Women are amazing creatures – strong, smart, beautiful, and capable of doing just about anything. And there’s certainly no shortage of diversity among us. Neither is there a shortage of complexity in our health and wellness issues, which are multi-faceted and very different than men’s. In addition to this, these issues include all parts of us: physical, mental, and spiritual. But in spite of our many variances, there are yet a few facts women tend to hold in common in terms of their health and well-being that may surprise and intrigue you.
Women Can’t Handle Alcohol as Easily as Men Can
And this isn’t just because of size! Women produce less of the stomach enzyme that breaks down ethanol – the principal ingredient in alcoholic beverages. After drinking the same amount of the same alcoholic beverage, women will have a higher blood-alcohol level than men, even when compensating for size differences. The female body also has less water to dilute alcohol leading to a stronger buzz, a dryer mouth, and a more intense headache the next morning.
Women Are Twice as Likely as Men to Develop an Anxiety Disorder
Hormonal fluctuations, brain chemistry and upbringing all play a part in this discrepancy.
Women have naturally higher levels of the hormones progesterone, cortisol, and estradiol. This is also why women are more intuitive regarding predicting threats and dangers. Women more often feel responsible for the happiness of others, such as their children or their spouse. As far as social factors, traditionally the differences in how little boys and girls are raised contribute to the level of risk for women to later develop anxiety disorders. For example, boys are more likely to be encouraged to be independent and assertive, while girls are more likely to be dissuaded from that behavior. For many women, these challenges can cause turmoil in our day-to-day lives creating additional problems on top of what worries us initially.
Women Use Both Sides of the Brain
Studies run with men and women at the Indiana University School of Medicine concerning language and the use of the brain have found that women’s brains show a more bilateral activation than males do. Males are more prone to using the left side of their brains – typically associated with listening and speech. Women show equal activity on the right side – associated with creativity and expressiveness (which could be why women are often credited with “hearing” what’s left unsaid in a conversation). A Study by the Journal of Neuroscience also shows that the corpus callosum in the female brain is larger, which is what allows women to multi-task more effectively.
While it certainly isn’t easy being a woman, it’s definitely an ongoing adventure. We’re constantly changing; therefore it’s important for us to stay educated about our bodies and overall health and well-being. Knowledge is, as they say, power. And remember, being healthy means taking care of all aspects of ourselves: Body, Mind, and Spirit!