I still remember my girlie Candice constantly hitting the water cooler.
At first, we praised her for “keeping up on that water intake!” until Janet–a nurse–suggested she get checked out. Turns out, it was diabetes. There’s lots of little things we ignore as women, health-wise. There’s always something more important to worry about, right? Here’s some you shouldn’t ignore.
If you’re noticing more hair loss than usual, seeing thinning at the scalp or a marked decrease in thickness when you pull your hair up in a pony, something else may be going on.
Dr. Price explains, “when people experience increased hair loss, it can sometimes be a sign of stress, illness, anemia or thyroid disease.”
Unwanted Body + Facial Hair
If you’ve noticed that you’re starting to experience an increasing amount of hair growth on your body or face, it can be a sign of a more serious health issue. “This is most likely being caused by a condition known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome,” explains holistic health coach Nicole Jardim.
As many as five million women in the U.S. may be affected by PCOS, according to the Office of Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Let’s be honest, no one wants to talk about poop, but if you’re having recurring trouble going to the bathroom, experiencing bleeding, or frequently experiencing diarrhea or gas, it’s a symptom that something else is likely going on in your body.
“Your fecal evacuations should be quick and painless,” explains registered dietitian Marty Davey. If they’re not, it’s a red flag.
You may be dehydrated, not getting enough fiber in your diet, or you may be suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS),
While IBS is not generally a dangerous condition, it is something that you will want to discuss with your doctor and begin proactively managing. Your doctor may also need to do tests to rule out Celiac disease, certain food intolerances/allergies or other serious conditions when diagnosing your problem.
Sure, we all get tired after a weekend of partying or a particularly stressful week at work, in which case several good
If you’re always fatigued with no explanation, naturopathic doctor Thalia Farshchian recommends seeing your doctor to examine the performance of your adrenal glands and thyroid, and to rule out the possibility of depression or sleep apnea. Problems with your adrenal glands and thyroid can be diagnosed with adequate blood testing, but depression and sleep apnea diagnoses may be a little murkier.
Another cause of fatigue could be that you’re deficient in certain nutrients (like iron or vitamin D, for example)—a blood test can help pinpoint if this is the case. And if it is, your doctor will help your nutritional intake and put you on supplements, if needed.
Unexplained Weight Fluctuations
A rapid decrease in weight may be a sign of hyperthyroidism meaning your thyroid is overactive, while a gain may signal hypothyroidism meaning your thyroid is underactive. Thyroid problems are fairly common in women and wreak havoc on your physical and emotional state if left untreated.
There are other serious conditions that unexplained weight loss can be associated with, such as diabetes, Crohn’s disease and Celiac disease, to name a few. So get checked out.
Severe Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps are common, but severe cramping needs to be investigated. Severe cramping may be a sign of endometriosis—a condition where the cells of the uterus begin to grow outside the uterus walls. Currently, about 10 percent of women of reproductive age are affected, though that number could be even higher due to the difficultly associated with diagnosing the condition.
Severe cramps can also be a symptom of other conditions, including uterine fibroids, cervical stenosis or pelvic inflammatory disease.
Increased Thirst + Urination
Of course, on a hot day or when exercising it’s normal to be thirstier, drink more, and thus be running off to pee more. But if you’re finding that you’re frequently unable to quench your thirst and having to pee more than what’s normal, it may be an early sign of diabetes.
It’s shocking how common diabetes has become in the U.S.: 11 percent of women age 20 and older have diabetes, and as many as 79 million people have prediabetes in this country, according to the American Diabetes Association.
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