What is Women's Endocrine Health?

The power of prevention is important throughout all the years of a woman's life. It is the purpose of this website to help women understand their bodies and to encourage them to experience life to its fullest. Maintaining a healthy and strong body while engaging in healthy activities will prolong life and improve its quality. Each phase of a woman's life is filled with opportunities to develop a healthy lifestyle and harness the power to prevent endocrine disorders, the Power of Prevention.

Childhood

Childhood is a time of rapid growth and development to learn healthy living habits and priorities. It can, however, be a great challenge to instill appropriate values during this age. Parents are responsible for teaching children healthy eating and making physical activity part of daily life. Selecting the right food and keeping junk food out of the house encourages healthy eating. Setting a good example for our children is the best way for them to learn from us.

Young girls are very impressionable. They respond not only to their families, but, also more increasingly to media aimed directly at them such as commercials on TV, radio and print magazines. Young girls receive so many conflicting messages even when they are in elementary school. In many places, young girls emulate the teenagers in their area and seem to grow up too quickly. As a result, the mixed signals they receive about body image emerge into anorexia and obesity at this time in life.

The focus on body image is already apparent in lay publications aimed at youngsters and pre-teens. While a great fashion sense can encourage pre-teens to avoid obesity, many young women "over-react" to these messages and eating disorders become apparent at this time of life. Since adequate nutrition is critical for development and function of the menstrual cycle and also for bone development, malnutrition at this time may lead to irreversible problems later in life (i.e., osteoporosis).

Adolescence

As girls develop, they become very influential and secure with the changes occurring in their body and how they are preserved. Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and obesity become more common, even epidemic. There are endocrine problems, which may be genetically based (i.e., "hard-wired in" but only become apparent at the time of expected puberty. Other disorders that may affect growth and development also become more frequent at this time. Learning how to prevent endocrine disorders during this age is pivotal.

Young Women

At this time of life, young women are establishing households, careers, and families. A healthy lifestyle should include exercise even in the face of increasingly time-consuming responsibilities. Work and social pressures often lead to excess food and alcohol consumption. Young women need to remember to take care of their own bodies despite these pressures.

Middle Age

Many women enter middle age sedentary, obese, and prone to the development of chronic disease, which may be made worse by poor physical fitness. While AACE hopes that as young girls, women have developed healthy eating habits and engaged in regular physical exercise, it's not too late to change and develop these needed lifestyle components in middle age.

The Elderly Woman

Since the average woman lives longer these days, (average age 79 in the US) we all hope to age gracefully. If we developed healthy habits from the start, we can hope to have avoided osteoporosis, diabetes, and heart disease. Continuing to eat a healthy meal plan, exercising, and maintaining mind- stimulating activities help us to remain active and vigorous in our later years.