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5 Vital Health Screenings Every Woman Over 40 Should Undergo

Contributed by: Rachana Arya

 

Introduction

Women are predisposed to a variety of health problems as they age.

If an underlying health condition exists, regular screening guarantees a diagnosis early on — when it’s likely to be the most treatable — and saves you from extensive treatment later. 

Consider it similar to the regular maintenance check you perform on your car to ensure that it works smoothly.

While there are age-specific healthcare recommendations, make a resolution to be proactive regarding your health, especially when you hit 40.

 

The importance of routine health examinations at 40

Around 5% of women experience early menopausal symptoms between the ages of 40 and 45.

Premature menopause affects 1% of women before the age of 40.

Menopause can also be caused by ovary removal surgery, cancer therapies such as radiation or chemotherapy, or autoimmune illnesses

Here is a list of easy-to-follow health screenings checklist for women over the threshold of 40, ranging from a pelvic examination and pap smear to a comprehensive breast examination.

 

Diabetes and hypertension screening

Because high blood pressure can have a significant impact on a woman’s health throughout her life, resulting in long-term difficulties (pregnancy, post-partum and lactation, and menopause), it is recommended to have it checked regularly.

A blood sugar test, HbA1C and lipid profile are recommended to diagnose diabetes, pre-diabetes and allied conditions.

These tests are particularly recommended if you are overweight or have risk factors, such as a family history of heart disease, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and chronic use of medications like steroids or contraception. 

 

Pap smear and pelvic Examination

Cervical cancer is the leading cause of mortality amongst most Indian women and it is second to breast cancer.

With the incidence of cervical cancer on the rise, it is usually recommended to get a Pap smear and HPV tests.

These tests can easily detect the early onset of disease. In addition to this, a complete pelvic examination should also be done to look at the condition of the uterus, tubes, and ovaries and pick up fibroid/endometrial polyps/cancers/ ovarian cysts/masses at an early stage.

 

Mammogram

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in most women.

Yet a lot of women do not get themselves screened for it. Because the risk of breast cancer grows with age, it is recommended that every woman over the age of 40 should get an annual mammogram/ultrasonography for screening of breast cancer.

A clinical examination of the breasts by a skilled physician is required to discover abnormalities that may be missed out by regular self-exams.

Breasts are examined for breast pain, nipple discharge or a palpable mass.

Testing for BRCA mutations for breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility is recommended, especially if there is a family history of breast cancer.

 

Bone density screening

Women over 40 years are predisposed to osteoporosis more than men.

This is linked to a decrease in oestrogen levels, which performs a protective role in women’s bones.

Osteoporosis is a prevalent bone degenerative disorder in women in which important minerals such as calcium leak from the bones, rendering them weak and brittle. 

Since women have lower bone density than men at birth, they lose bone mass more quickly as they age, leading to osteoporosis in 80% of women.

The bone mineral density test, the DEXA scan screens your spine, hips, and wrists and is usually recommended to women once every 5 years after the age of 35 years.

 

Thyroid

Weight gain, hair loss, brittle nails, and weariness are just a few of the usual complaints of women over 40.

Diseases of the thyroid cause it to make either too much or too little of the hormones T3, T4, and TSH, which are responsible for controlling the body’s metabolism.

Women are more vulnerable to the malfunction of the thyroid due to the high flux of hormones during pregnancy and again at menopause.

After the age of 40, women should have a thyroid test done every three years.

 

Final thoughts

Some conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease can run in families, increasing your odds of having them.

It is therefore recommended to be proactive towards your health by opting for regular health checkups and stay healthier, sharper, more energetic, and more fulfilled for years to come. 

 

Book The Full Body Health Checkup Today!

The post 5 Vital Health Screenings Every Woman Over 40 Should Undergo appeared first on HEALTHIANS BLOG.

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