When it comes to health and personal well-being, differences between men and women are more than just biological. In the article below, we will focus on most prominent differences between the two sexes and how to best help each to live long and thrive in great health.
As per statistics, men are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack during their lifetime. Therefore, most of the research that concentrates on heart disease is focused on men. That being said, while research is mostly focused on men and heart disease prevention, signs and treatments, it also means that studies are not enough focused on women. Women’s signs of heart attack are less dramatic than men’s and often go unrecognized until it’s almost too late.
One survey of an American Heart Association found that women were more concerned about breast cancer and only small fraction of those women thought they could be killed by a heart attack. However, statistics say that women are five times more likely to suffer a heart attack than get breast cancer.
Potential heart attack symptoms in women are: discomfort of their jaw, throat, neck and/or shoulder. Often, but not always, they will experience chest pain.
Potential heart attack symptoms in men are: pain and tightening of chest, arms and back, nausea, heartburn, sudden dizziness, shortness of breath.
Takeaway for both sexes: insist on having your heart checked if you suspect a problem or think that you may suffer a heart attack.
Most people experience stress due to financial worries, health issues, family problems or work struggles. Men and women experience similar stress levels although women are more likely to report symptoms such as headaches or indigestion.
Takeaway for both sexes: Connect with yourself internally frequently through the day to assess your stress levels. If your stress level is over 5 on a scale from 1 to 10, it is time to take some preemptive measures to deal with stress. Control your breathing, go for a walk in nature and relax your body. Call a friend and go out for a quick get together.
Research suggests that women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression than men. Some of the difference in the diagnostic numbers could be accounted to women experiencing major hormonal changes that they may experience during pregnancy or menopause. While women are more often diagnosed with depression, it appears that men are under-diagnosed because as depression is an illness that some people may perceive not manly enough. Stereotypes such as this one can put man in danger of suffering from depression and not being treated for it, which may lead to further health problems down the road.
Takeaway for both sexes: Your mental health care is just as important as taking care of your body. Invest in self-care, surround yourself with supportive family members and friends and value yourself.
Average life expectancy for women is 83 years old and for men is 79 years old. The difference may lay in the fact that women are more likely to go to the doctors when they suffer from even mild health issues, whereas men often tend to end up with serious illnesses that are not diagnosed early enough such as heart disease or deadly forms of cancer.
Takeaway for both sexes: In a study of more than 2000 senior people, regular exercise was associated with 30% lower risk of death. Try walking briskly, jogging, swimming, cycling, yoga for increased and better quality life span.
Women account of almost two-thirds of all diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease. Research suggests that this may be due to specific sex and genetic components along with hormonal differences. Women that are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are more likely to see fast mental decline as the disease seem to progress faster in women than men.
Takeaway for both sexes: One study of 1.5 million people suggested that Mediterranean diet may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by astonishing 13%. This diet that consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, olive oil and fish is considered to be healthiest diet on the planet.
It appears that more women than men are more likely to develop cancer during their lifespan. This may be due to lifestyle choices and biological factors. Some cancers, such as breast cancer are more prevalent in women whereas abdominal cancer appears to favour men.
Takeaway for both sexes: Limit your consumption of alcohol, or better yet, don’t drink at all. Alcohol consumption has been linked with breast cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer and more. Don’t smoke and avoid second hand smoking as well.
Colds and Flu
Women tend to get a cold more often than men, while men experience more symptoms when they start sniffling. A female sex hormone estrogen may offer to women some protection from flu virus which results in fewer symptoms. Research suggest that “man flu” may be a real thing. Men, once they are hit with the flu, may suffer stronger symptoms.
Takeaway for both sexes: Wash your hands often through the day for at least 20 seconds. Improve your immunity with natural immunity boosters such as garlic, probiotics and echinacea. If nothing else succeeds, watch comedies on TV, laughter is the best medicine for any health issues.
Men need less sleep in order to feel well-rested. On average, women need 20 more minutes of sleep daily more than men. Women, more often than men suffer from sleep problems such as insomnia and restless leg syndrome.
Takeaway for both sexes: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Yes, even on the weekend. If you suffer from insomnia, try moderate exercise throughout the day but avoid exercising at least 3 hours before bedtime. Natural sleep supplements such as melatonin and magnesium may help you fall asleep faster.
Best supplements for both men and women
While the supplements below may benefit for men and women, check with your medical doctor if particular supplements are right for you.
- Probiotics are used to prevent gas, upset stomach and other side effects of antibiotics. Probiotics help healthy bacteria in our body to thrive and restore digestive balance. Don’t forget prebiotics, which are food for probiotics. Prebiotics are found in fruits and vegetables that have fibre. Even if you find it confusing, eat lots of fruits and vegetables while supplementing with probiotics.
- Vitamin D is necessary for maintaining healthy bones. Supplements are pretty much essential during winter months when most people don’t get enough of sunshine. If you can get at least 20 minutes of direct sunshine daily, there is no need to supplement.
- Omega 3s are essential fatty acid that lower risk of heart disease and inflammation in the body. This fatty acid has also been linked with improved mood.
Best supplements for men
- Men’s multivitamins are recommended as men are less likely than women to get their recommended daily dosage of fruits and vegetables. This is especially important when pizza and beer seem more appealing than avocado and green smoothie.
- CoQ10 is a coenzyme well known for treatment of heart failure and other related heart conditions such as high blood pressure. This coenzyme has powerful antioxidant capabilities and helps improve exercise performance.
- Lypocene is very important antioxidant and is also responsible for giving tomatoes their rich red colour. Lypocene is beneficial for heart disease and cardiovascular prevention. It has also been linked with lower risk or prostate cancer.
Best supplements for women
- Women’s multivitamins are important to fill in any gap in nutrition, especially on those days when chocolate and ice cream win over any other sensible choice. That being said, multivitamins are especially important for premenopausal women as they usually contain extra folic acid and iron.
- Iron deficiency is more detected in women than men as women lose iron every month due to period. Signs of low iron in blood are feeling of tiredness, being cold all the time, difficulty exercising etc. Iron deficiency is detected through the simple blood test and can be treated with iron supplements or iron-rich foods such as red meat, beans and leafy green vegetables.
- Calcium deficiency increases risk of osteoporosis and other bone related health issues. Women that take calcium and Vitamin D supplements have lower incident of fractures compared to the ones that don’t.