Top 20 women health concerns - women ailments
WomenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Health Concerns
Next on the calendar is International WomenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Day , which marks the day of celebration and recognition of all women across the globe. The day commemorates the celebrating of the economic, political and social achievements of women from the past, present and also future. In this article, we list the top 20 health concerns of women, and look at how they are caused and how they can be cared for.
Acne can affect people of any age group and sex. Acne in women is typically observed when there is hormonal fluctuation, usually eight to ten days before menstruation, during the first pregnancy trimester or three months after delivery. Good skin and diet care is essential in curbing acne break-outs. Following simple tips like avoiding touching your skin during infection, sun-protection, regular exercising, drinking plenty of water and avoiding a high-sugar/fat diet go a long way in preventing the spread of acne. If the acne break-out worsens, it can be detrimental to oneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s self-esteem. Homeopathic acne treatment works well, not just in reducing eruptions and controlling scarring, but also preventing further outbreaks.
Anaemia is a condition in which the blood lacks a sufficient level of haemoglobin or healthy red blood cells (RBC). Inadequate haemoglobin in the blood cells deprives the essential supply of oxygen to the body. Women are more susceptible to the disease because of the loss of blood from menstruation and during pregnancy. Loss of blood, improper RBC production and destruction of RBCs are known causes of anaemia. Although there are many forms of anaemia, the most common type can be treated with iron supplements and dietary changes.
Arthritis affects thrice as more women than men, and the most common of the arthritisÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ types seen in women is rheumatoid arthritis. This type causes inflammation of prominently joint tissues, resulting in swelling of the joints, stiffening and pain. If left untreated, the disease can lead to destruction of joints and loss of mobility. Homeopathic treatment to rheumatoid arthritis is not just safe compared to conventional treatment, but also holistic in its approach. Homeopathy relieves pain and strengthens body immunity for a healthy life.
Breast and cervical cancer
The stages of breast cancer vary from early, curable breast cancer to metastatic breast cancer. Symptoms of breast cancer can include a persisting lump in the breast or underarm, swelling in the armpit, pain or tenderness in the breast, flattening of the breast or indentation, a noticeable change in the nipular area or unusual discharge from nipple. Regular and vigorous aerobic exercise can offer some level of prevention against breast cancer. Not only that, exercising can also be helpful in faster recovery from surgery and tolerating treatment side effects. Abnormal cells on the cervix growing uncontrollably leads to cervical cancer. This is the most common form of cancer affecting women worldwide. Most cervical cancer is caused by HPV (human papillomavirus) and is contracted through sexual contact with HPV. Symptoms of cervical cancer can include abnormal vaginal bleeding, pain in the lower belly or pelvis, pain during sex, abnormal vaginal discharge. Risks of contracting cervical cancer can be reduced by treating early cervical changes (dysplasia). Smoking may trigger cervical changes that can lead to cancer; quitting smoking decreases the risk. Women of age 26 or younger can be administered the HPV vaccine, which protects against two types of cervical cancer. Prevention of STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) reduces the risk of the cancer.
Unlike acne, depression is known to affect more women than men. General causes of depression in women can be attributed to several factors, which by nature can be biological or hormonal, psychological, or social. These include changes in hormones during menstruation or pregnancy, postpartum depression from delivering a child, crash dieting, overwhelming stress from managing work at home or office, and marital or relationship problems. Depression in women is also different from men. Unlike men, who become irritable, angry, restless and agitated under depression, women generally tend to feel anxious, nervous, sad, and apathetic. Women find it easy to talk about self-doubt and despair, while men find it egoistic to open themselves up to friends and family. Depression treatment through psychotherapy in conjunction with homeopathy focuses on individualistic diagnosis, and the use of medication that is without any side effects and non habit-forming.
Endometriosis is a condition in which the uterine lining develops not just inside (which is natural) but also outside the uterus. The tissues that form the outside lining undergo the same process of forming up and breaking down, just like the inside lining during menstruation. Some regular symptoms are heavy period discharge, abdominal pain and infertility. The illness can be treated through surgery and hormonal supplementation.
Female sexual dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction is the inability to experience complete satisfaction from a sexual activity. In women, this means arousal problems, lack of sexual desire, absence or delay in sexual climax, sex-related phobia and others. Causes of female sexual dysfunction can be either physical or psychological, or both. Various medical conditions can contribute to impaired sexual activity; these include diabetes, heart diseases, menopause, hormonal imbalances, diseases of vital organs like kidney and liver. Alcoholism and drug abuse also affect the libido adversely. Psychological factors include stress, anxiety, depression, woeful sexual experiences from the past, guilt, etc. Like any other illness, female sexual dysfunction requires a thorough evaluation of the personÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mental and physical health as well as their medical history. A proper treatment should necessarily involve such rigorous evaluation and the use of holistic medication, which is safe and effective in increasing sexual interest.
Another disease related to the uterus, fibroids are benign tumours that grow from the muscle layers of the uterus. Fibroids are muscle and fibrous tissue growths. Growth of fibroids typically show no symptoms; however, if there are, they can show symptoms of anaemia, constipation, backache, uneasiness in the lower abdomen, frequent urination, heavy periodic discharge and pain in the legs. Causes of fibroid formations are unknown, but they tend to increase in size, especially during pregnancy owing to increased estrogen levels. Heredity is also known to play a role. If treatment is necessary, it may be either through medication or surgery.
