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medical symptoms women shouldnt ignore

Constant Fatigue and Tiredness

Even with an overwhelming number of responsibilities to take care of, exhaustion and tiredness is something a woman just shouldn’t ignore.

If you get tired sometimes due to a busy schedule and feel energetic again after proper rest, then it is not a big deal. However, if fatigue has become a regular part of your life, it can be a classic case of chronic fatigue syndrome.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 1 and 4 million Americans suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome and it is four times more common in women than men.

Constant fatigue could also be a sign of a medical problem. There are several medical conditions linked to fatigue, including depression, liver failure, anemia, cancer, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, thyroid disease, sleep apnea and diabetes.

A 2008 study published in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology indicates that fatigue is more predominant in women than men.

Plus, the differences in fatigue between males and females depend on both the presence of testosterone and the activation of ASIC3, an acid-activated ion channel protein.

New Moles

Be it men or women, everyone has moles on their skin. On average, most people have at least 10 moles and they can appear anywhere on the body. Women in particular should keep a close eye on their moles, as changes in moles can be associated with melanoma.

A 2015 study published in the British Journal of Dermatology looked at 3,594 twins and found that women with more than seven moles on their right arm were nine times more likely to have more than 50 moles on their whole body. A higher number of moles means a higher risk of melanoma.

Women should be aware of the ABCDE’s of melanoma, which is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation and American Academy of Dermatology to help detect a problem.

It provides an easy way to remember what to look for when checking the moles on your body. Take note of moles that have:

A – an asymmetrical shape
B – uneven borders
C – changed in color
D – changed in diameter
E – evolved over time, increasing in size or bleeding.

You also should not disregard a new spot if you get one. These are all reasons to have a mole evaluated by a specialist.

Breast Lumps

Any kind of redness, swelling or lump in one or both of your breasts may signal breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass.

While a painless, hard lump with irregular edges is more likely to be cancerous, even a tender, soft or rounded lump that is painful can be cancerous.

Along with lumps, swelling or discoloration (purple or red spots) may be signs of inflammatory breast cancer.

Apart from cancer, breast lumps and other problems can be due to hormonal changes in the body, a breast infection or fat necrosis (damaged tissue). Hence, any kind of lump, swelling or pain in the breast needs to be checked by a doctor.

The National Cancer Institute recommends that women older than 40 get a mammogram every 1 to 2 years to detect signs of breast cancer early.

Chest Pain or Discomfort

Any kind of chest pain or discomfort should never be taken lightly as it can indicate heart disease, one of the main causes of death in women.

Even though cardiovascular disease accounts for 43 percent of all female deaths in the United States, women still ignore chest pain or attribute it to heartburn or indigestion. This contributes to late diagnosis of heart disease.

Women are often diagnosed with coronary artery disease at a much older age than men. Prior to menopause, the female hormone estrogen helps maintain adequate levels of “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which is important for cardiovascular health.

But, after menopause, the ovaries stop making estrogen. Thus, women become more prone to heart disease after menopause, due to the lower estrogen level in the body.

Along with chest pain, if you experience weakness, hot flashes, shortness of breath, cold sweats and pain in the left arm or shoulder, immediately see a doctor.