A woman is one of the most beautiful creations of GOD, showering her respect as daughter, care in the form of a sister and warmth in the form of a friend. She works hard to judiciously balance her family, friends and work. But too often she forgets to take care of herself & either ignores symptoms because of her busy schedule or tends to simply read about it to figure out the problem. This can be a big mistake. So what are the 6 most common ailments & their symptoms that a woman MUST NOT ignore?
1. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
The most common discomfort for all women could be due to a UTI. Due to the female anatomy women are more prone to UTIs than men, since the urethra is much shorter & closer to the anus. Waiting too long to urinate, pregnancy, menopause and sexual intercourse are common causes of UTI in women. Diabetes also increases the risk of UTI since the sugar in the urine may help the bacteria to grow and thus cause infection.
Symptoms: Typical symptoms of a urinary tract infection include sharp pain or burning sensation during urination, uncontrollable frequent urination, accompanied by pain in the lower abdomen, back, or sides, and vaginal discharge.
Diagnosis: A UTI can be diagnosed by a simple Urine Routine & Culture examination to look for the number of bacteria and white blood cells in the urine sample. If diagnosed on time, UTI’s can be easily treated with a short course of antibiotics.
2. Thyroid imbalance
Women are known to be at least 50 times more likely to thyroid disorders than men. The Thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that is located just at the front of the neck. It produces hormones that affect your body's metabolism. Both Over-production (hyperthyroidism) and under-production (hypothyroidism) of the thyroid hormones greatly affect the body’s growth & energy levels.
Symptoms: Symptoms of an overactive thyroid gland may include sudden weight loss, extreme exhaustion, constant muscle fatigue, weakness, increased heart rate, nervousness or anxiety, irritability, extreme thirst, sweating, sleeplessness, hand tremors, increased bowel movements and reduced menstrual flow.
Symptoms of an underactive thyroid include weight gain due to water retention, extreme exhaustion, fatigue, sluggishness, dry skin and hair, muscle cramps & their inflammation, difficulty in concentration, depression, constipation and heavier menstrual flow. A swelling may also develop in the front of the neck due to an enlarged thyroid. Many women commonly suffer from a thyroid disorder due to pregnancy & menopause.
Diagnosis: Thyroid conditions are easily detected with a simple blood test to screen & measure the levels of thyroid hormones i.e T3, T4 & TSH.
3. Deficiency of Vitamin B12 / D3 & Iron
Vitamins play a central role in many body processes and especially for menopausal women.
Vitamin B-12 helps the body to form RBC’s thus help preventing anemia. It is also vital to maintain a healthy nervous system & increase energy.
Vitamin D3 not only helps the body to absorb and metabolize calcium and phosphorous and thus build bones, but is involved in many other processes that prevent heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, cancer and weight gain. It is also an important immune system regulator.
Iron is essential for the formation of hemoglobin, growth, regulation & metabolism of cells, immune activity and proper functioning of the liver.
Symptoms: Muscle pain, weak bones/fractures depression, anemia, extreme tiredness, weakness and fatigue, nervousness, headaches, poor appetite, mood swings, and sleep irregularities. Women especially are more prone to suffer from anemia due to heavy periods.
Diagnosis: A routine complete blood count (CBC) test for hemoglobin levels and Serum Vitamin B12 & D3 test for their levels help diagnose abnormal levels.
Diabetes is a chronic (lifelong) disease marked by high levels of sugar in the blood. Diabetes happens because the body cannot regulate the amount of sugar in the blood, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because the body does not properly use the insulin that is produced.
Symptoms: Excessive & constant thirst and hunger, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss in spite of increased appetite, Poor wound healing; Blurry vision, vaginal infections.
Diagnosis: A fasting (FBS) and Post Prandial (PP) (after breakfast or lunch) can help to screen for diabetes.
5. Cervical Cancer/PCOD
Cervical cancer is the most common form of Cancer in India. Almost all cervical cancers are caused by HPV (human papilloma virus) and spread through sexual intercourse. Polycystic ovary disease (PCOD) is one of the most common female hormonal disorders in which there is an imbalance in a woman's female sex hormones.
Symptoms of Cervical Cancer: Continuous & Abnormal vaginal discharge/bleeding, Swollen leg for no apparent reason, Irregular menses
Symptoms of PCOD: Abdominal Bloating and Pain, Change in Bowel Habits, irregular menses, Constant pelvic pain or pressure, Persistent indigestion or nausea, Belly bloat for more than two weeks or after menses.
Diagnosis: Regular checks for cervical cancer with a Pap smear can help to screen for & diagnose cervical cancer in time. A check for the female hormones such as Progesterone, estrogen, LH & FSH is needed to diagnose PCOD.
6. Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a cancer that starts in the tissues of the breast. The risk of breast cancer in women increases with age.
Symptoms: Lump in the Breast or armpit that usually does not hurt, Change in size, shape of breast, Dimpling, discharge or reddening of Nipple
Diagnosis: A yearly Mammography to screen for breast cancer or to help identify the breast lump.
The coming of the New Millennium has awakened the power within women today. It is important that they take a stand themselves to stay in the ‘PINK OF HEALTH’ and thus multi-task and take care of their family, home & career all at the same time.
DISCLAIMER **Mylabyogi aims to provide you with information that may be useful to attain optimal health. No information is meant as a prescription or medical advice. Please check with your doctor before you implement any changes in your diet, exercise or lifestyle habits, especially if you have physical problems or are taking medications of any kind.