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HealthNews Dozen: 12 Top Health Threats for Women

Men and women have different health needs, and each gender finds itself with special health risks and needs. Women, in particular, are required to pay particular attention to certain health conditions because of body composition, s

uch as reproductive organs. And for reasons left to scientists, women are also more susceptible to certain diseases, thereby requiring them to pay more attention to their health and prevention practices.

As pointed out by the Mayo Clinic in a recent article through information taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are a number of diseases of noteworthy concern to women, though there are many ways to address those problems early through nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle changes to keep said diseases from affecting them.

The top health threat to women in America is heart disease, though it is also one of the most preventable of all conditions. Most importantly, cigarette smoke should be avoided and alcohol should be consumed in moderation. But also a simple diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fiber, and fish are important, as well as physical activity to maintain a healthy weight and the monitoring of stress levels.

While all types of cancer are dangerous to women, the most common type tends to be lung cancer, followed directly by breast and colorectal cancer. While a healthy diet, exercise, and the avoidance of tobacco are key, sun exposure should also be limited. In addition, attention paid to exposure to radon, asbestos, radiation, and air pollution can also be helpful by avoiding those substances where and when possible.

Strokes are often hereditary, but lifestyle choices can lead to strokes in younger women. Cigarette smoke, high cholesterol or blood pressure, excessive saturated fat, obesity, and lack of physical activity can lead to higher chances of strokes, and all should be avoided or controlled.

Lung disease can lead to cancer, as mentioned above, but other lung conditions like bronchitis and emphysema are commonly discovered in women who have been exposed to smoke or air pollution. The sometimes deadly lung conditions, generally referred to as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), can usually be avoided by not smoking, avoiding secondhand smoke, and staying away from areas that cannot control air pollution.

Alzheimer’s disease erases memories from the brain, sometimes slowly and often in the elderly, and it is generally hereditary though skips a generation. If there is a history of Alzheimer’s in the family, it is important to stay physically and mentally fit, even taking steps to practice mental exercises and continue to learn new things. Head injuries can also lead to Alzheimer’s, as can a personal history high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or high cholesterol.

Injuries are generally results of accidents and may not be able to be avoided. The same can be said of the flu, though there are flu shots, and anyone with chronic health risks should discuss the vaccine with a health professional to determine if it would be beneficial.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease but is highly treatable by monitoring blood sugar. Though it can eventually lead to heart disease, kidney damage, and blindness, the activation of a healthy lifestyle, including weight loss and a very healthy diet, can ease the long-term effects of Type 2.

Hypertension is a result of stress and must be controlled to keep from evolving into more serious health problems like heart disease. Stress is also a contributing factor to kidney disease, as its onset typically results from high blood pressure and sometimes diabetes. Medications can control both hypertension and kidney disease, though the latter may require more extensive treatment as prescribed by a physician.

Blood poisoning, more accurately known as septicemia or sepsis, is an infection brought on by bacteria or toxins in the bloodstream, usually as a result of a lung infection, urinary tract infection, or one originating in the abdomen or pelvis. The only thing that can be done to prevent septicemia is avoiding germs that can lead to infection, specifically by washing hands often, changing tampons regularly, making sure vaccines are up-to-date, and seeking immediate medical attention for anything resembling an infection.

Perinatal conditions are obviously limited to women, which is why pre-natal and post-natal care are both so important surrounding any pregnancy. The weeks before and after childbirth are critical to a mother’s health, and the monitoring of the health of a woman at all stages by a health professional is critical to a woman’s immediate and long-term health.

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