Archive for the ‘ Women’s Health ’ Category

How Yoga Can Support Women’s Health

Thursday, June 20th, 2024

Yoga, an ancient practice with roots in Indian philosophy, has evolved over thousands of years and is now globally recognized not only as a form of exercise but also as a holistic approach to wellness. Particularly for women, yoga offers immense health benefits that cater to physical, emotional, and hormonal balance. Let us explore how yoga can be integrated into different stages of a woman’s life and discussyoga poses for the same.

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Yoga to Manage Hormones

Hormonal balance is crucial for overall health, and yoga can play a significant role in maintaining this equilibrium. Here are three yoga poses that are particularly effective:

  • Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
    This pose helps regulate the thyroid gland, which in turn balances estrogen levels and supports reproductive health.
  • Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
    By opening the chest and stimulating the thymus, this pose aids in the regulation of adrenal glands, enhancing mood and energy levels.
  • Child’s Pose (Balasana)
    This gentle forward fold is soothing and helps reduce stress and fatigue, which can positively affect hormonal health.

These poses contribute to reducing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, promoting a more balanced hormonal state.

Yoga for Better Flexibility

Flexibility is a key component of physical health, and yoga offers an excellent way to enhance this:

  • Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
    Excellent for opening up the hips and lower back, increasing flexibility and reducing stiffness.
  • Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
    Stretches the spine, hamstrings, and shoulders, promoting flexibility throughout the body.
  • Cat-Cow Stretch (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)
    Improves flexibility in the spine, and relieves tension in the torso and neck.

Regular practice of these poses not only improves flexibility but also helps prevent injuries and enhances mobility.

Yoga for Strength Training

Yoga isn’t typically associated with strength training, but several poses are excellent for building core, upper, and lower body strength:

  • Plank Pose (Phalakasana)
    Builds endurance and strength in the core, shoulders, and arms.
  • Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
    Strengthens the thighs and buttocks while also engaging the core muscles.
  • Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)
    Enhances the strength of the legs and arms, while opening the hips and chest.

These asanas challenge various muscle groups, ensuring a well-rounded strength-building workout.

Yoga for Back Health

Back pain is a common issue for many women, and yoga offers gentle, effective relief:

  • Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
    Stretches and strengthens the entire back and leg muscles, enhancing spinal and pelvic alignment.
  • Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
    Strengthens the back and legs, stretches the muscles along the torso, and helps relieve back pain.
  • Locust Pose (Salabhasana)
    Strengthens the muscles in the lower back, aiding in posture improvement and pain relief.

 Yoga for Menstrual Health

Yoga can alleviate some of the discomfort associated with menstrual cycles:

  • Child’s Pose (Balasana)
    Relieves tension in the back and neck, and soothes cramping.
  • Supine Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
    Helps in relieving symptoms of bloating and cramps.
  • Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
    Opens up the front body, enhancing blood flow and reducing pain.

Yoga for Pregnancy

Prenatal yoga can be incredibly beneficial, helping to manage stress, build strength, and increase flexibility. Safe poses include:

  • Cat-Cow Stretch (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)
    Promotes flexibility in the spine and helps relieve back pain during pregnancy.
  • Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana)
    Opens the hips and pelvis, preparing the body for childbirth.
  • Side Angle Pose (Parsvakonasana)
    Enhances stability and increases stamina.

These poses are safe for most pregnant women but should always be practiced with proper guidance.

Yoga for Menopause

Yoga during menopause can help manage symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and insomnia:

  • Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
    Can help regulate hormonal activity and promote relaxation.
  • Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)
    Energizes the body and focuses the mind, helping to alleviate mood swings.
  • Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
    Calms the nervous system and can aid in sleep quality.

Yoga for Pelvic Floor

Strengthening the pelvic floor is crucial for bladder control, sexual health, and recovery after childbirth:

  • Mula Bandha (Pelvic Floor Lift)
    Directly engages and strengthens the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
    Strengthens the pelvic region and supports pelvic floor health.
  • Squat Pose (Malasana)
    Increases elasticity and strength in the pelvic floor, hips, and thighs.

Yoga is a valuable practice for women at all stages of life. By integrating yoga into your daily routine, you can embrace a practice that nurtures not just the body but also the mind and spirit, leading to a more balanced and healthier lifestyle. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned practitioner, yoga can be a nurturing and empowering journey for every woman.

