4 common Health Problems in Women

Help and Points taken from https://www.webmd.com. (https://www.webmd.com/dulce-zamora)

There are five medical conditions that are of great concern to women: 

1)Heart Disease 2) Breast Cancer 3)Osteoporosis 4)Depression) b

Lets look at the risk factors for each disease and ask the experts what women could do to prevent such ailments.

In order to make full use of this information, Saralyn Mark, MD, encourages women to take charge of their health. She says women need to work in partnership with their doctors by finding out their family medical history, educating themselves on health issues, and paying attention to their bodies.

Heart Disease

Heart attack symptoms differ in women

Heart Disease is the leading killer of both men and women. In women, the condition is responsible for about 29% of deaths, reports the CDC.

Although more men die of heart disease than women, females tend to be underdiagnosed, often to the point that it’s too late to help them once the condition is discovered.
“The symptoms for women are typical for women, and they are often missed by doctors and the patient themselves,

Some women may have symptoms like Chest Pain, but others may just have a little bit of  Jaw pain, Shoulder pain, Nausea, Vomiting, or shortness of breath.

The risk factors for heart disease are:-

  • Increasing age
  • Heredity (including race). People with family history of the disease have greater risk. So do Asians, Africans, Mexicans, Native Americans
  • Smoking
  • High Blood cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Physical inactivity, Lack of Exercise
  • Obesity and Over wieght
  • Diabetes

Women can reduce their risk of heart disease risk, by modifying lifestyle to include a well-balanced Diet and Exercise

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. It is second to Lung cancer  as the leading cause of death for women

The fear of breast cancer can sometimes be exaggerated, stopping women from going to their doctors for screening.

The American cancer Society lists the following as risk factors for breast cancer.

  • Increasing age
  • Genes. Nearly 5% to 10% of breast  cancer is linked to mutations in certain genes (most commonly, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes).
  • Family history of the disease
  • Personal history of the disease
  • Race. White women have a slightly greater risk of getting breast cancer compared with African-American women. Yet African-Americans have a greater chance of dying from this disease.
  • Earlier abnormal breast biopsy
  • Earlier chest radiation
  • Early onset of menstruation..(before age 12) or Menopause after age 55 yrs
  • Not having children
  • Medication use, such as diethylstilbestrol (DES)
  • Too much alcohol
  • Obesity

Osteoporosis

The older women had to accept hunched backs, back pain and frailty used to be thingsbefore doctors knew anything more about Osteoporosis. Now, there are steps women and girls can take to avoid such problems.

Osteoporosis threatens 68% of women, reports the National Osteoporosis  Foundation.

“Osteoporosis is largely preventable. The behaviors that women develop in their childhood, in their adolescence, and in their early adult years really play a significant role in the development of the disease.”

That’s because bodies build up most of bone mass until age 30. Then new bone stops forming and the focus is on maintenance of old bone.

It is never too late to keep bones strong and avoid fractures.

Your own body will repair bone damage, but you have to provide the tools for it, such as adequate Calcium consumption and weight-bearing  Exercise

Risk factors for osteoporosis include:

  • Female 
  • Increasing age
  • Small, thin-boned frame
  • Ethnicity. White and Asian women have the greatest risk.
  • Family history
  • Infrequent menstrual cycles and Eastrogen loss due to Menopause ,may increase risk
  • Diet low in Calcium and Vitamin D
  • Medication use, particularly glucocorticoids(Cortisones), or some anticonvulsants
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol

Talk to your doctor about your possible risk of osteoporosis, and what you can do to prevent problems.

Depression

Depression appears to affect more women than men. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that about 12 million women are affected by a depressive disorder each year compared to about 6 million men

Dorreen Lynn, PhD, a Psychologist and author of Getting Sane Without Going Crazy, says women need a connection with others in their lives.

“They need that sustenance,” says Lynn. “If they don’t have it, they tend to get depressed.”

Sometimes, hormonal changes can also trigger the condition, particularly after Pregnancy (postpartum) or around menopause.

