You knew that there were some illnesses that affect more women than men; breast cancer and osteoporosis, for example, are two diseases we hear about year in and year out.
But what about the other ones? What about the multitude of conditions that moms, sisters, daughters, and grandmothers tend to develop more frequently than dads, brothers, sons, and grandpas? Women are prone to everything from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to multiple sclerosis to stroke, and it’s about time we knew what to look out for.<
We spoke to Dr. Nieca Goldberg, Director of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Healthat New York University’s Langone Medical Center, about ailments that primarily target females—what they are, why women get them, and what we can do about them.
Odds are you’ve seen a woman with a smiley face-shaped scar at the base of her neck, a.k.a. the hallmark of thyroid surgery. You may even have one yourself, since, according to the American Thyroid Association, about 12 or 13 percent of women will be affected by a thyroid disorder at some point in their lives. “Women are seven times more likely to develop thyroid issues than men,” says Dr. Goldberg, “and women should understand that the treatment is very important because the thyroid is responsible for regulating metabolism.”
Conditions like hypothyroidism (fatigue, weight gain, etc.) and hyperthyroidism (fatigue, weight loss, etc.) come with a host of symptoms that can be easily dismissed or mistaken for other conditions, making thyroid disease easy to overlook. There’s good news, though, says Dr. Goldberg: “Because there’s more awareness, more women are being screened.” And that means treatment is more accessible than ever, as well.