Young Women are Prone to Serious Diseases: Why Don’t You Believe?

We are used to hearing that young ladies are beacons of health; they are strong and never experience anything worse than flu once a year. However, it turns out it’s another myth, and a rather debilitating one. There are quite many conditions and diseases that target young ladies, and the fact that few people believe them when they say everything hurts – including doctors – aggravates the situation.

Image Credit: Spencer Platt/ gettyimages.com

Heart attacks

We always consider heart attacks, cancer and the like to be something distant, something that has to hit our old relatives first and target you only when you turn seventy-something. It appears that it’s not the case: coronary heart disease among females aged 29-45 is on the rise (it’s called SCAD), and while we do not know what is behind such dramatic changes in disease rates, there are many factors that may contribute to it. These include obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Many people fail to maintain the minimum level of physical activity, and pollution also contributes to degradation of our bodies. However, if even if you do exercise, it doesn’t mean you are on the safe side.

If you feel that something is wrong, for example, if you are experiencing pain, sweating, vomiting, fainting, or something else – heart attack symptoms may vary to a great extent – do not hesitate to call 9-1-1, as time matters. Do not neglect symptoms or dismiss them as something unimportant: there are many female patients who could have had their heart damaged less, had they called an ambulance earlier.

Medical bias often prevents women from treating many serious conditions, as their symptoms are neglected. Among other diseases that strike young women are the following:

  • Mental health issues. Depression among girls aged 14-18 is on the rise, and more young women are admitted to hospital as a result of self-harming behavior. Depression diagnosis rate has skyrocketed and is about 25% (as of 2015).
  • Endometriosis. It’s estimated that 10% of young ladies suffer from endometriosis, a condition that brings pain, because uterine tissue starts growing outside of the uterus.
  • Lupus. About 90% of patients with lupus, an autoimmune disease, are girls aged 15 to 34. The reason for it remains unknown, though some researchers say it could have something to do with estrogen or stress.
  • Among other diseases that often affect young females are dysmenorrhea, myasthenia gravis, type 2 diabetes, and polycystic ovary syndrome.

Further reading

If you want to read more on the issue, you can obtain a book written by Michele Lent Hirsch. She is a writer who underwent surgeries and treatments when she was in her 20s, as she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and Lyme disease, and had anaphylaxis. It’s hard to believe that so many health issues can strike one young lady in such a short period, but that’s what she experienced.

She has recently published a book in which she addresses the difficulties young women have to face when they are diagnosed with a disease. To her surprise, there are many ladies like her, and all of them report being lonely and failing to get support from other people – from friends to doctors, many people just do not believe a young female can have a serious condition. Some employers may even go as far as go tell the diseased employee to leave it “at the door”. Also, she discusses other aspects, such as financial issues.

Other groups of patients, like older men or senior women, are also prone to diseases, which are more likely to affect people of a certain age and gender. The message is that we don’t know that much about peculiarities of such cases, what mechanisms are involved, etc. Doing more research could help avoid delays in diagnostics and treatment. And please, take what people say seriously.

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