“Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever” – is a proverb that aptly describes what Mother’s day is all about. Mothers are our primary philosopher, friend and guide. As the years in a child’s life move forward, they also become a beacon of endurance and strength.
Mother’s health and Menopause
In today’s fast world, a large number of mothers take their health for granted while coping with day-to-day responsibilities. Once a woman reaches menopause, (a condition wherein she stops menstruating and becomes incapable of bearing a child), her health is affected adversely. It is a stage in a woman’s life when she goes through a state of emotional and physical turmoil.
A significant reduction in the levels of important hormones such as progesterone and estrogen takes place. As a result, women experience psychological conditions such as mood swings, changes in sleep pattern and irritation. In addition, the body also becomes prone to various disorders and ailments. In cases wherein menopause sets in early, the risk of disorders such as heart problems, impaired lung functioning and premature death increases.
This Mother’s Day, make her health the topmost priority and ensure that she undergoes the following tests –
- Bone Density Scans
A gradual decrease of bone density post menopause is a common problem among women. For a woman in her early 40s, it is recommended to get a bone density scan done once every two years. This is also the age when conditions such as osteoporosis (weak bones) affect women due to the lessening density of their bones. Habitual smokers/drinkers or underweight women should undergo bone density scans more frequently as they fall in the high risk category.
Colon cancer is another disorder that older women are prone to. Once a woman reaches 50 years of age, getting a colon report once every year is necessary. If there is a history of colon disorders in the family, get the colon report rechecked even more frequently.
Breast cancer is one of the major killers that accounts for a large number of lives worldwide. Women above the age of 40 should ideally undergo a breast exam or mammogram every year to detect any early signs of breast cancer. A breast ultrasound may be carried out along with a mammogram if the breast tissues are found to be very dense.
- Eye Examination
Conditions such as myopia, glaucoma, partial blindness and cataract start to surface as one ages. For older women, periodic eye check-ups are a must to prevent symptoms of eye disorders from spiraling out of control. One of the tests that ophthalmologists carry out is where they gauge the eye pressure – this allows them to predict if one is prone to glaucoma. For diabetic women, eye tests are much more important as the particular lifestyle disorder puts them at increased risks of cataracts.
- Cervical cancer test
Another cancer that is fairly common among older women, cervical cancer tests should start once a woman enters into her 40’s till the late 60’s.There is no need to undergo a cervical cancer test if a woman has had her cervix and uterus removed.
- A teeth exam
A through dental exam is a prerequisite for good dental health. It is used to detect symptoms of oral cancer. Furthermore, periodic dental exams can also aid in the detection of dental problems such as receding gums and tooth decay. If a woman eats sugary foods regularly, smokes or drinks excessively, then frequent visits to the dentist are a must.
- Lipid profile
Cholesterol levels in the body can be used to gauge how susceptible a woman is to heart disorders. High cholesterol levels increase the chances of a stroke or heart attack. It also raises the risks of gall bladder disorders.
A complete lipid profile test would indicate the levels of good cholesterol/ HDL (high density lipoprotein), bad cholesterol/ LDL (low density lipoprotein) and triglycerides in the body.
- Cardiac tests
Post-menopausal women are highly vulnerable to heart disorders. The cause of an alarming number of women falling victim to cardio-vascular afflictions has been attributed to the fact that women don’t generally undergo heart checkups. Heart tests are advised for not just older women, but also women in their late twenties. Frequent cardiac checkups are recommended for women who are overweight and women who are regular smokers and/or drinkers.