There is a certain difference between women and men when it comes to their health risk. The first thing women should be aware of is to know about her health conditions and to be aware of the different health disorders. Eminent doctors from the medical fraternity list out certain health disorders which are common among women and the ways to deal with it. Here are the symptoms, causes and fixes.
It is common in menopausal women.Dr. Miten Sheth, Orthopedic Surgeon, says, “Bone is living tissue, comprising mainly calcium and protein. Healthy bone is always being remodeled; small amounts are being absorbed and small amounts are being replaced. If more bone calcium is absorbed than is replaced, the density of bone is reduced. It becomes progressively weaker, increasing the risk of fracture. Osteoporosis develops when bone is no longer replaced as quickly as it is removed.”
Early in the course of the disease, osteoporosis may cause no symptoms. Later, it may cause height loss or dull pain in the bones or muscles, particularly lower back pain neck pain. Most people have no symptoms until they actually get a fracture. Loss of bone in osteoporosis tends to occur mostly in the spine, hips and lower forearm bones. Women lose bone calcium at an accelerated pace once they go through menopause. This may be associated with generalized body aches, joint pains and lethargy. A gradual loss of bone mass, generally beginning about age 35, is a fact of life for everyone.
The exact medical cause for osteoporosis is not known, but a number of factors that are known to cause osteoporosis are as follows:
• Aging and physical inactivity.
• Reduced levels of estrogen.
• A family history of fractures, slender body built, fair skin, and Asian ethnicity
• Poor nutrition including a low calcium diet, low body weight, sedentary lifestyle and smoking or excessive alcohol use.
• Medications like steroids and other illnesses like thyroid problems.
Although osteoporosis occurs universally in women as one grows older, the rate of progression and effects can be modified with early diagnosis and treatment. Adequate calcium, Vitamin D and regular weight-bearing exercises helps to build strong bones.
A bone density test will determine whether you have normal bone density, low bone density or osteoporosis. A lost bone cannot be replaced. Treatment for osteoporosis focuses on the prevention of further bone loss. Three pillars of treatment are diet, exercise and medicines. One should cut out on caffeine and carbonated drinks. With adequate treatment, the progression of osteoporosis can be slowed.
Most of the woman thinks that heart disease is men’s problem. Says, Cardiologist, Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre, “If you see the statistics worldwide, heart attacks are the number one killer for women too. The intention here is not to scare them, but then women should be aware of the heart symptoms and get appropriate checking done on a regular basis.”
“The most common heart symptom is chest pain, can be after walking for some distance, can be at rest, in the middle of the night or early morning. Most of the people relate this chest pain to acidity, gases. I always advice, let the doctor tell you that this is not heart pain, don’t diagnose on your own. Other symptoms are shortness of breath, fatigue after doing regular work and racing of your heart,’ adds Dr Bhamre
It is a lifestyle disease. Working mothers puts lot of woman on heart disease risk actors like stress, inadequate sleep, hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol. Dr Girish Nair, Neurologist, Apollo Hospital says, “Sometimes RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) which is a neurological problem that is common among menopausal women can lead to cardiovascular diseases.”
When we talk about the risk factors some of them are controllable like:
*Control your High blood pressure and Diabetes by medications and regular check up with your doctor.
*High cholesterol should be controlled by choosing appropriate diet, avoiding fast food, avoiding overeating, oily and sugary food and drinks.
*If by any chance you are using tobacco in any form then, first thing you should do is to quit this immediately. As tobacco has shown adverse effects on your heart blood vessels and it causes several types of cancers. So, gift yourself a life by quitting tobacco.
* Brisk walking for 40 minutes a day would reduce your chances of getting a heart attack.
*Yoga and meditation help. Some of the studies have shown that ten minutes of meditation helps to reduce stress and increase the good hormones in the body.
* We must choose what we eat correctly. The food we eat should have 50 to 60 percent carbohydrates, 10 to 20 percent proteins and 20-30 percent fat. Moderate eating habits with moderate exercise and good sleep for seven to eight hours a day should keep your heart healthy.
Breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer in females worldwide. It usually starts off in the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply them with milk.
Dr Bandita Sinha, Gynecologist and infertility specialist, says, “In India, the average age of developing breast cancer has undergone a significant shift over last few decades. The first symptoms of breast cancer are usually an area of thickened tissue in the woman's breast or a lump. The majority of lumps are not cancerous; however, women should get them checked by a health care professional.”
Focusing on the root cause and symptoms she says, “The first symptoms of breast cancer are usually an area of thickened tissue in the woman's breast or a lump. The majority of lumps are not cancerous. However, women should get them checked. The older a woman gets, the higher is her risk of developing breast cancer. 80 percent of breast cancers occur among women aged above fifty years. The majority of breast cancers are not hereditary.
The main causes of breast cancers are the older a woman gets, the higher is her risk of developing breast cancer. Dr Sinha adds, “Women who have a close relative who had breast or ovarian cancer are more likely to develop breast cancer. Obese and overweight women may have a higher risk of developing breast cancer.”
She further adds, “Women with cosmetic breast implants who are diagnosed with breast cancer have a 38 percent higher risk of death from the disease, compared to other patients diagnosed with the same disease who have no implants. Mainly it is diagnosed after a routine breast cancer screening or after detecting certain signs and symptoms. Mammography is commonly used for breast cancer screening.”
While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same.
Says Dr Sinha, “It is really important to detect any kind of cancer in early stage. Up to 25 percent of breast cancer can be detected by Breast Self-Examination (BSE). Lump in the breast does not necessarily mean cancer. If you feel any hard substance or a lump, whether it is painless or painful, immediately consult your doctor. The doctor will carry a screening called mammography and 35 percent of cancer detected with the help of it. Mammography can detect a swelling as small as 0.5cm in the depth of the breast, which may not be palpable from the surface.”
Once a woman crosses 40 years of age, they should go for mammography. If there is any family history of breast cancer then she should go for the test at the age of 35. If breast cancer is treated at an early stage it is easier to treat it successfully.
Guidelines for a checkup for breast cancer
* Check your breasts after the periods are over
*Check the breasts once a month
*Don’t panic if you see any lumps as it is not necessarily cancerous every time
*You can use a mirror while examining your breast, its texture, odd tone
*Nipple is also an important part while checking. At the age of 20, one should start examining your breast