The Top 3 Diseases Killing Black Women

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A woman smiling and relaxing on her bedThe good news? The leading threats to women’s health, at least the majority of them, can be prevented. The not-so-great part? Many people don’t know how.

So, first step: read the below list of the top conditions and diseases that threaten women’s lives the most. Second step: get serious about reducing your risks.

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1. Heart disease

Read: Myths About Black Women & Heart Disease

Heart disease isn’t just a man’s disease — it’s also a major women’s health threat. Take charge of heart health by making healthier lifestyle choices. For example:

How to save your heart…

• Don’t smoke. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, ask your doctor to help you quit. It’s also important to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.

• Eat a healthy diet. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods and lean sources of protein, such as fish. Limit foods high in saturated fat and sodium.

• Manage chronic conditions. If you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations. If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under control.

• Include physical activity in your daily routine. Choose sports or other activities you enjoy, from brisk walking to a cardio kickboxing class.

• Maintain a healthy weight. Extra pounds increase the risk of heart disease.

• Limit alcohol. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. Too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure.

• Manage stress. If you feel constantly on edge or under assault, your lifestyle habits may suffer. Take steps to reduce stress — or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways.

2. Cancer

Read: What Do The New Cervical Screening Guidelines Mean For You?

Various types of cancer are of particular concern to women, including breast cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer and colorectal cancer. To reduce the risk of cancer, consider these general tips:

How to reduce your cancer risks…

• Don’t smoke. Using any type of tobacco puts you on a collision course with cancer. Avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke counts, too.

• Maintain a healthy weight. Losing excess pounds — and keeping them off — may lower the risk of various types of cancer.

• Get moving. In addition to helping you control your weight, physical activity on its own may lower the risk of certain types of cancer.

• Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Although making healthy selections at the grocery store and at mealtime can’t guarantee cancer prevention, it may help reduce your risk.

• Protect yourself from the sun. When you’re outdoors, cover up and use plenty of sunscreen.

• Limit alcohol. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. The risk of various types of cancer — including cancer of the breast, colon, lung, kidney and liver — increases with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you’ve been drinking regularly.

• Breast-feed, if you can. Breast-feeding may help reduce the risk of breast cancer.

• Take early detection seriously. Consult your doctor for regular mammograms and other cancer screenings.

3. Stroke

Read: The Silent Killer In Your Veins

You can’t control some stroke risk factors, such as family history, age and race. But you can control other contributing factors.

How to prevent stroke…

• Manage chronic conditions. If you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations. If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under control.

• Don’t smoke. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, ask your doctor to help you quit.

• Make healthy lifestyle choices. Eat a healthy diet, being especially careful to limit foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol.

• Include physical activity in your daily routine. If you’re overweight, lose excess pounds.

• Limit alcohol. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation — for women, no more than one drink a day.

Prevention Start NOW!

It’s important to understand common women’s health risks, but don’t feel intimidated. Instead, do whatever you can to lead a healthy lifestyle — including eating a healthy diet, staying physically active, quitting smoking and getting regular checkups. Simple preventive measures can go a long way toward reducing your health risks.

Originally seen on http://blackdoctor.org/

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