By Kanchan Naikawadi, Preventive Healthcare Specialist, Indus Health Plus
* The incidence of heart disease in women is about 29%, 72% suffering from bone disorders and 87% with vitamin D deficiency
Due to variations in genes, anatomy, and hormone levels, some diseases attack women more often than men, and vice-versa. While both men and women contract various conditions, some health issues affect women differently and more commonly. Furthermore, many women’s health conditions go undiagnosed. Even so, women bear exclusive health concerns, such as breast cancer, cervical cancer, menopause, and pregnancy. Women suffer higher heart attack deaths compared to men. Depression and anxiety exhibit more frequently among female patients. Urinary tract conditions present more often in females, and sexually transmitted diseases can cause more harm to women.
Data from checkups done by Indus Health plus over a period of past few years shows this glaring picture clearly and how health conditions are on a rise in women.
Checkup data of about 10000 individuals out of which 4093 were females showed that 17% of women suffered from thyroid conditions compared to 9% men, 16% had urine infections compared to 6% in men, 32% having anemia compared to 6% men, 72% were suffering from bone disorders and 87% were having vitamin D deficiency. 27% females had some abnormality seen in their Pap smear report which is a basic screening test to detect cervical cancer. The abnormalities ranged from mild inflammation to the presence of cancer cells. 20% of the females had findings in the sonomammography reports. The incidence of heart disease in women was about 29% and abnormal fasting sugar levels were to the effect of about 40 %.
This data gives us an insight into the health status of women in our society and clearly indicates that women health needs to be taken very seriously. Women need to understand that they have to take responsibility of their own health. They must understand the importance of having a nutritious balanced diet, being adequately hydrated, and being physically active. They need to be conscious about their mental and psychological wellbeing.
Take control by knowing about your risk factors for these conditions. Then get serious about reducing your risk.
Manage chronic conditions and get recommended screenings
Adopt a habit of undergoing regular screening. If you have or get detected with a health problems — such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes — that increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, follow your doctor's treatment recommendations. Also, consult your doctor about when you should have mammograms (Ideally at age of 40 & above) and other cancer screenings.
Adopt a healthier lifestyle
While you cannot eliminate risk factors such as family history, you can control other risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and cancer. For example:
* Do not smoke. If you do smoke or use other tobacco products, ask your doctor to help you quit. Avoid exposure to passive smoking.
* Eat a healthy diet. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods, and lean sources of protein, such as fish. Limit foods high in saturated and trans fats, and foods with added sugar.
* Maintain a healthy weight. Losing excess pounds — and keeping them off — can lower your risk of heart disease as well as many other conditions.
* Get moving. Exercise can help you control your weight and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. It might also lower your risk of certain types of cancer. Choose activities you enjoy, from brisk walking to ballroom dancing. All forms of exercise will lower your risk.
* Avoid alcohol. Too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of liver diseases
* Manage stress. If you feel constantly on edge or under assault, your lifestyle habits might suffer — and so might your immune system. Take steps to reduce stress — or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways.
* Know your Genetic Predisposition/Tendencies :Know your Genetic Predisposition /Tendencies for health conditions and to personalize your nutrition/diet & fitness plan.