Women’s bodies are complex and go through a lot of changes as years pass by. In your efforts to nurture everyone around you, your need to do everything and to do it well, you end up neglecting your own health.You forget that a healthy woman makes a happy family and the impact of what you do carries forward through the warp and woof of the world.
Every woman over the age of 20 needs to schedule regular health checkups, while a comprehensive health check up may seem scary to some, here are some screenings and tests that you must go for, based on the decade you’re in.
20’s: THE DECADE
These are the years marked by your first jobs, eating out, partying with friends, meeting new people and generally discovering yourself. Amidst all the fun, help yourself in your twenties by finding a Primary Physician and a Gynecologist and getting the following tests and screenings:
1 . Blood Pressure Monitoring
Required once every 2 years, BP monitoring helps detect High blood Pressure which can be a cause for future heart conditions, hypertension & kidney problems.
2 . Blood Tests
You don’t realize it, but all the stress and eating out can change the levels of good fat and bad fat in the body and high stress jobs, could lead to life style diseases.To keep things in check, go for complete lipid profile, fasting glucose, hemoglobin and Vitamin D levels. You can opt for these tests once in every 2 yeas.
3 . Pap Smear
Pap smear is a simple, painless and noninvasive test for early detection of cervical cancer.Find a gynecologist you trust and are comfortable with and get your first pap smear at 21 and continue with once every 2 years. Any infections, inflammations on cervix are detected through a pap smear.
4 . Weight Management
Consult with your doctor on how to maintain weight and healthy eating habits, for what you eat in your 20’s will decide the health in later years.
30’s: THE HIGH STRESS DECADE
The 30’s are all about your careers, homes, spouse, children. These are the years where we prove that we want it all. Therefore, taking care of health should be just as high a priority.Here is what you need to do:
1 . Continue the BP, lipid profiles, fasting glucose, hemoglobin and vitamin D testing once every 2 years.
2 . Thyroid Test
If you are above the age of 35, get a blood test to check thyroid levels, an overactive or under-active thyroid has several effects, weight gain, mood swings, high cholesterol, autoimmune disease. Continue this test once every 1-2 years.
3 . Pap smears and pelvic examinations
You can now go for Pap smear test once every 3 years or as suggested by your doctor.
4. Self Breast Examination
Learn the self breast examination from your doctor check once a month for any changes in nipple shape & lumps.
5 . Fertility Tests
Consult your doctor for information on good health if trying to conceive. Everything from detoxing the body for a healthy environment for the foetus, to ways to increase fertility. If you already have a baby then supplements and multivitamins are needed to keep up with the demands of your life.
40’s: THE GOLDEN DECADE
This decade gives women more time to care for themselves, and we should grab the opportunity with both hands.Start an exercise regime that is gentle on your bones and keeps you fit, also find ways to maintain bone health and density.
1 . Once you reach your 40’s continue the BP, lipid profiles, fasting glucose once every 2 years. Go for Pap smears and pelvic examinations once every 3 years. Additionally, add these to your list of health checkups:
2 . Mammogram
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. It is helpful in early detection of breast cancer.Start your 40’s with a mammogram once every 2 years. If there is a history of breast cancer in the family, then start mammograms in your 30’s and continue to have one every year.
3 . Screening Tests
Consult with your doctor for cancer screenings once every 3 years. Keep an eye out for asymmetrical moles, patches of de-pigmentation, or any symptoms that feel out of place.
50’s: THE MENOPAUSAL DECADE
This is a decade marked for most women as the years when they go through menopause. Mood swings, hot flashes, empty nest syndrome, all are just some things women go through. These changes also mean regular checks are needed so that supplements, medicines, lifestyle changes may be made as required.
1 . Continue an exercise regime through your 50’s, and regular blood profiles, BP, pap smears once every 2 years.
A big change in the 50’s comes with a long list of whats, whys and hows. Consult your gynecologist for what to expect physically and emotionally and how to deal with it. Hormone imbalance is a common outcome of menopause and some form of hormone therapy may be needed.
Osteoporosis is a common concern for women and this test will help you understand the health of your bones and understand how to better care for your bone health.
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By making a few changes to your life in every decade, you can accomplish a healthier and happier life. So this Women’s Day, take a pledge to look after your health and make efforts to eat healthy and stay fit. Stay Healthy, Stay Beautiful!