- The article has been contributed by Ms. Kanchan Naikawadi, Managing Director and Preventive Healthcare Specialist, Indus Health Plus
COVID 19 pandemic has impacted the global world in a huge way, and everyone is facing this challenging situation with a sense of fear and anxiety. These challenges have a huge effect on the overall wellness and thinking of the population, especially the female population.
It is a well-known fact that women in general tend to neglect their health due to other overwhelming responsibilities and tasks and commitments which are expected from them. Along with that the stress of work from home for working women, additional chores arising due to school closures, lockdown and the entire family needs have taken a toll on their health not only physically but also psychologically. It is a proven fact that stress levels majorly affect female hormones which in turn can be strongly associated with derangements in menstrual cycle causing predisposition to other diseases hence changing these psychosocial stresses into long term health conditions.
Common conditions seen in females of the reproductive age group include polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders, obesity, and fertility issues. Polycystic ovarian disease is one of the most common endocrine disorders seen in the younger age group. This condition is associated with multiple follicles developing in the ovaries and thus causing a spectrum of menstrual irregularities like delayed menses, absence of menses etc. The changes in the hormonal levels predispose the women to other symptoms like acne, male pattern of hair growth, hair loss, dysmenorrhea, bloating etc. Moreover, the risk of severe COVID-19 is also linked with certain factors such as hyper-inflammation, low vitamin D levels, and hyperandrogenism (excessive male hormones), all of which have known direct associations with PCOS.
PCOS is also associated with other health conditions like type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and hypothyroidism, which may significantly increase the risk of developing complications of COVID-19. PCOS is a complex condition involving multiple body systems and hence it can lead to a cycle of stress, depression and anxiety which can again have very adverse outcomes in these cases.
Tips for precaution:
It is important for women to be in touch with the treating doctor / Gynecologist and avail medical advice in case of any symptoms. Awareness about the symptoms is important and symptoms should be observed closely. Here are some quick tips that you should keep in mind to keep the health in line.
- During this crisis of COVID 19, wellness should be ensured by being focused, relaxed and thinking positive
- Keeping self-care in mind, it is advisable to manage time by making realistic and achievable schedules
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet and avoiding excessive junk food is extremely important to manage issues like obesity and other associated co morbidities
- Diet should comprise of sugar restricted, low carbohydrate and high protein foods with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- There are numerous online fitness classes and regimes that can be followed to stay fit. Taking time out for a physical fitness schedule enables proper weight management as well as emotional well-being.
- Smoking and alcohol intake should not be used even as stress busters
Routine visits to hospital may be avoided under present circumstances but online or tele-consults for follow ups should be considered. Things will only get better if we stay informed, stay prepared, stay calm and stay safe.