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Are you at Risk for a Women’s Health Issue?

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Illness is a source of worry for a lot of women (and men). But it doesn’t have to be a cause of anxiety – instead women should be taking control of their body, using scientific research, and doing everything possible to prevent illness and disease. We don’t have full control over what will happen in our lives, but we do have the responsibility to look after our bodies as best we can in order to avoid potential health issues down the line.

Heart Disease

You might be surprised to learn that heart disease is the number one cause of death in women, responsible for almost a third of all female deaths. Many cases go un-diagnosed, as most assume that chest pain is the main symptom. Yet many people can have heart disease without chest pain, and instead exhibit other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, shoulder ache, jaw pain or shortness of breath. It is however something that can be prevented with healthier living choices such as exercise and a balanced diet.

Cancer

Breast and lung cancers are also a big danger to women. What can make it worse is that many women are fearful to go to the doctor for screening. There are many cures for breast cancer – it is in a woman’s best interest to get educated on how often to get checked. Quitting smoking and taking control of ones weight and diet can also reduce the risk.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition that affects 44 million Americans – and 68% are women. This might sound worrying, but the thing about osteoporosis is that it is highly preventable, more so than a lot of other conditions. How a woman behaves in childhood and during the early adult years can have a life-long effect. We are always able to keep our bones strong and healthy through appropriate calcium absorption, good levels of vitamin D and weight-bearing activities.

 Depression

Women are far more affected by depression than men are, especially since hormonal changes are a big trigger for a lot of women. But more than this, women crave connection with other people more than men do. Of course there are other reasons women may get depressed such as a traumatic life events, illness, history of abuse, marital problems, side effects from birth control and a family history of depression. One of the best things we can do to avoid depression is to find a purpose in our lives. This could be a job you love, community events, volunteering, family time or having a pet – anything that makes you want to wake up in the morning. Even more important than this perhaps is making sure we’re in loving relationships and breaking off those that are harmful.

Autoimmune Diseases

There are about 80 chronic autoimmune diseases but the most common ones are type 1 diabetes, lupus and thyroid disease, and these diseases are more common in women than men. Scientists aren’t completely sure why the immune system attacks the body but it could be related to hormones, genes and environmental factors.

Prevention

While you can’t entirely eliminate risk factors, we have to do what we can to lower the risks and keep our bodies healthy from any potential health issues. First and foremost is not smoking and avoiding exposure to second-hand smoke. A healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight is also crucial when it comes to lowering your risk for heart disease and certain cancers. Exercise, exercise, exercise – keep your body in shape; both aerobic activity and resistance exercise (always talk to a doctor before beginning). Lower your alcohol consumption and – easier said than done – avoid stress. Keeping stress levels low is vital for a healthy immune system so it’s important to find your own individual way to deal with it stress and worry.

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