Health

The most common health issues specific to Women

A woman thinking
In every human being lifetime, they will be faced with issues related to health. However, the males will not be worried about some ailments that are common to their female counterparts. Health issues that affect women are often a result of aging.
Our writer talked to Dr Martin Nelson a retired Orthopedic Surgeon from the UK living in Mombasa who highlighted some of the most common health worries every female worry’s about and how they can be prevented or managed.
Breast Cancer
This is the top killer of women irrespective of age.
“Unfortunately, at the present time, we do not know the causes(s) of breast cancer although we know that estrogens in drinking water and in foods may play an important role. We also do not know how to prevent it,” notes Dr Nelson.
He says that regular breast examination and screening can change the outcome of the woman if the disease is detected at its early stages.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of early diagnosis. Every woman once her periods have begun should examine herself regularly, at least once a month. The technique of methodical  examination is readily available in books and on the internet,” he adds.
All breast lumps should be removed and examined microscopically.  The earlier the cancer is caught the better the outlook.
Fertility Issues
About 10 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 have struggled with either getting pregnant or staying pregnant.
While in rare cases there is no medical explanation given, most of the time the causes on infertility include endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
For endometriosis, a woman can manage it through regular work out, watching diet, managing the level of stress, trying alternative therapies or considering medications such as hormones and excision surgery in persisting/severe conditions.
Cervical Cancer
This is the second most common cancer in women worldwide. Up to 90 percent of cervical cancers can be prevented through Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination that obstruct infection. HPV is the main cause of this disease.
“Once again regular screening is essential and the practise of safe sex,” says Dr Nelson.
The screening includes having a pap smear test done to the woman. If the test is positive, chemotherapy or radiology can be started to treat the cancer. The outcome changes if it is detected in its early stage.
Heart Disease
Cardiovascular disease is among the top killers of women. Annually, One in three women die’s of heart disease, which is also contributed with misdiagnosis.
The signs of a heart attack in women can include nausea, jaw pain, and slight discomfort. However, the symptoms of a heart attack manifest differently on women hence the misdiagnosis.
High blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking are factors that contribute to heart attacks. The condition can be prevented by heart-healthy eating,  managing stress, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and participating in physical activities. Seek medical advice for medications that manage heart attack.
Obesity
Having excessive weight leads to many diseases that affect women, such as heart disease, diabetes, and many cancers.
“No matter what is said to the contrary, Obesity is due to overeating or eating unhealthy food- A girl’s best friend is a weight scale- Weigh yourself every day Yes- every day-a weight gain of 1/2 to one Kg can easily be lost but 5-10 Kg is a real struggle,” notes Dr Nelson.
According to him, if in doubt about your weight- take your clothes off and look at yourself in a mirror, if you like what you see you are OK.
Managing stress, eating healthy and doing physical exercise are sure ways of maintaining the standard body weight and avoiding obesity.
Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease that impairs blood sugar regulation in the body. Both men and women can develop diabetes, but some symptoms are more likely to affect women.
Having a lot of glucose in the body of a woman can cause yeast infection that can result to a frustrated sex life.

Diabetes treatment includes managing your blood sugar levels to control your symptoms. This can be achieved by controlling your blood sugar levels by eating healthy and getting regular physical activity.

With type 1 diabetes, one will need to take insulin through shots or an insulin pump. Insulin cannot be taken as a pill.

Type 2 diabetes treatment also may include taking medicine to control your blood sugar. Over time, people with type 2 diabetes make less and less of their own insulin. This may mean that one will need to increase  medicines or start taking insulin shots to keep your diabetes in control.

{See also: Losing money can increase heart disease- Even to the young }

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Brenda Gamonde
Brenda Gamonde is reporter with Business Today. Email: [email protected]

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