No matter what gender you identify with, biologically women and men are very different. Sure we face the same medical issues, but our biology predicts how our bodies react to these issues. For women to stay as healthy as possible, it’s important to know what the biggest challenges facing them would be. From there it’s much easier to take the necessary precautions in the prevention of these issues before they start.
The number of women who die from heart disease is high, up to 29%! Heart disease kills more women in the US than all cancer combined, upwards of almost 500,000 deaths each year. If you are a woman notice that you become winded a bit easier than normal walking up stairs this could be a sign of developing heart disease. Signs of a heart attack actually differ from men to women so it’s extra important to realize when women are having these symptoms. Things like pressure in the chest, pain or discomfort in both arms, shortness of breath and more are all linked to women and heart attacks.
Cancer in women accounts for almost 22% of all deaths in women, killing almost 270,000 women annually. Lung cancer actually kills more women than breast cancer does, but make sure to always stay up to date on your mammogram or pap tests to ensure that if anything were to happen you can catch it early and treat it before it gets too out of control. It’s been proven that lifestyle changes are all it takes to really push down the risk of developing certain cancers, ensure you do not smoke, exercise daily and eat a healthy diet in order to keep the chances to a minimal.
Up to 44 million people in the United States alone and up to 68% of those people are women. Osteoporosis is a very preventable disease and a lot of it has to do with your upbringing. Bones in women grow until around the age of 30. At that point, new bones stop forming and our bones start to deteriorate. Some risk factors are unavoidable; if you’re a tiny person, White or Asian women are naturally more susceptible, but some factors are very controllable! Make sure to get enough calcium and vitamin D. If you are concerned about your bones, you can request a bone density test from your doctor.
Diabetes affects over 29 million Americans and about 12.6 of those Americans are women over the age of 20, a quarter of those women probably haven’t even been diagnosed yet. There’s a higher risk of developing diabetes if you’re overweight, have a family history, are not active, have experienced gestational diabetes, have high blood pressure or have high cholesterol. If you want to prevent diabetes (which you should), avoid high sugar and high-fat foods, lose weight if you are overweight, and aim to hit the gym or exercise outside 3-5 time per week.
An autoimmune disease is when the body turns on itself and the immune system attacks its own cells. Some autoimmune diseases include lupus, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes. Over 75% of autoimmune diseases in the United States occur in women and all of the autoimmune diseases combined make-up the fourth largest cause of disability among American women. The best way to avoid autoimmune disease is to eat a healthy balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep every night.