A key component of health for any woman is how you feel. A very simplistic but effective way to look at health is to ask yourself “how do I feel on a daily basis?”. Hormones are a strong determinant of this and dictate your behavior. They influence things such as your menstrual cycle, adverse cosmetic developments in the form of hair loss or acne, your mood and energy levels and determine whether you gain or lose weight. Other issues have to do with common infections that cause pain and discomfort. With that said, let’s evaluate some garden variety challenges experienced by women.
Poly cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
This is a common problem with women of childbearing age that has a group of symptoms impacting the ovaries and ovulation such as cysts in your ovaries, elevated male hormones, and irregular or missed periods. Other issues experienced with PCOS are excessive hair growth, acne and weight gain. Ultimately it imbalances your hormones and creates this confusion in your body.
Possible Fix: A hormone blood test can confirm the suspicion of PCOS based on symptoms discussed above. You'll likely be prescribed something hormonal to help control things. Other tips include general exercise for 30 mins per day, eating better by eliminating processed food (don't eat from cans or plastics), improving your sleep habits😴 to stabilize your hormones and maintain a healthy weight. On the aspect of food it's simple: If it didn’t come off your stove or an identifiable tree🌳 (fruit) or place in the ground (vegetables) it shouldn’t go in your mouth. Eat as naturally as possible and when it comes to nyama ⚠️be wary of dressed chickens the size of microwaves. Grass fed animals, fish and village chickens are the best ndiyo.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
PMS is a common problem with highly irritable women which comes with food cravings, bloating and fatigue. Natural shifts in your hormone profile during the month in the build up to your period cause this. Being aware of it when it happens is the first step to managing it.
Possible Fix: Reduce your portion sizes of food and limit salt on your meals and opt to eat more frequently to manage bloating and stave off cravings. Eat more fruit for the natural sugar in it so it gives you a lift and helps you in the fight against fatigue. Sleep😴 off your foul mood and consider going for a massage at Juvenix Spa to feel better. Exercise intensely for 10-20 mins as it can trigger a dopamine release and help lift your mood. For other tips on how to deal with overwhelming gas issues read those here.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
This is a bacterial infection of the urinary tract. You likely have a UTI when you experience pain or discomfort when urinating.
Possible Fix: avoid public toilets. Where this is not possible, be mindful of the water 💦splashes from the toilet when you pee. A ghetto hack is to cushion the landing of urine with toilet paper before you pee. Pair this with wiping from front to back when you're done and you have a decent defense against UTIs. If you already have a possible UTI then a urine test at a healthcare facility can confirm this and provide you with medication usually in the form of anti-biotics to clear it up. You can also consider increasing your water intake to induce frequent urination and subsequent 'flushing' of bacteria. This step is of great importance particularly after an encounter with the opposite sex.
The thyroid hormone is excreted by the thyroid gland and it controls the speed of your metabolism which means that it regulates how fast you burn calories. This makes losing or gaining weight damn near impossible for those with over-active (hyperthyroidism) or under-active (hypothyroidism) thyroid glands. Unexplained changes in weight is one of the most common symptoms of thyroid issues - weight gain may indicate low levels of the thyroid hormone while weight loss may indicate the opposite. Other problems experienced with hypothyroidism are brain fog, constipation, dry skin, thinning hair. Other issues experienced with hyperthyroidism are insomnia, excessive sweating, irritability and high levels of anxiety. Despite intermittently fasting, keto diets, low carbs etc. you can’t drop weight? Despite munching on everything in sight you can't gain weight? Your thyroid hormones are likely sabotaging your efforts in either scenario.
Possible Fix: get a blood test done and your doctor will advise accordingly. Treatment may involve prescription of thyroid hormone pills in order for you to obtain the right balance.
This is a fungal infection that causes irritation and discharge from your private area. It's not an STD and is typically caused by anti-biotics, contraceptives, diabetes and/or a compromised immune system.
Possible Fix: See a doctor and you'll be advised accordingly. Initial treatment usually involves prescription of an over-the-counter anti-fungal cream to apply so you don't necessarily have to see a doctor as you could go to any local pharmacy to get what you need but I don't encourage self-diagnosis. It might be something else making you itch... A basic supplementary aid to whatever your doctor tells you is to stop wearing tight fitting underwear.
Cosmetic Health Concerns (hair loss, acne, stretch marks, wrinkles)
Various hormonal issues create various different outcomes. Many of these can be more cosmetic in nature and since many women attach great importance to their appearance this matter certainly warrants inclusion when we evaluate the question of "how do I feel today?".
Possible Fix: Hair health? My lovely wife and hair guru at Your Hairs Goals Zambia 🙍🏽♀️🇿🇲 (www.yourhairgoalszambia.com) got you covered with everything from hair consultation to hair products - fyonse fye. Acne? Debra Scott at the Skin Care Hub can clear that up real quick as well as any other skin related issues. Wrinkles & stretch marks? Juvenix Spa will set you straight with assorted treatments and products available to address your situation.
Behavioral Shifts on Contraceptives
For those that take contraceptives, please, napapata, ask your partners if you’re a reasonable human being and acceptable wife. Tuma mood twako might be triggered by the pills you’ve been prescribed😒.
Possible Fix: Discuss with your partner then discuss with your doctor. You may be unknowingly punishing your partners and despite what some alangizi (or even your fellow disgruntled friends) might tell you, constant conflict in a home is not normal. So be sure to check your pills before they sink your relationship. A favorable change might even compel your husband to openly declare 🗣️ ichupo chisuma 🔥.
Other general health tips
Don’t assume irregular periods, fouls moods, hair loss, acne and uncontrollable weight gain or loss are normal. That’s not your portion. Actively look to fix it to live your best life. For those with deeper pockets or premium insurance cover opt for a complete hormone profile blood test. It'll expose everything, even problems you didn't know you had. Other useful blood tests to consider are a full lipid panel test and blood sugar test. Check your BP while you're at it. Gents, this is not ammunition for you to take shots at your partner. Be aware of hormonal shifts and learn to be understanding - ma comments like "is it that time of the month?" should not be expressed. You must silently adapt to put out fires, not fan them.
NB: Men who have found themselves here can proceed to re-direct to the Men's Health blog here.
6/23/2021 11:32:23 pm
So much insight!! Thank you for this.
6/23/2021 11:43:41 pm
Well researched I must say.....hormonal imbalance can be a nightmare for most women.Thanks for the recommendations on hair and skin health ....will check them out.
6/24/2021 08:41:18 am
Information overload 👏🏽
6/24/2021 09:04:33 am
6/24/2021 08:28:15 pm
Very informative blog on women’s health 😃 I hope everyone reading this blog subscribes to bomb hair and skin 😉
6/25/2021 12:19:08 am
I must applaud the level of research and understanding of this entire topic! From a medical point of view, this is a quality read, well done Mr Majula. I’m wondering why I’m the only one doing medicine because clearly muliko loaded na vi nzelu naimwe🤷🏾♀️😂. Mwa panga sense👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 It’s not too late to join us yunnoe 😏
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