Women’s Heart Health: Understanding the risk factors, symptoms and preventive measures

Monday, December 11th, 2023

Heart disease is not selective and affects both men and women, crossing all boundaries of age and ethnicity. However, many people still perceive it as a ‘man’s disease.’ This misconception can be dangerous. In India, heart disease claims approximately 25% of all lives, with a significant impact on women. According to the Global Burden of Disease Study, heart disease is the leading cause of death among Indian women, responsible for nearly 18% of female mortality. Alarmingly, the mortality rate surpasses that of breast cancer and other cancers combined. Journal of the American College of Cardiology studies reveal a prevalence of coronary artery disease in Indian women ranging from 3% to 13%, with a staggering 300% increase over the past two decades. These statistics highlight the urgent need to raise awareness about heart disease in women and address the unique risk factors that affect them.

Factors Contributing to Heart Disease in Women

Factors contributing to the heightened risk of heart disease in Indian women are multifaceted. High prevalence of risk factors like hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes is notable, with diabetes rates surpassing global averages. Unique challenges, including sedentary lifestyles, poor nutrition, and societal stressors, amplify these risks. Pregnancy-related conditions like gestational diabetes and hypertensive disorders elevate heart disease risk. Postmenopausal women face increased susceptibility, and early menopause adds an extra layer of risk. Lack of awareness, societal norms discouraging healthcare-seeking, and healthcare disparities, especially in rural areas, compound the challenges in addressing and preventing heart disease in women.

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Understanding the Risk

Women face unique risks when it comes to heart disease, largely due to differences in hormones, body size, and even societal roles. For instance, women often experience a spike in heart disease risk after menopause due to a decrease in protective estrogen levels. Heart disease can affect women at any age, but the risk increases with age, particularly after menopause around the age of 55.

Identifying the Symptoms

Women’s heart disease symptoms may differ from men’s and can often be misunderstood or misdiagnosed.

They may experience pain or discomfort in their:

  • Chest (most common)
  • Left breast
  • Back or between their shoulder blades
  • Neck or throat
  • Arms or Legs (one or both)
  • Shoulders

Other symptoms include:

  • Unusual fatigue
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • Feeling hot or flushed
  • Nausea or Vomiting

Preventive measures for Heart disease in Women

About 80% of women aged 40 to 60 have one or more risk factors for coronary heart disease.   However, many of these risks, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity, can be controlled with lifestyle changes and medication if necessary. Here are some specific things you can do to reduce your heart disease risk:

  • Control your health numbers – cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a heart healthy diet
  • Quit smoking and alcohol
  • Manage your blood sugar levels
  • Be regular with heart health checkups

Cardiac Care at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Women must be regular about their heart health checkups. Don’t overlook or dismiss symptoms that could indicate heart disease. If you experience any troubling symptoms, seek medical help immediately. Our Centre for Cardiac Sciences is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, top-notch infrastructure, and an expert team of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons. We offer a comprehensive program for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of heart disease across all age groups, from infants to adults. Our team specializes in advanced treatments, including minimally-invasive surgeries, beating heart coronary artery bypass grafting, and awake cardiac surgery. Please find below website link for further details:

5 nutrients every woman should consume

Wednesday, March 8th, 2023

Are you eating healthy? Malnutrition is a major issue among women in India, and around 40 per cent of Indian women are underweight when they begin their pregnancy. Pregnant and lactating women require additional nutrients to support the growth and development of their babies, but many women in India do not receive adequate nutrition during this time. Cultural norms around food, limited resources, orthodox eating practices and skipping meals to maintain a perfect figure are some reasons that contribute to poor nutrition among women in India.

50% Indian women are anaemic, where your body does not get enough oxygen-rich blood. This makes one feel tired and weak all the time. To address various deficiency issues, the Indian government has implemented programs aimed at improving women’s nutrition. Some key strategies for improving women’s nutrition in India include increasing access to nutritious foods, empowering women to make decisions about food and finances, and educating women and their families about the importance of a healthy diet.

