Turning 40 is both a blessing and a curse for women. From the proliferation of fat and the disappearance of the hitherto curvaceous body to the development of health issues, that no one wants to grow old is not a wonder, but it is inevitable.
Once you hit 40, your health starts inclining downwards. Your immunity takes a dip, making you susceptible to many health conditions. However, it is possible to prevent age-related sicknesses by going for a number of essential medical tests. This will enable you to fight strongly throughout your old age. You will know the things to use or avoid in order to keep healthy.
Here are seven medical checks for women of 40 years and beyond:
- Screening for blood pressure
It is possible to maintain the required blood pressure by eating good diet, regular exercise and medication. Taking blood pressure tests is necessary, as regularly as you may be advised by your doctor. Medical experts propose that you should have your blood pressure tested after every 2 years. However, the tests can be done regularly, if you have a family of blood pressure in your family. The top number (systolic number) should be 120-139 and the bottom number (diastolic number) should be 80-89 mm Hg. If it gets higher, you should see your physician to advice you accordingly.
- Blood sugar testing
After years of eating unhealthy food, your pancreas could be wearing out meaning its ability to produce insulin could be hampered. If you have a history of diabetes in your family, you might be at higher risk of getting diabetes and thus you should get tested more often if you are over 40. It is recommended that you take blood sugar tests once every three years. However, your doctor may recommend that you get frequent checks depending on your risk factors.
- Cholesterol testing
High levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol in your blood can make you a victim of heart-related illnesses if not checked in good time. You can reduce the levels of bad cholesterol and improve your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. You can only do this if you get a cholesterol screening. Preferably, you should go for testing once every 5 years, unless your health specialist advises otherwise.
- Mammogram and other breast checks
After years of prime productivity, if you are over 40 years, you are more likely to suffer from breast cancer. It is important to get a mammogram such that any anomalies can be detected at the early stages thus enhancing the chances of total eradication of cancerous cells. Manual breast test is easy and once you muster it, you can test yourself at home first and follow it with a mammogram from an experienced health specialist. Keenly note any unusual lumps in the breasts, and it is preferable if you can do the testing after menses when the breasts are not tender.
- Pelvic screening
At 40 years of age, you are still very sexually active and a pap smear will be in order. It might make you slightly uncomfortable, but it can protect you from sexually transmitted diseases such as human papillomavirus (HPV). Cells are scraped from your pelvic surface for testing. Your physician will advise you how often you will need to take a pap test.
- Physical examination
This is a detailed medical check that covers everything. Bone health, cancer, gums and teeth and so on will be checked. Usually, you are advised to go for the physical examination even if you have undergone all the other tests that we have listed here. That way, you can get the assurance that you are as healthy as the other tests proclaimed you to be. EVERYONE should go for this annual exam. For women, it mostly consists of:
- Head and neck – Tonsils, teeth and gums, ear, nose and throat
- Abdomen – bowel movement, liver health and size, whether there is abdominal fluid
- Dermatological – nails, skin etc
- Neurological exam – check reflexes, balance, memory and mental health
- Dental examination
You should never skip an opportunity to see your dentist who will look for periodontal diseases, mouth ulcers, general condition and cleanliness of the teeth and many others. If there is a time where dental hygiene and health take a backseat, it is when a mother hits 40 years. This doesn’t have to happen to you.
Stay on top of your health with regular medical checks.