Healthy habits are important for healthy life. All of us should dedicate sometime for healthy habits. Stress management, daily exercise routine, healthy eating, sleeping on time, getting up early etc. Apart from these habits we as women seriously should consider including routine health checkups every year to detect and avoid potential health problems at early stages itself. This should be one of the must added habit to our list. Testing and screening of health for various conditions can save our life. This prevents complications and reduces stress on oneself and of family. What are the different tests women should consider for screening? Here are Ten Health Screenings strongly suggested for women (of all age group).
- Blood pressure screening: High blood pressure increases the chance of having heart disease and stroke. Have your blood pressure checked once a year. If the top number is greater than 140 and bottom is more than 90 schedule an appointment and take corrective action. If you are suffering from diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems you may need to have your blood pressure checked more often.
- Blood glucose: From age of 45, women should undergo blood glucose test to check for diabetes. If you are overweight, ask your doctor whether you should have been screened at younger age. If your blood pressure is above normal then risk of getting diabetes is more. Watch for diabetes symptoms and get the screening done. Check your body mass index (BMI) to understand your risk of getting blood glucose.
- Cholesterol screening: After 30 it is better to get tested for cholesterol level. Cholesterol is a waxy, yellowish fat found in cells and travels through blood stream in tiny protein covered particles called lipoproteins. The good cholesterol is HDL and bad cholesterol is LDL that clogs the arteries. To make sure your heart health is good, during annual physical ask for vertical auto profile (VAP) test. It is a detailed lipid profile test that helps to identify plaque buildup in the arteries. Once cholesterol test started, it should be checked every 3 years. If you have diabetes and other conditions then go through this screening often.
- Pap smears: Pelvic examination and pap smear every 3 years is highly recommended. This helps to detect Human papilloma virus that causes genital warts and cervical cancer. In case your uterus and cervix removed by hysterectomy then talk to your gynecologist about the tests that need to be done.
- Bone density: All women over age 50 with any type of fractures should have DEXA scan or bone density test. You also should be screened for risk factors that is involving osteoporosis.
- Colon cancer: if you have a strong family history of colon cancer or polyps, and if you are reaching 50 you should be screened for colon cancer or polyps . If you are between ages 50 to 75 you should be screened for colorectal cancer. A fecal occult blood test, Flexible sigmoidoscopy (every 10 years), colonoscopy (every 10 years) are suggested for women.
- Skin examination: Signs of skin cancer can be done after looking at change in skin pattern. People at high risk include who have had skin cancer in the past or if it is in the family history or a weekend immune system. If you find any change or development on skin talk to your doctor and get it tested.
- Dental exam: Visiting dentist twice every year is highly recommended. Our health depends on the health of oral cavity. Dentist will exam, clean and evaluate oral health. If needed more visits should be scheduled with dentist.
- Eye exam: Every 2 to 4 years from age 40 to 50 and from 55 to 65, 1 to 3 years eye examination must be done. It is recommended to avoid glaucoma risk. Having eye examination once a year is strongly recommended for diabetic patients.
- Breast exam: Women should do self breast examination. However, once a year visit your gynecologist and get mammogram done for a better and reliable test. It is a preventive exam and helps to find out whether you are at risk of developing cancer or any other changes that is happening in your health. Women ages 40 to 49 may have a mammogram every 1 to 2 years. Women with a mother or sister who had breast cancer at a younger age should consider yearly test and they should begin test earlier than their age.
Even if you feel good and confident about your health, get the screening done by seeing your doctor. Many conditions might not show any outwardly symptoms or you might not feel it. This is where health screening helps. Screening will help to detect conditions at early stages and precautions can be taken to improve the situation and health.
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