Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

You’ve heard of osteoporosis, a Greek word which means porous bones––a potentially dangerous health condition that decreases bone strength and increases risk of fracture. This “silent disease” is symptomless, weakening your bones without you knowing until a fracture occurs. And sometimes, even a fracture can happen without you being aware of it––only a third of vertebral fractures are actually clinically diagnosed, which is why getting tested for this disease is so crucial, especially if you are a woman. The chances of developing osteoporosis increase when a woman reaches menopause.

When we get older we don’t bounce anymore, we break,” Dr. Joseph Feuerstein, Director of Integrative Medicine at Stamford Hospital, and Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University, tells The Remedy. Prevention packs a powerful punch. Start early to best keep bone loss at bay.

Recommendation: The best way to impact your bone health is by getting enough vitamin D, and calcium, says Harvard Medical School. Another smart move? Get moving. Weight-bearing exercises like walking, jogging, or jumping rope are also bone strengthening!

7 Hypothyroidism
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Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits low on the front of your neck. Its primary role is to regulate your metabolism. With an underactive thyroid, you’re not producing enough thyroid hormone for your body to function well. But hypothyroidism warning signs are notoriously sneaky, with common symptoms like fatigue, sensitivity to cold, and overall sluggishness being easy to miss as they’re subtle and can be explained by other things.

Dr. Feuerstein takes it a step further by screening for subclinical hypothyroidism––which is when your “levels are still in a normal range, but your thyroid is struggling to keep up.” He says: “The way we see that is in elevated levels of TSH—thyroid stimulating hormone—produced in your brain’s pituitary gland. Levels of TSH start to go up and up, a sign that your body is compensating for the thyroid that’s not working properly.”

Getting tested matters: Low thyroid can lead to weight gain, cardiovascular disease, fertility issues, depression, and more. Ask your doctor if you might have subclinical or standard hypothyroidism.

Recommendation: One person out of every 20 has hypothyroidism in the USA, which is why getting lab results is so important, especially if you have a family history of thyroid conditions. If you’re found to be low, it can be remedied easily with medication!

8 Diabetes
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The stats are eye-popping enough to spike your heart rate, if not your blood sugar: According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 100 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes—and up to a third do not even know it. Ninety to 95 percent of these cases are type 2 diabetes, which is linked to being overweight. Diabetes often develops gradually, as insulin production in the pancreas slows. You could have the disease for years and not know—which can spell danger for your eyes, heart, kidneys, and nervous system. If you have a family history of diabetes—make sure to get checked for the first time by age 45, especially if you’re overweight.

Recommendation: Much of this is reversible with diet and lifestyle changes. Following a low carb or ketogenic diet is very helpful for managing type 2 diabetes. Check out The 50 Best Foods for Diabetes for some healthy eating inspiration.

9 Anemia
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“Younger women, many are anemic, and they have no clue about it. And it’s so easy to treat—but you need to know you have it,” shared Dr. Feuerstein. “I had one patient that came to see me because she was losing her hair and felt a bit fatigued. She came for hair loss and found out she was anemic.”

Feeling tired or weak? Have heavy or frequent periods? It could be anemia, a condition where you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry sufficient oxygen to your body’s tissues, making you feel tired and weak. At first, anemia can be so slight that it goes unnoticed––but symptoms become more pronounced as anemia worsens.

Recommendation: Eating healthy foods can help you avoid both iron-and vitamin-deficiency anemia. Foods to eat include those with:

High levels of iron: dark green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, raw nuts, beef
Vitamin B-12: meat and dairy
Folic acid: more dark green leafy vegetables, citrus juices, legumes, and fortified cereals
Your doctor can also easily check for anemia with a blood test that looks at complete blood count.

10 High Cholesterol
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Too much is no good: whether it’s due to unhealthy diet or bum genes, high levels of “bad” or LDL cholesterol can clog your arteries and lead to heart disease and stroke. Those with high cholesterol have nearly twice the risk of cardiovascular disease as those with lower levels. This silent stalker can only be detected by a blood test, so make sure to have labs done every five years if your levels are normal, more often if they’re not. If your blood work comes back showing high cholesterol, your doctor will probably recommend exercise and diet changes as the first course of treatment. If lifestyle changes aren’t enough, you may be prescribed a medication like Lipitor that blocks the enzymes needed to produce cholesterol.

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