Top five nutrients every woman should consume

With the fast-paced lifestyle and hectic schedules, women often tend to ignore their dietary needs, leading to deficiencies of vital nutrients in their bodies. Let us understand the essential nutrients that every woman should consume to maintain good health:

  • Calcium
    Calcium is a vital mineral that is essential for bone health. Women are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than men, making it crucial for them to maintain adequate calcium intake. Foods rich in calcium include dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale, and fortified foods such as cereals and orange juice. You must include this nutrient in your daily diet.
  • Iron
    Iron is essential for the production of hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen throughout the body. Women are more likely to develop iron deficiency due to blood loss during menstruation. Foods rich in iron include red meat, poultry, seafood, beans, lentils, spinach, and fortified cereals. The consumption of iron is known to prevent anemia, fatigue, and weakness.
  • Folate
    Folate, also known as vitamin B9, is essential for cell growth and development. It is especially important for women of childbearing age as it helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spine. Foods rich in folate include leafy green vegetables, beans, lentils, citrus fruits, and fortified cereals. Adequate folate intake also helps prevent anemia and promotes healthy hair, skin, and nails.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
    Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that is essential for brain health and reduces the risk of heart disease. Women tend to have a higher risk of developing depression and anxiety, making omega-3 fatty acids an essential nutrient for them. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. Sufficient intake of omega-3 fatty acids helps improve mood, cognitive function, and heart health.
  • Vitamin D
    Vitamin D is essential for bone health as it helps the body absorb calcium. Women tend to have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, making vitamin D an essential nutrient for them. The body can produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, and it is also found in fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified foods such as milk and orange juice. Adequate vitamin D intake also helps boost your immune system.

Nutrition care at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai

Consuming a well-balanced diet that includes all essential nutrients is crucial for women’s overall health and well-being. Adequate intake of calcium, iron, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D can help prevent various health problems, including anemia, osteoporosis, heart disease, and depression. Consult dietitians from our Department of Nutrition Therapy for a one to one meeting. We offer personalized nutrition plans and nutrition counseling services to help women achieve their dietary goals and maintain good health. So, let’s take a step forward to prioritize your health and make every day a Women’s Day.

Women and Mental Health

Tuesday, March 8th, 2022

Teacher. Mother. Colleague. Caregiver. Chef…The last two years have created unique challenges and stressors for women as many were faced with fulfilling multiple roles. According to studies, women are twenty to forty percent more likely than men to suffer from mental illness. Women are more vulnerable to poor mental health due to social and economic circumstances than men. Women often face distinct obstacles when it comes to mental health. A woman’s body changes throughout her life and puberty, pregnancy and childbirth, and menopause all challenge women to adjust to new bodies and new ways of interacting with the world. This Women’s Day let us understand the mental health concerns in women and how we can overcome them.

Common mental health issues in women

Around one in every five women suffers from a common mental health issue like sadness or anxiety. Many women find it hard to express their feelings and tend to internalise them. Depression, eating disorders, and self-harm can all result from this. Here are some of the most prevalent health issues that women face:

  • Perinatal depression
    Having a baby is a life-changing event. For some women it can trigger post-partum  depression (after the birth) and/or antenatal depression (during pregnancy). Perinatal depression isn’t a sign of weakness. Take help from family and friends, seek therapy from a medical expert to help manage yours symptoms.
  • Menopause
    While every woman’s menopausal experience is unique, many women have symptoms in addition to their periods ceasing. Changes in your mental health, such as mood swings, anxiety, and feeling down, are examples.
  • Trauma
    Statistics suggest that around 20% of all women may experience some form of sexual harassment or attempt of the same at some point in their lifetime. This may increase the risk of developing a mental health issue such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Eating disorders
    Data suggests that at least 85 percent of anorexia and bulimia cases and 65 percent of binge-eating disorder cases are faced by women. Women’s weight has always been examined and pedestalized, making them feel pressurized about a perfect body image and thus hampering their mental health.

When to seek professional help?

If you’re disconnected from people, have a negative self-image, or aren’t physically caring for yourself, it’s time to get professional help. If you’re suffering from feelings of hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, or an addiction to legal or illicit substances, a medical professional can guide you down the right path to wellness.

Mental health statistics in India

According to statistics, at least 25% of women suffer from depression and anxiety, but they seldom seek help from psychiatrists due to social stigma and a lack of family support. Women tend to overlook and repress their health issues. Domestic violence affects almost two-thirds of married women in India. Postpartum depression commonly seen in new mothers, affects about 50-80% of them. Awareness, training and medical interventions are important to address women’s mental health.

Ways to improve mental health in women

Being joyful all of the time isn’t always a sign of good mental health. Women who have good mental health can experience joy and sorrow, rage and enthusiasm in appropriate ways. Here are a few simple ways to keep your mental health in good shape:

  • Take care of yourself.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Practice mindfulness & meditation.
  • Get eight hours of sleep each night.
  • Work and contribute productively.
  • Ask for help when needed.
  • Express gratitude .
  • Say positive things about yourself and others.
  • Make new friends and connections.
  • Participate in activities you enjoy.

