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Change the Story and Become the Superheroine of Your Own Health

Cambia la Historia y Conviértete en Heroína de tu Propia Salud

They say that women have everything to lose when it comes to their health. And there are many points against them, such as hormonal factors. But even in this maze of complexities, women’s health doesn't always have to be so complicated. The month of March is the best excuse to sound the alarm on women’s health which, whether we like it or not, takes a different toll on us in many ways, especially when compared to men. Don’t take control of your health too late. Twelve percent of women in the United States are at risk of contracting breast cancer at some point in their lives (1). A man's chance of getting breast cancer is less than 1% (2).

The American Cancer Society estimates that 21,410 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 14,480 women with cervical cancer this year alone, in addition to comorbid risk factors such as obesity and its consequential onsets like diabetes. (3) (4)

According to the National Institute of Health in the United States, there are certain issues which women should pay close and special attention to: (5)

  • Alcohol: Although men are statistically more prone to alcoholism, there are over 5 million women in the country who are also trapped in this addiction. For women specifically, alcoholism poses aggravating factors linked to breast cancer, heart disease, and fetal syndrome in the case of pregnancy. (6)

  • Heart problems: There is a higher probability of a man surviving a heart attack versus a woman, with heart issues being the leading cause of death for both sexes in the country. (5)

  • Mental health: There is greater possibility for suffering from anxiety or depression. (7)

  • Osteoarthritis: This disease is responsible for a lot of physical disabilities within the country, causing joint pain that occurs more frequently in women over men. (5)

  • Sexually transmitted diseases: They can occur frequently, pose confusing symptoms, and can cause more serious consequences for women biologically. (5)

  • Stress: According to data from the American Psychological Association, women are more prone to suffer from stress. Its effects on women’s health can affect the ability to become pregnant, among many other issues. (7)

  • Stroke: This is yet another risk factor more common in women than men. In addition to the effects that apply to either, there are unique factors affecting women, such as the use of hormone replacement therapy and the accumulated fat that gives an apple shape. Extra fat is a provocation of stroke, and women tend to carry more around the belly, especially after menopause (5).

  • Urinary tract problems: Issues such as urinary incontinence affects twice as much women as men. (5)

What is the root cause?

  • Female hormones, due to the natural ability to gestate, are complex and fluctuate. These processes affect women differently during various stages of life, because they intervene in the metabolic process, weight management, sugar regulation, digestion, proper functioning of the heart, mental stability and proper brain functioning, and even external aspects of the body such as skin and its appearance. (8)

  • Estrogens, for example, help fight obesity in women. During the reproductive age, estrogen has effects that protect the health of the heart. With the arrival of menopause, however, that all changes as metabolism slows, fat retention increases, lean muscle mass decreases, and signs of aging accelerate among many other effects. The good news is that most symptoms can be controlled and treated.

  • The biggest problem for women, especially Hispanic women, is allowing too much time to pass before receiving routine check-ups. Even once diagnosed, women tend to also delay undergoing treatment. This is a huge, costly mistake.


  • Pay attention to your mind and body. Make time for routine, preventive appointments. Annual check-ups for lipids and sugar, as well as mammograms and pap smears, are a must.

  • If you are experiencing mood swings or depressive episodes, seek professional help. Having a circle of family, friends, and church is great, but may not always be enough. Psychological therapy is not a luxury, but an actual necessity in many if not most cases. Therapy can help improve family and work relationships, as well as the overall quality of life.

  • Make sure to eat well. Follow nutritional guidelines according to your individual needs as a woman, focusing especially on fresh fruits and vegetables. Don't know where to start? Check out our diet and lifestyle plans where you can find complete menus that guide you.

  • Discard any risky behavior: smoking; excess alcohol, sugar, fats, and processed foods; toxic habits; people who do not support your well-being.

  • Give your body time to get active. Many women that take care of themselves fail to see long-term, positive changes to their health if they fail to exercise. Leaving this aside, and focusing on a busy schedule as mother, wife and/or professional is not enough. A busy life does not mean an active one. If time is your biggest excuse, plan your next happy hour with your best friend by taking a walk in the park, instead of sitting down for a drink. Virtual meetings are an alternative if you can't physically meet due to the pandemic.

  • Relax and rest like the queen you are. It’s now nighttime and you didn't get to organize the kids' closets? Save it for another day and, while you're at it, teach them how to do it. Instead, pamper yourself and prepare a bath to your liking, put on a face mask, and enjoy at least 30 minutes of alone time. Then go to sleep earlier than scheduled, so you can make the most of tomorrow.

Celebrate this month by taking time for self-care, and pampering and paying attention to your body, mind, and personal needs as a woman. Check out Dr. Juan's Santo Remedio for Women for more information.

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