March 8 is celebrated worldwide as international women's day, to recognise the contributions of women in every field, be it mathematics, social sciences, fine arts, business or teaching.
The United Nations theme for international women's day this year is ‘I Am Generation Equality’, to raise awareness on Central issues women still face at the workplace, such as longer working hours, lesser pay than men for the same tasks and others. This global day aims at raising awareness on emphasizing equal rights for women in every sphere of society.
Yes, today, women have indeed made significant strides, embraced feminism and risen up to the highest positions at top companies compared to the massive oppression they endured a century ago.
Nevertheless, amidst juggling many roles, as a career woman, a mother, a daughter, sister and wife, women often tend to ignore her own personal health, as she feels obliged to fulfil all her other responsibilities. This, coupled with a fast-paced lifestyle with growing competition, has led to an increase in women's health issues not just amongst the elderly, but even youngsters and middle-aged women.
In this regard, it is of prime importance that a woman is aware of the gradual changes in her body as she ages and gets checked up regularly, to prevent the risk of severe chronic disorders like diabetes or breast cancer in her later years.
Here are five health tests that every woman must take up on a regular basis, to ensure optimal overall health.
The rise in the incidence of diabetes amongst young adults is mainly due to consuming unhealthy foods, leading a sedentary lifestyle and poor sleep habits.
Besides following a balanced diet, exercising regularly and sleeping well, it is crucial for every woman over 30 years of age to test her blood sugar levels. This helps to indicate if insulin is functioning normally in the system and hence prevent a woman from suffering from diabetes for a lifetime.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, which invariably leads to other complications, besides painful radiotherapy treatments.
To avert the risk of obtaining breast cancer, it is advised that every woman above the age of 20 do a self-examination of her breasts and in case any abnormal lumps are detected, to get a mammogram performed immediately. This is an invasive scan of breast tissue that helps in the early detection of tumours and thus treats it effectively and aids in a speedy recovery. Also Read: World Breast Cancer Month: Debunking 5 Common Breast Cancer Myths
Cervical and vaginal cancers commonly affect women of all ages and can lead to grave consequences, if left undetected.
Besides following some basic vaginal hygiene tips, a pap smear that collects tissue samples from the vagina helps to identify if any cancers might be developing in the region. Timely medical intervention ensures complete removal of all cancer cells and a healthy, disease-free life.
Due to menstrual cycles, pregnancy and childbirth, a woman's blood calcium levels, as well as estrogen hormone quantities, tend to decline with age.
Both calcium and estrogen being vital for maintaining strong bones, a bone density scan is taken once every 3 years post the age of 35 helps in detecting cases of osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis in the early stages. In this manner, a woman can maintain robust bone density and good physical health even in later years. Also Read: Calcium - Important Mineral For Women's Health
Master Health Check-Up
Hormonal fluctuations, dormant infections and drop in haemoglobin levels can cause major ailments in women such as thyroid and anaemia.
Hence, getting a complete analysis of blood, besides X-rays and scans of vital organs like heart, chest, stomach, kidney and liver, once every 3 years in the 20s and 30s, and every year post the age of 40 definitely assist in early detection of health anomalies and better treatment of the same.
This women's day, every woman must keep in mind to look after her health henceforth, by getting regular medical checkups of key parameters, in order to look after herself as well as her family, for a healthier and happier future.