From our ancestors, till now scientific evidence shows, our DNA is 99.99% the same as our friends or family? Surprised? Don’t be. Even our neighboring living evolutionary relatives’ chimpanzees are 96% genetically similar to us‼
But she/ he even chimpanzees do not look similar to you. Besides those 99.9% similarities, there is always one similar question that arises in minds: why do women face different signs and symptoms than males in the case of certain diseases? So, is the genetic factor only responsible? If so, what are the common health conditions seen in men and women?
Today, we will discuss all these questions regarding this topic but before that let’s talk about the factors that create different health conditions in men and women.
There are three main factors responsible for different health conditions in men and women:
- Hormone’s fluctuations
- Genes and chromosomes
Many common health conditions men and women both suffer from. Asides from all, common health conditions are discussed:
There is a quite rare story that heart attack signs are in female chests more than males. In men, heart attacks are more likely to occur earlier, with no signs and symptoms at all. During a heart attack, women have nausea or vomiting, commonly misdiagnosed as acid reflux. During menopause, women’s chance of having a heart attack rises more.
Unlike chest pain seen in men, for three or four weeks before a heart attack woman shares symptoms such as-
- Having shortness of breath
- Feeling pain in neck, jaw, or back
- Feeling extremely fatigue
With the good news women live a longer life than men there is also a bad that women develop stroke risk as their age. As a leading cause of disability, sudden weakness on one side, loss of speech and balance, and disorientation, a woman may also suffer from other symptoms such as hiccups, convulsions. In fact, women tend to recover from strokes at a slower rate than men. You may ask what are the risk factors behind this issue?
Besides high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history, and smoking in men or women, risk factors such as-
- Having High blood during pregnancy
- Consuming birth control pills
- Having hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
are risk factors for having strokes in women over men.
Osteoporosis is a common health condition seen in women mostly because cases of osteoporosis in men are just overlooked. In this condition, your bones become weaker, more fragile. You may know that menstrual cycles in women are controlled by estrogen. Moreover, it has a role in bone health by metabolizing calcium, essential for bone health. When menopause periods are started estrogen stops producing and osteoporosis may develop. Whereas in men, the causes of osteoporosis are quite unknown.
Though reports say that, men’s testosterone helps to keep bone density well. As men age, the production of testosterone gets lower and causes osteoporosis. Besides that, steroid tablets, an unhealthy lifestyle, or hypogonadism may cause this condition.
Urinary Tract Infection
As the name suggests, a urinary tract infection is an infection of the bladder or urinary tract caused by E. coli, commonly seen in women rather than men. Pain when urinating, pain in the lower back, murky or odorous urine, fever and chills, and a strong need to pee are common symptoms.
In part, because women’s urethrae are shorter than men’s, germs can easily infiltrate the urethra, creating an infection. Some may be surprised that like women, men can suffer from UTI. Male UTIs are more infrequent and are usually caused by an obstruction, having kidney stones, and enlarged prostate.
In MS conditions, the immune system attacks the myelin sheath that protects the neurons in the central nervous system, affecting more women than males. In healthy persons, myelin protects nerve fibers. Although myelin is not affected by MS, it can be damaged if it is inflamed. Issues with muscular control and strength as well as with vision, balance, sensation, and mental function can be seen.
In men, higher development of primary progressive MS and cognitive symptoms are commonly worse than in females. Besides hormonal contribution in MS, it was found that S1PR2 protein controls the permeability of the blood-brain barrier, is more widespread in those with MS patients and women produced more this protein than men.
A neurological disorder, Parkinson’s disease impairs movement, muscular control, and balance in a variety of ways. Men and women suffer from Parkinson’s disease and have a unique motor- non-motor symptoms.
As a result of recurrent falls and more severe pain syndromes, women develop motor symptoms later in life. Male PD patients have more severe postural difficulties, the overall cognitive ability can be even worse. In women, severe symptoms like fatigue, depression, restless legs, constipation, pain, loss of taste or smell, weight change, and excessive sweating are commonly seen.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
A serious health concern of Americans is sexually transmitted infections (STDs), which affect men and women in different ways.
In one study, as a more prevalent STDs Herpes simplex virus type 2, women have a greater incidence of it with asymptomatic conditions than males. It is because of females’ thinner vaginal lines and ideal conditions for bacterial development. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are less common in women, whereas in males, chlamydia, Genital herpes, Genital warts and human papillomavirus (HPV), gonorrhea, HIV are commonly seen.
You might not think a little butterfly-shaped thyroid gland, as important as your heart or brain. But do you know?
Your thyroid makes hormones that regulate metabolism. There is a larger chance of thyroid issues in women than in males, and it can be in various ways. Aside from women being more susceptible to autoimmune diseases than males, thyroid hormone fluctuations, responsible for thyroid problems that are so common in women.
Despite the fact that hypothyroidism is more commonly seen in women than men, many of the symptoms are the same for both genders. Such as tiredness, cold sensitivity, muscular weakness, and cramping as well as constipation, weight gain, and edema. Hypothyroidism can affect exercise capacity, physical performance, and libido in both genders. Though men may also experience erectile dysfunction,.
You may be surprised to learn that despite external appearance, men and women have identical breasts. In both, BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations and generation of estrogen at a certain amount may raise the risk of breast cancer. Therefore, why do so few males have breast cancers?
With the generation of more estrogen than males, females have a higher number of ducts and lobules where most women’s breast cancers develop. Unlike women, men have fewer and smaller ducts, and may not have lobules at all.
Acquired gene mutations may raise cancer risk, but they are likely to impact men and women in distinct ways. For example, prostate cancer, not breast cancer, is more common in males with BRCA mutations. But according to research, males may be more likely to die than women, in the first five years after diagnosis. And causes can be inappropriate therapy, late diagnosis.
Many people suffer from anxiety disorders, but women suffer from anxiety disorders at a rate nearly twice as high as males. Overbooked schedules, stressful work, or troubled relationships may seem to be the root cause of this excessive anxiety.
Different brain chemistry and hormonal changes might be the cause to differ. Hormonal changes related to reproductive events in a woman’s life have been linked to anxiety. Especially in obsessive-compulsive disorder, the role of estrogen and progesterone is significant. Other than biological differences, women appear to perceive and respond to events in their lives in a very different way than men do.”
Besides all these conditions, there are other health conditions such as bladder problems, chronic fatigue, Migraines, Carpal tunnel syndrome or Trichotillomania which can be seen as more common in both genders.
It doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman, knowing details of any diseases helps you to raise awareness and boosts your courage to be healthy all-time. So, like we always say, to get fit, maintain a healthy lifestyle which makes your life happier than ever. That’s all about today.