This one’s for the girls…the resourceful, intelligent women who are serious about living their best lives. Part of living a balanced, full life includes wellness practices like physical activity, sleep hygiene, nutritious foods and a fulfilling social life, just to name a few. The rest requires some input from a health care provider, even when you’re not sick.
Being a woman has a lot of awesome health perks, for example a longer life expectancy, better memory and less chance of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s.
On the flip side, the fact you’re a woman means you’re more likely to develop certain conditions unique to, or more common in your gender. That’s why you’ll want to develop your own proactive preventive care plan.
Four things you can do now to protect your health
1. Establish a primary care provider (PCP)
Doctors aren’t just for the sick. The job of a PCP is to treat the whole patient, and help keep you from getting sick in the first place. Ask for recommendations from others in your age and stage of life.
2. Schedule an annual well-woman visit
This is your opportunity to discuss health habits, family history, reproductive and sexual health and inquire about all those questions on your mind—even the embarrassing ones.
3. Take advantage of preventive screenings
- Screenings for breast, colon and cervical cancer
- Hypertension screening
- Cholesterol checks for cardiovascular disease
- Blood sugars screening for diabetes
- Osteoporosis screening
4. Keep yourself safe with immunizations
- Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis
- Pneumococcal (pneumonia)
When does feeling sad become depression, or nervousness become a phobia? If thoughts, behaviors, or moods interfere with your work or relationships longer than two weeks, you may have a health condition.
If so, treatment can help you feel better, but only if you contact someone for help.
Each year, 1 in 5 U.S. women have depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or an eating disorder or other mental health issues. More than twice as many women as men experience anxiety or depression.