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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Women's health: Preventing top 10 threats Part 2

6 — Injuries

The leading cause of fatal accidents among women is motor vehicle crashes, according to the CDC. To reduce your risk of a deadly crash:

* Wear your seat belt.
* Follow the speed limit.
* Don't drive under the influence of alcohol or any other substances.
* Don't drive while sleepy.

Falls and poisoning also pose major women's health threats. Take common-sense precautions, such as having your vision checked, using nonslip mats in the tub and placing carbon monoxide detectors near the bedrooms in your home.

7 — Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes — the most common type of diabetes — affects the way your body uses blood sugar (glucose). Possible complications of type 2 diabetes include heart disease, blindness, nerve damage and kidney damage. To prevent type 2 diabetes:

* Lose excess pounds, if you're overweight.
* Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat foods.
* Include physical activity in your daily routine.

8 — Flu

Influenza is a common viral infection. While a case of the flu isn't usually serious for otherwise healthy adults, complications of the flu can be deadly — especially for those who have weak immune systems or chronic illnesses. To protect yourself from the flu, get an annual flu vaccine.

9 — Kidney disease

Kidney failure is often a complication of diabetes or high blood pressure. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, follow your doctor's treatment suggestions. In addition:

* Eat a healthy diet. Limit the amount of salt you consume.
* Include physical activity in your daily routine.
* Lose excess pounds, if you're overweight.
* Take medications as prescribed.

10 — Blood poisoning (septicemia or sepsis)

Septicemia is a life-threatening infection marked by the presence of bacteria or their toxins in the blood. Septicemia commonly arises from infections in the lung, urinary tract, abdomen or pelvis. Often, it isn't preventable — but you can take steps to avoid infections and to protect yourself from illnesses that weaken your immune system:

* Wash your hands often.
* Keep your vaccines current.
* Seek prompt medical care for any serious infection.
* Change tampons at least every six to eight hours and avoid using superabsorbent tampons.
* Wipe from front to back after urinating and urinate


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