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Prioritising Bowel Health: Breaking the Stigma for Women’s Well-being

In the chaotic world of being a busy woman, it’s easy to lose sight of our own well-being. We often put the needs of our loved ones before our own, neglecting our physical and mental health in the process. However, it’s essential to remember that taking care of ourselves is crucial for our overall happiness and ability to care for others effectively. One aspect of women’s health that is often overlooked and stigmatised is bowel health. By addressing this topic openly and without hesitation, we can empower women to prioritise their bowel health and break the silence surrounding it.

Recently, I noticed some irregular bleeding. Although I wasn’t sure what it could be, I knew deep down that it wasn’t normal. Instead of dismissing it or allowing embarrassment to prevent me from seeking medical advice, I made the decision to see a doctor. It’s important to listen to our bodies and trust our instincts when it comes to health concerns. Seeking medical attention promptly can make a significant difference in preventing or catching potential health issues early.

Bowel cancer has become increasingly prevalent among younger individuals, a fact that demands our attention. Shockingly, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners reports a 266% increase in bowel cancer incidence rates among 15–24-year-olds. Even though I am 35 years old, this statistic still alarms me. It is crucial to dispel the misconception that young people are immune to such diseases. In fact, 1 in 10 people diagnosed with bowel cancer is under the age of 50.

According to Bowel Cancer Australia, individuals under 50 who experience symptoms such as abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, diarrhea, or iron deficiency anemia are at an increased risk of developing bowel cancer. It’s important to pay attention to our bodies and not dismiss any persistent or concerning symptoms. While it’s natural to panic, it is essential not to ignore potential warning signs either. Regular check-ups and consultations with healthcare professionals are key to catching any health issues early on.

My recent visit to the doctor not only shed light on the importance of bowel health, but also motivated me to make positive changes in my life. During the check-up, I discovered that I am overweight for my height and age, with a BMI that needs improvement. Being overweight not only affects our physical health but also affects our mood and body confidence. Realising the need for change, I am now determined to adopt healthier habits and prioritise my overall well-being.

Losing weight and adopting a healthier lifestyle is not about quick fixes or fad diets. It is about making sustainable changes that promote long-term well-being. Prioritising exercise, adopting a balanced diet, and managing stress levels are all crucial components of a healthy lifestyle. By sharing my journey with you, I hope to inspire others to embark on their own paths towards a healthier and happier life. Hopefully, it’s nothing other than a burst polyp or varicose vein, but you can never be too careful. My doctor has provided me with the next steps and in the coming month, I hope to share that it’s nothing too sinister.

As women, we often face societal pressures and stigmas surrounding our bodies and health. By breaking the silence and openly discussing topics like bowel health, we empower ourselves and other women to prioritise their well-being. Recognising the signs of potential health issues, such as bowel cancer, is essential, regardless of our age. Regular check-ups, prompt medical attention, and proactive steps toward a healthy lifestyle can make a significant difference in our overall health and happiness. Let’s remove the stigma surrounding these issues and create a supportive environment where women feel empowered to take charge of their health and overall well-being.

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