Prioritizing Women’s Health: Why it Matters and How to Make it Happen

5 min read  |  August 16, 2023  | 

Like many women, you probably balance many roles – a daughter, sister, mother, partner, caretaker, and professional. With all of life’s responsibilities, putting your needs, especially health, on the back burner is easy. Prioritizing your health is crucial for several reasons.

  1. Prevention is Better Than a Cure: Regular health check-ups can help identify any health issues early when they are easier to treat. Many conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and certain types of cancer often do not exhibit symptoms until they are in advanced stages. By going for regular check-ups and screenings, you can catch these conditions early and manage them effectively.
  2. Health Affects Every Aspect of Life: Your health is the foundation on which the rest of your life is built. A healthy body supports a healthy mind, leading to improved mood, mental clarity, and emotional stability. When you are physically well, you’re likely to be more productive at work, more present and engaged with your family, and more able to enjoy your leisure time.
  3. Role Modeling for Your Family: Your actions speak louder than your words to your family. Women often take the lead in ensuring members of the family both young and old are taking care of their health. When they see you taking care of your health, they will understand the importance of doing the same.
  4. Longevity and Quality of Life: Regular check-ups and health screenings can add years to your life and improve the quality of those years. It allows for active aging, which means you can continue to do the things you love even as you get older.

Women’s health is diverse and holistic

Regular check-ups with various healthcare professionals are crucial to ensure overall health and well-being. Common health issues for women that you may want to discuss with your doctor are listed below.

  1. Cardiovascular Health: Heart disease is often considered a “man’s disease,” but it’s the leading cause of death for women in the United States. Women’s symptoms of heart disease can be different from men’s and are often misunderstood. Regular cardiovascular check-ups with your primary care provider are, therefore, vital.
  2. Bone Health: Women are more prone to osteoporosis than men due to hormone changes during menopause. It’s essential to focus on bone health throughout life, not just in the later years, by maintaining a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D and engaging in weight-bearing exercises.
  3. Mental Health: Women are more likely than men to experience certain mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety. Mental health is as important as physical health and should not be overlooked.
  4. Breast Health: Regular breast self-exams and screening mammograms starting at age 40 are essential for breast health.
  5. Metabolic Health: Conditions like diabetes and thyroid disorders are prevalent among women. Regular blood glucose and thyroid function tests can help detect these conditions early. Developing a healthy relationship with food also leads to improved mental and physical well-being.
  6. Gastrointestinal Health: Women are more likely than men to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and gastrointestinal disorders, which can significantly impact the quality of life.
  7. Skin Health: The skin can often be a mirror to what’s happening inside the body. Conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) might manifest as acne or hirsutism (excessive hair growth). By paying attention to skin health, women can often catch underlying health issues earlier.
  8. Genitourinary Health: Women are more likely to suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction than men. Your provider can guide you to pelvic floor therapist that can help you train your pelvic floor muscles. If this is unsuccessful, specialty care is available.

Tips to make your health a priority

Schedule Your Appointments: Like any other important meeting, schedule your doctor’s appointments in your calendar. Treat these appointments as non-negotiable.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, and get adequate sleep. Physical activity helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases, boost mood, and improve sleep. A balanced diet fuels your body with the proper nutrients. Good sleep hygiene is as important as diet and exercise for overall health and well-being.

Practice Stress Management: Chronic stress can have harmful effects on your health. Find healthy coping strategies that work for you, such as mindfulness, yoga, reading, or spending time with loved ones.

Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to what your body tells you. If you’re consistently feeling off, don’t ignore these signals. Seek medical advice.

Use Technology: Leverage the power of technology for your health. Numerous health apps can help you track your physical activity, sleep, diet, and even mental health.

Take control of your health today. Reach out to your healthcare provider to discuss any health concerns and create a personalized health plan that fits your life.

Remember, prioritizing your health doesn’t mean you’re being selfish. On the contrary, you’re taking care of your ability to care for others. Healthy habits are an investment in a happy, productive life for you and your family.

Written by Natasha Bright. Medically reviewed by Morgan Allyn Sendzischew Shane, M.D., MSCTI, and Laura Martin, D.O.

Morgan Allyn Sendzischew Shane, M.D., MSCTI (left), and Laura Martin, D.O.
Morgan Allyn Sendzischew Shane, M.D., MSCTI (left), and Laura Martin, D.O., co-directors of the UHealth Comprehensive Women’s Alliance.

Learn more about UHealth Comprehensive Women’s Alliance.

To make an appointment, call 855-34-WOMEN.

Tags: Comprehensive Women's Health Alliance, Disease Prevention, Dr. Morgan Allyn Sendzischew Shane, prioritizing health, UHealth Comprehensive Women's Alliance

Continue Reading