Monday, November 12, 2012

A Special Look at Health Concerns for Women With Disabilities

Women and young ladies who live with a disability are among the most vulnerable population in the entire world. Based on this fact, it is important to recognize the issue and consider finding a way to help empower these women to help protect themselves against any kind of discrimination or violence. Studies have shown that routine physical fitness has a positive impact on overall health, but more importantly on self-confidence, and equips disabled women with the tools to help protect themselves from discriminating acts.

Decreasing Vulnerability Women have a natural tendency to gravitate toward close personal friendships that hold a dear place in their hearts. It has been found that women with a circle of friends tend to have a better outlook on life and a higher self-esteem. For a woman with a disability, those friendships are even more important than for one without a disability. Finding lasting friendships, for a woman with special needs, helps to create a positive impact on chipping away at her vulnerability. When someone feels isolated and all alone, it is easier for them to get taken advantage of. Solid friendships are key to changing the worldview on women with disabilities.

Incorporating Exercise Women with disabilities should consider incorporating exercise into their daily routine. Instead of viewing exercise as a chore, it should be considered part of a lifestyle, this way it can be tackled as a marathon and not a sprint. Some workouts will produce better results than others and it is OK to not get caught up in perfection, in fact, it is a good thing to avoid rigidity in a fitness program. Fun is the name of the game in fitness, for without it, what is the point of spending so much time on something you would absolutely dread?

Female Health Concerns Women have a different set of health concerns to contend with than men. Factor this in with an already existing disability, and it just doesn't seem fair. The most prevalent health concerns for women include, but are not limited to, breast cancer, cancer of the reproductive organs, and heart disease. Heart disease is actually the number one killer of women, which is why incorporating exercise into the lifestyle is important to ward off the silent killer. In addition to the mentioned health conditions, there are a myriad of additional medical conditions that can affect the health of a woman, which can be minimized by regular exercise.

Promoting Female Fitness Women are athletes. Athletes are women. Women enjoy the sense of belonging. For women looking to partake in an empowering fitness program, you can find a specialized fitness service that offers 12-week sessions of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) that were designed to meet the individualized needs of those with disabilities. MMA is not just a sport for men; women seeking a fun workout as well as self-defense skill building are perfect students for this program. The goal is to reduce the level of vulnerability for women with disabilities.

Health Tips for Women of all Ages

There are many health issues that women should be aware of and they should be taking preventative measures to avoid. Many of these issues are specifically woman-centered, such as ovarian, cervical, and endometrial cancers. However, women also make up more than half of Alzheimer's patients, approximately 3.4 million out of 5.4 million Americans living with this disease. Helping women to know the risks and symptoms of certain woman-specific diseases, as well as preventative and treatment options, is important.

The big cancers that can affect women are uterine cancers: cervical, ovarian, and endometrial. Breast cancer also primarily affects women, though there are cases of male patients diagnosed with breast cancer. These cancers, for the most part, can be prevented, but sometimes your family history is enough to cause the disease.

Cervical cancer can be caught early if you are regularly going to your gynecologist for a pap smear. You should also consider quitting smoking if you do smoke, or avoiding secondhand smoke if you do not. Cigarettes have been linked to the development of many cancers, and besides the obvious ones like lung and mouth cancer, they do also cause cervical cancer. You may want to consider also getting the HPV vaccine if you are under 27 years of age.

Ovarian cancer is one of the more frustrating diseases to diagnose because there are no effective screening tests and no one really knows what causes it. Taking Fenretidine, which is a synthetic form of Vitamin A, might help to protect women against ovarian cancer as well as breast cancer, but there are not enough scientific studies that prove this to be an absolute. Your best bet, sadly, is to have your ovaries surgically removed. This may not rule out your chances of getting ovarian cancer entirely, but it is the most commonly recommended solution for patients who are high risk because of their family history.

Endometrial cancer's cause is also unknown, and unfortunately, this is also the most common type of cancer within the uterine area. High levels of estrogen seem to be a factor in whether a woman develops this disease. Also, if you have diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), have never been pregnant, or are infertile, your risk factor increases. To help prevent endometrial cancer, you should try exercising, changing your diet to introduce soy-based foods, and if you still are able, getting pregnant and breastfeeding.

Alzheimer's disease is a sad and difficult disease to deal with. Imagine losing your memories of those you love. It can be upsetting to know there may be nothing you can do to prevent its onset; thankfully, there are a few things that may help. Regular exercise 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes can diminish your risk factor. You should also consider changing your diet to include heart-healthy foods such as salmon and tuna, and excluding red meat and fried foods. Try adding in a few cups of green or white tea as well. Getting a quality amount of sleep is beneficial in all cases, but most especially when attempting to prevent Alzheimer's. Work on reducing stress in all areas of your life, and stay as active as possible.

