The impact that mothers have on our lives should be appreciated every day! Today is the day designated to focus that celebration and honor mothers! They cheer during cold soccer games, cry when overjoyed and hug to help heal hurts. They teach, nurture, sacrifice, and may, at times, literally put their lives at risk in behalf of us, their children. As Kenny Rogers sang in his famous ballad, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” Their impact on our lives is unmeasurable.
Our moms too are often the ‘Chief Medical Officer’ for our families and for those in their care. From healthy foods to better lifestyle choices to scheduling medical appointments, women often take the lead in their family’s health care.
While we celebrate our moms on Mother’s Day, May is also as time to be an advocate for the women in our lives. National Women’ Health Month is a time to focus on women’s health and to encourage all the women in our lives – mothers, daughters, sisters, friends and spouses – to visit their healthcare provider to receive necessary screenings and to schedule their yearly checkup.
Many medical conditions, like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancer, may be ‘silent’ until there is a complication. With silent diseases, the concern is that complications typically appear in the later stages of disease when they are more difficult to treat. Other conditions such as abnormal bleeding, menstrual pain, and urinary incontinence may be annoying or signs of conditions that may be of more concern. They may be accepted as a normal aspect of aging, when they are truly disrupting to your desires and lifestyle and, in fact, may be very treatable.
Be sure and discuss all your health concerns as well as your family history of disease with your doctor. Information is vital in helping your doctor determine which tests are right for you, when you should have them and how often. While there are guidelines in place regarding screenings tests for women, it is important to follow the advice of your health care provider. For women, tests may include blood pressure, bone mineral density screening for osteoporosis, cervical cancer, diabetes screening, mammograms, blood tests, colonoscopies, mental and physical health checkups and well as a list of other screenings based on the needs of each individual. Each women’s health history and risks are unique and guidelines and timing of screenings are based on many factors; you and your doctor can work together to personalize your screening needs.
If you need to schedule a routine exam, have symptoms that are concerning or if you need to talk to a physician, please feel free to call my office at 208-232-6100.