A woman's health depends on a lot of factors. Every woman should make time for healthy habits, including regular exercise, stress management and choosing the right foods. But she should also be scheduling an annual doctor checkup, so that potential problems can be spotted early. In fact, health tests and screenings can help keep you healthy not only right now, but in future.
Of course, the particular questions and concerns that you should be talking to your doctor about depend on individual health concerns and needs. But in general, every woman should make sure she's also addressing the below ten topics with her doctor:
1. I am feeling (circle one/ all the apply): sad, anxious, angry, irritable, hopeless, worthless, post-partum depression, not like myself etc. Do you think I am depressed?
If you have been experiencing any of the above symptoms for more than a couple of weeks, without a reasonable explanation, it is imperative that you talk to your medical doctor about how you are feeling immediately.
2. Am I at risk for melanoma?
Show your doctors any moles that you might be concerned about. In addition to talking to your general practitioner or primary care physician about melanoma risks, everyone should be seeing a dermatologist every year for a full body check up
3. Do any of the medications I am taking interfere with one another?
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the drugs you take. When your doctor prescribes a new drug, discuss all over the counter (OTC) and prescription drugs, dietary supplements, vitamins, botanicals, minerals and herbs you take, as well as the foods you eat
4. Should I be taking any supplements?
Taking a multivitamin supplement can provide you with any vitamins and minerals you are lacking in your diet. Your doctor can help you determine what supplement is right for you as they differ according to your age and your needs.
5. Do I have a healthy cholesterol level?
Too much cholesterol, clogs blood vessels, and is a major cause of heart disease in men and women. Cholesterol levels start to increase in middle-aged men, in women just before menopause, and in people who have gained weight. Most experts recommend checking your cholesterol every 5 years. Your health care provider may suggest you have it checked more often, especially if your cholesterol is too high.
6. Do I have any STDs?
This is not just a question for the young. It is also a question that the young at heart should also be asking their doctors. Researchers at England's West Midlands Health Protection Agency found that in less than a decade, STD rates had more than doubled among people ages 45 and older. According to an article in Time Magazine, “Sex and older generations is not a topic that gets discussed much, not even in the doctor's office. But some physicians say that needs to change, because older patients are leading active sex lives — and their rates of STDs may be on the rise.”
7. What is the best type of birth control for me according to my age?
Again this question often gets overlooked by older women, who think because they are pre-menopausal they are not at risk for pregnancy. According to some sources, women above the age of 40 are as likely to get pregnant as a 16 year old:
8. Do you think I need to lose weight?
Ask your doctor if you are at healthy weight? At least 60 percent of women are overweight, according to a recent study done by the National Center for Health Statistics. More than one-third of those women are considered obese. It seems as if many doctors are avoiding telling patients when they need to lose weight:
9. What screenings should I be getting done regularly?
Do you have a uniquefamily history that you think would require you to have any diagnostic and preventive tests? It's important for you to take responsibility for your health. Let your doctor know your family history to see if your family’s healthy history means that you should be tested for certain things. For example, if women in your family tend to have fibroids, you should be regularly checked for them. If a certain type of cancer runs in your family, your doctor should be aware of this, too. Your blood glucose levels should be checked as well, especially if diabetes runs in your family. If you seen a recent jump in your cholesterol, and women in your family have had premature heart disease before the age of 65, aim to check your cholesterol once a year.
After getting your basic screenings, you should also ask your doctor if they think you should be screen for anything else, based on what he/she has seen and what you have discussed?
10. Can I have current copies of all of my medical records and test results?
All women should have a personal copy of all of their medical records and test results. You are your best advocate when it comes to your own health. Be informed with the facts about who you are, on the inside and out, so that you can help yourself stay healthy physically and mentally.
By Lorraine Jones, BDO Staff Writer
09 May 2011 , Copyright © 2005-2011, BlackDoctor.org. All rights reserved.
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