Sunday, March 01, 2009


From every corner these days we are hearing about healthy life choices. There are many things you can do to help practice healthy adult living. Here are a few from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). GET THE SCREENING TEST YOU NEED. Mammograms, Pap smears, colorectal screens, and other tests can find diseases early when they are easier to treat. Talk to your doctor about which of the following tests you should have and when. These recommendations come from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and NIH. Blood pressure: Have your blood pressure checked at least every 2 years. Cholesterol: Women should have their cholesterol checked regularly starting at age 45: men every 5 years beginning at age 35. If you smoke, have diabetes, or if heart disease runs in your family, begin checking cholesterol at age 20. Colorectal cancer: Test for colorectal cancer starting at age 50. Your doctor can help decide which test is right for you. Depression: If you have felt "down", sad or hopeless and have taken little interest or pleasure in doing things for 2 weeks straight, ask your doctor about screening for depression. Diabetes: Screen for diabetes if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Breast cancer: Have a mammogram every one two years starting at age 40. Osteoporosis (women): Have a bone density test at age 65 to screen for osteoporosis (thinning of the bones). If you are between 60 and 64 and weigh 154 pounds or less, talk to your doctor about being tested. Cervical Cancer (women): Get a Pap smear every one to three years if you have been sexually active or are older than 21. Prostate Cancer (men): Discuss with your doctor the pros and cons of having a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test or digital rectal examination (DRE) to screen for prostate cancer. Sexually transmitted diseases: Your doctor can help you decide whether to be screened for sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, and for women, also chlamydia. General: After age 50, people also should have an annual fasting blood sugar check for diabetes, regular colonoscopies for cancer of the colon, PSA tests for prostate cancer, and mammograms for breast cancer. The body is truly fearfully and wonderfully made. God has made us stewards of our bodies and our health. Remember no one knows your body better than you do. Take the time to take care of yourself. Thank you for this advice to Polly Terry, a Parish Nurse, RN, who writes the column monthly for her Church Bulletin. Polly lives in Freeport, Florida.

No comments: