Beyond Breast Cancer: Health Concerns Women Often Overlook
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which has become an important means of promoting women’s health as a whole, through annual efforts to raise awareness and encourage women to get screened for breast cancer with annual mammograms. During this month of women’s health awareness, it is also crucial to look beyond breast cancer and consider some other serious health concerns affecting females that are not as well-recognized. Take a closer look below at some of the most common health issues plaguing women everywhere, yet often overlooked.
Did you know that about three out of four patients suffering from autoimmune disorders are women? For reasons not yet known, women are much more likely to have autoimmune diseases, which can range from type 1 diabetes to thyroid disease to lupus. While each of these conditions on their own are fairly uncommon, as a group they make up the fourth most common cause of disability for American women. Autoimmune diseases can exist with minimal symptoms or many non-specific signs, so it is important to recognize the threat of these diseases and seek medical care for any new symptoms that may arise in your health.
Mental health itself is often ignored as a serious health concern, but depression in particular is rarely recognized as a legitimate health threat. What many women do not know is that depression is more common in women than men, and depression may exist without a clear cause or trigger. In the face of clinical depression, women often do not seek the care they need, because they are unaware that depression is a real illness that will not just go away with happy thoughts and a strong will.
Heart disease is often associated with men’s health, but it is still the number one killer of adult women in the United States. What’s more is that many women do not know the signs of a heart attack—which are often more subtle in female patients—so they do not get the emergency care they need for coronary episodes.
Poor Body Image
Women are often their own harshest critics when it comes to body image, and this type of negative thinking can be damaging to your health and wellness. One common pattern that arises out of a negative self-image is exercising with purely aesthetic goals, which may not fully address your body’s needs in terms of your health and physical capabilities. By changing the way you speak about yourself and putting your health before your beauty, you can feel better and gain more confidence with the body you do have.
As you tackle these health concerns with help from the physicians of MeMD, you can feel good knowing that your visit will facilitate healthcare for women in need through our Share the Health program. When you see a MeMD physician, a visit will be donated to a victim of domestic violence in need of healthcare and resources to recover.