Health | Womens Health

| 29/10/2012 | 0 Comments More

Women face specific health problems.  In fact, because of the additional responsibilities associated with child bearing.  As well as possible work site discrimination, women managers are exposed to stress unknown to men.

Osteoporosis has long been called “the silent epidemic”  because 25% of all postmenopausal women suffer without any real symptoms or warning.  For many women, the very real possibility that they may eventually be “bent in two” is very worrying.

After menopause, when oestrogen is no longer produced, calcium starts to leak out of the bones.  They become brittle and porous (hence the name osteoporosis) and prone to fractures.  Doctors believe that hip fractures (and their complications) caused by osteoporosis are responsible for 50,000 deaths a year in the USA alone.

Who is at Risk?

At highest risk for brittle bone disease are Caucasian women who are thin; have family history of the disease, a personal history of hysterectomy (with removal of the ovaries); those who diet is poor in calcium but high in alcohol, caffeine and phosphate, those who are sedentary and those who smoke.

Calcium in Your Diet:

Current recommendations are that women get 1000 to 1500mg of calcium each day.  There are several easy ways to facilitate the absorption of this crucial mineral from foods.

Get plenty of sunshine, this actually helps the skin produce our main source of vitamin D which facilitates calcium absorption, 10-15mins per day while you walk to work is sufficient.

Avoid caffeine and cola drinks which impair the kidneys ability to reabsorb (conserve) calcium, if you cannot avoid these beverages, compensate by drinking ½ cup of skimmed milk for every 2 cups of coffee.

Do not overdo the fibre dose – fibre contains phytate which binds calcium and blocks its absorption.

Salt increases the amount of calcium lost by the kidneys – try to cut down.

Medication such as aluminium-containing antacids, laxatives and diuretics may impair calcium absorption – compensate with calcium supplements.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

In many studies Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) was found to be a highly effective method of curbing bone loss and fractures.  Given the protective effects on the heart and bones, it is estimated that 80% of modern women benefit from HRT without excessive risk.


A number of studies have proved the beneficial effect of regular exercise in helping combat osteoporosis.  Weight bearing activities such activities such as weight training, in particular, have been shown to help reverse the process of bone loss.

One critical proviso, all benefits in preventing bone fractures in older post-menopause women are cancelled out for women who smoke.

Breast care – Preventing Breast Cancer

Several factors in our lifestyle can cut your chances of getting cancer.

The first step is to examine your diet:

  1. Some experts believe that consuming too much fat may increase your risk of breast cancer.  Body weight could become a vital link in the development of breast cancers and other cancers of the reproductive tract.  Therefore, make every effort to achieve your Optimal Body Fat Percentage as well as limiting your intake of fat to less than 20% of your total daily calories.
  2. Another factor concerns the formation of free radicals (unstable compounds that are formed in our body in response to some foods, pollution, cigarette smoke end radiation).  Free radicals, that lead to premature aging, cancers and atherosclerosis, can be scavenged by a group of vitamins called anti-oxidants – vitamins C, E, B12, A, beta-carotene and selenium.  For example, in New Zealand, where the soil is poor in selenium, women have one of the highest rates of breast cancer in the world.  Because selenium can be toxic, daily doses should not exceed 200mg per day.
  3. Studies performed at the National Cancer Institute (USA) concluded that women who consumed moderate amounts of alcohol (more than 3 drinks per day) ran a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
  4. Exercise seems to have a protective effect as studies have shown that non-athletic women twice the risk of breast cancer than athletic women.


Detection of Breast Cancer:

Self-examination is the most important first step and should be performed by every woman monthly just after their period.  There is no excuse for not examining your breasts regularly.


Breast self examination every month

If you are over the age of 40yrs old then go for a breast examination by a doctor every year

Have a mammogram every 3yrs after the age of 50yrs of age

Women who have a first degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has had breast cancer, should begin mammogram surveillance 10yrs before that age at which their relative’s cancer was detected.

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Category: Health News

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