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EDUCATION CORNER
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    Lifestyle health concerns in females

    Though women and men share many similar health problems, there are some special teenage health concerns of women that deserve special consideration and management.

    It is very important that every woman knows about the spectrum of women's health issues, not only about her reproductive system but also about her all body aspects. There are certain factors that govern a woman’s health:


    Performance pressure (study, sports, competition): Performance pressure is a very common issue, especially during adolescence or teenager. Every parent wants their child to excel in studies, sports, and every other competition. This pressure from parents can take a toll on the children and they may feel suffocated in their own environment. 

    Peer influence or pressure: Peer pressure is something that everyone usually experiences at one point or other during their life. It will be more accurate to say its social influence rather than pressure. Under the influence of people or society, people adopt a certain kind of behaviour, dressing sense or attitude so that they look equal or to fit in society.

    Professional life: Most of the women are now involved in work and have gone through changes in themselves which may lead to negative results such as marital problems and decreased job status.

    Body image issues: Our own feelings and thought about how our body looks are known ad body image. Many times we often think about what people judge about our appearance which affects our body image and due to which you might end up having low self-esteem.

    Addiction (smoking, alcohol, drugs): Women become addicted quicker than men and have been experiencing various ailments related to it like cancer, heart disease, and memory problems, sooner and more intensely than men. Women smoke a lesser number of cigarettes but have been equally found to be addicted to it.  

    Sleep Disorders: Young women enjoy sound sleep and are least affected by disturbances. Several factors may affect women’s sleep like hormonal changes, stress, lifestyle, diseases, environment for sleep, etc. Many women have premenstrual sleep disturbances.

    Eating habits: A balanced diet is very important for maintaining good health. A balanced diet provides all the essential nutrients and enough energy for the busy life and it reduces the risk of a number of diseases like anaemia, night blindness, etc.



    Performance pressure (study, sports, competition)


    Performance pressure is a very common issue, especially during adolescence or teenager. Every parent wants their child to excel in studies, sports, and every other competition. This pressure from parents can take a toll on the children and they may feel suffocated in their own environment. Though positive and healthy competition is important for better performance. But if you will keep on comparing your child with others, it will give a very bad effect on your child’s health. 

    Therefore, parents should make efforts to know the interests of their child and encourage them to live their dreams rather than getting stuck in performance pressure. 


    Peer influence or pressure

    Peer pressure is something that everyone usually experiences at one point or other during their life. It will be more accurate to say its social influence rather than pressure. Under the influence of people or society, people adopt a certain kind of behaviour, dressing sense or attitude so that they look equal or to fit in society.

    During the teenage women are more prone to peer pressure. They get influenced too easily even the choice of the music they hear is the result of social influence on them.It is not necessary that social influence is a bad thing because its effects can be both positive as well as negative. It is necessary because children spend most of the time with their friends in school rather than parents and siblings.

    But in some emotional situations, it is hard to overcome peer pressure and then people end up doing things in which they are uncomfortable.

    Many times, peer influence can have a positive effect, for example, A person may do a project in the influence of his/her friends and do it well as his/her friends are doing it and get good grades.

    Some women face more negative peer pressure – for example, a woman whose self-esteem is low, feel they can’t make friends and have some special needs. Such women might sense that by changing themselves, doing what others do can make them fit into a certain group and they can make true friends. This can cause problems of adolescence and need a consultation from a psychologist. 


    Warning signs of peer influence include: 



    • Low moods
    • Tearfulness 
    • Feelings of hopelessness
    • Aggression or antisocial behaviour that’s not usual 
    • Sudden behavioural changes 
    • Difficulty going to sleep or being in sleep 
    • Loss of appetite or overeating
    • Reluctance to go to school
    • Not doing otherwise favourite activities 


    Professional life

    Most of the women are now involved in work and have gone through changes in themselves which may lead to negative results such as marital problems and decreased job status.It is important to manage the personal and professional lives properly otherwise there may be consequences that you may not be able to handle and end up being depressed and due to this, you won’t be able to handle any of them.


