For any woman who’s trying to juggle work and family obligations, health often takes a back seat and we barely pay attention to it until something starts bothering us. It takes practically an army of pains and aches for us to remember that, hey, maybe it’s not a bad idea to go see a doctor. Don’t let other things get in the way. Even the most self-sacrificing mother and a career woman needs to take care of herself if she is to help anyone and stay at the top of her game. Put your health first, and remember to do these checkups to make sure you remain in peak physical condition.
Pelvic exam and a PAP smear
The first one on the list because that’s the one women tend to avoid the most. Look, if you hate seeing you OB/GYN it’s time to change your doctor. Find someone you trust, because a visit to a gynaecologist is important for all women, especially if they are sexually active or are trying to conceive. A pelvic exam can reveal any abnormal growths and if paired with a PAP smear can give your doctor a good indication of your genital health. And no, you can’t skip a PAP smear even if you haven’t had sex for a while – cancer isn’t too picky and you need to have an insight into the health of your reproductive organs.
Another important test, especially for women over the age of forty. Mammograms are pretty damn amazing because if you do them regularly, you have a high chance of catching cancer early and the surgery success rates are very high. This test is done by a radiologist, but your gyno will usually do a manual breast exam and have you do a mammogram even before you have it scheduled if they feel like you need it. You can learn how to do manual exams on your own, and this way you can discover any odd bumps in your tissue that may need doctor’s attention.
Even if you have perfect eyesight, a visit to an eye doctor should become one of your routine exams, especially if you work with a computer. Our eyes are quite sensitive and the strain we put them through can affect our vision and even bring on headaches that affect daily performance. Your doctor can refer you to a good ophthalmologist, or you can check out Eye Concepts professional optometrists and request an appointment. The doctors can do a macular degeneration assessment and check to see if you’re at risk for developing glaucoma and other diseases. They can also give you a prescription for the right glasses or contacts, should you need them.
Blood pressure and heart health
Cardiologist exams are very important for those with a genetic predisposition for cardiovascular diseases. Does your family have a history of heart diseases? Then you need to do be careful and check your blood pressure frequently. The doctor can also test the levels of LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood and do an ECG test, or even put you on Holter monitoring to make sure your heart is still performing well.
Have you been feeling inexplicably tired lately? It could be your thyroid. You don’t need to do this test as frequently as the others, but if you’ve been feeling symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, weight gain and dry hair and skin, it’s possible that you have hypothyroidism, also known as the underactive thyroid. However, fast pulse, insomnia, weight loss and chest aches could indicate hyperthyroidism or the overactive thyroid. An endocrinologist can check your TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) levels and see if there’s an issue. These diseases target women a lot more than men, and if they symptoms go unchecked it could cause you a lot of problems in the long run.
Don’t let work and obligations get in the way of your health. After all, if you get sick, you won’t be able to help anyone, and a lot of diseases are completely preventable and easier to treat if you do your checkups regularly.