I was very surprised to find out that this category of illness (Autoimmune diseases) was a particularly diverse one, there are over 80 different kinds (lupus included). Individually they are statistically uncommon, but as a group they are the 4th largest cause of disability in American women. Diabetes also belongs to this group, but as most of us know it’s fairly common.
Autoimmune diseases according to the Department of HHS (Health and Human Services) also includes type 1 diabetes because the whole category of disease attacks the body. Autoimmune diseases are still not very well understood in comparison to some other common health risks. The symptoms can be difficult to pinpoint, which can make diagnosis hard.
This one of the leading killers for both men and women. It kills more men than women, but it often goes undiagnosed in women. In women its responsible for about 29% of deaths (says, CDC). It’s very widespread and people from all walks of life are affected by it in one way or another. Women in politics such as Hilary Clinton have been touched by it. Heidi Klum and Kim Kardashian have recently joined a campaign to raise awareness. It’s wonder that International Women’s Day hasn’t done more to raise awareness of anyone of these health risks.
People often assume the symptoms of heart disease are chest pains, and that can be. However there are milder ones too, ranging from an ache in the shoulder or jaw, shortness of breath to nausea.
There’s a whole list of risk factors associated with the disease. The common ones are familiar to us, such as smoking, blood pressure, heredity risks and cholesterol. Weight and diabetes are other important factors, but perhaps the most surprising maybe “ethnic group. “Just like males are more likely to have heart disease, statistically so are some ethnic groups.
According to the CDC you can reduce your chances of heart disease significantly by modifying your lifestyle, that involves makes changes to your diet and exercise.
This is a common health risk, and the most common kind of cancer for women next to lung cancer. Some experts suggest although the risks are significant, there’s still a lot of confusion over what to do, or even how to check yourself.
It’s important to educate yourself and not to leave it all down to fear. There are a lot of options in terms of the treatment, so don’t always assume the worst case scenario – check with your doctor for more information.
Genes play a huge role in terms of mutation in a woman’s body, as well as family history and ethnic background. Other factors may include, not having children, early menstruation and too much alcohol.
This is About The Woman’s first post on women health issues, so to be honest I had to do quite a bit of research. I think that all of these health issues deserve a lot more attention than they are currently receiving. Although a lot of great work has been done, there’s more to do and I find it slightly odd that organizations like International Women’s Day for example have chosen to focus on other issues rather than specifically women’s health.
(Please note I’m not a medical expert, this is merely a very rough guide and not medical advice)
About The Woman