Ladies, What Does Your Health Picture Look Like?

July 13, 2011 Swedish Blogger

Several of us don’t enjoy having our photo taken.  It’s just so 2-dimensional and we feel like it just does not show the “real” us.  Getting your health photo is a whole different situation. 

There are screenings that are recommended at certain ages that will tell you what your health profile is looking like, so you can take an active role in reducing your risk for disease. (Men, make sure you know how your engine is running, too.)

Screening tests for Women:

What you need and  when:

  •  Obesity: Have your Body Mass Index (BMI) calculated to screen for obesity. This should be done regularly at any age.  You can also calculate your own.

  • Breast Cancer: Have a mammogram every 1 to 2 years starting at age 40.

  •  Cervical Cancer: Have a pap smear every 1 to 3 years if you have ever been sexually active, or if you are between the ages of 21 to 65.

  •  Cholesterol: Checked regularly starting at age 45, or if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, a family history of heart disease, or if you smoke.

  • Blood Pressure: Checked at least every 2 years, but more frequent checks can show a more accurate average.  High blood pressure is considered at 140/90 or higher.

  • Colorectal Cancer: Starting at age 50. Your doctor can help you decide which test is right for you. If there is a family history of colorectal cancer, you may need to be tested earlier.

  • Diabetes: Get tested for diabetes if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

  • Depression: Emotional Health is just as important as your physical health.  Talk to your doctor about being screened for depression if you’re feeling ‘down’, sad or hopeless for more than 2 weeks.

  • Osteoporosis: A bone density screening starting at age 65, or if you’re postmenopausal, under 125lbs, smokes, drinks alcohol and has a parental history of broken bones, talk to your doctor about being screened.

  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases including Chlamydia and HIV: If you’re sexually active and have had unprotected sex.  Talk to your doctor about which tests would be appropriate for your situation.

It’s time for you to take a look at yourself in a whole new light.  Your primary care physician can help you decide which tests are right for you. 

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