- by Manipal Hospitals
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- Aug 29 2017
Women’s Health Awareness-Celebrating Health
Most decisions in life are based on knowledge. And when it comes to healthcare, knowledge is the power that can saves lives. Hence, there is no better way of celebrating women’s health than sharing some important facts that can help you maintain if not improve your health.
Traditionally, women continue to be underrepresented in almost all aspects of science and healthcare. Most clinical trials are still conducted exclusively on men, and they outnumber women in most scientific disciplines. Hence, women health awareness is an important way to recognize and support the work we still need to do in order to achieve parity for women’s health.
Early Detection is Key
When it comes to women’s health, early detection is crucial. Advancements in healthcare and medical science today offer a great opportunity to ascertain a host of women-centric conditions including breast cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease & stroke. So whether you think you need to or not, whether you have questions or you don’t, articles such as this might help you learn something that could save a life—of your mother, daughter, grandmother or sister. And that’s just priceless.
As lifestyles change in India, people there are becoming increasingly susceptible to previously rare diseases.
Recent reports note the country that is home to 17 percent of the world’s population has begun to experience higher rates of breast cancer. Worse, the trend lines are continuing to rise, especially among younger women.Worldwide, breast cancer survival rates range from 80 percent or more in North America, Sweden, and Japan and below 40 percent in low-income countries that include India. As the World Health Organization (WHO) explains, low survival rates in less developed countries are due to a lack of early detection programs in concert with a lack of adequate diagnosis and treatment facilities.Currently, 40.4 percent of India’s population is between the ages of 25 and 54 with nearly 30 percent younger than 14 years old. Given the existing trends in Indian society, girls within this younger age range will become prime candidates for developing breast cancer by 2030.
A mammogram is the single most effective method of detecting breast cancer in its earliest form… and early diagnosis and treatment can save lives. While monthly breast self-examination is still an important part of good breast health, a mammogram can show a small lump in your breast up to two years before you even notice it.
Women are at a higher risk for osteoporosis than men. In fact, 80 percent of individuals affected by the disease are women. But certain women are at a higher risk than others, including women who are thin, at an advanced age, have a family history of osteoporosis or are postmenopausal.
A BMD Bone Mineral Density test can detect osteoporosis before a bone fracture occurs and predict your chances of fracturing in the future. Although there is no cure for osteoporosis, treatment can help slow or stop bone loss, increase bone density and reduce fracture risk.
Physicians can analyze the risk factors and help determine whether or not one should have a BMD test. However, all women over 65 should receive regular BMD tests.
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder and, more importantly, a psychological disorder. Anorexia affects females far more often than males and is most common in adolescent females. The cause of anorexia has not been definitively established, but self-esteem and body-image issues, societal pressures, and genetic factors likely each play a role.Women with anorexia tend to show compulsive behaviors, may become food- phobic, and often show behaviors consistent with other addictions in their efforts to overly control their food intake and weight. The extreme dieting and weight loss of anorexia can lead to a potentially fatal degree of malnutrition.Other possible complications of anorexia include heart-rhythm disturbances, digestive abnormalities, bone density loss, anemia, and hormonal and electrolyte imbalances.
Metabolism & Lifestyle
Your body is just not going to be what it used to be. Studies show that a woman’s metabolism slows by approximately 10 percent per decade after her teens. This means you can’t eat like you did in your 20s and 30s. Trips to a burger joint for lunch, vending machine snacks and late-night ice-cream treats will burn off a lot slower than they did in your youth.The second factor that tips the scales is a decrease in physical activity. Midlife weight gain – at an average of 10 to 15 pounds – is a natural part of life, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept it! Understanding why your body weight increases in direct relation to your age can be the ultimate weapon in helping you fight it.
It all boils down to a simple equation:
Decrease in physical activity = loss of muscle tone = burning less calories = weight gain.
The bottom line is this: You do not have to resign yourself to the heath disorders. Arrange your diet to include only healthy foods, create a workout program with plenty of cardiovascular exercise, and, above all, keep a positive attitude. You’ll surely be rewarded by looking and feeling great. Maybe even better than you did 20 years ago!
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