks to our health? Overall health usually varies a lot between people. There are, for instance, 5 threats to women’s health that are serious conditions. There are steps though that we can take to reduce our chances of adding to their statistics.
Women are at particular risk for:
- Heart disease
- Breast cancer
- Lung disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Complications from diabetes
Women may be able to reduce personal risk, and improve quality of life, by being proactive about the health conditions above.
The first step is to learn about these health threats, and then determine the best things to do to minimize risk….
Heart Diseases are Obvious Threats to Women’s Health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Americans, but women are less likely to survive a heart attack should they suffer one. This makes it one of the leading threats to women’s health. The disparity may seem odd, but the reason is that women don’t always experience associated chest pain. Instead, they may have more vague symptoms that could be mistaken for other conditions.
These symptoms can include:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Pain in the jaw, neck, shoulder, back, or stomach
- Fatigue or shortness of breath
Diabetes complications, menopause, and hypertension while pregnant can increase the risk of a heart attack. Depression, smoking, and being inactive. Risks can be reduced by regular exercise, eating healthily, not smoking, and keeping an eye on blood sugar levels.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in women. Breast cancer is one of the larger threats. In the US, women have, approximately a 1-in-8 chance of developing invasive breast cancer. This is around 125 times higher than the risk in men.
Women can help to reduce the chances of developing breast cancer simply by leading a healthy lifestyle. Of course, regular self-examination is also very important. Self-examination can help to reduce many threats to women’s health, and your doctor can advise on how to do it correctly.
Women are more at risk for certain lung conditions than men are. This includes autoimmune lung diseases and pulmonary hypertension. Also, women are more likely to die from COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and asthma.
This could be due to women having a higher sensitivity to the damaging effects of smoking. The chances of developing lung diseases can be reduced by:
- Exercising regularly
- Staying up-to-date on yearly wellness exams
- Not smoking
A smoker that wants to quit should research available treatment methods. They could also consult with their doctor about treatment options.
Alzheimer’s Disease is Another of the Threats To Women’s Health
Women are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. While there is no cure as yet, a healthy lifestyle together with early detection can improve overall prognosis, as well as the quality of life.
A history of heart disease and high cholesterol levels could increase the risk of Alzheimer’s. But that said, working to stay active, social, and mentally fit could reduce those risks.
Those women with diabetes are at a higher risk for complications. These complications can include:
- Deadly effects on the kidneys and heart
Fluctuations in hormone levels can play a role, making it harder to control blood sugar levels during certain times of the month.
Pregnancy and menopause pose hormonal issues of their own, and both of these can affect blood sugar levels.
The associated risks can be reduced by exercising regularly, eating healthy foods, and avoiding simple carbohydrates and, of course, sugar.
While women are more susceptible to higher risks connected with certain diseases and conditions, a lot of them can be reduced. This can be done by being proactive about health and diet.
You have a lot more control over your health than you probably realize. Threats to women’s health shouldn’t be ignored. Think about what steps you can take to reduce the risks. The sooner the better.