Mental health care at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

A variety of factors can affect a woman’s mental function and health. These causes might range from simple things like lack of sleep or hunger to more severe issues like eating disorders and major depression. Seek treatment and support if you’re worried about your mental health or believe someone you care about is suffering from mental illness. Our Department of Psychiatry employs highly qualified experts to help support you at every stage of life. Please find below our website details:

Celebrating Women with a focus of their health!

Saturday, March 6th, 2021

Women’s health is one of the most important parameters which reflect the standard of the health care system of a society. Health is a complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of a disease or infirmity. Research suggests that even though two-thirds (63%) of women participate in household decisions, their access to healthcare is limited till pregnancy. Choose to challenge this women’s day and inspire those around you too. Make your health a priority, spread awareness about women’s diseases and take preventive actions.

Common Diseases in Indian women

Women’s health involves a variety of gender-specific issues, like estrogen production, mental health, sexual health and fertility concerns. Women go through dramatic mental and physical changes as their reproductive systems go through major changes. Here are the most common diseases seen in women:

  • Breast Cancer – One woman is diagnosed with cancer every 4 minutes in India
  • Stroke – Indian women are prone to suffer from a stroke than men
  • PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) – One in every 10 women in India suffers from this disease
  • Weight Gain – 1 in 5 Indian women are overweight
  • Depression – Depression is almost twice as likely to affect women than men due to various factors like reproductive hormones and social pressures
  • Osteoporosis – Over 5 crore Indian women suffer from this disease
  • Diabetes – Women with diabetes are at an increased risk of death
  • Heart disease – More women die of heart disease compared to men

Preventive Healthcare for women
From hormonal ups and downs to childbirth and menopause, women’s bodies go through a lot over the years. Today’s fast-paced lifestyles make it difficult to lead healthy lives that includes regular exercise and eating a balanced diet. It is highly recommended that women undertake an annual health checkups to help detect potential health problems early. Some of the routine medical tests especially for women include:

  • Pelvic examination – This is recommended for women over 30 years of age or who are sexually active. Your gynaecologist conducts a routine examination and also a pap smear test that helps detect cervical cancer.
  • Breast checkup – This is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in India despite being easily identifiable. Regular mammograms as informed by your doctor and monthly self-checks help diagnose breast cancer early when maximum recovery is possible. Examine your breasts for pain, tenderness, lump, thickening, or any discharge. Talk to your doctor if you spot anything unusual.
  • Bone density test – Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease in which essential minerals such as calcium are lost, leaving the bones fragile and brittle. This test helps find out your bone strength.
  • Thyroid test – A imbalance in thyroid levels can create havoc in your life and may cause weight loss, weight gain, hair loss, mood swings or fatigue. Get your thyroid levels checked.
  • Diabetes screening – Diabetes has a tremendous impact on a woman’s health and has severe long-term complications especially if you are pregnant. Be regular with your blood sugar checkups.
  • Vitamin D test – A majority of Indian women are deficient in this key nutrient that can adversely affect your bone health. Speak to your doctor about your vitamin D levels and take a supplement if required.
  • Cardiac health – Did you know? The symptoms of heart disease also differ from men to women. Get your cardiac check-up done if you have a family history of hypertension, heart disease or if you’re overweight, or if you are a smoker.

Health tips for women

Balancing the demands of a job, family, and can be exhausting for women. Every woman must prioritize her health as she progresses through life’s milestones. Here are some daily health tips to incorporate in your life:

  • Don’t skip meals
  • Make time for exercise
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Get enough sleep
  • Be regular with health checkups
  • Stay hydrated
  • Meditate daily
  • Keep stress away
  • Quit smoking
  • Stay away from alcohol
  • Talk with your loved ones

Women’s Healthcare at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital
At Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, located in Andheri West, Mumbai, we offer an entire gamut of services that a woman might require through her life. Our Centre for Mother and Child, offers services from conception, through to pre-pregnancy care and world class specialists to help you deliver your child. Our world class NICUs and PICUs along with specially trained pediatricians help you with your growing child’s needs. KDAH’s Centre for Bone and Joint and Cancer offers women of all ages the services they need to ensure that they are in the best of health. For more information please visit: