Women typically are pretty good about going to the doctor when they are supposed to. The snag happens when it comes to communication. Women have more of a tendency to be shy about what they are actually experiencing. As a result, they downplay symptoms or don’t communicate a full family history with their doctor. It is important that women find a doctor that they feel comfortable communicating with. The more comfortable a patient is with their health care provider, the easier it is to talk about uncomfortable subjects.
On the flip side, women, more often than men, experience issues with medical professionals not believing them, or dismissing symptoms. This is a dangerous trend that puts women at risk. Medical personnel must work to confront unconscious bias that they have against non-male patients. However, as a patient, if you feel your physician is not taking you seriously, you have the right to go get a second or third opinion.
Men and women experience different health problems at different rates. In this article, we explore the top health concerns for women. Read on to learn what issues to look out for, and what may help prevent these all too common problems.
Heart disease is the leading killer in America, for both men and women. More men than women die of heart disease, but females are severely under-diagnosed. It all circles back to the lack of communication with medical professionals. Women experience the symptoms of heart disease and just assume that it is part of the aging process. Symptoms include:
- A shortness of breath that may arrive even from simply standing up.
- Movement, even around the house, results in exhaustion.
- Physical activity, even basic activity, such as walking up a flight of stairs requires immense exertion.
- Difficulty moving around, limited mobility.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. Modern medicine pushes hard for women to get regular screenings, and there are more treatments than ever. However, for some women, especially older adults, this is actually a bad thing. The anxiety or fear of something being found during a screening leads many women to put off the screening for as long as possible. There are a few risk factors that the American Cancer Society has listed.
- Increase in age, particularly hitting menopause.
- Genetics and family history with cancer, specifically breast cancer.
- Race may play a role. White people have a higher risk of breast cancer than black people.
- Early menstruation or late menopause. This is linked to abnormal hormones, which is probably the true underlying cause.
Osteoporosis is the degeneration of bone tissue, which leads to frail and brittle bones. It can be quite a painful condition, and lead to a hunched stature. Osteoporosis normally develops later in life. A good way to prevent osteoporosis is by making sure that you ingest enough calcium when you are young. Additionally, physical activity can help strengthen the body. While genetics play a role, conditions such an anorexia or malnutrition increase risk of osteoporosis.