Introduction to women's health
Women and men share many similar health problems, but women also have their own health issues, which deserve special consideration.
Women's lives have changed over the centuries. Historically, life was particularly difficult for most women. Aside from the numerous dangers and diseases, women became wives and mothers often when they were just emerging from their own childhood. Many women had a multitude of pregnancies which may or may not have been wanted. In the past, childbirth itself was risky and not infrequently, led to the death of the mother. Most women in the past did not live long enough to be concerned about menopause or old age.
In 1900, a woman's life span was about 50 years. Now, in the new millennium, life expectancy for American women is 82 years of age, and continuing to rise. Not only are women living longer, but they also have the possibility of enjoying a better quality of life throughout their span of years. But to do this, it is essential that women take charge of their own bodies and comprehend how they can maximize their health and fitness. It is also helpful that men understand and are supportive of the health concerns of the women.
Gynecology is the primary branch of medical science concerned with women's health issues. The word "gynecology" is a word consisting of "gyneco," meaning "woman," and "logic," meaning "knowledge." Taken together, it is "woman knowledge."
It is important that every woman has access to knowledge related to the spectrum of women's health issues, not only about her reproductive system, but about all aspects of her body.
Women's general health and wellness
There is credible information available to women not only on such problems as eating disorders, stress, alcoholism, addictions, and depression, but also on basic topics such as good nutrition, heart health, and exercise. For example, it is beneficial that a woman maintain her optimum weight. If a woman's waist size measures more than 35 inches (89 cm), she is more likely to develop heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Eating sensible meals, eliminating after- dinner snacks, and making physical activity a part of daily life are significant ways to help control weight and lower the risk of a long list of health problems.
Smoking is detrimental to a anyone's health and to the health of those around them. Unfortunately, women continue to smoke despite the known health risks. Even though the number of women smoking is declining, still about 16% of women in the U.S. are smokers. Women are smoking in spite of the well-publicized risks of lung disease including cancer, heart disease, and innumerable other health problems now linked to smoking.
Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol is also harmful to health. Although women typically begin drinking at a later age than men and tend to drink somewhat less, lower doses of alcohol are required for women to develop alcohol-related medical problems including alcohol toxicity, cirrhosis, and hepatitis.
Women should be aware that they metabolize a number of drugs differently than men. In some cases and for some medications, the rate of metabolism may be slower, and in other cases, faster. It is, therefore, essential that women are well informed about the kinds and correct dosages of drugs they are taking.