What better day to talk about women’s health than on International Women’s Day?
The recent Women’s Health Strategy for England found that while women in the UK on average live longer than men, women spend a significantly greater proportion of their lives in ill health and disability when compared with men. Not enough focus is placed on women-specific issues like miscarriage or menopause, and women are under-represented when it comes to important clinical trials. This has meant that not enough is known about conditions that only affect women, or about how conditions that affect both men and women impact them in different ways. It was also reported that more than 4 in 5 (84%) women responding to their survey had at times felt that their healthcare professionals were not listening to them. We need to understand why this happens. Why don’t women feel listened to? What can be done to improve their conversations with healthcare professionals?
I have treated thousands of women during my years in clinical practice and since developing my range of digestive, gut, bladder, and vaginal health supplements, so I have known for a long time about the gender health gap. A week doesn’t pass without me talking to women who are at their wits’ end, feeling unheard, unsupported, alone, stuck in a vicious cycle of infection-antibiotics-infection, struggling with debilitating symptoms, ‘powering through’ long days at work, juggling multiple responsibilities, being everything to everyone, sleep-deprived, and quite literally on their knees by the time they find me. It is these women who drove me to set up my Just For Tummies business in the first place, so that I could reach out to, raise awareness, and help as many women as I could.
I have been advocating women’s health for over 30 years now, and it continues to be my quest to support girls and women of all ages to live healthy lives and encourage them to become ambassadors for each other and avoid poor health outcomes wherever possible. One of the best books I’ve read in the past 30 years is Joan Borysenko’s ‘A Woman’s Book Of Life – The biology, psychology and spirituality of the feminine life cycle.’ It’s about the different life cycles that a woman goes through from birth, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, mating, motherhood, through to midlife, menopause, wisdom and beyond. There was only the one edition published in 1998. It’s still available on Amazon. Get a copy whilst you can.
Women’s health can be affected by a wide range of challenges at different stages of their life, from puberty to menopause. As a natural health practitioner, I have been providing advice and support for girls and women to help them to feel better informed so that they remain healthy by helping them get to the root cause of their digestive, gut, urinary and bladder problems, advising them on lifestyle choices and diet, and sharing simple, inexpensive supplement protocols. There have, of course, been times when I have needed to refer them on, either to their GP or other complementary health therapists.
Over the years, I have seen first-hand how the health and wellbeing of the woman sitting in front of me is determined largely by her ability to access the right information and make decisions about her own health. When she is empowered with the knowledge to make her own choices, she becomes a willing partner in achieving better outcomes for herself and her family.
My Just For Tummies business practice has introduced a completely unique concept in how digestive, gut, urinary and bladder symptoms are managed and improved – through personalised advice and targeted supplements, something that no other supplement company in the UK provides. It’s hard work, I won’t lie, but knowing that I can empower women to take back control of their health and wellbeing makes it worth every single minute.
On this International Women’s Day, I applaud all the women out there, stepping up and taking care of their health; I also cheer on all the other natural health practitioners helping women, offering them a safe and supported environment to talk about their issues, and feel listened to. This level of support wasn’t around during the last decade, so let’s celebrate it today.