Hair loss in women: female pattern baldness
Female pattern baldness is the most common hair loss type seen in women. This generally differs from male pattern baldness such that thinning occurs on the top and crown areas of the scalp. The main causes of this problem are ageing, hormonal changes and a family history of pattern baldness. In most cases, hair loss from pattern baldness is moderate, but it is permanent. Diagnosis can involve ruling out every other hair loss cause, observing medical history and detecting hair loss patterns. Treatment includes medication (application of minoxidil to scalp) or hair transplant (where hair from thicker areas are removed and transplanted on to the affected areas).
Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease affecting women. In this condition, blood vessels that carry blood to the heart narrow or get blocked, leading to heart attacks. Making healthy lifestyle choices can prevent heart attacks or threatening heart conditions. Key habits include regular exercising, avoiding smoking, keeping blood pressure and diabetes under control, maintaining a healthy weight, and making healthy food choices.
As compared to men, women are five to seven times more likely to get affected by hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland in the body under-secretes the thyroid hormone (TH). TH, among others, is critical in the metabolic activity of the body, blood pressure maintenance, and regulating tissue growth and development. Some of the common symptoms include fatigue, depression, weight gain, poor memory, muscle aches, hair loss, dry and itchy skin, and many more. Homeopathic treatment to hypothyroidism focuses on bringing thyroid functioning back to normalcy, ensuring that dependency on the external supplementation of hormones is minimal to none.
Menopause doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t always take its natural, gradual course and can be premature. Premature menopause can be a result of genetics, auto-immune disorders or medical procedures. Premature ovarian failure happens when ovaries stop producing eggs before the age of 40; the circumstance is premature and results from changes in the levels of estrogen and progesterone. Common symptoms at the time of menopause include irregular or skipped periods, mood swings, fatigue, headaches, depression, joint muscle aches, pain, libido changes, vaginal dryness and bladder control problems.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of five health markers, attaining at least three of which classifies the syndrome. These are fasting blood glucose level of 100mg/dL, HDL cholesterol level below 50mg/dL, triglyceride level of 150mg/dL and above, blood pressure level of 130/85mmHg, and waist measurement of 35 inches and above in women. The syndrome detection becomes important as itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s linked with many health conditions, especially heart disease and diabetes. Higher risk of contraction of metabolic syndrome is attributed to bad food choices and minimum or no body exercise.
In women, being overweight or obese leads to the risk of contracting diabetes, coronary heart diseases and cancers of cervix, endometrium, breasts and ovary among others. Obesity in women also renders them to the dangers of lower back pain and knee osteoarthritis. Other pitfalls of obesity are depression, problems in contraception and fertility, or both. Changes in lifestyle and bad habits can help keep obesity at bay. Follow simple rules like not skipping breakfast, incorporating more protein in your diet, staying hydrated, avoiding sugar and bad fats, and last but not the least, exercising. HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the complete list of self-care which you can implement!
Majority of the individuals affected by osteoporosis are women, with chances of contracting the disease four times more likely than men. It is a condition in which bones become weak and fragile, leading to sudden fractures. Osteoporosis doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t show symptoms until the bones and hips fracture. Women reaching their menopause show a decrease of estrogen levels in the body. Because of this, the natural bone loss resulting from the ageing process is considerably amped up, causing an increase in the rate of bone loss for 8-10 years before returning to premenopausal rates. The disease can be prevented by maintaining a healthy diet and remaining physically active.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a condition in which small cysts are formed atop ovaries. Although benign, these cysts can lead to hormonal imbalances, which can adversely affect periods and pregnancy. PCOS, known to be caused by genetic factors, show symptoms such as acne, weight gain, depression, infertility, irregularity in periods and hair loss. Making healthy lifestyle choices (good diet, exercise) and hormone therapy can help control PCOS.
Pregnancy planning is critical in ensuring the safe health of the mother and the child. The mother in general needs to be aware of every aspect of good health keeping for herself and her child, especially during the nine months of pregnancy. These can include knowledge about diseases that can complicate pregnancy (thyroid disease, asthma, diabetes, etc.); awareness of the dangers of smoking and alcohol consumption, safe use of drugs and medication; and finally planning ahead for labour and delivery.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
PMS is associated with women of child-bearing age and produces symptoms both physical and psychological in nature, days before menstruation. These symptoms include headaches, backaches, fatigue, irritability, anxiety, mood swings, weight gain, etc. PMS is thought to be related to hormonal fluctuations, including estrogen and progesterone, occurring before menstruation. Self-care in the form of following a healthy diet and exercise regime, getting proper sleep, yoga, and nutritional supplementation can help alleviate PMS and provide respite.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
UTI is known to affect one in two women, with chances of catching the disease repetitively during oneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lifetime. Urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outlet, because of its close proximity with the anus, is prone to getting infected by harmful organisms. The infection can pass up to the bladder and, in bad cases, up to the kidneys. Common symptoms include frequent urge for urinating, burning sensation during urination, back or lower abdominal pain, fatigue, and fever (when infection has reached the kidneys). Treatment involves the use of antibiotic medication. Preventive measures, such as following good genital hygiene, avoiding the use of unwanted sprays and scented products, and drinking plenty of water can help avoid UTI.
A common term for infection or inflammation of the vagina; vaginitis can be caused by bacteria, viruses or yeasts, or through sexual contact. Some chemicals present in sprays, creams or clothing can cause irritation in the vagina. Some of the common symptoms are abnormal discharge with bad odour, itchiness around the vagina, burning during urination and discomfort during sexual intercourse. Vaginitis has many types (bacterial vaginosis, chlamydia vaginitis, etc.) and, hence, proper diagnosis should precede any treatment.