As we age, there are essential health screenings that should be done at least once a year, if not more often.
Prevention and early detection are vital to controlling potentially life-threatening illnesses.
It is especially important to become more diligent with your doctor’s visits once you turn 50. Major illnesses tend to become apparent during that time of your life and many can be treated early on when you are preemptive with your health management.
Try these screenings to be proactive with your health:
- Cancer screenings. It is always better to catch cancer in its early stages. Preventative medicine is an important part of gaining and maintaining a positive quality of life. Breast cancer and cervical cancer are leading cancers that affect women over 50.
Having knowledge about your body’s health will provide you peace of mind because you’re gaining some control over your overall well-being.
2. Bone density scan. In women, osteoporosis is a major cause of decreasing bone density that can result in broken and fractured bones.
- Experts recommend that women over 50 should have their bone density levels tested every 2 years.
- Regular amounts of calcium in your diet may not prevent the onset of osteoporosis. There comes a point in your life when your regular intake of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients may not be enough to satisfy the needs of your aging body.
3. Blood pressure. Getting your blood pressure checked at least every six months will enable you to keep a handle on this important aspect of your health.
- High blood pressure put you at risk for heart disease and stroke. It roughens the walls of your arteries and makes your heart use extra effort in order for your body to maintain its functionality.
- High blood pressure can impact your ability to concentrate or use your memory.
- Use these suggestions to increase your control over your blood pressure: reduce your intake of sodium and caffeine, introduce or increase your exercise habits, and actively make an effort to reduce any mental stress in your life.
- Reduce your mental stress with meditation, hypnosis, calming massage, personal time for prayer, or exercising to release emotionally positive endorphins.
4. Cholesterol. The two types of cholesterol in your blood are LDL, which is bad for your heart, and HDL, which improves your body’s health. Your doctor will do a blood test called the lipoprotein profile to determine the levels of cholesterols in your blood.
- Strive to have higher amounts of HDL cholesterol than LDL. LDL cholesterol causes build ups of fat in your body’s arteries and the HDL cholesterol works to prevent clogging.
- Your body and mind may be impacted by high cholesterol. When you have too much of the “bad” cholesterol, it can lead to heart disease.
- In the absence of HDL cholesterol and an abundance of LDL cholesterol, fat will clog your arteries and reduce blood flow going away from the heart. Your heart will then have to put forth more effort, prematurely aging your most vital organ.
- A healthy diet is the key. Consuming omega-3 fatty acids, often found in fish and nuts, will increase your HDL cholesterol, and avoiding trans fats will lower your LDL cholesterol.
5. Thyroid. A thyroid that’s working too fast or too slow can result in disproportionate hormone levels which can negatively impact your quality of life.
Early detection and intervention are important factors in aging gracefully. Taking initiative against potential illnesses will give you peace of mind regarding your body’s state of being.
Your knowledge is your power! Feel empowered by gaining valuable insight about your health.