By Dr. Jasmin Rath
March 19, 2023 (IANSlife) We have all heard that ‘age doesn’t matter if your heart is full of life”, while it may be true in some sense, one needs to be attentive about their age and address the complexities it brings into life. As women move to their 30’s, the body instantly starts experiencing the turbulence of hormonal changes. They become more susceptible to a multitude of diseases waiting at this stretch of the age-group.
In order to stay healthy and avoid the varied form of diseases, women above 30 years of age must undergo the following tests:
Heart screening through blood tests: Your heart can skip a beat and you might not even get to know it. Many times women tend to experience racing heartbeats, chronic fatigue and high levels of anxiety but ignore all the symptoms of cardiovascular problems very easily. Most of the time they assume that a heavy workload is causing this trouble. Little do they know that these can be the warning signs about their heart condition. What to do then? Simple. Start with the basics. Book your blood tests either via online diagnostic platforms or simply from the one near you. These tests must include an hs-CRP (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein) test along with blood pressure, cholesterol tests, blood glucose tests, and BMI measurements to check obesity. The hs-CRP tests indicate the risk of heart attack by measuring C-reactive protein which is a marker of inflammation or infection associated with heart issues.
Regular Diabetes Screening: Diabetes is a major concern for populations worldwide. Since diabetes can cause major health complications among women such as kidney issues, cardiovascular problems and other diseases, it is important that women above 30 keep a thorough and regular check on their blood glucose levels. Diabetes can be screened through a variety of tests such as fasting plasma glucose test (FPG), HA1C test (determine average blood glucose), random plasma glucose test and oral glucose tolerance test. If you have a history of diabetes in your family, then it can impact your present as well as future relationship with diabetes. Women above 30 with a family history of diabetes must ensure diabetes screening at regular intervals of time.
Thyroid Function Test: Regular thyroid testing is very essential for women above 30 as with age, the risk of developing thyroid disorders increases. Doing the thyroid function test can help women take control of their health and ensure they receive the care they need to maintain optimal thyroid function. Many bodily functions including temperature regulation, metabolism and energy production are regulated by hormones produced by the thyroid gland. And, when the thyroid gland stops functioning normally, a wide range of symptoms can start occurring in the body including sudden weight gain or loss, mood swings, fatigue and many more. To counteract this, women above the age of 30 must get their thyroid levels checked on a regular basis. A simple thyroid profile test through blood samples can measure the levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in the blood and determine whether the thyroid gland is functioning normally. If the levels are abnormal, further testing and treatment may be needed to help manage the thyroid disorder and improve overall health and well-being. It's also important to note that women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should also have their thyroid levels checked, as thyroid disorders can affect both the mother and the developing fetus.
Check your breasts via Mammography: As you reach your 30s don’t shy away from knowing your breasts in and out. Having an in-depth evaluation of your breasts via mammography tests can ease your life. Doing so will not only minimize the chances of complexities ahead but also will uncover your ‘might have it’ fear. Mammography is one of the most crucial aspects that women above 30 should highly consider. This test comprises screening of your breasts through an X-ray image to investigate symptoms or unusual findings like lumps in them. It is an important tool to rule out whether a woman suffers from breast cancer or not. In India, clinical examination is suggested to women of age 30-40 years every 6 months by an oncologist as per the general guidelines followed in the country. For women of age between 41-55 years, clinicians advise annual mammography tests along with examinations by the oncologist. And women who have crossed the age of 55 are suggested to go for a mammogram once in 2 years. Present times are very vulnerable for women to develop breast cancer. However, critical issues can be avoided with attentive and preventive measures.
Cervical Cancer evaluation via Pap smear test: As the incidence of cervical cancer in women is increasing rapidly, it has become all the more important for women above 30 to take significant measures about it. One of the vital tools that helps in evaluating cervical cancer in women is a Pap smear test, which detects abnormal cells in the cervix before they turn cancerous. The rule of the thumb says that women above 30 should undergo a Pap smear test minimum of once every 3 years. However, it may vary from individual to individual basis their risk factors.
The bottom line is that women shouldn’t neglect the warning signs and adopt more preventive care in their lifestyle. With continuous monitoring and evaluation by specialized doctors, many critical illnesses can be detected early, treated and even prevented. Nowadays, it is very simple to book any type of diagnostic tests. All you need is a mobile phone and all the quality healthcare services are available right at your fingertips. One credible diagnostic service-providing App on your phone is enough to keep your health in check. Remember women, age can actually be just a number if you are taking up routine essential tests.
(Dr. Jasmin Rath, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad & Apollo 24|7)
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