8 May 2015
Gift for Mother’s Day
The health checkup your Mom needs
Mother’s day is right round the corner and you must be thinking about what the best gift your mom deserves and how you can make her day or even better make her year better. Most of us spend the day celebrating having some un-healthy food from some un-healthy place. The best gift for her is to keep her fit. In our Indian culture our mom never thinks about herself as she is busy doing and caring for her husband and her children. She cares little about her comfort or her health. Right from eating to grooming she priorities her family and now at her age when she has done enough for her family, its time for us do something in return (not that she expects it).
So where do we start? Here are some basic checkpoints to keep in mind or to monitor every year.
BLOOD PRESSURE SCREENING
A Doctor’s visit or even an electronic BP Machine bought form the market can measure the blood pressure for you. If the top number (Systolic BP) is greater than 140, or the bottom number (Diastolic BP) is greater than 90, immediately see a physician. If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to have your blood pressure checked more often.
Following basic parameters should be checked. Additional tests may be required if any derangements noticed in these tests.
- Complete Blood Count – This will check your HB, red blood cells count, white blood cells (required for immunity) count, Platelet count (required for clotting of blood and preventing blood loss in injury).
- Urine Examination – Urinary tract infection is more common in females than men and hence this screening is necessary.
- Blood Sugar Level – Normal range is between 80-140. Higher sugar indicates Diabetes. However HBA1C (Glycoslated HB) is a better marker to determine diabetes and sugar control.
- Liver Function Tests – Determines the condition of your liver.
- Renal Function Tests – (Urea and Creatinine) Determines condition of Kidneys – especially if a person has been having pain killers for extended lengths of time.
- Thyroid Function Tests – (T3, T4, TSH levels) High levels of T3 and/or T4 and/or low TSH levels indicate Hyperthyroidism. Low levels of T3 and/or T4 and/or High TSH levels indicate Hypothyroidism. Both require medications.
Your mom should have a physical exam every year. Her height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) should be checked at each exam.
Women can do a self-examination after understanding how to do it from a Gynecologist. A yearly examination is required.
Mammogram is another good test to detect early Breast Cancers.
All postmenopausal women with fractures should have a bone density test (DEXA scan).
PELVIC EXAM AND PAP SMEAR
Every woman should have a Pap smear every 3 years. HPV is the virus that causes genital warts and cervical cancer. If she has had her uterus and cervix removed (total hysterectomy), she does NOT need to have Pap smears.
COLON CANCER SCREENING
Women under age 50 should be screened only if she has a strong family history of colon cancer or polyps, or has a history of inflammatory bowel disease or polyps.
•A stool test done every year
•Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 – 10 years
•Colonoscopy every 10 years
You may need a colonoscopy more often if you have risk factors for colon cancer, such as:
•A personal or family history of colorectal cancer
•A history of large colorectal adenomas
Go to the dentist every year for an exam and cleaning.
Have an eye exam every 1 – 3 years if you have vision problems or glaucoma risk.
You should get a swine flu shot every year, as the strain changes every year.
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