In talking with her about health (she is in the nursing program too- hence why she is my "Little Sister." I became her mentor and go-to person last year if she needed any test taking tips, stress relievers, etc. We call them our "Little Sisters."), I quickly knew what I wanted to post about tonight.
As I hear tips and stories about how you all stay in shape and create health for your family, I don't hear many of you speaking about how you keep healthy INTERNALLY! Going to the doctor on a regular basis is so important and simple tests can help you learn more about your own body than anyone could know.
Going to, what we call in the medical field, your PCP (Primary Care Provider) you can punch out a bunch of these tests to help you get a better grasp on your own health:
Cholesterol: You may eat your 4-5 servings of vegetables, 3-4 servings of fruits, your whole grains, protein, no sugar, etc. every day, but you could still have high cholesterol levels. Your LDL levels need to be monitored, especially as you age, because this could be a genetic factor leading you to an unexpected illness, disease, or even death.
Blood Pressure: Make sure you know what your average blood pressure is versus what the ideal blood pressure is (generally around 120/80). Having high blood pressure could eventually lead to heart disease, kidney failure, migraines, stress, etc. This can also be passed on through the family so make sure it ends with you!
Teeth: Every six months, you should be visiting your dentist for a routine cleaning. Though brushing your teeth daily followed by flossing is great, that doesn't mean you can never get a cavity. Plus, there is nothing like the feeling of walking out of a dentist office with your teeth cleaned!
Opthamologist: Get your eyes checked!! Doctors recommend that you see an eye doctor every year. Vision changes constantly, especially as you age, and you want to make sure your corrective lenses are up-to-date in order to not strain your eyes/vision any more. Personally? I am almost legally blind. Seriously...I almost have the vision that is legally considered blind...I'm 24! What?? I have been wearing glasses since I was about 8 years old and am extremely near-sighted (I can't see things that are far away). Because my vision is so bad, I need to make sure I have the right prescription so I can actually see!
Pap Smear: Ladies! Our best friend, next to our mothers and perhaps that girl we've known since the 4th grade, might just be our OB/GYN. And this doctor will do A LOT for you. Not only does he/she know your downstairs better than most, if not any, they are the first to tell you if something is wrong with your reproductive system. A pap smear is a cervical smear that is a screen to detect cancerous processes. Cervical cancer usually goes unnoticed so it is important to visit your BFF once a year.
Mammograms: Every doctor is different in their recommendation of when to start getting mammograms. The average age they say to start is around 40. However, for ladies like me who aren't as fortunate, my situation is a bit different. Due to genetics and probability, I am at a higher risk for breast cancer than say my mother. My mammogram checks will start next year at the age of 25 and will continue every other year until I turn 35 when it will switch to every year. Consult with your own OB/GYN on what they recommend.
- NOTE: Self breast exams should be given once a month, first when lying down then standing up or in the shower. However, make sure you are looking at your breasts in the mirror on a regular basis to make sure they are their usual size, shape, and color. Use a firm, smooth touch with just the first few finger pads, keeping your fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter. Cover the entire breast from top to bottom. You can begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast.
- NOTE: GENTLEMAN! Self testicular exams are just as important for you! The best time to do it is right after a hot shower. To learn more about the procedure, check here.
**Ask your doctor what other tests should be taken for you to gain total health for your body. Everyone is different and you might be at risk for different health issues due to genetics or environment.**
Do you visit your doctor family regularly??
Make sure you are taking care and being accountable for your ENTIRE body. This way you can live your life to its fullest!...on your own two feet...
Until the next step bloggers...