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healthy lifestyle

Whether you're a new graduate, a young professional, a busy mom, an empty nester or a senior citizen, there are steps you can take for better health. The Office on Women's Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers these suggestions. Don't forget that your annual well-woman visit is covered without charge to you under most health insurance plans and Medicare.

If You Are In Your 20s

Get an annual well-woman visit.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days.
Talk with your doctor about when you need a Pap test.
Talk with your doctor about whether you plan to have children in the next year. If not, choose the right birth control to avoid pregnancy.
Get the HPV vaccine if you have not yet received the series of shots.
Get a seasonal flu shot.

If You Are In Your 30s

Get an annual well-woman visit.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days.
Talk with your doctor about when you need an HPV test.
Ask about getting your cholesterol checked if you have a family history of heart problems.
Talk with your doctor about any family history of cancers.
Get a seasonal flu shot.

If You Are In Your 40s

Get an annual well-woman visit.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days.
Get tested for diabetes if you are overweight or obese.
Talk with your doctor about when you need a screening mammogram.
Talk with your doctor about screening for hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
Get a seasonal flu shot.

If You Are In Your 50s

Get an annual well-woman visit.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days.
Get a mammogram on the schedule recommended by your doctor.
Get screened for colorectal cancer.
Ask about lung cancer screening if you are a current or past smoker.
Get screened for hepatitis C if you were born before 1965.
Talk with your doctor about stress, depression, and other mental health concerns.
Get a seasonal flu shot.

If You Are In Your 60s

Get an annual well woman visit.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days unless you have a limiting chronic condition.
Get a mammogram on the schedule recommended by your doctor.
Get a shingles shot and a pneumonia shot (65 and older).
Talk with your doctor about preventing falls.
Get screened for colorectal cancer.
Get a seasonal flu shot.

If You Are In Your 70s

Get an annual well-woman visit.
Talk with your doctor about a physical activity program, including one for low fitness levels or chronic conditions if needed.
Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity on most days.
Talk with your doctor about any hearing or vision problems.
Get a shingles shot or a pneumonia shot if you haven’t had one before.
Get screened for colorectal cancer.
Get a seasonal flu shot.

 


confused womanYou've probably seen stories of celebrities who are pregnant and joke about forgetting things. Pregnancy brain isn't a laughing matter for mothers-to-be who feel like their mind is always in a fog. But is this a real medical condition?

If you ask a medical professional, the answer is probably “no.” A 2014 study found no evidence of memory or attention problems among pregnant women as compared to women who weren't pregnant. But the pregnant women in that study still felt they’d done poorly.

So is pregnancy brain is all in your head? Yes it is, and that makes it feel very real.

Surging pregnancy hormones can have an effect on your memory. Research has shown that your brain functions differently during pregnancy, with more brain activity associated with emotional skills to help you bond more easily with your baby. 

Those same hormones can do a number on your sleep schedule and contribute to attention deficit, and it doesn't end when the baby arrives. A study found that half of new moms still felt very sleepy 18 weeks after giving birth.

Pregnancy hormones can even affect how you see the world. A 2010 study showed that your spatial memory is reduced in the latter stages of pregnancy. This is what helps you remember your way to somewhere, or where you put something.

Even though you won't find “momnesia” in a medical journal, most women will experience some of the symptoms of pregnancy brain.  Amid this mind fog, try to remember that it's normal to forget some things or get confused at times.  Talk to your doctor if you feel this is seriously affecting your quality of life.

The cure for pregnancy brain comes when your baby arrives. That's when you'll forget you've forgotten so much and start to remember all the things you need to know as a new mother.

