Health & Wellness
Mother’s Day Moms have “super” powers. Mom-power goes beyond ordinary to extraordinary to nurture at every turn. How about those supreme abilities for keeping all the plates spinning of life’s daily demands while patiently engaging in the moment with us? Or, the divine relief that overflows in everything from kissing our boo-boos to the 6th sense of “just knowing” what we need to giving “the” wisdom and insight for processing the dynamics of life? Oh, how about “those” powers to speak with their eyes … and supersonic hearing!! They are superhuman – our superheroes. That’s a lot of responsibility. Thus, it is no surprise that many mothers will put taking care of their own health on the back burner.
Dr. Nina’s What You Need To Know
About Health Screenings Every Woman Should Undergo
What? A fasting blood sample is drawn. We are considered normal if less than 100 mg/dL; Prediabetic if 100-125 mg/dL; and Diabetic if greater than 125 mg/dL. When? Anyone
older than age 45 should be screened. However, if you have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25, hypertension, sedentary lifestyle, polycystic ovary syndrome, gestational diabetes, a personal history of heart disease or close relatives with diabetes, screening should be performed earlier, regardless of age.
How often? Every 3 years. If there are risk factors, your doctor may recommend more frequently.
BLOOD PRESSURE DENTAL CHECKUP Why? Increased blood pressure can elevate your risk for heart disease, stroke and Why? Many problems—cavities, gum disease, oral cancer—may not be obvious
kidney damage. Early detection allows for lifestyle changes and medications that can decrease disease burden. Symptoms of increased blood pressure are usually not obvious, until the damage has been done.
What? Involves placing a cuff around your biceps and inflating it, followed by
slowly deflating the cuff. A single high reading does not necessarily mean you have hypertension. Your health care provider will likely want to repeat the measurement at the end of a visit, or have you check it at home or at a pharmacy.
When? Age 20 years How often? Every 2 years if it is below 120/80 mm Hg. When higher, your health care provider will likely want to check it more often.
BONE DENSITY SCREENING Why? To diagnose osteoporosis or bone weakness and try to slow down the progression, before breaking a bone.
What? A bone density test uses X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone. The bones that are most commonly tested are in the spine, hip and forearm. Although you must lie still, there is no pain or discomfort involved.
until they enter advanced stages. A dentist can spot a problem before it becomes a BIG problem. Additionally, research shows that dental issues can increase your risk of heart disease.
What? Cleaning tartar, plaque, or stains; polishing with a rotating rubber
cup or brush; X-rays on some visits; and an examination. Even if you maintain excellent oral hygiene (brushing, flossing), you still need to see your dentist.
When? As children. Yes, as children. But don’t fret; it’s better late than never. How often? On average, twice a year. This varies depending on the risk
of dental disease. Smokers, diabetics, people with current gum disease or with a chronic illness may need to see their dentist more frequently. Additionally, talk with your doctor to discuss breast, colon, and cervical cancer screenings. Women, too often, put their own health on the backburner caring for others. Please join me this Mother’s Day in taking a pledge to lovingly remind the amazing women in our lives that their health needs to be at the top of their long list of things-to-do.
When? 65 years of age or older. Screening may be recommended earlier if there are risk factors for osteoporosis such as a fracture from normal activity, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease, early menopause, history of breast cancer, significant loss of height, smoking, family history of osteoporosis, use of steroid medications for more than one month, use of thyroid hormone replacement or increased alcohol consumption.
How often? Every 2 years. However, it may be appropriate to wait longer. Discuss with your health care provider to determine what is best for you.
FASTING BLOOD SUGAR Why? Symptoms of diabetes and pre-diabetes come on slowly and may not
be obvious. Diabetes can cause numerous issues including blindness, heart attacks, stroke, nerve damage and kidney failure. Early detection and appropriate management can decrease the chance of having these complications.
Nina Radcliff, M.D.,
is a practicing physician and a Board Certified Anesthesiologist. Often called upon by media to speak to medical health topics impacting our lives today, Dr. Nina is passionate about sharing truths for healthy, balanced living as well as wide preventative measures.
This article is for general information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions and cannot substitute for the advice from your medical professional. Dr. Nina has used all reasonable care in compiling the current information but it may not apply to you and your symptoms. Always consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.
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