A Message From The Creator

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Women’s Health: Mammogram Screenings Don’t Have To Be Done Annually For Older Women, New Study Finds

Women’s Health: Mammogram Screenings Don’t Have To Be Done Annually For Older Women, New Study Finds

Women’s Health: 10 Ways Stress Affects Women’s Health

Women’s Health: 10 Ways Stress Affects Women’s Health

Women’s Health: 10 Ways Stress Affects Women’s Health


The Huffington Post  |  By 

Although much has been made of the different ways that men and women respond to stress (“fight or flight” vs. “tend and befriend”), there are also substantial discrepancies in how stress impacts women’s health as compared to men’s. Studies have found that women differ from men not only in their emotional responses to stress, but also that acute and chronic stress may take a greater toll on womens’ physical and mental health.

When reacting to stressors, the body releases hormones such as cortisol, which is known to impact the immune system, digestive system, skin and more — andcortisol responses to psychological stress have also been shown to differ between men and women. Stress can affect nearly every system in the body, and it may be undermining your health in more ways than you realize. Scroll through the list below for 10 physiological and cognitive effects of stress on women’s health.

When reacting to stressors, the body releases hormones such as cortisol, which causes a temporary increase in energy production, sometimes at the cost of other bodily process not required for immediate survival, such as digestion and immune system function. In women, these hormone changes impact bodily processes in unique ways, which can lead to short- and long-term health problems.

LOOK: 10 Ways Stress Can Hurt Women’s Health

1. Reduced Sex Drive 
Major life events that cause stress, like starting a new job or moving to a new city, may lower libido, according to Dr. Irwin Goldstein, M.D. This can occur when elevated levels of cortisol suppress the body’s natural sex hormones.

2. Irregular Periods 
Acute and chronic stress can fundamentally alter the body’s hormone balance, which can lead to missed, late or irregular periods. Researchers have also found that women in stressful jobs are at a 50 percent higher risk for short cycle length (less than 24 days) than women who do not work in high-stress positions.

3. Acne Breakouts
Raised levels of cortisol in the body can cause excess oil production that contributes to the development of acne breakouts. A 2003 study observed that female college students experienced more breakouts during exam periods due to increased stress.

4. Hair Loss
Significant emotional or psychological stress can cause a physiological imbalance which contributes to hair loss. Stress can disrupt the life cycle of the hair, causing it to go into its falling-out stage. While you may not notice hair loss during or immediately following a period of stress, the changes can occur three to six months later.

5. Poor Digestion
Prolonged stress can greatly impact the digestive system by increasing stomach acid, causing indigestion and discomfort, and in some cases contributing to the development of IBS and ulcers. Reducing stress is key to maintaining a healthy digestive system, according to womenshealth.gov.

6. Depression
Women are twice as likely to experience depression as men, and recent research has looked to differing stress responses and stress reactivity between the sexes to explain this discrepancy. Elevated levels of cortisol resulting from the chronic stress of a long-term, low grade job stress or the acute stress of a difficult life event like death or divorce can act as a trigger for depression.

7. Insomnia
Most of us know the feeling of tossing and turning at night, thinking over the events of the day or problems at work. Unsurprisingly, stress is a common cause of insomnia, which can in turn lead to difficulty concentrating, irritability and a lack of motivation.

8. Weight Gain
Research has linked higher levels of cortisol to a lower waist-to-hip ratio in women (i.e. more weight around the belly area), as well as a decreased metabolism. High stress levels are also correlated with increased appetite and sugar cravings, which can lead to weight gain.

9. Decreased Fertility 
While further research is needed to better clarify the link between stress and fertility, recent studies have found that women with high levels of alpha-amylase, an enzyme linked to stress, had a more difficult time getting pregnant. Women with the highest concentration of the enzyme during their menstrual cycle were 12 percent less likely to conceive than women with the lowest concentration of alpha-amylase.

10. Increased Risk Of Heart Disease And Stroke
According to a 2012 study of over 22,000 women, women under high amounts of stress at work were 40 percent more likely to experience a cardiovascular event (a heart attack or stroke) than women who reported low levels of job-related stress. Strokes are also more common among individuals with with stressful lives and tightly-wound personalities.

Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/30/health-effects-of-stress-_n_2585625.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

Women’s Health: Mammogram Screenings Don’t Have To Be Done Annually For Older Women, New Study Finds


When it comes to detecting breast cancer, no one disagrees that mammograms — x-ray imagining of breasts — are an important tool for finding changes in breast tissue. But what has been up for debate in recent years is how frequently women should go to their doctors for mammogram screenings (many women have long followed the American Cancer Society’s suggestion of getting annual mammograms after 40).

A new study from the University of California, San Francisco is adding to the debate after finding that a mammogram every two years had the same benefits as an annual mammogram for older women.

Older women “get no added benefit from annual screening, and face almost twice the false positives and biopsy recommendations, which may cause anxiety and inconvenience,” said senior author and UCSF professor Karla Kerlikowske in a statement.

Published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the study looked at more than 140,000 women ages 66 through 89. Researchers found that 48 percent of women aged 66-74 who were screened for breast cancer annually received false-positive results. But only 29 percent of women in the same age group who got mammograms every two years saw false-positive results. It was also noted that health issues such as diabetes or heart disease had no effect on the finding.

This finding is in keeping with the mammogram recommendation the United States Preventative Task Force, an independent review panel, has made.

Though mammograms are often attributed with early detection of breast cancers and saved lives, the medical community continues to grapple with the question of if mammograms are really effective. In November 2012 a New England Journal of Medicine study found that while mammograms led to more treatment earlier, it didn’t necessarily save lives:

“Despite substantial increases in the number of cases of early-stage breast cancer detected, screening mammography has only marginally reduced the rate at which women present with advanced cancer. Although it is not certain which women have been affected, the imbalance suggests that there is substantial overdiagnosis, accounting for nearly a third of all newly diagnosed breast cancers, and that screening is having, at best, only a small effect on the rate of death from breast cancer.”

Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/06/mammogram-screenings-every-two-years_n_2630773.html?utm_hp_ref=womens-health

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