Today, I bring for you a Guest Post written by Dr. N. Ramya of selflifehacks..
She is a medical practitioner from JIPMER Pondicherry, India, and writes extensively about health and wellness on her blog, Self Life Hacks.
She wished to share a post on women’s health issues and the regular tests women need to go for.
Over to Dr. Ramya…
Taking a doctor’s appointment may not seem a very difficult task.
But, ladies, how many of you make your way to the doctor to get a routine check-up done?
It is always good to take one hour of our routine day schedule to get ourselves sorted out. It’s really a simple and practical way of taking care of ourselves. Take a day out of 365 days only for your physical and mental health.
So, let me discuss the various tests and the need for you to go for these tests, today.
6 annual checkups every woman must go through
Annual visits to your primary care or family doctor are opportunities to make sure you are up-to-date with all sort of screenings. There are various reasons why you have to go to annual screenings
- There are few illnesses which are hereditary or acquired, to make sure that you are not prone to either of the illness. By doing so you can prevent them by early intervention.
- Early signs of the illness which you are missing or not aware of can be exposed with annual check-ups.
- High blood pressure is linked to lots of diseases like heart attack, strokes, and even diabetes.
Let me give you examples:
- women around the age of 50 years, have to undergo a primary health checkup like the bone density scans. As the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency has been prevailing all around the world, it is a must and for a woman to get Calcium and Vitamin D levels along with bone density scans done in order to prevent future health issues like fractures, cervical spondylosis, and bone pains.
- . At the age of 55 years, every woman has to get her first colonoscopy to rule out any colon polyps or cancer which are likely to start at this age.
According to American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, during this exam, you have to get your breasts and pelvic exam along with a pap smear, a clinical test which helps to identify any cancerous cells or abnormalities. This is recommended minimum every three years for women in the age group of 21 to 65. Along with other routine investigations like urine and blood were taken to test for STD, any UTI, thrush infections. It is also ideal to get your breast examined to rule out any lumps and early cancer symptoms, which can be screened by a test called mammogram.
In addition to necessary screenings and providing counsel on reproduction health and plans, the gynaecologist bridges the gap between the primary care experience and the patient’s personal questions in life. There are questions and concerns women have that they are often not comfortable discussing with their primary care provider. You can and should discuss concerns related to sexual health and hygiene with your gynaecologist.
This examination should not be skipped. It is advisable that a dental check-up is done every 6 months to 1 year. As recent researches have proved various health issues are associated with poor dental and oral hygiene like heart valve diseases, endocarditis, and even stroke.
According to recent research, poor oral hygiene has shown to affect memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
It has been also proven that poor oral hygiene in pregnant women can lead to preterm low birth weight babies and even increased deaths in babies. it is ideal for every woman to get their dental check-up every 6 months and before expecting pregnancy.
According to the American Cancer Society, you should be checking your own skin every month or so for new moles, freckles, patches, or unexpected changes. If you notice anything suspicious or new, or something old that has changed, you have a history of skin cancer in your family or have immunity problems, you have to set up a skin check with a dermatologist.
As there is an increased history of skin cancers, one should always keep an eye on the unexpected changes on your skin like new moles, ulcerations and burning sensations on the skin.
Eye tests can detect and expose long duration diseases like diabetes and hypertension etc. The American Academy of Ophthalmology has given few guidelines to get check up for eyes.
If you have no symptoms and no risk factors for eye disease and you’re under 40, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends you get eye exams every five to 10 years. People between 40 to 54 years of age should get checked every four years; every three years for people aged 55 and 64; then every one to two years for ages 65 and older.
Mental health check-up:
Mental health should be given equal importance as physical health. It is a crucial part of your well-being. If you are going through drastic life changes, you might have to set up an appointment to talk to a licensed therapist. In a first consultation, you can talk about your major stressors, which will help you and your therapist identify any issues, and start treatment if necessary.
Every woman is advised to visit a doctor for regular medical checkup. Out of many specialties and subdivisions in the medical field, these 6 checkups are mandatory and crucial to maintain both physical and mental health in women. They include the physical check-up by a general physician, a gynecological check-up by a gynecologist, eyes check-up by an ophthalmologist, mental health checkup by a psychiatrist, and skin checks by a dermatologist.
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