The Link Between Women's Health and Mental Illness

Health and mental illness are hot topics in the women's health field. Want proof? The World Health Organization, United Nations and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services all have web pages dedicated specifically to mental illness in women. That's because mental health has a very significant impact on a woman's overall health, how her body functions and even her ability to reproduce.

Mental Health and Mental Illness in Women We all know that men and women are affected differently by mental illness and mental health disorders. While some disorders like depression and anxiety are more prevalent in women, women also show different symptoms and researchers are studying the different psychosocial and biological factors that affect a woman's mental health and mental illness.

Common mental disorders in women include: Depression, Anxiety Disorders, like OCD, social phobias, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and eating disorders.

Health and Mental Illness- Chicken and the Egg Scenario? Are women who suffer with chronic health conditions more likely to suffer from a behavioral health disorder or are women suffering from behavioral health disorder more likely to suffer from significant physical health concerns? It can be difficult to determine which is a symptom and which is a cause. What we do know is that women with chronic health conditions tend to be at high risk for behavioral health disorders and women suffering from behavioral health disorders may increase their risk for physical health conditions, such as obesity or migraine headaches.

Reproductive Health and Mental Illness Stress has a significant impact on a woman's body. Stress and co-occurring issues like depression and anxiety can make it difficult for a woman's body to regulate hormones, making her menstrual cycle unpredictable or even irregular. Many women experience depression and anxiety disorders during and after pregnancy. Normal hormonal changes during and after pregnancy or menopause can mimic they symptoms of depression, making it very confusing for a woman to determine if she is suffering from a physical health issue or a mental health disorder. Hormone and talk therapy are useful for women suffering from both physical health and mental illness, especially as it relates to menstruation, pregnancy, infertility and menopause.

Female Veterans and Behavioral Health Disorders While post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can happen to anyone, it is common among soldiers or law enforcement personnel who experience traumatic or emotionally stressful situations. Women with health and mental illness concerns after the military can seek help from a variety of public and private veteran's services that are specially equipped to handle the stress of returning home and reuniting with family.

Women's health and mental illness concerns are treatable, and treatment may occur simultaneously for the best result.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Best Way to Choose Your Baby's Gender

If you're hoping to conceive a baby girl or conceive a baby boy you've probably spent some time reading about natural gender selection techniques. It can get overwhelming -- even downright mind-boggling to try and sort through all of the options out there! Which techniques are the best? What will really give you the best chance of getting the son or daughter you've dreamed of?
The Best Gender Selection Technique
Out of all the varied strategies to choose your baby's gender, diet is the one that will make the most difference in your chances at conceiving a boy or girl. Why?
First, diet is supported by research. Science has consistently shown that, while you can't 100% choose your baby's gender naturally, you can greatly increase your chances of getting the gender you desire. There is really a way to boost your chances of getting a girl or boost your chances of getting a boy.
The research that shows this most strongly is research on diet. There are a number of studies showing statistically significant evidence in favor of diet.
There are also many, many mothers (and fathers) in the world who have desired to have a daughter or son as part of their family. These families have tried different techniques to get their dreamed-of baby, and many have found that diet made a profound impact on their bodies and helped them conceive the gender they hoped for -- even after getting multiple babies of the opposite gender!
Some Promising Diet Tips
The diets most supported by science show that boys are conceived when there's more food and more nutrients. Girls are conceived when moms are eating less calories and getting fewer nutrients. These dietary findings line up with theories about past gender ratio changes, too.
If you'd like a girl, it's best to eat a low-calorie diet that provides fewer calories -- around 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day. This low level is still plenty to keep your fertility high, but fits with scientific findings on girl conceptions. Also try to eat plant-based proteins and plenty of grains, which give you the lower nutrient levels the "girl diet" needs.
If you'd like a boy, go ahead and get a high-calorie diet. In fact, you want dramatically more calories -- around 2,400+ calories a day. This is similar to the caloric requirement in pregnancy. Don't think that you can get this all with junk foods, though. It's important that your diet be nutrient dense. Get your calories from animal proteins and nourishing, homemade foods that are packed with protein and vegetables. Some healthy saturated fats, like butter and coconut oil, will help increase testosterone which boosts chances for a boy.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Women Bodybuilders Diet - The Key to a Lean Healthy Womanly Form

