Women are busy whether you are a stay at home mom, a working outside of the home mom or an empty nester mom. Each phase and season of life brings a new kind of busy. It’s easy, when you are being pulled in a million directions to forget the yearly physical check ups, but they critically important. You don’t likely go very far beyond the recommended oil changes for your car, or you’ll end up with a burnt out engine. So it is with your well-oiled machine.
Yearly physical exams are vitally important. It’s a time when you can connect with your provider and your body. You can talk about the little health changes that have been nagging you and some of the bigger concerns. Here’s a list of some of the common things you could discuss with your provider at your yearly exam.
- Your healthy weight- is maintaining a healthy weight difficult? Are there things your provider can do to help?
- Are you up to date on your adult vaccines?
- What health issues are you at risk for?
- Are there new family health histories to discuss?
- What are your own health concerns?
- Report on your emotional status
- Don’t leave without your critical screenings
Of course, this is a great time to talk about any other mental, physical or emotional health problems.
Once a year, you should be getting your regular screenings which consist of the following.
- Breast cancer screening if you are over 40. If you are under 40, make sure you are schooled in self breast exams.
- Cervical cancer/HPV screening. If you are 21-29, every three years. If you are 30-65, a pap screening every 3 years or an HPV test every 5 years. Over 65, pap screening is not done if you have never had abnormal cervical cells. Consult your physician about how often you should be screened.
- Skin cancer screening.
- Colon cancer screening if you are over 50.
- Bone density screening if you are over 65
- Blood pressure screening
- Cholesterol screening
- Thyroid screening
As with all medical advice, you should always visit with your healthcare provider for individual protocols and screenings that are important to you. We are all so unique in our health profile and only our doctor can diagnose and help us make important decisions regarding our health.
Once a year, it is good to remind yourself that even you, need to be taken care of. When we are in the best health possible, we can better care for those around us and accomplish the goals we have set for our life.