 


number 50You've hit the half-century mark. Congratulations! Maybe you already reached menopause and are taking steps to deal with the health effects of changing hormones. But what else can you do to stay healthy in your 50s? Here are five suggestions:

1. Boost Your B12 But Ditch The Extra Iron
Vitamin B12 supports healthy nerve and blood cells, but as you age it's harder for the body to absorb it from food. Adding B12 to your diet as a supplement can help prevent problems long before they start. On the other hand, too much iron can be toxic for your liver and heart. Most post-menopausal women don't need iron supplements, so avoid any multivitamin that includes extra iron unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

2. Build Your Brain And Bones
If the brain is the biggest muscle in your body, more exercise in your 50s can help you build it up. People who exercise see more activity in the region of the brain that's responsible for memory. Likewise, regular exercise including strength training such as lifting weights can battle the effects of bone thinning that can lead to osteoporosis.

3. Eat Like a Greek
The Mediterranean Diet is associated with better heart health and longer life, so it's a natural choice for women over 50. It includes includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, moderate wine consumption and olive oil. It's also a good way to maintain a steady weight, which should be your goal in your 50s.

4. Don't Skip Those Screenings
Your 50s is not the time to ease-off on regular health testing. On the contrary, you'll need to add some new ones like colorectal cancer screening that should include a colonoscopy. And keep getting mammograms and Pap tests on the schedule set by your doctor.

5. Make Time to Help Others
Paying it forward can pay real dividends for your health. Women in their 50s often have more time to volunteer because children are grown and out of the house. The health benefits of volunteering can be measured. In one study, people age 55 and older who did volunteer work had a 44% lower risk of dying over a five-year period.

 


woman pregnant weight smYour grandmother may have had a week of bed rest after delivering a baby, but it's different these days. You're on the go right away and you may feel like you should drop that baby weight just as fast. But that new bundle of joy can make it hard to find the time to exercise, so what's a mom to do?

First, check with your obstetrician before resuming physical activity. Most women can begin exercising fairly soon after giving birth, but consult with your doctor before starting any vigorous activity or lifting weights.

Don't be in too much of a hurry to shed all those pounds. Your body needs about a month to rid itself of fluids that were retained. After this weight loss, you'll be left with the additional stores of fat that built up during your pregnancy.

Remember that your body's framework also needs time to adjust after delivery. Tendons and ligaments that were stretched to accommodate a growing baby may still be loose, so twists and sprains can happen more easily. Ease into exercise and build up slowly with a goal of doing a bit more each day.

Walking is a great way to exercise after pregnancy. It's easy to gauge your effort based on the amount of time and distance that you walk. Plus, your baby can come along with you in a stroller. And consider walking with other new mothers. Social support is important, and who better to help than someone who's experiencing the same thing?

Your goal might be to walk briskly enough to get your heart rate up to 60 to 80 percent of your maximum rate. Remember to take five minutes to warm up and cool down after a brisk walk.

Diet is also important, but don't slash your food intake in hopes of dropping baby weight faster. Begin by limiting sweets and eating more vegetables. A conventional diet is usually safe for new mothers. You might lose a pound a week at the start, but this will slow as you approach your target.  Most women need about six months to lose weight from a pregnancy.

You may have heard that breastfeeding makes the pounds melt away. It's true that breastfeeding burns about 850 calories a day, but it can also make you more hungry. Satisfying that urge to eat with simple carbohydrates such as snack foods can sabotage your efforts to lose weight.

Choose wisely and help yourself by keeping healthy snacks like cut vegetables or fresh fruit on hand for when those hunger pangs hit. And aim for six smaller meals per day to help you avoid cravings.

 

hormones smWhen we talk about women and hormones, it's usually the big two – estrogen and progesterone. But your health is affected by a handful of other hormones that rule your life for better or worse. The good news is there are steps you can take to make these hormones work for you.

Cortisol is the stress hormone that's kept humans alive for thousands of years when the choice was “fight or flight.” When you're in danger, cortisol raises your heart rate, sends extra oxygen to your brain, and gives you an energy boost from fat and glucose. That's good when it's life or death, but too much stress on a regular basis can leave you with too little cortisol, and that can make you feel worn out all the time.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax