There are many diseases that are far more common in women, including endometriosis, PCOS, osteoporosis, and multiple sclerosis, just to name a few. In order to better educate our female readers, we have rounded up our best news articles discussing common diseases in women to compile a women’s health update for 2016.
Because men and women are built differently, these differences can put women at risk for certain diseases. It’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of these diseases, so that you can get yourself checked out right away in order to avoid complications.
We hope you find this information useful, and you use this information to prevent these illnesses from occurring.
Endometriosis increases risk of pregnancy complications, affects fertility in women
Endometriosis increases the risk of pregnancy complications and affects fertility in women. Study author Dr. Lucky Saraswat said, “These results indicate that endometriosis predisposes women to an increased risk of early pregnancy loss and later pregnancy complications.”
The nationwide cohort study examined discharge data from all across Scotland. Records of women with and without a confirmed diagnosis of endometriosis were crosslinked to their maternity records to evaluate pregnancy outcomes. The analysis included 14,655 women whose medical records were followed up for up to 30 years.
Endometriosis is a fairly common condition in which the cells of the uterus lining are found in other parts of the pelvis. Information regarding endometriosis is usually from infertile women and not based on the general population.
The study conducted by Dr. Saraswat and colleagues examined the reproduction and pregnancy of 5,375 women with endometriosis and 8,280 women without the condition, who were all pregnant during the same time. Women with endometriosis had a significantly higher risk of early pregnancy complications, compared to the women without endometriosis. Endometriosis patients had a 76 percent higher risk of miscarriage and three times greater risk for ectopic pregnancy.
For women with previous endometriosis diagnosis, the risk of ante- and postpartum hemorrhage and preterm birth was much higher, compared to the control women. Continue reading…
Type 2 diabetes risk higher in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) related inflammation
Type 2 diabetes risk is higher in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) related inflammation. A recent study found that 50 percent of women with PCOS develop pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes before the age of 40. The researchers found that PCOS-related inflammation could be the link between the two conditions.
When we consume a meal, our glucose levels increase, so it’s the body’s job to absorb the extra glucose using insulin. If insulin cannot be secreted, then it can lead to high glucose levels.
In women with PCOS, the rise in glucose after a meal stimulates inflammation, which does not normally occur in women without PCOS. This inflammation hinders the ability for insulin to be secreted, leading to insulin resistance. It is an early stage of type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, PCOS patients have poorly functioning β-cells that are found in the pancreas and produce insulin.
The researchers found that obese women with PCOS had greater first and second phases of β-cell impairment.
Additionally, lean and obese PCOS patients had greater inflammatory responses, in comparison to lean women without PCOS.
The authors wrote, “Our findings highlight the need for further investigation to determine the mechanism by which inflammation interacts with the pancreatic β-cells to increase diabetes risk in PCOS.” Continue reading…
Protection against osteoporosis in menopausal women may be possible with soybean foods
Recent research suggests that a diet rich in soy protein and isoflavones can protect menopausal women from developing osteoporosis. The findings were presented at the Society of Endocrinology conference.
Osteoporosis commonly affects aging women and leads to fragile and brittle bones. In the years immediately after menopause, women experience the greatest bone loss because they produce less estrogen, which helps keep bones strong.
Containing certain isoflavones that act like estrogen, soybean foods play a crucial role in helping against bone loss.
Researchers from the University of Hull gave 200 women in early menopause a daily supplement of soy protein with soy isoflavones or just a supplement containing soy protein. The researchers analyzed changes in bone activity from the women’s blood.
The women on the soy protein and isoflavones had lower levels of βCTX (a protein to measure bone activity), compared to the women who just had supplements of soy. This suggests that the rate of bone loss was slower, compared to the soy protein group. Women who took soy protein along with isoflavones also had a decreased risk of heart disease.
Lead author Thozhukat Sathyapalan said, “We found that soy protein and isoflavones are a safe and effective option for improving bone health in women during early menopause. The actions of soy appear to mimic that of conventional osteoporosis drugs.” Continue reading…
Multiple sclerosis occurrence in women three to four times more likely than men
Occurrence of multiple sclerosis in women is three to four times higher compared to men. Multiple sclerosis (MS) in women is usually diagnosed in their twenties or thirties. Because women have different health concerns than men, multiple sclerosis can lead to many complications in women, including menstrual cycles, contraception, menopause, and pregnancy.
Multiple sclerosis symptoms can become worse during a woman’s menstrual cycle, when they may feel loss of balance, depressed, and especially fatigued. Multiple sclerosis does not affect fertility, but if you choose to use an oral contraceptive, it’s important to consider how it may interact with other medications specific to multiple sclerosis. During menopause, similar to menstrual cycles, symptoms of multiple sclerosis may appear worse, but it’s important to note that hormonal therapies can be used as directed by your doctor.
What began as an experiment gone wrong, when a graduate student used male mice instead of female mice for her experiment, she unintentionally gave researchers insight as to why women are at a higher risk to develop multiple sclerosis, compared to men.
Lead researcher Melissa Brown said, “When we induce the disease in this strain of female mice, virtually 100 percent of them get very sick. Male mice either get no disease or very little, so MS researchers typically use females in their studies.” Continue reading…
Meditation helps relieve pain from breast cancer biopsy: study
Meditation and music may be effective for pain relief and anxiety management in breast cancer biopsy patients. A new study conducted at the Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, N.C. revealed alternative methods of helping patients cope with pain and stress during the procedure.
Standard ultrasound-guided needle biopsy is usually performed using a very thin needle. The fine needle aspiration method is the least invasive type of breast cancer biopsy, causing minimal discomfort. The pain from the needle is usually manageable. However, other factors that may affect one’s experience may come into play, such as individual pain threshold, psychological predisposition (e.g., fear of needles), and anxiety associated with the procedure and diagnosis.
Due to physical and emotional discomfort, the patient may not be able to hold still during the procedure and may thus jeopardize the results of the test. Continue reading…