It’s a women’s world today. Her presence is registered everywhere, be it home, at workplace, markets, hospitals, in the transport sector as cab or auto drivers, a loco pilot running the trains, a pilot, etc. As a politician, bureaucrat, entrepreneur, CEO, doctor, engineer, astronaut, architect or an educationist…she’s indeed come a long way.
While women have a longer life expectancy than men in most of the countries, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they get to enjoy healthier lives. In fact, according to a 2009 WHO study, millions of women suffer from health issues each year throughout the world — health issues that would not have affected them had they been men. Women are more vulnerable to contracting HIV, less likely to be screened for heart disease, and according to the British medical journal (BMJ), women throughout the world are likely to have received inferior health care compared to their male counterparts from birth onwards.
It ultimately affects their lives, families, work, and finances.
10 Biggest Health Issues Faced by Women Today
1. Malnutrition: Statistics show that half of the women in the whole world suffer from malnutrition. In many cultures, women also are the first ones to cut back on their food in case of a crisis. With undernutrition, vitamin deficiencies or anemia they are likely to have low immunity levels and catch infections at the drop of a hat.
2. Sexual Violence: A term that covers sexual assault, rape, coerced marriage and other types of sexual abuse, is one of the most troubling human rights issue of our world. Millions of women end up as its victim every year. Unfortunately, most of the cases go unreported due to societal taboo.
3. Pregnancy And Childbirth: A big number of women die every year in developing nations like ours because of complications in their pregnancy or during childbirth.
4. Contraception And Abortion: Another cause of untimely death in a large number of women on a yearly basis is improperly executed abortions out of desperation. The number is more in countries where abortion is illegal. These are the regions where women have poor access to the right contraceptive.
5. Domestic Violence: Approximately 35% of women around the world are victims of domestic violence. Sadly, more health issues like pregnancies that are unintended, alcohol abuse, physical injury, suicide, and even death at the partner’s hands are its long term ramifications. To paint the picture more clearly, an estimated 30-35% of all women who are murdered have been killed by their partners or in-laws. Domestic violence also has the risk of taking a woman to a state of depression that can span a long time.
6. Breast Cancer: Is the most lethal cancer for women witnessed between the ages of 20-59 throughout the world. In majority of cases, it doesn’t present with any complaint until it has reached an advanced stage where not much can be done from a medical perspective.
7. HIV/AIDS: Most women neither have the chance to refuse sex from their partners nor do they have the right medical resources for treatment in case they think they have been infected. Shockingly, this does not apply to developing countries like ours alone. 20% of the new infections in the developed nations are contracted each year by women through heterosexual contact.
8. Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke: You might find it shocking that heart disease is at number one while stroke is the third most common cause of death among women around the world. Statistics are higher in low-income countries. In addition, Stroke also is one of the leading cause of long-term disability worldwide.
9. Osteoporosis: Is another significant issue faced by women post their 30s. Diet insufficient in calcium and less exposure to sun contribute to its cause resulting in brittle bones, prone to fracture. This is more prevalent in ethnicities where women are covered from head to toe due to religious beliefs.
10. Mental Health: In essence, women are more likely to develop anxiety disorder and depression than men. They are also more likely to go through circumstances that give them PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) like a disaster or domestic violence they have survived.
Nonetheless, whatever field today’s women are engaged in, multitasking comes naturally to them. Pulled in every direction between home, kids, family, extended family, and work commitments, its the WOMAN in them that gets neglected the most. Amidst all the physical and hormonal changes that span through their lives, here are a few tips to help them stay fit both mentally and physically :
1. Develop and maintain healthy habits.
- Eat a balanced diet and maintain weight
- Exercise weekly – cardio exercises for heart health and weight-bearing exercises for bone and muscle health
- Stay hydrated
- Prioritize maintaining healthy sleep habits
2. Cultivate positive relationships with your support network (friends and family). Do take help if you are a victim of sexual or domestic violence.
3. Limit alcohol consumption.
4. Quit smoking.
5. Practice safe sex with birth control pills, condom use, and regular STI/STD screening.
6. Be in touch with your obstetrician/gynecologist/physician about the major reproductive milestone in your life – fertility, and pregnancy if you intend to have children.
7. Schedule an HPV test and a Pap smear together, every 5 years, once you are in your 30’s for the screening of cervical cancer.
8. An annual women’s wellness checkup and a mammogram are advisable 35 onwards.
9. Talk to your gynecologist/physician about preparing for and managing menopause.
10. Post 50s, don’t forget to manage your mental health. If you have older children, empty nest syndrome may begin to affect your mood and mental health.
11. Talk to your doctor about neurological concerns such as Alzheimer’s. Keep your mind active! Distract yourself in things you like. Consult a Psychologist for mental care, if required.
12. Take appropriate care if your family has a history of diabetes or arthritis and stay physically active in low-impact ways.
While your health and wellness is extremely important for a healthy family, maintaining it in the hustle-bustle of today’s fast-paced life is a lifelong commitment. Prioritize your own Health Needs too.
Note:: Homeopathy can be of great help in keeping you fit through every new stage of your life!