Women, a lot of our time is spent caring for others, whether it be your children, nieces and nephews, parents, grandparents or even an elderly neighbor; we always seem to place ourselves in the caregiver role, whether it be voluntarily or involuntary. However, if we desire to stay in that role as long as we would like, we need to guarantee that we are also caring for ourselves. It is easy to skip a meal, easy to skip a workout and easy to not go to the doctor when you have your hands full with another loved one who may need help doing that themselves.
Hands of Compassion Homecare is always seeking out important topics to educate the community on, and we couldn’t help but believe that this is one of those topics. We forget how important our health is when we have no time to focus on it–young, middle-aged or elderly.
Take a few minutes to learn a few facts and pick up a few pointers on how you can be caring for yourself and increase your healthy life.
# 1. Heart Disease
More women than men die of heart disease each year; although, the traditional risk factors for coronary artery disease affect women and men, other factors may play a bigger role in the development of heart disease in women.
- Mental stress and depression
- Lack of activity
- Low estrogen after menopause
- Pregnancy complications
Ways to Reduce your risk:
- No smoking
- Exercise 30 to 60 minutes a day on most days of the week, or 60 to 90 minutes if you need to lose weight.
- Healthy weight / Eat a diet that’s low in saturated fat, cholesterol and salt.
# 2. Breast Cancer
ACS estimates for the year 2014:
- About 232,570 new cases of invasive breast cancer
- About 40,000 deaths from breast cancer
- BC is the second most common cancer and second leading cause of cancer death.
- Age, Race, Gender, Genetics
- Family History/ Personal Cancer History
- Menstrual periods
- Certain types of birth control
- Choosing not to breast feed (some studies have shown breastfeeding can reduce chances)
# 3. Osteoporosis
Of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, about eight million or 80% are women; Approximately one in two women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.
- Age, Race, Gender, Ethnic background
- Bone density
- How fast you loose bone after menopause
Ways to Reduce Your Risk:
- Get enough calcium and vitamin D, and eat a well balanced diet.
- Don’t smoke or drink
# 4. Depression
Three main types of depression: major depression, Dysthymic disorder or dysthymia and minor depression. More women than men get depression; it is a serious illness, and most women who have it need treatment to get better.
- Brain chemistry and hormones
- Postpartum depression
# 5. Auto Immune Diseases
Autoimmunity is the underlying cause of more than 100 serious, chronic illnesses. Of the 50 million Americans living and coping with autoimmune disease (AD), more than 75 percent of them are women. Taken together, autoimmune diseases strike women three times more than men.
- Gender, age, ethnicity
- Family history
- Exposure to environmental agents (mercury, gold, and/or silver)
- Previous infection
Ways to Reduce Your Risk:
- Washing your hands, often and very well.
- Ask those caring for you and you health to wash their hands / take necessary precautions.
- Staying away from people who are sick to lessen your chances of catching an infection.
- Getting vaccinated and staying up-to-date.