Updated: Mar 14, 2019
There are a variety of health conditions that affect both men and women pretty equally. However, there are health conditions also exist that affect women either exclusively or disproportionately. This problem is made by worse the fact that clinical trials for drugs do not often concentrate on women's issues, or by medical professionals who do not get proper education on the prevalence of these issues on women.
These health conditions affecting women are often not discussed enough. The following are a few of these conditions and what you need to know about them.
Women are disproportionately affected by autoimmune diseases. These diseases happen when the body's natural defense against viruses and other threats begin to attack its healthy cells. Researchers are unsure why these conditions disproportionately affect women. There are different types of autoimmune conditions, but their common symptoms are:
The majority of the autoimmune system is located in the stomach. For this reason, many people that suffer from autoimmune conditions find that changing their diet offers great benefits. A few dietary changes that may prove helpful are:
Eat fewer simple carbohydrates
Eat less fat
Eliminate toxic substances
Decrease stress levels
Much discussion has taken place in recent times about estrogen dominance. This is a condition that happens when estrogen levels are not properly offset by progesterone. It is a well-known fact that the female body produces its own estrogen. But the body is also bombarded with estrogen that it does not produce on its own. These hidden sources of estrogen come at us through a variety of ways. Two external sources of estrogen are eating meat that has been treated with hormones to promote growth and drinking water that is tainted with estrogen from medications.
There are also xenoestrogens, which are chemicals that behave like estrogen once in the body. These substances are commonly found in plastic that is used to package food and beverages. These compounds can also be found in things like body wash and cosmetics. The body is unable to discern the difference between natural estrogen and synthetic versions. These compounds can also be found in herbicides and pesticides. Chemicals that mimic estrogen in the body can also adversely affect a woman’s hormonal balance.
It is normal for bleeding and discharge to take place as part of the menstrual cycle. However, additional symptoms can be an indicator of serious health issues. Some of these symptoms are bleeding between periods and excess urination. Issues with gynecological health can also be a sign of sexually transmitted diseases and cancer of the reproductive tract.
Mild vaginal issues can result in serious health problems like infertility and kidney disease if left untreated. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are particularly common among women since they are at a greater risk of developing them. Fortunately, UTIs are treatable with antibiotics, but women can also take steps to prevent them by wearing loose-fitting clothing and urinating after sex, among other things.
Cervical and Ovarian Cancers
Many people are unaware of the difference between cervical and ovarian cancers. Ovarian cancer originates in the fallopian tubes, while cervical cancer affects the lower uterus. Both conditions are painful for patients, but cervical cancer will produce a discharge and additional pain during sexual intercourse.
There are problems with the diagnosis of both cancers. Ovarian cancer can have vague symptoms, but the condition is serious. It is also important to note that Pap smears will detect the presence of cervical cancer but will not detect ovarian cancer.
Osteoporosis causes the bones of the body to weaken. This makes them more susceptible to breaking. Factors that affect this condition are:
Lack of exercise
Ultrasounds and x-rays are used to detect osteoporosis. There are no cures for the disease, but treatment is available to slow its progression.
Anxiety, Depression, and Addiction
Depression and anxiety in women can result from normal fluctuations in hormones. Premenstrual syndrome is a common occurrence for women. A premenstrual dysmorphic disorder is similar in nature but causes more severe symptoms.
Many women report becoming depressed shortly after giving birth. But women can also become depressed during pregnancy. Another time that women are more susceptible to developing depression is when the body shifts into menopause.
Due to all of these health concerns facing women, it's common for them to turn to prescription drugs for help relieving chronic pain or postpartum pain. While prescription drugs are helpful when needed, they are highly addictive and it can be a concern for women. This holds especially true since painkillers like Percocet and other opiates tend to be overprescribed.
Both sexes have their share of health concerns to think about. But some serious health concerns are particularly relevant to women. Many of these health concerns are not discussed often enough to achieve the needed level of awareness. Women should pay attention to the signals their bodies are telling them and stay mindful of their day-to-day health.
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