Not all women here in Singapore know about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). It is time that you need to be aware of PCOS because it may inflict you. PCOS is a condition in which your progesterone and oestrogen hormones are out of balance. If it is ignored, it can lead to ovarian cyst. PCOS can affect a woman’s appearance, fertility and menstrual cycle.
It is about time that you understand PCOS. Here are the things that you should know about it:
The disappointing thing is that there is no exact cause of this condition however doctors believe that genetics and hormonal imbalances play a major role. In most cases, a woman may develop PCOS if her mother/sister has the condition. Another factor may be the overproduction of androgen hormone. Androgen is actually a male hormone but a woman’s body also produce such. If a woman produces higher levels of androgen, then she can develop PCOS.
The symptoms of PCOS will start after a woman start to menstruate however the severity and the type varies. The common symptom is irregular menstrual periods. You already know that the condition is marked by decrease in female sex hormones. When this happens, a woman tend to develop more male characteristics like thinning hair, decreasing of breast size, deeper voice and excess hair on stomach, chest and even the chest. Other symptoms consist of infertility, acne, anxiety, depression, weight gain and even pelvic pain.
There is no test that can accurately identify PCOS. To make such diagnosis, the doctor will need to evaluate your medical history and consider your symptoms then conduct series of test to rule our possible conditions. Your doctor will accomplish pelvic examination and look if ovaries or clitoris is swollen. Blood tests could also be ordered because it can measure your hormone levels.
You have to know that the treatment is not curative. This means that the treatments will only focus on controlling the symptoms as well as preventing the complications. The least thing that you can do is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It will start with your diet as well as regular exercise.
PCOS can lead to complications like hypertension, breast cancer, high cholesterol, diabetes, anxiety, depression, heart attack, sleep apnoea and even endometrial cancer. If you are pregnant, you have to be careful because if you have PCOS, you are at risk of miscarriage. The earlier PCOS is treated, the lower your risk of developing such complications.
Although the cases of breast cancer among teenage girls in Singapore is small, it’s never too early to teach your daughter about breast cancer prevention and breast health, especially if you have a history of cancer in your family. To make this process easier and less awkward for you and your daughter, here are some helpful tips on how to discuss breast-related issues with your daughter.
1. Teach By Example
Even if your daughter would never admit it, she’ll look to you for guidance and if she sees you are taking care of your own breasts, it’ll encourage her to take care of hers as well. As a mom, you can teach by demonstrating. You can model an overall healthy lifestyle, exercise, and limit your alcohol intake.
If possible, talk about the disease if it has occurred in a friend or a family member. Discuss about when they should be getting their first breast cancer screening tests, as well as the importance of being aware of the changes happening in their bodies. Remember that making breast cancer a comfortable topic to discuss will raise your daughter’s awareness of the disease and curiosity to learn more about it.
2. Encourage Her to Know Her Breasts
Breast awareness is the key to prevent breast cancer and catch it early enough for a successful treatment. As early as now, your daughter should get to know her breasts and be aware of the changes that’ll occur as she matures. As young girls enter puberty stage, their breasts go through some changes as they start to develop into the mature system of lobes and ducts. Unlike the breasts of older women, young breasts have a lesser proportion of fat compared to breast tissue, making them feel very dense. As she gets older, her breasts will start to become softer and feel looser, especially during and after being pregnant.
Inform your daughter that her breasts will go through such changes throughout her teen and young adult years. But if she happens to detect any unnatural changes in her breasts such as lumps, advise her to seek the help of her healthcare provider in getting breast cancer screening tests.
3. Inform Her About Your Breast Cancer Family History
One of the best things that you can do to protect your daughter from breast cancer is to let her know about any breast cancer history in your family. Make her understand that the disease could be passed on from generation to the next through a variety of mutated genes.
Before doing a screen for breast cancer in Singapore and apart from informing her about the medical history of first-degree relatives, you should also consider informing your child about the medical history of your second- and third-degree relatives. By doing this, your daughter will be able to properly inform her doctor about your family history by the time she undergoes several clinical exams and breast cancer screening Singapore tests.
