WOMANLY WOES: HER TOP HEALTH CONCERNS

While men and women experience several chronic health issues, the latter are susceptible to several unique conditions thanks to their genetic and biological differences.
DID YOU KNOW?

  • Owing to the gender gap, India’s ranking in the global health index dropped further down in 2019.
  • Indian women have lowered life expectancies because of their unhealthier lifestyles.
  • India accounts for 20% of the global maternal deaths.
  • Starting in their early thirties, more women are susceptible to cancers of the breast and cervix.
  • Menstrual illiteracy is often seen as the root cause of most reproductive problems.
Although norms are currently changing, throughout centuries, women globally have been the more vulnerable gender. Acknowledging multiple sociocultural gaps, international regulatory bodies founded the International Day of Action for Women’s Health, which is observed on 28th May every year to raise awareness about women’s wellbeing.
    
 

LEVEL UP: FIGHTING WOMEN’S HEALTH WOES HEAD-ON
“ A woman’s health is her capital”- Harriet Beecher Stowe

Filled with grit, grace, and substance, the power that a woman represents is truly unparalleled. Be it multitasking several roles such as shattering the glass ceiling at her workplace or balancing her home front, is there anything that she can’t do? Still, doesn’t her health often take a backseat?

In honour of the International Day of Action for Women’s Health, let’s pledge to work towards the upliftment of women from all walks of life. Having become a revolution in recent years, it’s important to create widespread awareness about the top 4 conditions affecting women’s health, presently.

  1. Menstrual Problems: To all our women readers, here’s a question: Have y’all ever experienced heavy or scanty bleeding; lower abdomen and back pain, and uneasiness during your periods? Furthermore, how can we forget about our incessant cravings or moodiness? While most of these triggers manifest in different ways in individuals with normal cycles, irregularities can further lead to related issues such as:
 
  • Pre-Menstrual Syndrome: Statistics have shown that 3 out of every 4 menstruating women go through this condition. Starting a few days or a week before one’s period sets in, women encounter various indications such as tender breasts, fatigue, bloating, and depression. Combining the physical pain with emotional stress, severe symptoms, often in older women can cause disabling effects giving rise to premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
  • Endometriosis: A rapidly evolving condition, endometriosis is a painful disorder in which tissue akin to those normally lining the inside of your uterus, grows outside it. It mainly involves the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Accompanied with painful periods, women enduring the same, also experience pain while having sex, going to the washroom, diarrhoea or constipation, and impaired functioning.
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): Affecting 1 in every 10 women of childbearing age, PCOS is a common health problem that is caused by a hormonal imbalance, leading to irregular periods, infertility, or development of cysts. Sprucing up in several physical ways, PCOS can lead to abnormal hair growths or hair thinning, weight gains, dark skin or accompanying tags, along with emotional symptoms.

Since your menstrual cycle is an integral phenomenon of your life, one needs to learn to deal with it effectively. Lifestyle changes such as eating a balanced diet rich in iron and leafy greens and daily exercise can help to keep the signs at bay. Another popular notion involves having your first child at a younger age and breastfeeding them for a longer period. Hormonal therapy consisting of birth control pills has proven to display wonders. After all, your reproductive health is your responsibility!

  1. Breast Cancer: Deemed the most common and aggressive form of cancer amongst women, breast cancer primarily originates in the lining of your milk ducts. It rapidly spreads to the other organs if detected at a later stage. Vigilance is the key factor in preventing this disease. Monthly self-examinations and mammography’s are advised for those who carry the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes. Lumps, thickness, or swellings are good indicators of its onset. Depending on the risk factors, a mastectomy is an excellent preventive measure, while following healthy lifestyle habits and other treatment modalities such as chemotherapy.
  2. Cervical Cancer: Women of lower socioeconomic backgrounds are at a higher risk of contracting cancerous cells in their cervix. Correlated to poor menstrual and sexual hygiene, cervical cancer accounts for 12% of cancerous deaths. The advent of technology has led to detection at earlier stages with the help of Pap Smears. Other medical interventions include the HPV vaccine, radiation, and chemotherapy.
  3. Osteoporosis: This is a “silent disease” that causes your bones to weaken, thereby increasing the risk of fractures. Often seen in older, postmenopausal women, you can avert it by taking precautions in your youth as your bone mass, which retains your bone density grows till your 20s. Since osteoporosis is indicative of a calcium-poor diet and sedentary lifestyle, appropriate changes can be made.

Isn’t prevention always better than the cure? True, most of these illnesses are deep-rooted in hereditary or biological factors, but there are various inhibitory steps that you can abide by to lead a healthier, happier life. Read on to know more.
    
 

HEALTH HERALD: SOME LIFESTYLE HABITS TO NIP OFF THE BUD

Seeking a far-reaching outcry, as human beings, we sometimes forget that our mind and body are strongly interrelated. While most of these illnesses raise the incidence of stress and anxiety, several self-care practices can help you discipline your lifestyle or deal with the harrowing diagnosis. Some important tips to remember are:
  • Eat a nutritious diet to ensure that your body is replenished with the necessary vitamins and minerals.
  • Reduce the consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and smoking.
  • Sleep for at least 7 hours a day and let your body heal and refuel.
  • Get moving and incorporate some form of exercise every day.
  • Practice meditation, yoga, or relaxation techniques to keep you stress-free, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Educate yourself and others with resources on the same, and get regular check-ups done after the age of 40.
  • Try alternate therapies such as aromatherapy to provide serene relief.
  • Letting nature take its course, conceive at an appropriate age.
  • Follow extraordinary hygiene practices.
  • Lastly, know when to visit the doctor.

In conclusion, do not forget to tune in and make yourself a priority. From woman to woman, our health translates into the well-being of society. We’ve got this!