Women health is dependent on a lot of factors, therefore you should create ample time for a healthy lifestyle, exercise and good dieting to keep tabs on your health.
Medical screening is a great way to maintain good health. The same way you take your car for service repair and maintenance, to keep your car performance at peak, is the same way you should think of medical screening too.
To simplify, I have compiled a list of the most vital medical screening tests that every woman should take:
1.Blood pressure screening
Although it seems very simple, checking your blood pressure is one of the most vital routine check-ups you should do to protect your health.It is important to note that When your blood pressure readings are higher than the cutoff of 140/90 mmHg, it puts a lot of stress on your heart, leaving you at a greater chance of a stroke and heart attack. Additionally, a woman’s blood pressure level is recommended to be checked after every one or two years. According to health experts, 120/80mmHg is a good health target. This screening process involves wrapping a cuff around the arm then pumping it up firmly.
Women should have their cholesterol screening after every five years and should begin when they are twenty-nine years of age. Cholesterol as a fatty protein builds up in your arteries. So it is important to check your cholesterol to prevent heart diseases which tend to rise after menopause. It is usually measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dl) (triglyceride is measured as well)
If you have a high-risk factor for heart disease in your family, ask your physician for an additional test, lipoprotein subfraction test. The test is more sensitive and checks the size of cholesterol particles and also the amount.
Doctors check your tolerance for glucose absorption which means how easily your body digests/processes sugar.
Many women get diabetes while pregnant therefore putting both mother and baby in danger.
Diabetes screening should be done at the start of pregnancy or when a woman is 45 years old if there are no risk factors.
If you have HPB or have risk factors for diabetes like family history or the disease, it is good that you to start at a younger age and should be performed after 3 years.
4.Pap smears and pelvic exam
If you are sexually active, it is important you start early.Moreover, you can start at the age of 21
During the exercise of Pap smear, a speculum is placed inside the vagina to dilate it then a doctor uses a spatula to gently scrape cells from the cervix for examination of any abnormal growth.
5.Bone density screen
At the age of 65 years, women are supposed to be screened for osteoporosis. It is a serious concern because women are more susceptible to this condition as 80% of the people afflicted with this condition are them
It happens when minerals like calcium leach from the bones, weakening and thinning them as a result of low estrogen level after menopause. In this test, a scanning machine takes an x-ray image of certain bones in your body (spine, hips, and wrists) as you lie on a table. Healthy bone shows a T- scores of -1 or higher. It should be done after every five years.
6.Colon cancer screening/ colonoscopy/ sigmoidoscopy
Colorectal cancer is cancer of lower part of the intestines and it is curable in 90% of cases
Screening tests that look into the colon, colonoscopy is the secret weapon to detecting it early.
The screening should start at age 50 for those without any risk. However, if you have a first-degree family member who has had colon cancer before age 50, you should, therefore, begin colonoscopy ten years before that age at which your family member was diagnosed.
Colonoscopy should be repeated every ten years while sigmoidoscopy should be done every 5 years. Non- increase virtual colonoscopy is another option.
7.Fecal occult blood test (FOBT)
This test is vital in catching colon cancer early. The fecal occult blood test is used to check the intestinal condition such as Crohn’s diseases and ulcerative colitis.
It should be started after age 50.
8.Body mass index
It is the measurement of your weight and height and a calculation of your body mass to index (BMI).
BMI indicates obesity which is linked to serious health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
Using the online BMI calculator you can calculate your body mass index at home. This test should be started early
9.Skin cancer examination
Skin cancer is easy to detect as long as you bring any suspicions to the doctor’s attention
Also, Young women should be educated about skin cancer because most of them mistakenly think that it’s cancer for men. The examination should start at any age, with the examination of moles, lesions or other areas that are growing or changing.
10.Mammogram and breast exam
Cancer of the breast is the most common type of cancer afflicting women. The mammogram is the basic tool used to screen for tumors using a specialized x-ray. Some hospitals use a computerized mammogram while others use film but both are effective.
A physical breast exam is recommended and can be done at home by checking for lumps, skin changes and nipple discharge. Clinical breast exam should be performed starting at around age 20 and repeated at least every 3 years until age 40 when this should be done yearly.
A mammogram is done every 1 or 2 years beginning at age 40.
11.Vitamin D test
Recently doctors have come to the realization that vitamin D plays a crucial role in maintaining strong bones and protection against cancer. The level of vitamin D in many women is low and they don’t know it. This is of serious concern because women are at such a high risk of developing osteoporosis.
A simple blood test can measure be between 30 and 80 nanograms per deciliter.Many experts recommend the 25(OH) D3 test as a more accurate providing measurement.
You should start vitamin D test at age 40 and be repeated annually.
Maybe its time to start sunbathing.
12.Dental check up
Good dental health is important and adult women need twice a year dental check-up and cleaning.
A regular checkup can keep teeth healthy and spot early signs of decay or any problems with the teeth/mouth.