Women often have many concerns about their health with questions about everything from annual check-ups to what kind of screenings they should have as they age – and everything in between. In honor of Women’s Health Week, we’ve put together a list of three of the biggest health concerns women have and how they can be avoided.
Heart disease is in charge of almost 30% of deaths among women, but the biggest issue is premature death and disability. Women tend to be more under diagnosed than men and because of this, the condition is often much more severe once it is discovered. Risks for heart disease in women include age, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, lack of physical activity, obesity, and diabetes. By eating a healthy diet and maintaining an active lifestyle, women can minimize their risk and prevent heart disease.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer observed in women and is a big concern for females of all ages. Risk factors include increasing age, genetics, family history, early menstruation or menopause, certain medication use, over consumption of alcohol, and obesity. To reduce your chances of developing breast cancer, control your weight, exercise, stop smoking, and discuss your family history with your doctor so you can determine the appropriate screenings that are necessary for you. Yearly mammograms should begin at age 40.
Osteoporosis might seem like a disease that only aging people deal with, but it has begun to become more prevalent in younger generations, too. Of the people who have been afflicted with osteoporosis, 68% of them are women. Risk factors for this disease include increasing age, having a small frame with thin bones, family history, estrogen loss, anorexia, lack of calcium and vitamin D, medication use, an inactive lifestyle, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption. By incorporating physical activity into your lifestyle, addressing any family history of the disease, and making sure you are providing your body with the vitamins and nutrients it needs. Osteoporosis is largely preventable.
The Baptist Women’s Health Center offers a variety of screenings for these and other health concerns. Talk to your doctor to determine what steps you should be taking to prevent disease and maintain good health.