Chronic diseases have symptoms that are sustained or long-lasting. They are very common. There are some risk factors for chronic diseases that we cannot influence, such as age, race, and family history. We can, however, control another set of risk factors by following the healthy lifestyles outlined on . You can reduce your risk for most common chronic diseases by employing those techniques in daily life
The chronic diseases detailed here either occur more often for women or occur differently in women than in men. In some cases, we are just learning about these differences, so being aware of them and discussing them with your health-care practitioner is especially important .
Know the Facts :
• Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the name for a number of diseases of the circulatory system, including the heart and blood vessels.
• One in eight women between the ages of 45 and 64 live with cardiovascular disease.
• Men and women experience symptoms differently, which has historically led to delayed diagnosis and treatment for women.
• High blood-cholesterol levels put women at significant risk for cardiovascular diseases, which can be increased by smoking or hypertension (high blood pressure).
• Diagnosing and treating a stroke as early as possible is critical. Even if your symptoms have disappeared, contact your health-care practitioner immediately.
• Women with low socioeconomic status as well as women of Aboriginal or Southeast Asian descent have a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes and should plan with their health-care practitioner accordingly .
• Diabetes mellitus is a common, chronic health condition, characterized by above-normal levels of glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood. Typically, a hormone called insulin regulates the amount of glucose in the blood, but diabetes occurs when there is a problem with the body’s ability to make or use insulin.
• There are two main types of diabetes; type 1 (insulin dependent) and the much more common, type II (formerly called maturity onset). If members of your family have had diabetes, discuss your risk factors with your health-care practitioner.
• Roughly 5 percent of Canadians have some form of diabetes.
• Some women develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Health-care practitioners regularly test for it and, with your health-care practitioner’s help, it is manageable.
• A healthy diet and regular exercise are critical for women with diabetes
Know the Facts :
• Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints which can cause chronic pain and long-term disability.
• Arthritis includes many conditions, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and systemic lupus erythematosus.
• Women are much more likely than men to develop arthritis.
• Although there is no cure, there is a range of treatment options. Use the websites at the end of this section to explore the options, then discuss what would be best for you with your health-care practitioner.
• Daily, appropriate exercise can help reduce the symptoms of arthritis.