Ok ladies! You’re not getting younger, your body is changing, and I know you have questions about it all. You are busy during this season, I get it. I live it. But we need to put on our own oxygen masks first, so we can continue to care for our families. You’ve spent your life taking care of everyone else. It’s time to take care of you. The time is now to make these appointments for important medical tests for women at 50.
Chances are you tend to put off making medical appointments if nothing is amiss. STOP IT! We need to take care of ourselves starting today. If preventative medical care seems a waste of time to you, lean over so I can slap you silly. So many devastating issues can be fixed simply if they are treated early.
No more excuses. Let’s do this.
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. (I know. This revelation is groundbreaking.) I don’t even play one on TV. BUT, I have been around the block and know that you need to take care of yourself and see a doctor ANNUALLY. Finding possible issues before they are a problem can actually put YEARS on your life. You’re welcome.
Annual Physical Exam
This one appointment will begin the list of important medical tests if you’ve hit 50. How long has it been since you’ve seen your family physician? Make an appointment, today to talk everything that’s going on with you. Your medical provider will assess :
- Blood pressure and pulse
- Cancer screening
- Bone density (perhaps)
- Depression screening (perhaps)
Your doctor will probably order a blood panel as well, but you may have to ask for it. These tests are just a few that may be recommended:
- Cholesterol/Lipid panel
- Blood sugar
- TSH and T4 – for thyroid function
- Vitamin D
- Hepatitis C – especially if you were born between 1945-1965
This is the time to really dig into how you are feeling and any concerns about such things as menopause and aging issues.
Your doctor will refer you to other specialists if he does not perform things like pelvic exams as a general practitioner.
The onset of menopause and/or perimenopause spurs the need for loads of information. Your body begins to change and go rogue and you take to the internet to find out if what’s going on is normal. Unfortunately, there’s no standard symptom of either of these and pretty much everything is fair game. Your doctor will tell you what’s normal or not and if there’s a need for more tests..
Keep a list to take with you to your appointment, because, if you’re like me, I tend to forget things I wanted to ask. A changing libido is part of the whole menopausal change of life and you can discuss hormone therapy (there’s tons of different kinds and treatments). If you take prescriptions, bring that list with you as well which should include any over-the-counter supplements.
Note: If you are not satisfied with how your doctor is addressing chronic issues, perhaps you should explore the world of functional medicine. Read about my experience with functional medicine here.
I’d love to send you my free printable Menopause Foods: What to Eat and Avoid! Just shoot me your email at the end of this post.
I know, these are a pain (figuratively speaking). Let me ease your mind in case you’ve heard horror stories. Mammograms are, at most, a little uncomfortable and, but they are SOOOOO NECESSARY! Breast cancer today is no longer a death sentence as amazing strides have been made in its treatment, especially if treated early. Alert your doctor if you have a genetic predisposition to breast cancer through your mom or grandmother. The ‘girls’ need you to step up and take care of them.
If you’ve never had a mammogram, let me tell you that it is not a painful experience, just perhaps awkward. Basically, the girls are put on a shelf and squished a little in order to get a good x-ray. You can do this.
MAKE THE APPOINTMENT!!
This is also not a fun appointment. But, honestly ladies, the peace of mind that comes with knowing that all is well is worth any bit of comfort we may sacrifice.
If your periods have stopped, don’t assume there’s no need for a pelvic exam. Things are changing down there and we need to stay on top of all these changes.
See your gynecologist!
Nothing says ‘aging’ like the word colonoscopy flying out of your doctor’s mouth. Yep, we’re there. But we are brave and we can do anything.
A colonoscopy is a test conducted with a small scope (and camera) inserted into your colon after you are sedated. The doctor quickly views the journey of the camera by way of video looking for polyps and abnormalities. I know, this sounds awful, but sedation is magic and you won’t remember the procedure.
The worst part of this procedure is the preparation (or clean out). To ready yourself for a colonoscopy, you will be required to clean the pipes of your colon by drinking a solution the day before. I’d advise you to stay home during the prep as you’ll need your toilet ….a lot.
Here is the positive of not avoiding a colonoscopy, you only have to do this once every 10 years. Woohoo! And, if the doctor finds a polyp or two he will remove them right then.
Colon cancer is another form of cancer that is easily treated if discovered early.
Do not neglect your colon!
Since you’re making medical appointments anyway, why not go ahead and schedule an eye exam? I wear contacts so I have to do this every year for a fresh prescription. My dad has glaucoma, so I watch for this as well as cataracts since they tend to appear in my family too.
As a lovely gift of my midlife years, I now need readers. Ugh. I’ve found that my vision is especially crazy in low light. My doctor has tried to compensate for this with my annual prescription. Also, if you work often in front of a computer screen, you might discuss specialty blue light blocking lenses to help protect your eyes from its effects.
Just in case you’re not already seeing your dentist every 6 months, make this appointment as well. I know that older fillings must be replaced every few years, so your dentist will look for those, as well as gum issues too. Did you know that a failing thyroid can cause gum disease? Yep. Your teeth can be affected by other health problems, so go get your chompers checked!
I heard something the other day that I didn’t know. Ever wonder why flight attendants tell us to put on our own oxygen first when we’re flying with someone who needs help like a child or an elder? It’s because instinctively we will help our loved ones first, possibly losing us both. It’s in the nature of a mama. We tend to sacrifice ourselves to save those we love. When we put on our own oxygen first, we gain precious time, and we are better able to care for others.
These medical tests are your oxygen masks. They can be life-saving so that you can keep on caring for your family.
I want you to be healthy my friends! Make these appointments for important medical tests that women over 50 need! Let’s be proactive about our bodies and minds.
Don’t forget to sign up for free access to my Resource Library below. In it you will find Menopause Foods: What to Eat and Avoid plus many other printables and goodies for your midlife adventure.