We’re all about powerful women around here – we believe a woman can do everything a man can do, in high heels, on her period, and juggling a kid on her hip. But there are some things that differ between men and women, namely health concerns.
Heart disease is often seen as a men’s disease, but it’s still the largest health risk for women. Around 27 percent of all deaths among females are from heart disease. Heart attacks don’t look or feel the same for women as they do for men. Unlike what we’re used to seeing in the movies, where an overweight or highly stressed middle-aged man clutches his chest and falls over, heart attacks look different for every person – especially women.
Some female heart attack survivors dismissed their symptoms as acid reflux or the flu! The American Heart Association offers an overview of heart attack symptoms in women that’s worth a read here.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet (talk to us if you have questions!)
- Stay active
- Reduce stress
- Quit smoking if you smoke
- Limit your alcohol intake
No, it’s not breast cancer that you need to look out for if you’re worried about dying from cancer (although you should be doing regular breast exams and let us know if you have any concerns!). Nope, it’s lung cancer that’s the largest cancer threat to women. Mostly, this is due to smoking and breast cancer is the second leading cancer among women.
Luckily, lifestyle changes can prevent at least 1/3 of all cancers, according to research, so you can help protect yourself by adopting new habits.
- Don’t smoke or quit smoking
- Perform regular breast self-exams
- Make it to your Well Woman exam every year
- Limit alcohol
- Eat a healthy diet
Another one of the stereotypical “men’s diseases” is Alzheimer’s disease, but it actually kills more women than men. More than half of the 4.5 million people in the US living with Alzheimer’s are women. The disease is still a bit of a mystery to researchers, but it’s believed to be the result of several factors: age, genetics, lifestyle, and environment.
- Follow the steps for preventing heart disease – some studies show that as many as 80 percent of people with Alzheimer’s also have heart disease.
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a healthy diet
- Maintain social connections
- Do your best to avoid head trauma
And as always, seeing your provider on a regular basis can help detect most health concerns early. If it’s been a while since you’ve been in to see us, give us a call to schedule an appointment.