Young or old, there's no limit to what the modern woman can do when she sets her mind to it - whether it's getting to the top in her profession of choice or undergoing women bodybuilders diet plans. Women nowadays are much more enlightened on the idea of self-betterment and a holistic personal development, which is why more and more females seem to be entering training programs aimed at building their bodies into leaner, fitter examples of the healthy, urban female.
Why the Need for a Diet?
In order for any woman to successfully build muscle mass, you have to understand that it takes a combination of a healthy women bodybuilders diet and training sessions. You can't expect to suddenly get sculpted abs and well-defined arms and legs by exercising alone, or simply eating right. Women have much less testosterone than men, the hormone that builds muscles, which is why a good diet is important in order for a female to achieve the best results.
In addition, once you start training, your body needs constant nutrition for it to cope with muscle growth, renew the energy that you lose in your activities and encourage faster metabolism. If you don't eat right and insist on gorging yourself on candy bars and instant mac and cheese, you'll not only end up all frustrated about why you're not building any muscle, you're likely to get a bit chubbier too.
What Should Be in a Diet?
Because of the many diet fads out there aimed at helping women slim down, "diet" has become associated with starving yourself and avoiding practically everything on the food pyramid. But for a women bodybuilders diet, it's the exact opposite. Since your goal is to bulk up and not trim down, the requirements are a lot different. It means more meals at more frequent intervals that contain higher levels of protein, carbohydrates, and a lot of water.
The average woman eats around .25 - .5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. The female bodybuilder should take in from 1.5 - 2 grams of protein per body weight daily, which is something like 40% of each meal. Excellent sources of protein are pork tenderloin, eggs, tuna, skinless chicken breast, rib-eye steaks, lean ground beef, fish and shrimp, and low-fat dairy foods like ricotta or cottage cheese and plain yogurt. Carbohydrates and healthy fats are necessary to maintain a balanced women bodybuilders diet, so whole grains, vegetables, fruits, unsaturated and natural oils like olive or sunflower oils will aid in hormone production, vitamin absorption and will keep your skin and hair in good condition.
Constant water intake is a must in bodybuilding as well. Being hydrated helps replenish lost energy, repairs muscles better, keeps you full so you don't always crave for sweet and salty foods, helps your body keep up with muscle growth and flushes out toxins efficiently.
Finally, to get the most out of the bodybuilding experience, try to find a good fitness program that will assist you in getting your ideal body weight and shape. These professionals will be able to give you tips on your women bodybuilders diet and can monitor your progress so that you stay disciplined and focused on your goals!

