Medical Monday: Women’s Health Week

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 4:48 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -This week is National Women’s Health Week. Vanessa Symonick spoke with a women’s healthcare provider to discuss the importance of women taking care of themselves and keeping up on regular screenings.

Behnoosh Dashti: “Women often experience different types of diseases, majority of them are not gender specific. something like heart disease is pretty prevalent and common in women than men although it’s less common, but it’s still the second most common cause of mortality in women.”

National Women’s Health Week is an opportunity to shine a light on the ways women should take care of their health. Dr. Behnoosh (Beh-Noush) Dashti (Dah-shtee) is a primary care provider at the women’s health clinic at AR Gould and says in addition to heart disease, some of the conditions that are specific to women are breast cancer and cervical cancer. She says it’s important to be screened for those conditions regularly. But she says women will often push off these screens as they put others before themselves when it comes to seeking advice or guidance from their primary care provider about certain medical conditions. This can have serious impacts on mental health.

Dashti: “Many times when women have caregiving roles, they feel guilty about spending time for themselves or taking care of themselves which usually has a counterproductive effect because down the road gradually you might get to burnout and won’t be able to even provide the best care to their loved ones which is their main goal”.

Not seeking care in a timely manner, she says, can also have financial impacts down the road.

Dashti: “Sometimes you know the resources of the family is limited and if someone has major problems, medical problems in the family, those available resources are devoted because we feel guilty for spending that even for our primary care. We need to be aware that down the road, it can end up having more serious medical issues which will need more money and more financial resources out there”.

One of the main resources she recommends to avoid that feeling of burnout and financial pinch is support and help from others.

Dashti: “Try to expand your supportive networks. Get more in touch with friends, family, or even people who are having similar roles”.

Finally she sends this message when it comes to making sure women maintain a healthy lifestyle in their day-to-day life.

Dashti: “Think about yourself, prioritize yourself. Care about your health and wellbeing”.

She adds it’s important to see your primary care provider at least once a year to discuss preventative measures and screenings as well as any issues that you may think could have impacts on your health down the road. Vanessa Symonick Newssource 8.