Majority of women in India are careless about their own health, and put health of other family members above theirs. What many such selfless women fail to foresee that their body needs attention too and their health is as important as anybody else’s in the family. Here are a few tests that every woman must go for in the right frequency.
- Screening for cholesterol levels
Cholesterol building up in the arteries can lead to severe health risks. The risk for heart disease can be found with the lipid profile test. Measuring of LDL and HDL cholesterol is useful, as the cholesterol levels can surge after menopause. Triglycerides are also measured in this test. This panel is a must when one has a case history of heart disease in the family.
2 Bone density test
Osteoporosis is commoner in women than in men. In this diseasethe bones become weak and brittle as a result. The female sex hormone estrogen, which is a guard again bone erosion falls in women, falls drastically after menopause. A specialized X-ray known as DEXA is used to screen the spine, waist, and hips. This test should be taken every 5 years, after 65 years of age.
3 Vitamin D test
Vitamin D is much needed by the body to primarily protect occurrence of bone loss and make bones strong. However, years of research on vitamin D tells us that, vitamin D deficiency can be one of the causes of cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, infections, inflammatory bowel diseases, psychological disorders, even some cancers. Measuring it helps in keeping off from bone health risks and osteoporosis too. But, most of the times, Vitamin D levels are not given its due significance in routine health tests. The serum 25(OH) Vitamin D test offers a sufficient measurement of Vitamin D levels in the body.
4 Tests for Anemia and Iron Deficiency
As per Global Nutrition Report 2017, more than 50% of Indian women in the reproductive age group of 15-49 years is anemic. It is not only under-nutrition that is the culprit for high anemia burden in India but poor hygiene is a major cause as well as it prevents absorption of food. It is important to check blood hemoglobin levels to establish a diagnosis of anemia and also to see if low nutritional iron is the cause. Once the cause is identified, appropriate management can be started early.
5 Thyroid Hormones
Women are more likely than men to have thyroid diseases, especially right after pregnancy and after menopause. If the thyroid doesn’t secrete enough hormones into the blood, a woman may suffer from hypothyroidism and a slowing down of bodily functions. This could cause more serious complications, like high cholesterol and heart trouble. On the flip side, if the thyroid secretes too much of the hormones, bodily functions will speed up, as it does in hyperthyroidism. While a simple blood test can easily determine how much thyroid hormone one has in the blood, doctors often don’t think to check TSH or other thyroid levels since the symptoms of a thyroid problem can mimic the symptoms of many other conditions. If one is a woman nearing menopause, it is especially important that she rules out thyroid disorders.
Eye examination, ear examination, screening for blood pressure and diabetes tests are few other tests that are commonly recommended by the doctors.