Women’s health issues arise because we put our health low on the priority list. Here’s a look at 10 of the top health issues affecting women in India today.
Women pride themselves on the fact that they are muti-taskers. However, very often the most important aspect of their lives is forgotten in the mayhem of multitasking – good health.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of health issues that commonly affect women went on the back burner as people avoided hospitals and tended to neglect their health issues.
Top 10 Women’s Health Issues In India
A lot of women’s health issues arise because of negligence and putting their health very low on the priority list. Here’s a look at some of the major health issues that affect women in India.
1. Heart Disease
Studies have shown that heart disease affects six times as many women as breast cancer. Coronary Artery Disease occurs mostly in menopausal women, but in the presence of diabetes, women get affected at a younger age.
Diabetes, hypertension, obesity, smoking, and a lack of physical activity are all factors that increase the risk of heart disease. Family history, too, plays its part.
Changing to a heart-healthy diet, quitting smoking, lipid-lowering medication, and regular exercise will help in lowering the chance of heart diseases. It is also important to go for regular health checkups; after all, prevention is better than cure.
2. Breast Cancer
While family history does have a role, it is important to remember that less than 10% of the cases of breast cancer are due to this.
Several other factors are known to increase the risk of breast cancer – obesity, early menstruation (before age 12) or late menopause (after age 55), excess alcohol and smoking.
It is important to do a self-examination of breasts and consult a breast cancer doctor if any abnormality is observed. Women should also get regular mammograms done after age 40.
3. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
This is one of the most common endocrine disorders affecting women of child-bearing age. It is known to affect 5-10% of the women in this age group. Women with this problem have cysts in their ovaries and this, in turn, affects their ability to conceive.
Symptoms of PCOS include irregular periods, infertility, high levels of insulin, excessive body hair, acne, and weight gain. Women should get regular medical checkups done and have this condition treated.
You can get ayurvedic treatment for PCOS at home. PCOS treatment in Ayurveda includes ayurvedic medicine for PCOS and yoga for PCOS.
Known to be one of the most common issues that affect women, especially during middle age and after, Osteoporosis is largely preventable.
Problems such as joint pain, backaches, and frailty are mainly due to behavioural traits that women pick up during adolescence and youth.
Diets rich in calcium and physical activity like weight training will help women avoid Osteoporosis to a large extent.
A few million women throughout the world die every year of strokes. This silent killer has many causes including hypertension, diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle with no exercise, excessive junk food, smoking and alcohol.
Women should follow a healthy lifestyle and manage chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension carefully with the correct treatments to reduce the risk of stroke.
6. Obesity & Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or is unable to use insulin properly. This results in high levels of glucose build-up in the blood.
The consequences include heart disease, kidney problems, and even possible blindness. Obesity is one of the major risk factors associated with diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight, and regular physical activity reduces the chances of type-2 diabetes.
7. Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases
Respiratory illnesses such as Chronic Obstructed Pulmonary Disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, and several other problems affecting the lungs fall under this category.
These mainly result from smoking or pollution and can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on women’s mental health exacerbating the already existing mental health crisis and women have been more negatively affected by COVID-19 mentally than their male counterparts.
Depression affects more women than men. Women need to have a connection with loved ones and when they do not, depression is very likely to occur.
Sometimes hormonal changes can also result in depression, especially postnatal depression after pregnancy or during menopause. Other factors include substance abuse, trauma, family history of depression and chronic illnesses.
Practice yoga for depression. This is the perfect class for anyone needing to lift themselves up, invite motivation and restoration to the spirit, body and mind.
9. Alzheimer’s Disease
Studies have shown that women are more at risk than men to be affected by Alzheimer’s which results in memory loss issues.
Some of the ways of preventing this condition are managing chronic conditions like high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes and regular physical and mental activity to remain fit.
While it is not proven, when a woman reaches middle age, the reduction in estrogen is believed to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
10. Hair Loss & Premature Greying
Hair loss is a problem that affects many women, especially in urban India. Genetic factors do tend to contribute to early greying and hair loss in women.
However, other very important factors that cause hair loss are a deficiency of Vitamin B12 and Iron, excessive consumption of junk food and coffee or tea, lack of sleep, an unclean scalp, smoking and stress.
Maintaining a balanced diet rich in vitamin B12 and iron, and a healthy lifestyle can prevent this condition.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is presented for the purpose of educating people. Nothing contained on this website should be construed nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Should you have any healthcare-related questions, please call or see your physician or other qualified health care provider promptly. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet, or fitness program.
Priya Florence Shah is the Group Editor at SHEROES and author of Devi2Diva, an emotional self-care book for women.
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