RAC Aware – Womens Health

Provided by: www.webmd.com and www.womenshealth.gov

Heart Disease:
Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. Yet death in itself isn’t the biggest problem for women with heart disease. The real trouble is in premature death and disability, says Cindy Pearson, executive director of the National Women’s Health Network.
“There are far too many women dying of heart disease in their 60s, when no one expects to die because that’s too young in this country,” says Pearson. “There are (also) women, who, for many years, are really ill with heart disease — being out of breath, not being able to walk up one flight of stairs … because heart disease impairs their ability to get around.”
Although more men die of heart disease than women, females tend to be underdiagnosed, often to the point that it’s too late to help them once the condition is discovered. “The symptoms for women are typical for women, and they are often missed by doctors and the patient themselves,”.

Depression appears to affect more women than men. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that about 12 million women are affected by a depressive disorder each year compared to about 6 million men.
Depression shows itself in different ways. Depressed mood, sadness, or an “empty” feeling. Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you once enjoyed.
Significant weight loss when not dieting, or significant weight gain. Inability to sleep or excessive sleeping. Restlessness or irritation, or feelings of “dragging”. Feelings of worthlessness, or excessive or inappropriate guilt.
Difficulty thinking or concentrating, or indecisiveness. And many others. Researchers think that exercise may work better than no treatment at all to treat depression. They also think that regular exercise can lower your risk of getting depression and help many depression symptoms get better.
Researchers do not know whether exercise works as well as therapy or medicine to treat depression.

About three out of four people who have migraines are women. Migraines are most common in women between the ages of 20 and 45. Women tend to report more painful and longer lasting headaches and more symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting. All these factors make it hard for a woman to fulfill her roles at work and at home when migraine strikes.
Sometimes, headache can signal a more serious problem. You should talk to your doctor about your headaches if:
You have several headaches per month and each lasts for several hours or days. You have nausea, vomiting, vision, or other sensory problems. You have pain around the eye or ear. You have a severe headache with a stiff neck. You have a headache with convulsions. You used to be headache-free, but now have headaches a lot.
Remedy: Lifestyle changes. Practicing these habits can reduce the number of migraine attacks:
Avoid or limit triggers. Get up and go to bed the same time every day. Eat healthy foods and do not skip meals.
Engage in regular physical activity. Limit alcohol and caffeine intake. Learn ways to reduce and cope with stress.