    Symptoms of performance pressure

    The pressure of work and life may cause the following symptoms:-

    • Unpunctuality
    • Staying away from work without any reason
    • Headache
    • Difficulty in concentrating
    • Irritability
    • Can lead to stress and depression


    It is difficult and hectic to maintain professional and personal life balance. But a balance between both can help you become more productive and less likely to burnout. But it requires thoughtful planning and

    preparation. 


    Ways to balance personal and professional lives:-


    1. Try to separate work and play.
    2. Set priorities
    3. Make a schedule and stick to it.
    4. Eliminate distraction 
    5. Be inventive
    6. Assess your situation 
    7. Be protective of your health
    8. Have separate personal and professional lives. 


    Body image issues


    Our own feelings and thought about how our body looks are known ad body image. Many times we often think about what people judge about our appearance which affects our body image and due to which you might end up having low self-esteem.

    Body image may have a powerful impact on self-esteem during the teenage years. You can have bad thoughts about yourself occasionally, finding ways to be positive is the key to building a healthy body image and positive self-esteem.

    People who have low self-esteem and are not confident about their body consider themselves least capable or important. In women with a poor body image, healthy lifestyle choices can quickly spiral out of control and can lead to eating disorders such as anorexia, binge eating, or bulimia. 

    It is very important to have good self-esteem as it helps you to be positive and confident about yourself.

    Those who are confident about themselves and have positive self-esteem have a good relationship with colleagues and adults, and they deal with mistakes and disappointments more easily and they usually get success in the task they do.  


    Having good self-esteem will:-

    • Give you the courage to try out new things
    • You will be more confident and believe in yourself
    • You will be able to make healthy choices about your body.


    What to do if self-esteem is low? 

    If your self-esteem is low and you feel frustrated and get annoyed easily then go on a walk, listen to music and do things that make you feel happy. If you are feeling to alone try talking to your friend so that they can encourage and support you.


    Addiction (smoking, alcohol, drugs)

    Women become addicted quicker than men and have been experiencing various ailments related to it like cancer, heart disease, and memory problems, sooner and more intensely than men. Women smoke a lesser number of cigarettes but have been equally found to be addicted to it. Also, women cannot metabolize alcohol as efficiently as men and thus get intoxicated faster and also experience bad hangovers, even when drinking the same amount as men. Alcohol addiction can lead to many disorders like liver cirrhosis, alcoholic fatty liver disease, etc. 

    However less as compared to males, but women also addicted to drugs, especially during the teenage years. This is majorly due to peer influence and performance pressure. 


    How to get rid of addiction? 

    There are many options that have been successful in treating addiction, including:

    • behavioural counselling by a psychologist 
    • medication
    • managing other mental problems like depression and anxiety


    Sleep

    Young women enjoy sound sleep and are least affected by disturbances. Several factors may affect women’s sleep like hormonal changes, stress, lifestyle, diseases, environment for sleep, etc. Many women have premenstrual sleep disturbances. 


    Symptoms

    • Difficulty falling asleep
    • Difficulties maintaining sleep
    • Excessive daytime sleepiness


    Treatment

    Medication may help some women, but often behaviour and lifestyle changes can also relieve sleep problems. Self-care for sleeping disorders includes: 

    • Fix a wake-up time irrespective of sleep time
    • Do not take long naps during the day
    • No TV before bed
    • No worrying before sleep
    • Exercise but not before bedtime.
    • Eat a balanced diet 
    • Avoid heavy or spicy meals at bedtime.
    • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine before bedtime.
    • Relax before sleep


    Eating habits

    A balanced diet is very important for maintaining good health. A balanced diet provides all the essential nutrients and enough energy for the busy life and it reduces the risk of a number of diseases like anaemia, night blindness, etc. 

    These are 3 common deficiencies that woman has:-

    • Iron deficiency 

    It causes anaemia. Anaemia is defined as having less than15.0g/100mL of haemoglobin in women. About 29% of women get anaemia during childbearing age due to loss of blood during menstruation. 


