Women are at risk for a range of specific health issues. From hormonal fluctuations to mineral deficiencies, it isn’t just menopause or even heart disease that affects females. Women face higher risks than men do for many health concerns. Some of these conditions require immediate intervention or attention; others can be monitored with regular check-ups.
Here are seven common issues women should take seriously:
Iron deficiency is a common problem for women. It’s important to get enough iron because it helps carry oxygen throughout the body, which is especially important for pregnant women and people with heart disease. Anemia symptoms include fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. Causes of anemia can include blood loss from menstruation or childbirth, chronic digestive issues, ulcerative colitis, diabetes mellitus type 1 & 2, intestinal parasites, heavy metal poisoning, and even chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer. While anemia is common, it doesn’t make it normal, and it should be addressed with medical professionals.
Depression and Mental Health
Depression impacts women of every age. Whether it’s postpartum depression after having a baby or it’s the result of trauma, depression and mental health concerns should not be ignored. Ongoing mental health issues can lead to substance abuse if left untreated. Many women in rehab end up needing treatment for depression because the depression is what led to drinking excessively in the first place.
While depression is treatable, it’s important not to ignore intense feelings of sadness, and inability to get up in the morning, or a loss of focus. Too often women brush these symptoms off and put off getting the help they really need.
There are many different kinds of hormone imbalances, but there are some common symptoms that you should be aware of if you think you might be suffering from one. These symptoms may include irregular periods, overwhelming menstrual cramps, PMS (premenstrual syndrome) that doesn’t go away, and even tenderness around the breast area and/or nipple soreness. You may also experience mood swings, hair loss, difficulty losing weight, and exhaustion.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to visit a doctor who can help determine what is causing them. Sometimes hormone imbalances occur because of lifestyle factors like stress or diet. Getting adequate sleep and eating the right nutrients can improve hormone health.
Sudden Weight Changes
It’s a common occurrence for women to experience weight gain or loss. But when the change is sudden and unexplained, it can indicate a serious health problem. Weight gain or loss can be due to a number of factors including eating too much or not enough, not getting enough exercise, stress hormonal shifts, and more. But sudden changes in weight, either gaining or losing, is something much more concerning. It’s important to seek out medical attention if you suddenly gain or lose a lot of weight without trying.
Hair loss and shedding is a common problem for women, and for most, it’s just part of the hormone cycles your body goes through along with the aging process. But for others, hair loss can be a sign that something more serious is going on. Some estimates show that millions of women in the United States experience female pattern baldness—a condition that causes thinning hair at the top of your head—by age 40.
It’s normal to shed some strands when shampooing or styling your hair, but if you find yourself losing big chunks, it could be a sign that something else is going on under your scalp.
Autoimmune disorders are caused by the immune system attacking healthy body tissue. Autoimmune disorders can be serious and life-threatening, including type 1 diabetes (T1D), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and Lupus. Other disorders include Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and celiac disease. There are signs and symptoms of each of these and if you suspect you may have an autoimmune condition, it’s best to ask your physician for the appropriate tests.
Women are more likely than men to die from heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both sexes, but women are at a higher risk. Risk factors for heart disease in women include high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, obesity, diabetes, smoking, and family history. There’s also an increased risk of heart disease during pregnancy or the postpartum period. Prevention includes eating plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as getting regular exercise every day. It’s also important not to smoke or consume too much alcohol as these habits negatively affect your heart health over time.