Updated: Oct 20, 2021
The world has had so MUCH news on what's contagious, and what infection rates are. I think it's about time that we talk about The Deadly Women's Health Issue No One Is Talking About
Did you know that women suffer from brain health issues more than men? The biggest celebrities and personalities of our time share their struggles with keeping their balance. Megan Thee Stallion Opens Up In Essence About Protecting Her Personal Space
Research shows that women are far more likely to develop conditions such as:
And even Alzheimer's disease
Women make up two–thirds of the estimated 5.7 million people living with Alzheimer's in the US. So why is it not being treated as a women's health issue? And why are most women unaware of the threat?
According to leading women's brain health expert, Dr. Lisa Mosconi, the problem is what she refers to as "bikini medicine." The medical profession focuses on breast and gynecological issues while overlooking the rest of the body — including the brain. "Anyone can tell you that men and women are not the same," Dr. Mosconi told Forbes. "We also shouldn't be medically treating them the same."
Modern medicine has historically overlooked the fundamental differences between men and women, particularly the role that hormones play in women's health. This has led to what Dr. Mosconi calls a "double bias" against women. Their concerns are dismissed as being caused by their gender, age, or both — with potentially dangerous consequences. In the case of Alzheimer's, that means it is generally regarded as an inevitable and unfortunate consequence of genetics and age.
Dr. Mosconi challenges that idea. Research shows that — like other conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer — the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's can be decreased through lifestyle factors. Studies estimate that this could prevent one-third of all Alzheimer's cases.
Therefore, the power to protect your brain is in your hands. But what should you do to prevent cognitive decline? Here are three steps you can take today to ensure a healthy future for your brain.
According to Dr. Mosconi, diet is one of the most significant risk factors for Alzheimer's. She recommends a mostly plant-based diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, and legumes to provide your brain with all the nutrients it needs.
Antioxidants also play an essential role in protecting your brain from the effects of aging. Berries and leafy green vegetables are some of the most antioxidant-rich foods.
The onset of Alzheimer's in women often coincides with menopause, when her hormones dramatically change — although symptoms appear decades later. For this reason, Dr. Mosconi recommends including foods that boost estrogen production, such as soy, flax seeds, chickpeas, and garlic.
A growing body of research suggests that regular physical activity and high fitness levels help lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's. In several studies, people with above-average cardiovascular fitness for their age were found to have between 36 and 88 percent lower risk of cognitive impairment and dementia.
But what type of exercise is best for brain health? How often should you do it and for how long? While research is still inconclusive, it seems that any amount of exercise has some benefits for your brain — even just 10 minutes per day of low-intensity exercise, such as walking, can make a difference. However, some research suggests that higher intensity activity may have even more significant protective benefits for your brain.
The bottom line: any physical activity is better than none, but the more intense you can go, the better.
3. Stress & Sleep
Stress and sleep are two other factors that affect brain health. Stress can lead to cognitive impairment and cause brain shrinkage in women in midlife. Women also seem to have a harder time staying asleep than men. If the brain does not complete its sleep cycles, toxins can build up, leading to brain health issues, such as Alzheimer's, later on.
Stress management tools, such as meditation or yoga, can both lower your stress levels and improve your sleep quality. You may also want to consider other lifestyle factors, such as alcohol or caffeine intake.
The good news is that with a few simple lifestyle tweaks, you can minimize your risk of Alzheimer's at any age — start by looking at your diet, activity levels, stress, and sleep.
Alzheimer's is the women's health issue that most women have never heard of. Make sure you share this article with the women in your life so that they can protect themselves too.
How healthy are you? What are the secrets you keep that we can share with our community?