// 22 May 2019
Women and Health
By Gillian Killiner
Men and women's roles in society have been changing for decades now.
The social changes of the 1960s and 1970s caused a cultural revolution that found many women pursuing careers outside the home. In recent years, we are seeing more men taking on the role of primary caregiver to the children while women work in increasingly powerful and demanding roles. With women over recent years taking the opportunities to educate themselves and leave the “home” to be leaders, educators, role-models… there is no denying, I am forever grateful to the women who pushed the boundaries.
What I am finding in my practice every day is concerning - many women are in a situation in which they are working a full-time role and dealing with the day-to-day running of the house, children and possibly aging parents. This can be topped with additional financial pressures from the recent years of economic downturn.
Living continually in top gear with little sleep and much stress can eventually take its toll.
It is difficult to accept that it is not possible to be “all things to everyone”. Girls are still typically stereotyped to be carers and, as mother’s we naturally take on this role for our new born.”
Having a helpful partner/friends and family is a major asset but we are not all fortunate to have support like this. This may be the reason for the increasing rise in mental health related illnesses. Mental health is the leading cause of absence, accounting for 31.9% of all working days lost. Mental health related illnesses account for 39.1% of long-term sickness leave. Prescription rates for mood and anxiety disorders are 66% higher for women than for men in Northern Ireland. Chronic ill health and auto-immune conditions are on the rise. Allergies, gastrointestinal problems, poor sleep, weight loss resistance and fatigue are sky rocketing. The NHS is at breaking point and not able to cope or assist.
What we have is a bleak picture and one with which we, as women, have done so well to hide or over look. Is it that we see ourselves as weak if we cannot continue to spin all the plates constantly? The tide is hopefully turning, and new voices are shouting out, including my own: we have to change, we cannot keep all plates spinning.
I now coach people and especially ladies on how to rebalance and empower. I myself have experienced ill health with an autoimmune attack on my thyroid. This was after being overly stressed and contracting quinsy in my third pregnancy. I was trying to do it all and got sick! If you wish you can read more about my journey on my website….www.121dietitian.com
I now believe investing in people is more important for success than investing money solely into a business. If you are not preforming at your best, then no one wins. If you can relate to any of this then it may be time to implement some change. Assess yourself and be honest.
Are you sleeping well and waking refreshed ready to jump out of bed? Y/N
Are you constantly under stressful conditions or in a stressed state? Y/N
Do you rely on caffeine to get you through the day? Y/N
Are you gaining weight around your abdomen? Y/N
Are you hungry? Craving sugar? Frequent infections? Y/N
Do you have the energy to exercise? Y/N
Do you recover well from exercise? Y/N
Do you over exercise and see no change physically? Y/N
Do you have mood swings? PMS? Menopausal? Y/N
Skin, hair, nails are all telling of health – check have these changed? Y/N
Are you feeling low, sad, anxious, depressed? Y/N
If you answer yes to any of these you may still be functioning well, as we all have to go through small bumps in the road. It is when these small bumps are continuous, and you are months and years fighting “fires”. Your health really takes a battering. To ensure you are at optimal health assessing your body from top to toe is the key, no piece of you can be treated in isolation. Bloods can be helpful but not always show up issues that are chronic, understandably this can leave you and your GP/health professional scratching your heads.
As a Dietitian for 22 years I have a unique background in my own practice, I have researched and created programmes to successfully treat ongoing health issues. And when I treat one person the whole family from 0-100 yrs can benefit from key and easy changes to diet, lifestyle and well- being.
What can you do now? Do take a 5-minute pause and write down all the positive things in your life and then all the things you wish to change or unhappy with. Make a plan to tackle one issue per week/month/year…. Small changes each month are often manageable and prioritising “me” is the first and most important change to make.
If you are needing to address any of the above or like to chat, I would be more than happy to assist you.
Contact: Gillian Killiner: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel 07717392306 web: www.121dietitian.com