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.

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Diabetes in Pregnancy – part one

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood sugar levels are too high. When you are pregnant, high blood sugar levels are not good for you and your baby.

The prevalence of this disease is increasing in the younger generation, so now more women are affected during pregnancy.

According to an estimate, 21 million women or 16.2% of mothers have some form of high sugars in pregnancy.

Another 54 million women are affected by impaired glucose tolerance test(IGT). They have a potential to develop GDM if they become pregnant.

Factors that increase chances of Diabetes in Pregnancy 

  • Stress of urbanization: we have a busy schedule in today’s lifestyle, we grab anything within reach to eat during our busy day (especially fastfood)
  • Sedentary lifestyle: lack of exercise, no walk after meals, sleeping till late hours
  • Bad eating habits:  irregular hours or late hours of eating, unbalanced diet, lots of biryani (rice), burgers (bread), nihari (red meat), sugary drinks, and fried food many times a week.
  • Increasing age of marriage and high parity (no. of children)
  • The highest incidence of diabetes in pregnancy is in South East Asia (SEA) and Middle East North Africa (MENA) leading up to about 46% affecting 10.4 million mothers who give birth to live babies.
  • Globally 88% of women who have high blood glucose during pregnancy are from low and middle income countries.

Why does this matter?

There are problems for mothers:

  • Later in life, women may develop Type 2 (frank DM)
  • The mother is at risk of developing high blood pressure during pregnancy and at the time of delivery.
  • Recurrent fungal infections: mothers suffer from repeated fungal infections and smelly discharge from vagina during pregnancy
  • Operative delivery: they end up in caesarian sections or forceps deliveries due to the big size of the baby and may have injuries to their birth canals.

gestational-diabetes-mellitus-13-638

There are problems for baby:

  • The babies are bigger in size. They are swollen due to high insulin levels in their mothers.
  • The babies may suffer from obesity and other disorders like diabetes in adolescence and childhood
  • Congenital Anomalies: the babies may have ASD (that is a defect in heart chamber). There are also chances of defects in spinal cord.
  • Repeated miscarriages
  • Premature delivery as the water bag leaks before expected date due to infections caused by diabetes
  • Hydramnios: the water in the bag around the baby increases, causing discomfort and early rupture of membranes.
  • The problems faced by baby around birth time:
    The baby will have difficulty in breathing due to difficult delivery due to its size (in addition the material that helps in breathing develops late in GDM babies).  The baby’s sugar level falls as soon as baby is born, these babies will have jaundice more than the normal babies, there calcium level falls and they can have fits.

fcf-013

Who is at Risk?

What will your doctor be looking for in the first visit?

  • If the mother had pregnancy diabetes in previous pregnancy
  • If the woman is in the pre-diabetic range (pre-diabetes i.e. HbA1C is more than 5.7) A cut-off of > 5.7 % is considered at risk of developing sugar in pregnancy.
  • BMI > 30 kg/m2 at the first antenatal visit, personal history of metabolic syndrome, PCOS, obesity
  • Ethnicity: South or East Asian, Hispanic, African-American, Native American, Pacific Islander.
  • Diabetes in first degree relatives e.g. mother, father, mamoo, chacha, khala, phuphi, nani, dada – (maternal and paternal relatives)
  • Big baby in previous pregnancy – 9 pounds or more (4.1 kg)
  • If the mother had unexplained death of baby just before or immediately after delivery or birth of an abnormal baby.
  • If the mother is on cortisone tablets or has high blood pressure.
  • Overt Diabetes i.e. diabetes before pregnancy – Patients with confirmed fasting sugar levels of ≥7.0 mmol/L (≥126 mg/dL) or random glucose levels ≥11.1 mmol/L (≥200 mg/dL) in the first trimester receive a diagnosis of overt rather than gestational diabetes (meaning during pregnancy)

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Hello my lovely readers,

I have put together a few informative articles I came across regarding Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). They put together a holistic approach towards the identification and treatment of PCOS for the general public:

  1. Thirty interesting facts about PCOS (Courtesy: pcosnutrition.com)
  2. The role of dairy in PCOS (Courtesy: pcosnutrition.com)
  3. The NHS guidelines  (Courtesy: nhs.uk)
  4. PCOS and weight gain (Courtesy: webmd.com)

 

PCOS image

Diagram to explain the common manifestations of PCOScourtesy: pcosdietsupport.com