Heart Healthy Tips For Women Approaching Menopause

These heart healthy tips for women approaching menopause can help keep the heart healthy despite the changes that occur as menopause arrives. Women generally start transitioning into menopause between 45-55 years of age, some sooner if they have had a hysterectomy. The changes that occur during this general time frame put women had substantial increased risk for heart problems in menopause. Implementing heart healthy tips before the woman goes into menopause is ideal.
Heart healthy tips for women approaching menopause are necessary because at age 45-55, certain changes often take place in the body, which makes a woman more susceptible to heart concerns. Hormone levels are changing, which can cause weight gain in the mid-section. When estrogen starts dropping, the body will actually increase your appetite, even up to 67% researchers say. This is because fat stores release estrogen. This is the body's way of getting its declining estrogen back. As we grow older, the body has a tendency to redistribute weight and for many women in menopause, the extra weight goes right to the mid-section. Unfortunately, it often does not stop at just subcutaneous fat, but builds up as visceral or internal fat. Visceral fat builds up around the internal organs, including the heart. As you can imagine, this is not a good thing for your heart or the rest of you. If your waist size is 35 inches or higher, you likely have visceral fat. The good news is that hormone levels eventually level off, but if you aren't prepared, you could have a bunch of extra visceral fat that is going to put you at higher risk for heart problems. In addition, visceral fat takes a lot more effort to get rid of.
Heart Healthy Tip #1 For Women Approaching Menopause
Prevent visceral fat around the heart and mid-section by adopting healthy eating habits before menopause. If you are too late and you already have this visceral fat, then talk to your doctor about your concern. Discuss with him/her a plan to lose this visceral fat through a good nutritious diet lifestyle change and exercise program. Visceral fat is stubborn and usually some type of aerobic exercise will be needed to burn it off. There has been some differences in studies regarding hormone replacement therapy. Some say that it may help decrease heart disease, but it can increase your risk for other diseases. Some say that it doesn't really help that much. Talk with your doctor about the hormone replacement possibility, pros and cons.
Heart Healthy Tip #2
Another cause for heart concerns for women approaching menopause is that your body is just slowing down, which can make it easy to become more sedentary. Your heart still needs exercise. It is made out of muscle cells. To stay strong, it needs aerobic conditioning. If we are slowing down and not making an effort to keep its muscle fibers strong, then it will weaken. If you add that concern with the visceral fat around the heart, it gets a double whammy.
Even if you are not as active as you were when you were 20 and you don't necessarily have to be, you can still exercise your heart. Research has shown even taking a fairly brisk 30 minute walk 3-4 times a week, can help tremendously with keeping your heart healthier. If you can do more, great. Invest in a treadmill if you live in a place where you can't walk outside. There are also a ton of exercise videos out there these days, so you can pick something that works for you, especially if you have particular health concerns that you have to work around. Again, if you do have health concerns, discuss your new exercise program with your physician.
Heart Healthy Tip #3
Sometimes people can have heart issues before they even approach menopause. It would be good to have a check up around your early 40's to get a baseline of where you are at. Due to the body's metabolism slowing down during the menopausal age range, unhealthy lifestyle patterns will hit women harder during menopause. Any positive changes you can start before menopause will make it easier on you. So getting a physical exam with your doctor is a good place to start. Get some blood work to see where you are with your heart including cholesterol ratios. Then make sure you have a plan to keep your cholesterol down such as healthy dietary habits and an appropriate exercise routine.
Heart Healthy Tip #4
If you haven't already, quit smoking. Heart damage caused by tobacco can often reverse itself in time if tobacco is stopped.
Heart Healthy Tip #5
Keep stress down as much as possible. Stress releases another hormone called cortisol. It often leaves in its wake, visceral fat in the mid-section. This obviously will add stress to your heart. Whatever helps with your stress management, be sure to practice it daily. Maybe it is prayer, women's support group, meditation, exercise, listening to music, taking a walk with a friend, being positive, having enjoyable hobbies or laughing as much as possible. Find what works for you in effectively managing your stress level and get in the habit of practicing it daily.
Heart healthy tips for women approaching menopause are healthy tips for everyone, but it is even more critical for women approaching menopause. Women approaching 45-55 have such an increased risk for heart disease, that these other controllable factors can be the difference between heart disease and not. Work on improving your overall eating habits, cutting out harmful fats, sugars and calories, having a routine exercise program, not smoking, getting doctor check ups from time to time and good stress management. All these heart health tips for women approaching menopause can help to prevent heart issues from developing during this time and beyond.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Common Behavioral Health Disorders In Women

Behavioral health disorders can affect men, women and children. Many people suffer from behavioral health disorders for years without proper diagnosis and treatment. Although these disorders do not discriminate between men and women, and occur to people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, there are significant differences in the risk for developing certain disorders between men and women. Women are at high risk for developing disorders like substance abuse, depression and anxiety, while men are more likely to suffer from disorders such as schizophrenia and PTSD.
Most Common Behavioral Health Disorders in Women
Panic Disorder
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately 2.4 million people in the United States suffer from panic disorder. In addition, women are twice as likely as men to have panic disorder. Panic disorder often accompanies other disorders, such as depression and can prevent a woman from living a healthy normal life. Depression is a serious disorder that can affect every aspect of a woman's life. It can make it difficult for a woman to maintain healthy relationships or experience the joy in her life. Women in general are more likely than men to experience depression, although the reasons are unknown. Studies show that one in eight women will experience some form of depression during her lifetime. Certain behavioral health disorders, including postpartum depression can affect only women.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder is in a class of disorders known as anxiety disorders. It is estimated that 5.2 million adults in the United States have PTSD. Although commonly associated with men, women are also at high risk for developing PTSD. PTSD normally occurs as a result of a traumatic event - including abuse, violence or danger to a loved one.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Often anxiety occurs for no apparent reason. When this happens it is often referred to as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Women are two times more likely to develop this disorder than men. Approximately 4 million adults in the US suffer from this type of anxiety disorder.
Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are particularly dangerous to a woman's health. These behavioral health disorders can have seriously debilitating long-term health effects on a woman's body. Many women seek help from eating disorders every year, most commonly anorexia, bulimia and binge eating.
Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
Between 30 and 40 percent of Americans suffering from alcoholism are women. In fact, alcoholism in women is on the rise. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports women face a higher risk of alcoholism than men do.
Many women struggle with making the choice to commit to themselves and seek treatment for behavioral health disorders. Some women find that goal setting is helpful and milestones can help them envision their achievements and make the path to sobriety more manageable.