May 13, 2014
10 Health Concerns Women Must Understand (Part 2)
In part one of this article, I discussed the first five diseases that women need to have a better understanding of, including heart disease, osteoporosis, gynecologic cancers, breast cancers, and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. Let’s look at the last five that Walgreens identifies.
Thyroid diseases are the sixth disease about which women need to know more. Since most thyroid diseases are autoimmune diseases, women are just more likely to develop these. The thyroid is key in many organ functions, most specifically the metabolism. Hypothyroidism means that the thyroid does not produce enough hormones, and hyperthyroidism means that the thyroid makes too much of the hormones.
Like other autoimmune diseases, these can be controlled but not necessarily prevented, so regular testing and medications as well as living a healthy lifestyle are critical to thyroid health.
The seventh disease that concerns women is endometriosis. As Walgreens states, “Endometriosis is caused when tissue lining the uterus (called the endometrium) starts growing in other areas of your body. Endometriosis can arise if your menstrual flow goes awry. Menstrual blood containing endometrial cells usually passes out of the body, but in rare cases it travels in the opposite direction, ending up in your pelvic cavity where the endometrial cells implant in the peritoneum.”
If you suspect you might have endometriosis, or are at risk for it, then talk to your doctor.
Migraines are the eighth disease that women suffer from and thus need to know about. Of those who suffer from migraines, about three out of four are women. That is 75 percent. For some women, the migraines are linked to the menstrual cycle and, you guessed it, estrogen. But others have certain triggers in food, drink, and environment. I suffer from migraines and have learned that staying hydrated, exercising, and eating healthy have really helped me to manage these. Again, talking to your doctor is critical for migraine prevention and treatment.
Moving onto the ninth disease that women need to be more aware of, let’s look at depression, a mood disorder with lasting symptoms and impacts. One in eight women will suffer from depression at some point in their lives. Depression is not just a momentary sadness; depression is sadness, loss, and emptiness that last for weeks, months, or even years. It is very serious. Because women are twice as likely to experience depression than men, they need to talk to their doctors about prolonged feelings of sadness, loss, or anger.
Additionally, eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly, building good self-esteem, and having strong relationships all help to prevent depression.
The final health concern that Walgreens identifies for women is sexually transmitted infections. Some sexually transmitted infections are easier for women to contract because of the transmission through bodily fluids. Practicing safe sex from condom use to limiting your sexual partners to getting regular tests are all important for sexual health. Being able to have sex does not mean we do not have to sexually responsible. Women especially have to take control.
These 10 diseases and issues all impact women to greater degrees than men. That does not mean that men should not concern themselves with these; in fact, we should all have a better understanding of these health issues.
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