Three Areas to Be Mindful of with Your Health
Despite the ongoing improvements in health care and longer life expectancies for women, there are still no guarantees. At Women’s Health Medical Group, all we think about is women’s health and we want our patients to be thinking about it too. Sometimes awareness and signs to look for is the best medicine.
Toward that end, here are three areas of concern for women’s health.
It’s easy to think of heart disease as a men’s health problem, and it is. Heart disease is the leading killer of men…and women. Heart disease is the cause of death for 29% of women. Plus, it kills them prematurely, in their 60s, or contributes to a poor quality of later life.
Chest pain or radiating pain in the limbs are well-known symptoms, but there are others that women don’t know about: a little jaw pain, shoulder aches, nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath.
It’s important to keep cholesterol and blood pressure levels under control, to keep your weight at a healthy level, to eat well, and exercise regularly.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. It is second to lung cancer as the leading cause of death for women.
Many women fear breast cancer so intensely it keeps them from going to the doctor for screenings or can lead women to make quick, rash decisions about mastectomy, when it may not be necessary.
Treatment and success rates have improved immensely, so women need to keep their emotions in perspective and educate themselves. These are the risk factors for breast cancer:
- Increasing age
- Genes (5% to 10% of breast cancer is linked to mutations in certain genes)
- Family history of the disease
- Race: White women have a slightly great risk
- Earlier abnormal breast biopsy
- Earlier chest radiation
- Early onset of menstruation (before age 12) or menopause after age 55
- Not having children
- Medication use of DES (diethylstilbestrol) in the mother
- Too much alcohol
Osteoporosis threatens 44 million Americans, 68% of those women. But mostly it is preventable. Early behaviors can make a difference for warding off osteoporosis later because bodies build up most of their bone mass until the age of 30. After that, new bone stops forming and the focus in on maintenance. At that point adequate calcium consumption and weight-bearing physical activity is key.
These are the risk factors for osteoporosis:
- Female sex
- Increasing age
- Small, thin-boned frame
- Ethnicity: White and Asian women are at the greatest risk
- Family history
- Sex hormones (infrequent menstrual cycles and estrogen loss due to menopause increase risk)
- Diet low in calcium and vitamin D
- Medication use, particularly glucocorticoids or some anticonvulsants
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Excessive alcohol consumption
If you have questions about any of these health risks, please call us at Women’s Health Medical Group, (817) 346-5336.