ESTABLISHING YOUR WOMEN’S HEALTH TEAM

Most women are busy juggling life’s many priorities including children, jobs, family responsibilities, and much more. Making your own health a top priority may not be at the top of your list, but take a minute this Spring to consider making it one. While scheduling your child’s well checkup, dental visits and many summer plans, take a few to make sure you are up to date on preventive care. A healthy mom is better equipped to take on the many demands life throws us!
 
If you’re like many women, you have an OB/GYN who you would follow to the moon and back. He or she delivered your baby and has seen you at your best and your worst. You don’t miss your annual gynecologist visit. But who do you see when you’re sick? Do you try and tough it out, or do you turn to urgent care? A better answer: establish a primary care doctor who can manage your overall health, including well and sick visits.
 
Your Primary Care Provider:
The primary care provider (PCP) you see likely will be a physician who is a family or internal medicine specialist. He or she focuses on healthcare for men and women of every age and is trained to treat most medical conditions. Primary care physicians diagnose, treat and manage most chronic illnesses in addition to providing preventive healthcare, including checkups, immunizations, screening tests and counseling on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
 
Primary Care Appointment Checklist:
Be prepared for your next primary care physician checkup with this checklist:
  • Blood pressure—Ask your doctor what yours is and what it should be.
  • Family history—Discuss when you should be tested for diseases that have affected family members.
  • Blood tests—Discuss why they are important.
  • Thyroid function—Ask your doctor when you should have your thyroid tested.
  • Bone mineral density (BMD)—Ask your doctor what your BMD should be.
  • Weight/BMI—Assess risk factors for diseases and conditions associated with obesity.
 

Health in Your 20s and 30s:

During these visits, you should feel free to discuss any of your concerns with your health care provider. You should also ensure that you get your important health numbers checked and that you are up-to-date with your immunizations.
 
More Tips for Better Health
  • Eat healthy and maintain a weight that is appropriate for your height
  • Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week
  • Quit smoking and limit alcohol use
  • Get a seasonal flu shot
  • Get a PAP and HPV test
  • Get your HPV vaccine series if you haven’t done so already
  • Talk to your doctor about getting screened for sexually transmitted infections

 

Health in Your 40s and 50s:

You are transitioning into mid-life and starting to approach menopause. There may be hormonal changes in your body, which may cause your cholesterol levels and blood pressure to rise. Take a proactive approach to your diet and exercise. Continue to schedule regular wellness visits and discuss with your health care provider any concerns you may have about general health, sexual health, mental health as well as family history of cancers.
 
More Tips for Better Health
  • Talk to your doctor about screening for breast and colon cancer
  • If you are a current or past smoker, ask about lung cancer screening (55 and older)
  • If 55 and older, ask your physician about taking an aspirin daily
  • Eat healthy and maintain a weight that is appropriate for your height
  • Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week
  • Quit smoking and limit alcohol use
  • Get your blood pressure checked
  • Get annual blood work to screen for medical problems like diabetes and high cholesterol
  • Get a seasonal flu shot
  • Get a PAP and HPV test
  • Get an HIV test at least once
 
Establish a relationship with a primary care provider who can be your partner in wellness through life’s many stages. Visit touro.com/FindADoc or call 504-897-7777 to find a provider in your neighborhood today.

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