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Let’s Talk About Health Matters: All In For Health: Women’s Month, Women’s Health

“Minding your well-being: Women’s month, Women’s health: Health Screening For Women By Dr TW Ngwenya-Changamire General medical check-ups should be done on an annual basis. This will enable earlier detection of risks that may lead to chronic disease and allow for early intervention and prevention of disease occurrence. This week we will be discussing routine screening in women and the recommended stages these should be done. In women aged between 18 and 39, these tests below should be done every 2 years. Blood pressure screening is important. In the health matters section, we have discussed how untreated blood pressure can cause strokes, kidney disease and heart conditions. The recommended blood pressure is a systolic blood pressure below 139 and a diastolic blood pressure below 90. Systolic blood pressure is the top value and diastolic blood pressure is the bottom value. If blood pressure reads between 130 – 139 for top value and 85 – 90 for the bottom value it is recommended that blood pressure be checked annually.

“Minding your well-being: Women’s month, Women’s health: Health Screening For Women

By Dr TW Ngwenya-Changamire

 

General medical check-ups should be done on an annual basis. This will enable earlier detection of risks that may lead to chronic disease and allow for early intervention and prevention of disease occurrence. This week we will be discussing routine screening in women and the recommended stages these should be done.

In women aged between 18 and 39, these tests below should be done every 2 years. Blood pressure screening is important. In the health matters section, we have discussed how untreated blood pressure can cause strokes, kidney disease and heart conditions.

The recommended blood pressure is a systolic blood pressure below 139 and a diastolic blood pressure below 90. Systolic blood pressure is the top value and diastolic blood pressure is the bottom value.

If blood pressure reads between 130 – 139 for top value and 85 – 90 for the bottom value it is recommended that blood pressure be checked annually. If blood pressure systolic if blood pressure is above 140 or diastolic above 90 then blood pressure needs to be checked more frequently within the same year.

Your health practitioner will advise when to come back for a re-check. Lifestyle modification advise will be given and you will be expected to try and adopt these changes into your lifestyle. Lifestyle modification includes measures such as reducing alcohol intake to 2 units per sitting.

 

Women are advised to drink 14 units per week maximum while men are advised to drink 21 units per week.

Other suggestions include reducing smoking gradually with the goal of stopping and reducing your salt intake. You can also refer to our article on this page, “Mindful eating-salt.” This helps you to calculate your daily intake and helps you to identify foods that contain a lot of salt.

A high salt intake leads to high blood pressure.

Exercise and taking measures to reduce stress levels all help to reduce blood pressure. Your health practitioner will continue to monitor your progress as you incorporate these changes into your lifestyle.

Blood sugar should be checked. If you have a high Body Mass Index, which is a BMI above 25 you should start to check your blood sugar.

A family history of diabetes or presence of other conditions like diabetes requires you to get checked annually. Low risk individuals can screen every 2 years, eye screening is advised every 2 years for those who suffer from visual problems. Eye screening is routine for those who suffer from diabetes and this should be done every year.

Cholesterol must be checked. If you do not have a family history of dyslipidaemia you can check your cholesterol after every 5 years. Cholesterol may be checked more frequently depending on BMI and presence of other chronic diseases that increase risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Women who are sexually active should go for STI screening and HIV screening. This is done at any age. STI screening involves testing for gonorrhoea, chlamydia, trichomonas and HPV. Untreated STI’s may lead to infertility. Cervical cancer screening starts from the age of 21.

 

Those who are under 21 years can go for cervical cancer screening if they are sexually active or are infected with HIV.

Women between the ages of 21 and 65 years are advised to go every 3 years for their screening. Women above 65 years do not need to go in for cervical screening provided they have had 3 normal pap smears in the past decade and are a low risk person. Low risk person is those who is not infected with HIV or HPV virus. HPV virus is Human papilloma virus which increases risk of cervical cancer.

Breast cancer screening involves monthly self-examinations, clinical examinations and radiological investigations. From the age of 20 women should start to conduct monthly self-examinations.

If you pick up a mass or abnormality you present to the doctor who will conduct a clinical examination and refer you to a breast ultrasound service and biopsy of the lesion. Breast self-examination is to continue throughout your lifetime.

It is complemented by a clinical examination every 3 years if no abnormalities are detected. These 3 yearly examinations are offered to women between the ages of 20 and 40. For women above 40 annual clinical examinations are recommended together with annual mammograms.

Routine self-examination of the skin is also advised. Monitor progression of skin growths and moles. Go in for evaluation of new growths and moles. This is important particularly for those with a family risk of skin cancer.
Oral health is important. Visit the dentist twice a year for routine dental examination and cleaning.

Empower yourself by taking steps towards improving your health. It is not too late to start and more importantly it is okay to restart efforts towards achieving health. Keep trying, keep going and strive for health. Health is wealth.

 

Contact All In 4 Health – Dr TW Ngwenya Changamire – for General Medical Consultation, Health Screening, Medical Check-up, Health Education and Promotion. The Glen Marais Shopping Centre, 57 Veld Street, Glen Marais, Kempton park 1619

 

 

 

 

 

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Zimbabwe Digital Express

Contact: (+27) 834767918
See News Differently
Facebook: Zimbabwe Digital News
Twitter: @realdigitalnews

 

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