Health reminders for middle-aged women
Life’s complexities, the high cost of living, pressing responsibilities and the rising cost of healthcare often lead women to forget many very important things to do. This should not happen with regard to health and wellbeing. So physicians should remind their patients, particularly the “not-so-young women” who usually become “victims of forgetfulness,” to consult their checklist on “things to do” before the year ends.
In and around menopause, the most deadly risks women are exposed to are breast cancer, malignancy of the uterine lining (endometrium) and cancer of the cervix. The risks dissipate if a trip to the gynecologist is remembered and done, which usually ends up with requests for a mammogram, a transvaginal ultrasound and papanicolaou smears after a pelvic examination.
Since 60 percent of women at middle age become “targets” of obesity, menstrual irregularities, dyslipidemia (high cholesterol, triglycerides) hypertension and heart disease, diabetes, kidney and liver ailments, then blood chemistry, x-ray and ultrasound studies come in handy as tools for detecting the presence or absence of these maladies.
Frequently, body changes at middle age raises marital concerns that disrupt peace, love and happiness in the family; ergo, corresponding professional care should be solicited.
At this point in the lives of senior citizens, the lovely kids may have grown and ventured into lives of their own, producing the “empty nest syndrome” in the home—thereby necessitating a trip to the family physician, counselor or psychiatrist for mental health restoration and advice.
With these simple reminders, health and wellbeing should be a sure thing this year. Happy New Year!
—SANTIAGO A. DEL ROSARIO, MD, former president, Philippine Medical Association
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