2003-11-14 / Columnists

Health & Harmony

By Dr. Nancy Gahles
Health & Harmony

Health & Harmony

nancy gahlesnancy gahles

By Dr. Nancy Gahles

"Healing ourselves on all levels (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual) may be one of the greatest gifts we can give the world. A woman standing in her power, fully aware of her wholeness, can change the world just by being herself. Our lives are a spiraling journey full of lessons, pain and joy. Claiming all that we are, dark and light, helps us reclaim our wholeness. In our work towards wholeness, we must learn to create a container large enough to hold all of our beings." (Author unknown).

Wholeness is health. Women are intuitively aware of the imbalances that precede illness. Women make up the majority of persons seeking health care in our doctor’s offices. Women are the ones who intuit that something is "just not right", with themselves or their children, and come in for a check up before the chronic disease process can set in. Women are the ones to whom the health care initiative is entrusted. Ironically, women’s issues in health care are the least researched and the ones that we have the least information on.

Gender- specific diseases has become a new term among health care professionals. As more and more women enter the upper echelons of the health care pyramid, the demand for services specific to the female gender has become deafening. The National Institute of Health has developed a Women’s Health Initiative to fund research into gender-specific diseases. One problem that arises is the paucity of women volunteers for such projects. Grass roots efforts at educating women to participate in studies have begun in many communities. Hospitals and research centers are vying for the many grants available in this area and are creating programs that address the needs of women. Women live longer than men and they are demanding quality of life. That means knowledge about health care issues that specifically affect women.

GENDER SPECIFIC FACTS OF INTEREST: The New York Chiropractic College had a few interesting facts about women’s health in it’s newsletter Transitions in the Summer of 2003 that I would like to share with you. The following are my excerpts.

Mothers who breastfeed are at lower risk for rheumatoid arthritis.

Women who exercise regularly tend to suffer fewer and less acute premenstrual syndrome symptoms.

Women are more prone to addictions. The programs that have been established to help people deal with substance abuse have traditionally been designed with males in mind.

More women die from cardiovascular disease than from all cancers combined. Heart medications are tested more often on men than on women.

ADHD is often overlooked in girls. most research has focused on boys, and the few studies involving girls have not been definitive.

Blood pressure measurements are based on an average male (my addition).

Osteoporosis; women comprise 80 percent of the population suffering from osteoporosis.

Lung cancer; women smokers are more likely to develop lung cancer than men smokers at the same level of exposure. Women are more susceptible to the carcinogens in cigarettes.

STD’s; women are two times more likely than men to contract sexually transmitted disease and 10 times more likely to contract HIV during unprotected sex with an infected partner.

Autoimmune diseases; three out of four people suffering from autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus, are women.

Alcohol; women produce less of the gastric enzyme that breaks down ethanol in the stomach. Therefore, after consuming the same amount of alcohol, women have higher blood alcohol content than men – even allowing for size differences.

Through my years in practice I have observed that women who complain to their doctors about symptoms of which the doctor has no knowledge or ones that the doctor cannot fit into an established diagnostic entity are often given anti-depressants or tranquilizers. It used to be in vogue to give women hysterectomies to palliate their symptoms.

It seems to me that with a little more research and the intent to gather more information on gender specific diseases that our population of women will be best served. That being the case, we will preserve the caregivers. That being the case, we will preserve the children. That being the case, we will preserve humanity.

And we all know the bottom line. If Momma ain’t happy….ain’t nobody happy!!! God Bless Us All!

For information about this topic e-mail askDrNancy@aol.com.

Send me your requests for a column about your health interests or ask me a questions and I will answer it in my column.

May The Blessings Be!

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