Now I’ve never claimed to know much about women—even though I’ve spent most of my adult life trying everything possible to impress them. But if I’ve learned one thing about women, it’s to listen when they try to tell me something. From the research I’ve done recently about women’s health issues, a few things spoke loud and clear.
First of all, heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death among women (26% and 22%, respectively), followed by stroke (7%), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meanwhile, more than 62% of adult women in the U.S. are overweight and 34% are obese. Alongside cardiovascular disease, obesity is an underlying risk factor for arthritis, birth defects, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, gallbladder disease, infertility and urinary stress incontinence. Bone health is another major issue. Osteoporosis affects about 8 million women in the U.S. and as many as half of all women older than 50 will break a bone due to this disease.
On the surface, modern medicine has made great strides in addressing health concerns such as these and others, including obstetrics and maternal health. However, as if caring for a newborn infant wasn’t scary enough, I was appalled to learn the U.S. maternal mortality ratio has doubled—from 6.6 deaths per 100,000 births in 1987 to 13.3 deaths per 100,000 births in 2006—according to a new report from Amnesty International on pregnancy and childbirth care in the U.S. titled “Deadly Delivery.” American women are at greater risk of dying from pregnancy-related causes than women in 40 other countries. It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that the U.S. healthcare system also ranks 37th in the world, according to the United Nations. Will a new healthcare bill reverse this alarming travesty of a trend? One can hope, right?
And then there’s menopause, which brings along a host of delicate, health-related matters. (I think I started having hot flashes just reading about them.) Thankfully, there are many products on the market today designed to offer some relief in adjusting to this transitional time in a woman’s life.
According to Christopher Hobbs, a clinical herbalist and formulation expert with Rainbow Light Nutritional Systems, herbal remedies help balance hormones and assist in a range of other women’s health issues. His book “Women’s Herbs, Women’s Health,” co-authored with Kathi Keville, director of the American Herb Association, states: “Herbal remedies are time-honored allies for relieving symptoms associated with women’s health problems. They can even help us create balance, correct deficiencies, and restore the health and integrity of underlying tissues, organs, and systems that directly affect menstrual cycles, moods and emotions, and other aspects of health.”
Women today are asked to wear many hats. No doubt they have shoes to match each one because apparently it’s not enough to be good business executives and good mothers who have to manage their own health, plus their family’s health. They have to look good while doing it—or at least that’s the perception. Nearly two-thirds of women today feel more pressure to look good compared to previous generations, especially younger women, according to a survey from The Benchmarking Group.
Given all of these issues, there are plenty of opportunities to appeal to women. Getting (and staying) on Her good side is another story. For more on that topic and others look for my article coming this May.