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пятница, 20 января 2017 г.

Going bald, chest pains, a dodgy liver – scary ailments that used to be associated with blokes now affect us girls.

Here’s how to man up

Brace yourself for a bloke-like lurgy

When it comes to being ill, we all know that us ladies are much better at recovering from our maladies than men. And it's no wonder. Statistics over the years have shown that some of the nastiest ailments around hit guys more than girls - and we're not just talking 'man flu'. But it seems times are changing, and new research has found that more and more females are suffering from so-called 'male illnesses'. "Women's lifestyles and behaviours have changed," says psychiatrist Dr Alex Yellowlees. "They're more likely to compete with men in their working, drinking and social habits, and now they're seeing the effects of this on their health too." Here are some warning signs to look out for...
HEART DISEASE




Think a dicky ticker is just for 50-year-old bankers? Recent Danish studies found that women are now twice as likely to suffer from heart disease, with high-flying gals under 50 being the most affected. "Stress makes your body release the hormone cortisol, which causes your heart to beat faster and your blood pressure to rise," explains Fotini Rozakeas of the British Heart Foundation.
Warning signs Tiredness, anxiety, disturbed sleep and shortness of breath.
Man up! Try the new emWave Personal Stress Reliever, £125 (Amazon.co.uk). It may be pricey but this handheld gadget monitors your pulse through a thumb sensor while a visual display guides your breathing.
GOUT




Yep, that's right, gout - swollen, painful joints - the medieval-sounding disease that affected old, fat, ale-swilling men, is the latest illness trend for women today. And it's not just a banquet-style diet of rich food that's going to cause gout - drinking too much alcohol and fizzy drinks, and eating lots of red meat can also be a trigger. "Gout is still seen as an old man's condition, but it's incredibly painful and caused when uric acid crystals from too much rich food and fizz get into your blood stream and attack your joints," explains rheumatologist Professor Kelsey Jordan. Over time it can lead to misshapen hands and feet. In the last two decades, the number of women with gout has doubled, and the UK's Gout Society has reported a recent rise in the number of calls from women in their 30s and 40s. Time to skip that steak 'n' champers perhaps...
Warning signs Similar to the actual symptoms: hot, swollen, painful joints, especially in the big toe, foot, ankle and fingertips.
Man up! "Gout is the only curable form of arthritis," says Professor Jordan. "If it's caught early, we treat it with anti-inflammatory drugs, so see your doctor at the first sign of sudden hot, swelling instead of just taking painkillers as many women do."
MOUTH CANCER




For decades, it's affected six times more men than women but in the last 10 years, for every two cases of mouth cancer in men, there's now one in women. "Women drinking and smoking more is a key cause of increased mouth cancers," says Dr Nigel Carter from the Dental Health Foundation. "And rather than the women who do develop it being in their 50s, we're now seeing about 25 per cent of new cases developing in women their 40s," says Dr Carter.
Warning signs A mouth ulcer that doesn't heal for up to three weeks, red or white patches in the mouth, a lump in the neck area.
Man up! See your GP or dentist at the first sign. "Catching the disease early can mean the difference between simply having the lesion or lump removed and needing surgery on your jaw or tongue if it's left too late," says Dr Carter.
LIVER DISEASE




It's your wind-down from work, but that regular glass or two of Pinot could be causing the same type of damage as those blokes downing pints in the boozer. Last year, a study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found the number of women aged between 35-54 dying of liver-related disease has doubled in 15 years. Professor Rajiv Jalan, consultant hepatologist (that's a liver expert, FYI) at the London Clinic, says: "Women's bodies are more affected by alcohol than men's - they have a lower level of the key enzyme needed to process alcohol, which means they get drunk quicker - so more alcohol reaches the liver."
Warning signs Chronic tiredness, feeling unwell, flu-like symptoms or jaundice - but often there are no signs. "If you've been drinking more than 14 units a week for six months or more, then you could be at risk of liver disease," says Prof Jalan.
Man up! Limit your intake to 14 units a week with no more than three drinks at one sitting. Worried? Ask your GP for a liver function blood test.
HAIR LOSS




Ten years ago, 60 per cent of leading trichologist Dr David Kingsley's patients were men. Today, almost 90 per cent are female. "Women are juggling home, work, and children, and the resulting pressure is causing an epidemic of hair loss," he says. "Women tend to suffer from gradual thinning - where the hair cycle is disturbed by stress or diet. For example, B vitamins are essential to hair health...and when we're stressed, these are the first nutrients the body uses up in bucketloads." Other causes include low protein and iron levels, thyroid problems and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Warning signs More hair coming out on your hairbrush, an increasingly wide parting or being able to see the scalp more clearly when your hair is wet.
Man up! Your GP can test iron levels and for PCOS and thyroid problems. Two treatments that may help are the topical solution Regaine For Women, £24.99 (from chemists) or the food hair-growth supplement Nourkin, £39.99, from Boots.

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