Dr. Sheela V Mane, a professor of OBG (Obstetrics and Gynaecology) to HotFridayTalks.com on the eve of the International Women’s Day and enlightened us about certain health concerns Indian women are more susceptible to and what precautions and steps can be taken to do away with them.
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“This is not restricted to the low socio-economic group of our society,” she says. A study by the Global Nutrition Report 2017 shows that more than half (51%) the women between age groups 15 and 50 are anemic. Dr. Mane blames the bad dietary habits for this health issue in women and also adds that Indian women know that they are anemic and they accept it. “Women with 8-9 grams of hemoglobin are fine with that count and they feel its okay”, she says. She, therefore, says that there should be more awareness on this, as anemic women have weak muscles and bones and can, therefore, face many health problems.
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A recent study conducted in 14 cities all over India show that over 60% urban women in India are at a risk of diabetes. “Gestational diabetes mellitus is on the rise among Indian women,” says Dr. Mane Although that might have come genetically, she also blames our lifestyle for this hazard and that includes, long working hours, lack of activity/exercising, eating junk food etc.
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“There is no awareness about carcinoma cervix in India, while cervical cancer is most common in India” she pointed out. “25% of deaths for cervical cancer all over the world is contributed by India, but we still do not have a universal screening program for it!” According to Dr. Mane, there should be an awareness that every woman, once she is sexually active must undergo a screening test, called Pap smear, once in 3 years. “This is the only type of cancer which can be detected at a very very early stage, at the pre-cancerous stage, so whether you have a problem or not, you must get the pap smear test done, once every 3 years, up to 65 years,” she added.
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Breast cancer is ranked number 1 among other cancers that affect Indian women. “The first thing we need to do is the self-palpation (feeling for lumps) once in every month. Second is, to get examined by a doctor once in a year. And once they reach 45 years of age, we can do a sonomammogram or a mammography, for which there is no consensus about how frequently it should be done, but those with a family history of breast cancer must do it more frequently after 40 years” says Dr. Mane.
Poor bone health
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The bone health of women in India is not taken seriously. Regular exercise, activity and proper diet are very important for this. Arthritis and osteoporosis are common household Indian names now. “Girls build up their bone-mass only up to the age of 30 years, and calcium helps to build that, so the calcium content in our diet is very important, because once a woman reaches menopause, her bone health gets poorer and starts getting weaker, so we must take calcium-rich food for better bone health,” she suggests.
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Dr. Mane also shared a very easy method to determine our ideal weight. First, calculate your height in centimeters, and then minus 100 from that, like if your height in centimeters in 158, your ideal weight should be 58. “We are called ‘Thin fat Indians’ because we have more fat in our body than we have muscles,” she remarked smiling. A high protein and calcium-rich diet are very important for women as per Dr. Mane.
DISCLAIMER: While we have taken steps to check the accuracy of information & practices shared here; it is not a replacement for a doctor’s opinion. it is important to first always check with your own doctor before trying any medication, practice or suggestion from this site.