Human bodies have complex systems, and all these systems help us function properly. Although both men and women face several health issues, some problems are specific to women’s health and may affect their wellbeing. Besides, many health conditions among women remain undiagnosed either due to a lack of knowledge or insufficient resources to get the treatment.
Most women suffer from some significant health concerns, which ultimately increase their death rate compared to men. These include depression, anxiety, infections related to the urinary tract. If you want to know more about some common health issues among women, you’ve come to the right place. This article provides details regarding three health issues that are common among women. Along with that, we’ve also mentioned some tips to combat and control such diseases. So before further ado, let’s begin!
- Breast Cancer
Breast cancers are the most common diseases and are known as the leading causes of death among women. Mostly its etiology has genetic factors, but it can also occur because of environmental factors such as the use of birth control pills, poor diet, etc. Other common risk factors include getting chest radiation at an early age, excessive consumption of alcohol, early onset of menstruation, increasing age, being overweight, etc. However, symptoms of breast cancer can vary significantly, ranging from the development of lumps, swelling, or changes in the skin. Whereas, in some cases, breast cancers have no visible symptoms and may affect your physical and mental wellbeing.
Given the rise in breast cancer rates, many nursing schools offer MSN online and on-campus degree programs that equip nurses with the right skills and knowledge to raise awareness regarding health issues among women. Since it is a rapidly growing cancer, it is good to know some ways to prevent and combat this condition:
- Consult a doctor for regular checkups to monitor your breast tissue. You can also reach out to a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) to learn some self-checkup tips that can help you get medical help at the correct time.
- Get biannual or annual mammograms so that if any lesions are there, you can detect them early.
- If you have a family history of breast cancer, chances are, you can get it too. It is best to consult a doctor so that he or she can prescribe you a BRCA gene mutation test. Mutations in the breast cancer gene increase your chances of developing this problem. But even with that, many preventive measures can help you live a long healthy life.
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder among females. And as the name suggests, PCOS refers to the development of various small cysts in ovaries. It is most likely to occur among women of reproductive age. In this disease, a woman’s body produces an increased amount of testosterone which is often recognized as a male hormone. That explains the symptoms of body hair and heavy voice. If left untreated, it can lead to obesity and infertility. Its symptoms include weight gain, irregular periods, and body hair growth.
Women with PCOS generally have an increasing level of androgens which can significantly affect high levels of androgen. Usually, girls get their diagnosis after they consult with OB/GYN for inconsistent menses. But, it also follows a hereditary pattern, and women with a family history have more chances to get PCOS.
Hence, it is best to adopt some lifestyle changes so that you can avoid such risk factors. Following are some tips you can follow to cope with PCOS:
- Maintain an active routine, and try to exercise daily.
- Cut down sugar from your daily diet and stick to low-carb food to avoid weight gain.
- Arrange appointments biannually with your gynecologist so that you can monitor the progression.
- Autoimmune Diseases
Research suggests that women are more likely to develop autoimmune disorders as opposed to men. By definition, autoimmune conditions are diseases in which your immune system mistakenly attacks the body. In the United States, autoimmune disorders are the most commonly occurring diseases after cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
There are many types of autoimmune diseases. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is one of them. It is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system specifically affects various joints of the body, causing inflammation and damage to joint tissues. Patients suffer from morning stiffness, painful joints, hair fall, and sleep disturbances. Like any autoimmune disorder, RA also progresses with age, and its symptoms worsen over time. Some common risk factors include age, genetics, smoking, obesity, lack of vitamin D, etc. Below are some tips for managing it:
- Consult a physiotherapist to get it treated through exercise. It will help you with your movements and improve your physical strength.
- Ask your rheumatologist for calcium and vitamin D supplements to make your bones strong.
Another common type of autoimmune disease includes Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). It refers to a disease in which your immune system attacks different body tissues, resulting in causing inflammation in various organs. It can affect multiple organs and can lead to severe symptoms. Some common ones are sun sensitivity, hair loss, anemia, headache, blood clotting problem, joint pain, etc. Its distinguishing features include butterfly rash that affects a person’s nose and cheeks, hence, giving the butterfly shape.
Various genetic and environmental factors trigger the development of disease. Some health experts suggest estrogen as the major role player in causing SLE. Below are some tips to help you manage this condition:
- Those suffering from SLE are generally prescribed the use of anti-inflammatory medicines for joint pain and stiffness.
- Avoid triggering foods that worsen your symptoms. Use a trial and error approach to find your triggers.
- Use steroid creams to get rid of rashes.
Above, we discussed three common health issues that most women experience. While these are prominent ones, know that there are a lot more similar diseases like these. If you are going through any of the mentioned conditions or you’re in doubt about it, consult your doctor.