New Delhi: As you grow past 30, you may not feel or look much different than you did a few years ago, but your body is changing slowly. These changes are a normal part of growing older.
Each woman is unique and so are her health concerns. Now, you have reproductive issues and lifestyle related stress adds on. In 30's, for most women skin gets a bit duller with fine wrinkles and gain weight. Also, bone loss begins in 30s and can lead to the bone-thinning later in life, muscles start losing their 'tone,' affecting fitness, strength and balance.
Have an exercise program, eat well-balanced healthy diet rich in calcium and fresh fruits, use mild cleansers, moisturizers avoid prolonged sun exposure and stay active with mild weight-bearing exercises. Regular medical checkups and health screenings continue to be very important. Good health habits and preventive medical care can help you continue to enjoy wellness of mind and body and build the foundation for good health over many decades.
Dr. Ravi Gaur, COO, Oncquest Laboratories throws light on important tests that should be taken once you've crossed the 30s.
Blood Pressure (BP): It is recommended that women in her late 30s should get her blood pressure checked in once every year as high blood pressure can result in serious ailments involving heart, kidney and brain. Mild change in the food habits, lifestyle and medicines can easily keep your BP in check.
Cholesterol: Keeping your cholesterol levels under check is a great way to keep your heart healthy. Your total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol) are among numerous factors your doctor can use to predict your lifetime or 10-year risk for a heart attack or stroke.
The only method to determine cholesterol levels is the blood test. If a woman has bad cholesterol i.e. above 130 mg/dL, she should get it checked every year. The American Heart Association recommends all adults aged 20 or older have their cholesterol, and other traditional risk factors, checked every five-year interval. According to Dr Gaur, in the past, doctors relied on specific ranges for cholesterol; but today they use more integrated approach.
Thyroid Test: Malfunctioning thyroid gland can result in weight gain, autoimmune disease and much more. Women after 30s should get a thyroid test done every five years or if they see the symptoms like mood swings, weight, irregular menstrual cycles, and abnormal sleep habits etc. The thyroid hormone disorder is detected through the blood test which includes T3, T4, and TSH.
Pap Smear: Get a Pap test every two years or both a Pap test and an HPV test every five years (you can get both tests at the same time). if you have risk factors such as previous abnormal screening results, HIV infection, a weakened immune system etc , you should be screened annually.
'Pap smear test' is used to detect the infection of the cervix which may show the signs of cervical cancer. During the test, a sample of cells is obtained from the surface of the cervix. Talk to your health care professional about what's right for you.
Breast Cancer Test: Due to rapid changing lifestyle, Incidence of breast cancer is growing. It is important to get a regular check-up done for breast cancer as if detected early, it's almost curable. Dr Gaur says, breast cancer can be detected through several simple screening tests incl self-examination.
Eyes Check-up: In the late 30s, all of us start facing problems of vision due to multiple life style factors and excess use of computer, mobile screens etc. Eyestrain, blur vision, eyes pain, red eyes, dry eyes etc. are few of the common complaints one has. The problem in the eyes can also cause headaches, therefore eye check-ups are important after the age of 30.
Get a complete eye exam twice between ages 30 to 39 and if you have vision problems, family history of eye problems, history of an eye injury or have diabetes, increase your frequency as advised by your eye care specialists.