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Top Health Issues Facing Women: Living Longer but Not Living Healthier

There is no better time than now for women to step up and put their health first. We know it’s a tall order, women have been so conditioned to always put themselves last. But as we celebrate the 19th Annual National Women’s Health Week May 13 – 19, it is worth noting that although women are living longer lives, they are not living healthier lives. It’s time for that to change.

Women, on average, live five years longer than men, with a current life expectancy of 81.1 years. But sadly, those aren’t quality years. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation reports women’s health in the U.S. is suffering from impaired mobility, hearing, vision and pain due to a growing number of years living with disabilities (YLD).

Leading causes of YLD in the United States for women

  1. Low back pain
  2. Other musculoskeletal disorders
  3. Major depressive disorder
  4. Anxiety disorders
  5. Neck pain
  6. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  7. Diabetes mellitus
  8. Migraine
  9. Age-related and other hearing loss
  10. Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias

*Source: The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Musculoskeletal conditions are pervasive and take a heavy toll on women as the most common cause of severe long-term pain and disability. Pain and reduced physical function seriously diminish a woman’s quality of life as she ages. Low back pain, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are at the top of the list. At Any Lab Test Now, the Osteoporosis Risk Panel, Arthritis Screening, and even Thyroid Panel, which can detect an imbalance that could make a woman more susceptible to osteoporosis, heart disease (No.1 killer), infertility and fatigue, can provide early flags that allow women to take control of their health instead of letting health conditions control them.

Stress

Anxiety is a normal response to stress and women have plenty of that. It’s no surprise women are more than twice as likely as men to get an anxiety disorder. However, researchers believe hormonal changes, genetics, and traumatic events play a role. Anxiety can also affect other health problems common in women, like depression, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic pain, cardiovascular disease and asthma. Of course, severe anxiety can become debilitating. At Any Lab Test now, the Adrenal Stress Test measures the master stress hormone which can uncover hidden imbalances of key hormones tied to mental, emotional or physical energy. Getting enough sleep is a healthy habit that can keep cortisol (the “stress” hormone) and melatonin working in concert, so women can manage the stress of normal day-to-day activities. Melatonin levels are believed to decrease as we age, adding to the oxidative stress that contributes to disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease. The Sleep Balance Kit, an easy take-home urine test from Any Lab Test Now, can detect imbalances of melatonin and cortisol and results can be used to develop treatments or lifestyle changes to improve the sleep/wake cycle for optimal health and wellness.

Diabetes

In the last 30 years, YLD from diabetes alone increased by more than 112 percent in women, making it not only a leading cause of death but also a leading cause of disability for women. At Any Lab Test Now, six different diabetes lab tests are available, including, the Diabetes Maintenance Panel and the Insulin Lab Test, which is especially crucial for women at risk for type 2 diabetes or who have already developed symptoms associated with prediabetes or metabolic syndrome including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, excess weight and/or higher than normal glucose levels.

Any Lab Test Now joins the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health and encourages women to make their health a priority and start building positive health habits today by doing these six things:

What steps will you take towards better health?

It’s Time To Take Care of Yourself

On an airplane, they tell you to be sure to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others, because you can’t take care of someone else if you are in need of help. But all too often, women focus on taking care of everyone else in the family before caring for themselves, and this is to their own detriment. They look after their children, their spouse, their aging parents. Who doesn’t get taken care of? The woman herself. While your family is picking up cards and gifts to show their love during the week leading up to Mother’s Day, you should use that time to take care of yourself.

May 8-14 is Women’s Health Week. It’s the perfect time to slow down and check in with yourself. Have you noticed any changes with your body in the last year? Pain? Dizziness? Fatigue? Changed menstrual cycle? Don’t let these changes nag at you. They could be signs of conditions for which medical care can help, such as heart disease, menopause or osteoporosis.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. A whopping 80 percent of women between the ages of 40 and 60 have at least one risk factor for heart disease.

Menopause

It’s a fact of life for women: menopause. Knowing when you are starting to go through it allows you to have the conversation with your doctor about steps you can take to ease the symptoms. If you are having hot flashes, rapid mood swings and a drop in your sex drive, you may want to take the Menopause Screening Panel. This blood test can help you find out if the symptoms are, in fact, the start of menopause. Knowing helps you decide what to do next.

Osteoporosis

Especially after menopause, an issue women face is bone loss, meaning that bones become more brittle and susceptible to breaking. Vitamin D is an important nutrient that can help keep your bones strong, but it can be tricky to get enough just through your diet. Any Lab Test Now has a test available that allows you to find out if you need to boost your vitamin D intake. Or, you may choose to take a more comprehensive Osteoporosis Risk Panel. It includes ten different tests to evaluate your risk for the disease.

Instead of wondering about your body’s changes, get answers. Walk in to Any Lab Test Now to arm yourself with knowledge to make your next doctor appointment more productive. Taking good care of yourself, and having the information you need to help your doctor keep you healthy, is the best gift you can give yourself and your loved ones.

Top Five Diseases That Affect Women’s Health

ALTN May corp(1)As women race through their days, many don’t stop to focus on their own health and well-being. For this reason, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health has designated May 8-14 as Women’s Health Week. This marks the 17th time the week has been recognized in an effort to encourage women to take ownership of their health.

While women’s health concerns may change as they age, five of the top health concerns faced by women include:

Heart disease. Heart disease accounts for more than 22 percent of female deaths according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are multiple contributing factors to heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Exercise and other healthy lifestyle choices can help reduce your risk of heart disease.

Cancer. The Susan G. Komen foundation shares that one in eight women who lives to the age of 85 is at risk for breast cancer. Fortunately, with early detection, survival rates can be quite high. To protect themselves, women regularly should be completing self-breast exams, scheduling routine mammograms and seeking testing to see if they have any markers that could signify malignant tumors in any area of the body.

Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases. This is often more recognizable as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and includes both emphysema and chronic bronchitis. While pollutants and chemical toxins may contribute to the development of these diseases, smokers get COPD nearly 12 times as frequently as non-smokers.

Stroke. Strokes are caused by blood clots that prevent blood from reaching the brain. According to Harvard Medical School, high blood pressure is the No. 1 risk factor for developing blood clots. Be sure to have your blood pressure checked regularly, especially if you are a smoker or using oral contraception. In addition, having a healthy lifestyle, which includes not smoking, can help reduce the chance of developing a blood clot.

Alzheimer’s disease.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association, women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Age, family history and heredity are the most common risk factors. While there is still much to learn about the disease, scientists are looking at the impact of exercise, diet and brain-engaging activities as potential ways to help keep the disease at bay.

So, ladies, celebrate Women’s Health Week by becoming more informed about the state of your own health, working with a doctor to address any issues and making lifestyle changes that will help you live your healthiest life yet!

What Are Your Plans for National Women’s Health Week?

Attention, ladies! Have you been doing all that you can to make sure your health is a top priority in your life? We know life can get busy and trying to find time to exercise and fit in doctor appointments may not exactly be on the top of your to-do list. However, half of the work in maintaining good health is being proactive with it. That’s why Any Lab Test Now® is taking a stand on women’s health and encouraging all women to make a step towards the betterment of their health during National Women’s Health Week: May 10-16, 2015.

Not sure where to start? Take a look at the following helpful tips that women of all ages can benefit from. Choose one or two that would make the most positive impacts in your current health and begin to see a glimpse of how good it can feel when you start placing your health at the top of your to-do list, instead of at the bottom!

Be a smart patient. Attend your regular check-ups and don’t be afraid to ask your doctor questions. No one should know your body better than yourself. It’s your responsibility to gain all the knowledge you can on what you can do to ensure that the future of your health is a bright one.

Listen to your heart. Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States. Monitor your cholesterol levels and take part in daily exercise to help keep your heart in good shape!

Watch your blood sugar. Continuous high blood pressure is one of the most common early detectors of diabetes. Keep your blood sugar levels in check by incorporating a diet high in fiber, full of fruits, vegetables and healthy carbs.

Sleep, sleep, sleep. Doctors advise that adults should get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Those who do not get enough hours of sleep each night can be at risk of weight gain and higher stress levels.

Take control. One of the greatest ways a woman can be empowered to take control is by knowing and understanding the current state of her own personal health. Tests like the Comprehensive Female Panel and Women’s Basic Check-up Panel are just two of many lab testing services that have been customized to equip women with the knowledge they need in order to do just that.

Contact your local Any Lab Test Now® today to learn more about the wide range of lab testing services we offer to help empower women with knowledge of their health. Take advantage of National Women’s Health Week and use it as a starting point for your journey towards a healthier, happier you!