Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Women's Health Checklist for Turning 40.

This is the third installment of my Turning 40 Series. I am focusing on my health so that I can hopefully live a long full life with my family. I am an older mom of younger kids. I had my first child at 36 and my second at 38. I was 17 years old and a senior in high school when my parents turned 40. At age 40, I have a 17 month old. I need to take care of myself for my sake and my family's. I want to grow really really old with my husband and be around to watch our kids grow up and their kids grow up.

A Women's Health Checklist for Turning 40:
  • Apparently one of the biggest health risks for women in their 40's is cervical cancer. My mother was diagnosed with it in her early 40's and was treated successfully with a partial hysterectomy. I was 18 at the time and I have gotten an annual pap test every year since then. I will continue to do so and encourage ALL of my female readers to get an annual pap test as well no matter what your age.

  • It is mammogram time! I received a letter from my doctor's office a couple of months ago telling me that "The US Preventative Services Task Force recommends that all women have a baseline screening mammogram at age 40". Women of all ages should perform monthly self breast exams. I have my annual pap appointment next month, so I will ask for my 'script' to get a mammogram. Who knew turning 40 was going to be so much fun!!

  • What does your family medical history look like when your elders hit their 40's? Heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes run in my family. Granted, I am not a smoker and I am not over-weight, but I still need to take care of myself to hopefully prevent these diseases. I have always exercised regularly and I think we eat fairly well, but I could always make improvements.

  • Osteoporosis is another big health risk for women in their 40's. I am a runner and swimmer, but I have never been regular at weight-training. For my bone health I need to start a weight training program. Also, at my annual pap appointment next month, I need to ask the doctor if I should be taking a calcium supplement. I eat lots of green leafy vegetables and dairy, but is it enough? How much do I need?

  • Reduce stress and anxiety. Exercise has always helped me to reduce my stress level. I am just now starting to get back into a regular running routine after a 2 year hiatus. For me a sweaty morning run helps to clear my head.

Reference article: Biggest Health Risks for women in their 40's

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, just a gal who is turning 40...and proud of it. Please consult your medical professional with any of these issues.

Turning 40 - The Series:

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