In this month of women, take the time to take care of yourself

Every year on March 8, the world celebrates International Women’s Day (IWD). At home, we take it a step further by declaring March as National Women’s Month (NWM).

It is always interesting to see the wide range of activities and campaigns aimed at defending women’s rights as they push for gender equality. Over the years, I’ve sat in the audience listening to successful women share their inspiring journeys, and I’ve also written their stories to amplify their positive messages. There were even a time or two where I was the one on that stage giving the impassioned speech.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has reshaped how we honor IWD and NWM. While I encourage all women, and men too, to find out how you can help promote this year’s theme #BreakTheBias, I especially wanted to invite women to take this time to care for themselves and take care of their personal health.

A good place to start is Maria Health, which is aptly named for what we are also celebrating. I discovered Maria Health when we were looking for health insurance for our small business. This is an online shopping platform that has made all the health insurance jargon easier for me to understand and easier to buy online. They work with many health care providers so you can compare health insurance plans online and choose the right one for you, your family, or your business.

Maria Health recently sent me a list of annual health screenings for women that would be a great starting point for your self-care. According to Maria Health, “When you get tested every year, you can spot medical problems early, assess your risk for future health problems, update your vaccinations, and build a better relationship with medical providers if you have any problems.” future illness”. To make sure you’re in your best shape to fight the still-raging COVID-19 pandemic, here’s the list, compiled with information from dailyhealth.com and medlineplus.gov.

1. Blood pressure screening

This test detects hypertension at an early stage. Note that normal blood pressure is 120/80. You can go to a clinic or a doctor for this, or even get your own portable blood pressure monitor from pharmacies. Some are affordable and easy to use.

2. Cholesterol check

It is recommended that the total cholesterol level be below 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl), and any excess indicates a risk of high blood pressure or stroke. However, the recommended levels are not set in stone and adjusted by the medical community based on the latest studies, so it’s best to check with your doctor.

3. Pap smear

This test checks for cervical abnormalities and reveals whether there is a risk of cervical cancer or other related diseases. Women aged 21 and over should do this every three years. Your doctor may advise you to test more frequently depending on your age and condition.

4. Mammograms

The American Cancer Society recommends annual mammograms at age 45 to detect early signs of breast cancer. Most health insurance plans cover this, but it’s best to check before taking the test to make sure you’ll be reimbursed. Your doctor may advise you to test less frequently depending on the results of your last mammogram.

5. Bone density screening

At age 65, women should start taking this test to detect risk factors for osteoporosis.

6. Blood glucose tests

This checks for signs of prediabetes or diabetes. Women aged 45 and over should get it every three years. When you’re premenopausal or menopausal, your risk of prediabetes or diabetes is higher, so you may need to get tested once a year or every six months, depending on your doctor’s advice.

7. Colon Cancer Screening

Starting at age 50, women are advised to be screened for colon cancer every five or ten years, depending on the type of test recommended by your doctor.

8. Body Mass Index

BMI determines if a person is obese. You can easily calculate this by measuring your height and weight using the kg/m2 formula. Recent reports show that the pandemic has contributed to the rise in obesity as people were confined to homes and had limited mobility, so it’s best to check, for example, now. If you are outside your recommended weight range, why not check out indoor exercise.

9. Skin examination

Women can do a basic skin exam at home. Spot new moles or changes to existing moles or other abnormalities. Again, being pre-menopausal or menopausal can cause changes to your skin, including rashes. See a doctor for any skin changes you observe.

10. Dental examination

Dental checkups include cleaning and screening for early signs of tooth decay and other problems. With all my COVID-19 worries, going to the dentist is definitely on that list of things I don’t want to do yet, because I’ll have to open my mouth and sit there for who knows how long with so many people. instruments used to search my mouth. But it still needs to be done now with low cases, it’s time to make that appointment.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ABS-CBN Corp.

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Warning: The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ABS-CBN Corp.