Other risk factors for  Depression include:

  • A previous depressive episode
  • Family history of depression
  • History of heart problems
  • Serious chronic illness
  • Marital problems
  • Substance use
  • A stressful life event, such as job loss or death
  • Diseases that could trigger depression, such as vitamin deficiency and Thyroid disease
  • Recent serious illness or surgery
  • Childhood history of physical or sexual abuse
  • Being a worrier or being overly anxious
  • Having an Eating disorder or an Anxiety disorder

To help reduce risk of depression, Lynn recommends finding a reason to get up in the morning. She says things such as work, community, love, pets, and volunteering can be good reasons.

Lynn says “Statistically, the healthiest adults, both in women and men, are people in significant caring relationships” . She says adults not in nurturing relationships can reduce their risk of depression by making efforts to reach out into the community.

.

How much do you know about healthy eating. bit.ly/2ME2hkJ

Courtesy:FAO/Alessandra Benedetti; Right: ©Fundación Comunidad/Alberto Pascual

Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975 and with it has come the rise of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Countries have developed dietary guidelines, adapted to local food situations and populations, to provide advice on healthy eating. ©FAO/Alessandra Benedetti

 

Diets vary greatly from place to place based on food availability, eating habits and culture. Yet, when it comes to food, there is a lot that we know about what is and what is not good for us and this is true no matter where we live. Societal changes, however, are making these choices more complicated. While many countries are still dealing with undernutrition, more and more people around the world are eating energy-dense, high-fat, high-sugar and high-salt foods. Urbanization, more sedentary types of work and changing modes of transportation are decreasing people’s levels of physical activity, creating entire populations at risk of obesity, overweight and related diseases.

Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975 and with it the increase of health-related problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. This trend is not confined to high-income countries. In fact, in low- and middle-income countries, the number of overweight and obese people is on the rise at an even faster rate. At the same time, in many cases, low- and middle-income countries also have to deal with high rates of stunting, wasting and micronutrient deficiencies.

At a time when obesity is on the rise, dietary guidelines are that much more important. Based on the latest available evidence, guidelines are a country’s recommendations to its population for eating better and being healthier.

FAO’s website contains the most comprehensive compilation of dietary guidelines worldwide. More than 100 countries have developed dietary guidelines that are adapted to local food situations and populations.

Although the guidelines and food guides may vary in terms of structure and format (from booklets to posters and videos, from the popular food pyramid and South Korea’s roly-poly to Fiji’s pineapple and Guyana’s stew pot), the content has a lot of common advice.

Most countries’ guidelines recommend that people have at least 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. For a sweet tooth, fruit is a good alternative to processed sugars.
Left: ©FAO/Alessandra Benedetti; Right: ©Fundación Comunidad/Alberto Pascual

7 eating habits that we know are good for us:

1. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits – Some countries are very specific about the number of servings of fruits and vegetables that we should consume daily, for example Greece says six, Costa Rica and Iceland say five. Canada even specifies the colors of vegetables to consume (one dark green and one orange vegetable a day). Serving sizes can vary by country; however, all guidelines recommend eating plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits on a daily basis.

2. Watch your intake of fats – Said in different ways, most guidelines make mention of reducing solid, saturated fats and give recommendations for replacing animal fats with vegetable oils. In Greece, olive oil is recommended, in Viet Nam it is sesame or peanut oil – demonstrating the importance of availability and cultural preference in each country’s guidelines.

3. Cut back on foods and beverages high in sugar – It is generally agreed upon that processed sugar is harmful to our health. The guidelines in every country recommend to maintain a low-sugar diet and to choose fruits over processed sweets or sugary beverages to satisfy a sweet tooth.

4. Reduce sodium/salt – Nigeria mentions reducing the use of bouillon cubes; Malta specifies limiting ready-made food high in sodium. Colombia on the other hand suggests limiting processed meats, canned foods and packaged products that usually have high salt content. Across all countries, the general agreement is that diets with less salt are better for you. 

5. Drink water regularly –Across the board, the guidelines recommend that water is the best thirst-quencher. Of course, we should always first make sure that the water is safe for drinking.

6. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation– If you do choose to drink alcohol, whether that is beer, wine or spirits, the general consensus is that it should be done in moderation.

7. Make physical activity part of your day, every day – For people who have more sedentary jobs or lifestyles, the broad recommendation is to get at least 30 minutes of daily exercise. However, Benin’s guidelines point out that for people with jobs that require hard physical labour, additional exercise is not of top importance.

abundance agriculture bananas batch

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com