Women’s Health Week
It’s time we put ourselves first…
It’s Women’s Health Week! We know women are leading busier lives than ever before and have a tendency to put ourselves low on the priority list. The two biggest barriers for women not maintaining a healthy lifestyle is ‘lack of time’ and ‘health not being a priority’. Throughout this blog, we’d like to highlight some key women’s health issues, the importance of pre-screening, and specific health checks women should follow up with. Women’s health week is a time to put our health first and start making positive changes that can last a lifetime.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO) some of the top health issues affecting women include:
- Breast and cervical cancer: detecting both of these cancers early is critical to saving lives. The most recent global statistics demonstrate that half a million women die of cervical cancer, and half a million die of breast cancer, each year;
- Reproductive health: sexual and reproductive health problems are responsible for one-third of existing ill health afflictions for women between the ages of 15 and 44. Reproductive health issues include endometriosis, hormonal imbalances, sexually transmitted diseases, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.
- Mental health: there is evidence to suggest that women are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and other somatic complaints (physical symptoms with no apparent medical explanation). Among women’s mental health issues, depression is the most common problem, and suicide is a leading cause of death for women under the age of 60. Helping women to gain confidence to seek advice is vital.
- Menopause and ageing: ovarian production of hormones declines around the age of 50 for most women, and several factors, such as smoking, can accelerate ovary decline. Excessive alcohol consumption, being overweight and smoking exacerbates many symptoms of menopause.
Preventative health check-ups
There are several pre-screening tests recommended for women, such as:
- Breast examination
- Pap smear
- STI screening
- Annual GP check-ups
- Bone density health checks for women
- Bowel cancer health checks for women
- Hormonal health assessment
- Nutritional assessments
What nutrients help to boost women’s health?
Throughout different stages of a woman’s life, increasing amounts of varying nutrients will be necessary. For example, iron, folate, calcium, zinc, B6, and iodine are needed in slightly higher amounts in women wishing to become pregnant, or for women who are pregnant. In general, there are several key nutrients that help to maintain optimal health for women. These include:
- B-complex vitamins;
- omega 3 fatty acids;
- vitamin C; and
- iron (due to monthly blood loss).
How can we help?
Our Elevate GPs, Dr Adina Blaj, Dr Sandy Eun and Dr Ava Lam, can assist in all preventative screening tests for women, including tailored health plans to meet the individual needs of each patient. All aspects of women’s health can be examined including physical, nutritional, and psychological well-being. Call Elevate for further inquiry at 92252 2225.
*World Health Organisation (2017). Top ten women’s health issues. Retrieved from http:// http://www.who.int/life-course/news/commentaries/2015-intl-womens-day/en/.
Victoria State Government: Better Health Channel (2017). Health checks for women. Retrieved from http:// https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/health-checks-for-women.
Nutritionist Resource. (2017). Women’s nutrition. Retrieved from http:// http://www.nutritionist-resource.org.uk/articles/womens-nutrition.html.