Are You A Universal Mother?
You care about everything around you. Your family, your husband, your parents, your children, their needs, their food, their studies, their school projects, their problems, their illnesses, your work, your friends, your neighbours… at times, you even feel guilty that you’re not putting in as much effort as you would want to. Agreed, you’re a good mother, daughter, wife, daughter-in-law and friend. But how often do you take time out for yourself? Do you take time out for yourself at all? Do you rest enough? How many hours do you sleep everyday? Are you eating right? Are you drinking enough water? And most importantly, are you ignoring any important health symptoms?
According to women’s health experts around the world, women are increasingly ignoring their health due to excess stress, lack of time and too many responsibilities. This, they warn, can be extremely dangerous and lead to multiple health complications.
12 symptoms you should never ignore
Very often, women dismiss symptoms of disease saying that it will pass. If it persists or recurs, they might check it out online, discover more than they bargained for and again, wait for the problem to go away on its own – partly because they’re too caught up with work or they don’t want to ‘disturb’ anyone or entirely because of fear. This is an extremely dangerous thing to do and can lead to major health issues in the future. Here are some very important symptoms that you should never, ever ignore..
It’s natural to feel tired when you have so much work on your hands. In fact, women are used to being tired. However, if it’s too much and you just don’t want to do anything and have to drag yourself out of bed, it’s time you got yourself checked. Acute fatigue can be a sign of anaemia, hypothyroidism, depression, sleep apnoea, heart disease and in certain cases, even lung cancer.
Pain/ discomfort in the chest
Most of the time, slight pain or discomfort in the chest, is dismissed as gas or reflux. Never ignore this as angina (chest pain) or signs of coronary artery disease that can lead to heart attack aren’t always obvious in women. If you feel any kind of discomfort / pain in chest or experience an abnormal burpy feeling, seek medical help immediately..
Have you felt your heartbeats rise beyond normal? Palpations can occur when you’re stressed, but intermittent episodes of raised / irregular heartbeat can be signs of heart disease including atrial fibrillation and tachycardia. This can prove even more dangerous if you’re overweight, have high cholesterol and blood pressure. If you feel breathless, light-headed and fatigued on physical exertion (especially when you are carrying weights or climbing stairs) and get better only if you sit down, consult a Cardiologist immediately.
Shortness of breath
Feeling breathless is not only a sign of heart disease, but also other underlying conditions like pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, asthma, blood clot in the lungs or even lung cancer.
If you notice blood when you empty your bowel, seek immediate medical help. The problem could be anything from a haemorrhoid to an internal / intestinal bleed.
Bloated abdomen and change in bowel habits
Constant bloated feeling the stomach should never be ignored. There could be an underlying issue, which can be as harmless as gas or as serious as inflammatory bowel syndrome, ovarian cancer, colon cancer and diverticulitis (small pouches that bulge outward in the colon and get infected). If your bowel habits have been changing or you’re experiencing severe constipation all the time, we recommend you consult a doctor without delay.
Change in the appearance of a mole
If there’s a mole or tag on your body that’s looking different from what it was, make sure you seek immediate medical advice. Here’s how you can check changes in the mole:
A – Asymmetrical | B – has uneven Borders | C – has changed in Colour | D – has changed in Diameter
intimately. Examine them every month to check for new masses / lumps.Potentially cancerous lumps are hard, whereas soft, non-cancerous lumps can change with menstrual cycles. Remember, self-examination is extremely important.
Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
Vaginal discharge is normal, as long as it’s white or clear. Foul smelling, itchy discharge means there’s an infection that needs to be taken care of immediately. It’s important that you consult a Gynaecologist and get a PAP smear test done, for abnormal vaginal discharge can be a symptom of cervical cancer.
Constant pain in the stomach should never be ignored, as it can be anything from appendicitis to kidney or gall bladder stone.
Frequent Urinary Infections
Urinary tract infections (UTI) are caused due to bacteria in the urinary tract. Frequent episodes of UTI, if left untreated can lead to kidney damage. The easiest way to prevent this is to drink at least 2 litres of water everyday.
Nagging Back Pain
Back pain can affect your quality of life. If the pain doesn’t go off and starts radiating to the legs, get yourself checked for a possible nerve compression ordisc herniation in the spine.
Swelling In The Legs/ Pain In Joints
Swelling In The Legs / Pain In Joints If you have a leg or joint pain that is persistent, see a doctor. It could be anything from a harmless muscular pain to rheumatoid arthritis. Even clots in the veins could cause severe leg pain, especially in those with varicose veins. If your legs tend to swell up after a car / train / plane journey, get yourself checked for any possible kidney problems.
How do you take good care of yourself?
Like everyone at home, you too deserve to be taken care of. Your body and its wellbeing are your own responsibility. So make sure you follow these basic rules to ensure that you stay healthy:
Don’t Be A Good-Food Trashcan
Many women eat leftovers simply because it’s too little to go into the fridge and they hate throwing food away. Making yourself a good-food trashcan can kill you. Every extra bite leads to accumulation of calories and fat, which in turn can lead to the early onset of heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension and uncontrolled weight gain.
Eating the right food at the right time is the first step to good health. Add lots of green leafy vegetables, lentils, fruits, nuts, seeds and oily fish to your diet. Ensure that you get enough fibre, omega-3, folic acid, calcium, protein and iron. It is also important that you eat on time. Missing meals can lead to a whole lot of issues including gastritis and weight gain.
Avoid Excessive Intake Of Salt & Sugar
Consuming high amounts of salt - in pickles, for example - can lead to many complications like kidney stone and hypertension. Too much sugar can cause health problems like obesity, diabetes and kidney diseases.
Drink Lots Of Water
The simplest way to detoxify your body is to drink water. 2 to 3 litres of water every day will keep your system healthy by preventing dehydration, kidney disease including stone and bladder infections
The simplest way to keep your body healthy is to exercise. Physical activity ensures that your muscles and bones remain healthy, reduces risk of heart ailments, improves blood circulation, keeps your weight in check and decreases chances of lifestyle diseases like diabetes and hypertension. All you need to do is walk briskly for 40 minutes a day, continuously.
If there’s one thing that can affect every single part of your body, it’s stress. From aches and fatigue to hair fall and skin breakouts, stress can wreck your system. The best way to de-stress is to take time out for yourself, every day. Read a book, listen to your favourite music, paint, stitch, watch a movie or just do nothing – the difference will show. Remember, too much stress can also make you look older than you are.
In the mad rush called life, you often forget to take care of how you look and feel. Don’t ever ignore yourself. Take care of your body and mind. If you can, pamper yourself with a day at the spa. If not, meditate or spend at least thirty minutes of quality time with yourself. And always, always, wear a smile.