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Selfless British women are jeopardising their health by putting everyone else’s needs first, research has shown. A study of 2,000 adults found that women delay seeking help for serious health concerns- because they prioritise their family’s wellbeing over their own.
It revealed that one in four women admits to ‘pushing through’ an illness, with many insisting their partners would simply be unable to cope should they fall ill.
Results also showed four in 10 women have delayed seeking professional help even though they thought something serious was wrong with them.
Nearly half ‘pushed through’ an illness because they were simply too busy, with a third refusing to acknowledge their illness because they needed to look after the kids.
The research, commissioned by health site allabouthealth.org.uk, revealed two thirds of women have spent over two months worrying about a health issue without getting it checked out.
Allabouthealth.org.uk pharmacist Ajit Malhi said:
“Women are running around looking after everyone else and forgetting to look after number one.
“We need to take care of ourselves to effectively take care of the people we love.
It’s similar to the airplane scenario where you’re told to put your own oxygen mask on first, which clashes with our initial instinct.
“If you feel on top form then you’re better equipped to look after the rest of the family.”
One in six was convinced their partner would be unable to cope if they were ill.
The fear factor also proved an issue, with one in five stalling because they were scared about what they might find out.
In fact, a third of women seek medical advice purely as a last resort, while four in ten confess they only seek medical help after they’ve been nagged constantly by a partner.
One in four say that when it comes to getting ill, they ‘grin and bear it’ for the sake of the family.
Tellingly, half of the 1,000 women studied had never taken a sick day in the last 12 months.
That’s despite the average woman enduring at least seven days in the last year when she has needed to take a day to get better but was forced to persevere and carry on as usual.
One in two women don’t seek help when experiencing trouble sleeping, and the same number would never seek help for stress as they strive to keep the family ticking over.
While a quarter of women don’t think it’s worth seeking medical help should they be experiencing symptoms of depression.
Ajit Malhi added:
“Too often we neglect health decisions, whether through busyness with the family or work but it’s crucial to stop sometimes and find out answers to those health niggles rather than simply pushing through which serves neither them nor their family well.
“This is especially important during the run up to the Christmas period when everyone gets even busier.
“A simple health MOT involves a blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes check to give an initial indication and advice will be given accordingly.
“A visit to the local pharmacist for a health MOT is a good starting point for anyone wanting to find out how healthy they actually are.”
TV presenter and mum, Jenni Falconer, said:
“As mothers, wives and daughters, women naturally take on the role of ‘nurturers and carers’ but it’s worrying to learn that some of us put our own health at risk simply by forgetting to look after number one.
“Too often we neglect health decisions because of either family or work issues but sometimes it’s crucial to just stop and find answers to those health niggles.”