Knowing the changes in anatomy, it’s not actually a surprise that several common illnesses look not the same in men and women. They might frequently present with diverse symptoms, and needs different diagnoses and treatments. However doctors and patients often still don’t know about those differences, which can cause them to wrongly diagnose possibly serious health issues or fail to give the treatment appropriately.
Below are a few diseases that often look different in men and women:
It is more frequently ignored in women. Heart attacks have a tendency to to attack women later in life usually during the age of 72 when compared to 65 for men but would be deadlier like 27 percent of women age 42 and older die in the year after their first heart attack when compared with 15 percent of men, as per the American Heart Association (AHA).
The symptoms normally differ in men and women. Women more regularly exhibit various delicate signs, such as back pain, jaw pain, nausea, vomiting or shortness of breath, as per the AHA, so chances of seeking medical help are less.
Generally, when a physician suspects a heart attack, one of the primary steps is to do an angiogram, which evaluates if any blocked coronary arteries. However, the test may skip a type of heart disease which is more common in women known as a coronary microvascular disease that harms the smaller arteries in the heart as per the National Institutes of Health. Hence, when an angiogram is fine in women, the physician can consider performing another test, known as intravascular ultrasound, to check the health of those smaller arteries.
Men or women who have had a heart attack must be given pills to protect their heart like low-dose aspirin as well as blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering drugs, and be sent to an exercise and counselling rehabilitation program. However, women do not get referred to this kind of rehab program or they might not go when referred.
Men tend to get this earlier when compared to women. Around 30 percent more men than women are detected with this and die. Men also incline to get the disease at a younger age like 65 compared with 72 in women. Here, the female hormones like estrogen and progesterone may act as defensive. However, after menopause, women start there is a thin line of a gap to this.
The symptoms usually differ in both men and women. They will have symptoms such as diarrhoea, rectal bleeding or constipation most often. Women are somewhat more possible to have tumours traced on the right side of the colon. Those cancers are likely to be more aggressive.
Both men and women should initiate screening for colon cancer at age 48. However, few studies state that men are more possibly to delay testing.
Depression is considered to be more common in women but is deadlier in men. Women are nearly twice as likely as men to be identified with depression. However, the possibility of killing themselves is more in men.
Symptoms of depression in men are totally different from that of women. In men, it can be more difficult to identify. The reason may be that it often seems not as sadness but as complaints of being irritable, tired, losing interest in their work, hobbies or family. More of this may be due to social expectations of how men think they should be. Depressed women more likely overeat, but men tend to lose their hunger and lose weight. Men also might use illegal drugs and alcohol to self-medicate, therefore hiding signs of depression.
Women will usually respond better than men to a regular class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). In both men and women, SSRIs have been associated with sexual problems like erection problems in men and decreased libido in women. Statistically, side effects are the most common reason people decide to stop antidepressants, as per a 2015 study in the journal Psychiatric Services.
It is recommended that men and women who have depression should go for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which is talk-based therapy prior to starting of antidepressants.
Generally, difficult for women to quit smoking. Women are less likely to quit smoking when compared to men. One possible reason could be that women do not respond as well to nicotine replacement techniques like nicotine patch or gum.
When compared to men, women have suffered from severe withdrawal symptoms, like cravings, depression, difficulty concentrating and anxiety.
If it is a menstruating woman, then they should plan the quit day to the period because withdrawal is usually worse in the second half of the menstrual cycle. Amongst the medicines used to aid people to stop smoking, Chantix works similarly well in both men and women, however, the antidepressant Wellbutrin seems to be less effective in women when compared to men.
In men, Alzheimer’s tends to begin after 60, a decade or so earlier when compared to women, and also it develops faster.
When we look at the symptoms in both the genders, men with Alzheimer’s are less likely to have noticeable memory loss, maybe because their hippocampus, which is the brain’s memory centre is less likely to be affected by the disease. They may be more likely to have behavioural symptoms like agitations and aggressiveness.
Women who undergo menopause before age 45 have a more chance of getting the disease. Hence, women with early menopause should consider hormone replacement therapy until they are 51, the normal age of natural menopause. Also, being overweight is most probably the reason for dementia in women when compared to men, as per an article in the journal Gender Medicine. In females, watching their and controlling the weight is very much important.
This is usually not treated in women. Men develop Parkinson’s when compared to women. Researchers are not sure of the reason but suspects may be due to estrogen which acts in defence for women.
In women, it takes a very long time to diagnose this disease relatively because their early symptoms are more refined. When compared to men with Parkinson’s, women tend to present with tremors and are more likely to experience depression.
In women, there are possibilities of missing the diagnosis of early stages of Parkinson’s and hence they do not get appropriate treatment. Women are 20 percent less likely to go to a neurologist. They require closer monitoring when on levodopa, which is considered the most effective drug, as they are prone to trembling and other side effects. Women also incline to wait for more for deep brain stimulation where the electrodes are implanted surgically into the brain which can help them.
Below are few tips to stay healthy and happy irrespective of gender:
- Exercising at least for 20 minutes which includes brisk walking or any kind of aerobics if possible.
- To get a minimum of six hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
- Excess carbohydrates should be avoided.
- Stress should be avoided completely.
- Going for a regular medical check-up, immunizations and screening tests. Always one should listen to their body and report any sounds of dissonance to the doctor.
- Take part in a relaxing recreation. Laughter is the best medicine. Fun and hopefulness expand health as well as happiness. Following these simple tips in daily life would definitely help one to enjoy their healthful lifestyle.