National Women's Health Week
Mother's Day was the kickoff for National Women's Health Week, an observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office on Women's Health
. This celebration of women's health runs through May 16th, and is designed to encourage women to schedule yearly health checkups, get annual flu shots, quit smoking, and limit alcohol use, among other
The Morton Center supports this important observance and encourages women to take the National Women's Health Week Pledge, which includes the promise to eat healthy, get regular exercise, and to talk to a doctor about important health issues such as stress, depression, or domestic violence.
At The Morton Center, we know that drinking within moderate limits - or abstaining entirely - is important for a woman's overall health. The Morton Center encourages women whose alcohol use is affecting their health, their relationships, or their work life, to seek help.
This is important because the NIAAA notes that women who drink beyond moderate levels are at higher risk for alcohol-related problems than men. Women usually weigh less than men, and have less water in their bodies pound for pound, meaning that women who drink tend to have higher blood alcohol concentrations than men, and begin to have alcohol-related problems at lower drinking levels. The NIAAA notes that women who drink in excess are more likely to develop liver inflammation and alcohol-related heart disease than men, in addition to an elevated risk of breast cancer. Pregnant women, or women who are trying to become pregnant, should not drink at all because exposure to alcohol can severely injure a developing baby. Alcohol-related risks to the baby include brain damage and cognitive and developmental disorders.
These gender-specific health risks are in addition to the damage that all heavy or binge drinkers may cause to organs such as the brain, heart, liver and pancreas, and the general alcohol-related risks of cancers and immune system damage.
At the Morton Center, we are dedicated to our clients' health. We have an ongoing commitment to help women with alcohol or drug dependencies rebuild their lives through intensive outpatient programs, individual and family therapy, education, and support groups. We support National Women's Health Week, and encourage our female clients, and all women, to:
- Avoid unhealthy habits like drinking and smoking
- Eat well
- Exercise regularly, for at least 30 minutes
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
- Schedule annual health exams and routine screenings
- Talk to a doctor about reproductive health
- Talk to a doctor about concerns with stress or depression
- Report any concerns about violence or harassment
Women who proactively establish positive lifestyle habits are the most likely to enjoy good health. The Morton Center encourages all its female clients to pursue this important goal, and wishes them, and their families, a happy and healthy National Women's Health Week!