    Risk factors:

    • A diet which is low on iron
    • History of anaemia in family
    • Blood loss
    • Deficiency of hormone erythropoietin
    • Chronic illness


    Prevention: 

    Iron deficiency can be prevented by eating a diet rich in iron and by adding supplementation.


    Vitamin D deficiency

    Vitamin D deficiency is when your blood has less than 12 ng/mL of vitamin D; a healthy body needs at least 10 microgram. Vitamin D is highly vital for our body and assists in keeping the bones strong, absorbing calcium and enhancing the movement of muscles.


    Risk factors

    • Weight gain
    • Malabsorption
    • Allergic to lactose items
    • Aging 
    • Getting dark complexion


    Prevention 

    • Consume enough sunlight
    • Take Vitamin D rich foods like milk, salmon, etc. 
    • Acquire Vitamin D supplements


    Vitamin A deficiency 

    Vitamin A is essential for the growth of bone and proper vision. Vitamin A deficiency is very common in children and pregnant women and it can cause night blindness.


    Risk factors

    • Alcoholism 
    • Poor nation
    • Lack of resources


    Prevention 

    Vitamin A deficiency can be prevented by eating food like sweet potatoes, carrots, mango and green vegetables which are a rich source of Vitamin A.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    •  Always encourage her to have a huge social network because if a friendship goes wrong and she is having a bad influence from it she can still have a wide range of other people to support.
    • Teach her different ways to say no – for example, her friends me force her into smoking so rather than just saying no she can say that she is asthmatic and smoking will worsen her condition. This will be easier and she will be away from bad influence.
    • Make her confident about her decisions and encourage her to not to fear and to share everything with you which will help you build her self confidence and self-esteem.

    You should simply tell her about the bad effects of smoking and drinking on body and health. You can take the help of various videos to show her what smoke and alcohol do to the body and what are its effects. This will give her reason to stay away from them.

    Every child has her own interest and if your daughter is more interested in studies than sports, it should be perfectly fine. You just do not need to force your choices on her. 


    Every workplace now has strict rules in relation to workplace harassment. So you should meet your HR and talk about it in detail. 


    Eating food should not be mixed with any other activity. While you eat your complete focus should be on eating only and not on any other thing. If she has developed a habit of eating while watching TV, you should change the place of eating and shift it to a calm place that has no distraction like a dining table. Or you can make a rule of no TV while eating. 


    Create a positive atmosphere around her. Encourage her to be confirmed and to have a healthy body. Ask her to maintain a healthy body by exercising and eating healthy food. Always encourage her and never let your child feel low about her body shape.

    And if you feel that the body image is bothering her too much and it can lead to depression than take her for counselling to a psychologist.

    Making her realise that every individual is distinct and unique can help in teaching her respect for all bodies. She should be taught about special characters of every individual, like if anyone is of dark complexion then her sharp features make her stand apart. So the uniqueness of every individual can make her realise that all are respectful and different. 


    Making her realise that every individual is distinct and unique can help in teaching her respect for all bodies. She should be taught about special characters of every individual, like if anyone is of dark complexion then her sharp features make her stand apart. So, the uniqueness of every individual can make her realise that all are respectful and different.  


    • Encourage her to make friends
    • Take her for walks
    • Talk to her about every topic
    • Call her friends at home
    • Allow her to socialise
    • Limit restrictions
    • Know the cause of depression
    • Talk to a specialist


    • Encourage her to make friends
    • Take her for walks
    • Talk to her about every topic
    • Call her friends at home
    • Allow her to socialise
    • Limit restrictions
    • Know the cause of depression
    • Talk to a specialist


    A cell phone has become an addiction for children nowadays. You should involve her in more outdoor activities that make her tired due to physical involvement. You can also try to turn off the lights and keep the phone away from her. But for all this, you also need to limit your use of phone so that the phone is not available to her.  

    Encourage her to exercise and eat healthy food. This will help her to have a positive attitude towards herself.

    And if the body image bothers her a lot and you think that it is leading to depression than you should go for counselling to a psychologist.