Health Check Timeline ..............

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JLH, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Health Check Timeline

    They're questions we probably never think to ask but knowing the answers to them -- like when you should have your first Pap smear, mammogram, or cholesterol test -- could save your life. Don't rely on a doctor to keep you on top of your health though.

    Each age comes with new challenges: 20, 30, 40, 50, how do you know what to do at each stage? We asked women if they knew when they should have their first Pap smear. Some said whenever they become sexually active, some said age 18, while others thought the answer was age 15.

    Jeannie McWhorter, M.D., an OB-GYN at Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando, Fla., says the answer is, "Not until age 21, unless they are sexually active and under 21, it's within three years of their first intercourse."

    The next question we asked was when women should begin taking folic acid. Not only did most women not know when they should begin taking it; they didn't know why. Dr. McWhorter says folic acid prevents birth defects. If you can have children, doctors say you should be on it, no matter what your age. [Some cardiologists also recommend that heart patients be on 1 mg of folic acid.]

    Self breast exams and blood pressure checks should start at age 20. But according to guidelines, mammograms begin later. "Starting at age 40, we go every two years and then at age 50, annually," Dr. McWhorter tells Ivanhoe. [You should go earlier, if you doctor suggests, if you have a family history of breast cancer.]

    You should get your cholesterol checked at age 45, while colonoscopies start at 50 -- you only need these colon cancer tests every 10 years. [Again, if you have a family history, ask your doctor about getting a baseline test earlier!]

    Bone density scans aren't necessary until age 65. "It's much easier to prevent something, to treat something, at earlier stages than to wait until you already have the disease in an advanced stage," Dr. McWhorter says. [However, if you have taken a lot of steroids like Prednisone, you should have a baseline bone density scan much earlier--talk with your doctor!]

    [Don't forget to get your blood glucose tested if you have a family history of diabetes.]

    If you've already missed one of these tests; don't worry it's never too late to start. Doctors say THESE ARE GUIDELINES FOR HEALTHY PEOPLE. If you have risk factors for particular diseases or conditions, you may need to get screened for them earlier.


    REMEMBER: An ounce of prevention......
    _________________

    Source: Orlando,FL(Ivanhoe Broadcast News)
  2. alaska3355

    alaska3355 New Member

    I need to schedule a colonoscopy and have been putting it off...but avoidance is not the answer. Also, I need a cholesterol check. I can't expect vitamin C to do it all for me!