4. Raise Breast Cancer Awareness Without Using Fear
How you approach your daughter about breast cancer influences her feelings and thoughts about the disease. You certainly wouldn’t want to bring up the issue in a way that keeps her up at night worrying whether or not she has it, particularly given that teenage girls rarely get diagnosed with the disease.
The incidence of breast cancer among teen girls is so small that it isn’t often reported in the national breast cancer statistics. Still, Singapore health experts believe that sensibly talking about the disease will make it less frightening for your daughter and will greatly help in empowering her to be proactive about her own breast health.
5. Urge Her to Join Breast Cancer Awareness Groups and Programs
Although no cure has still been found for breast cancer, early detection and education programs continue to serve as women’s strong defences against the disease. So encourage your daughter to take part in breast cancer awareness groups that push women, young and old alike, to know what is normal for their own breasts and to seek their doctor’s advice regarding any changes in their breasts.
You and your daughter can learn more and help spreading awareness about the disease by getting involved in groups that promote breast cancer campaigns. Through this, women of all ages are able to educate themselves and get their friends involved in their own breast health.
Other Quick Tips to Teen Breast Health
Apart from the aforementioned tips, you can also use the following checklist to teach your daughter about breast cancer and their breast health.
• Encourage her to be aware of her breast health, and to inform you or a doctor if there’s a persistent change in her breasts that just doesn’t feel right.
• Inform your daughter’s physician about your family history of breast cancer, and discuss its risk factors and prevention with your daughter.
• Teach your daughter to make healthy lifestyle choices to reduce her breast cancer risk.
• Motivate her to learn more about the disease so it’ll seem less frightening, and give her the ability to support relatives or friends who are diagnosed with the disease.
• Guide her towards quality books and websites that provide accurate information about breast health and cancer prevention strategies like breast self-exams, regular doctor visit and risk factor reduction
Teaching your daughter about the importance of breast health care and breast cancer prevention will surely keep her safe from the disease, and spread the awareness through her friends. So talk to your child about breast cancer today, and together, take the pledge to know your ‘girls’ more.
Periods are no fun thanks to cramps, fatigue, bloating, cravings, and a generally sour mood that always catch you off guard during that time of the month. On your next period, spoil yourself with these foods to help ease its annoying symptoms.
- Coffee. There’s a reason why caffeine is an important ingredient in Midol. When you feel crampy and lethargic, make yourself a big cup of Joe. It will give you an instant boost of energy that will get you off the couch.
- Almond Butter. During your period, it’s important to get sufficient amount of fibre and protein to help stabilize blood sugar and thus reduce your cravings for unhealthy foods. Slather a good spread of almond butter on apple slices when afternoon hunger strikes in.
- Wheat Bread. Whole grains are excellent source of vitamins and minerals. It contains magnesium, which helps reduce muscle tension; and vitamins B and E, which fights fatigue and depression. Use wheat breads instead of white ones to make your sandwiches. Also, it’s a perfect pair for almond butter!
- Oysters. Your body’s iron level drops down as you lose blood. Therefore, it’s important to replenish your body’s iron supply by consuming iron-rich foods such as oysters, kale, spinach, and red meats.
- Watermelon. We know you want chocolates and gummy bears. But you’ll benefit the most if you go for natural sugars and fibre-rich fruits and veggies. Watermelon is an excellent source of fibre, which fight away bloating and diarrhea. Plus, it’s sweet so it’ll also satisfy any sugar craving.
- Tea. It seems like there’s nothing tea can’t do. It’s great for the skin, the digestive system, and overall health—including menstrual health. If you’re not a coffee lover, chamomile tea is a good alternative. It relieves muscle spasms and relieves muscle tension that causes cramps. Feeling nauseous and bloated? Go for ginger tea.
Having your period is like going through a hell week. But instead of letting this rough time drain the life in you, make a few small changes to make things a lot better. You’ll be surprised how well your body responds, if you put only the right things in it.