As women, we always seem to put ourselves last on our list of things to take care of, but you need to pay attention to your wellness and health in order to be able to keep up with your obligations and to be there when needed by those you love.
Approaching 50, I researched what tests women should have on a regular basis to maintain good wellness. My findings have made it blatantly clear that I am in need of a whole lot of maintenance.
Read through the list below and find out if you are doing okay or if you too are woefully neglectful of yourself.
Please note that certain tests should be done more frequently depending on if you fall into a higher risk category. I’ve provided links for each test for more information. This list is only intended as a generic guideline.
Body Mass Index – Starting at age 18, you should be checking this annually to make sure that you are at a healthy weight and not setting yourself up for some unnecessary health issues.
Skin Examination – Once a month, you should look over your entire skin surface and search for any moles, changes in coloration or other discrepancies. At age 30, you should begin having an annual appointment with a dermatologist.
Dental Checkups – Twice a year, forever. You got teeth? Get your butt to the dentist. There is a huge correlation between the health of your teeth and gums and your overall health, so keep your chompers in tip top shape.
Lipid Panel Blood Test – This will let you know if you are a candidate for heart disease. Starting at age 20, start having this test done every other year.
Blood Pressure Check – Age 20 to 39, have it checked every other year. Once you hit 40, start getting it done annually.
Cholesterol Check – Starting at age 20, have this check done every five years. This test is another indicator of heart disease risk.
Pap Smear – Visit your gynecologist every third year beginning at age 21 or whenever you begin to have sexual relations. This test is a screen for cervical cancer.
Thyroid Function Check – Thyroid issues seem almost trendy of late, but you should have your thyroid checked at age 35 and then every five years.
Eye Exam – Of course you need to go at any age that you start to experience sight issues, but if you are really lucky, then at age 40 start having an eye exam every other year. Once you hit 65, change it to every year.
Diabetes Screening – Starting at age 45 annually. Screenings let you know if you are disposed for the disease. The earlier it is detected, the more you can do to prevent developing the disease.
Mammograms – Once you turn 45, you should have this done once a year. After 55, you can change it to every other year.
Blood Glucose Test – Age 45 seems to start a slew of extra tests, but add this one as well. You only have to get it checked every third year after that.
Colon Cancer Screening – I have Crohn’s disease, so unfortunately I have to have a colonoscopy annually, but for the average person, get a screening at age 50 and then every five years after that.
Bone Density Screening – At age 65, you really need to start worrying about those bones. Get this screening done and then proceed as directed by your doctor.
Hanging my head in shame, but scheduling with the general practitioner, gastroenterologist, gynecologist, opthamologist, dentist and dermatologist now.