Women’s Health Journey
Women play a major role in the health promotion and care of the family. You have a great influence on the health of your children, family, and the community. Taking care of your health and being a role model on health management spreads a positive influence to those around you.
Different health needs or conditions may arise as you go through different life stages. Having general ideas on a certain stage would give you a better start for health management.
Let’s embrace womanhood by nurturing your body and taking care of your health.
Through the Years: 35 to 49 years old
“Life really does begin at forty. Up until then, you are just doing research”. - Carl G. Jung
In your 30s and 40s, you’re most likely to be the cornerstone at a different role, and probably busy juggling work, home, and family. Taking care of yourself may feel like squeezing the already-full-to-do list and stir up anxiety. Yet, being proactive about your health is critical at the stage as your risk of breast cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease starts to increase.
Now is the time to eat right, exercise regularly, see your doctor for an annual health check and complete any recommended health screenings to stay on track in these hectic years.
“Good habits are worth being fanatical about." -John Irving
We understand that good habits may be difficult to stick to. While some practices may become part of your daily routine, others may seem least important to you. Consistently practice good habits is vital for your future health, so review your habits regularly to see whether any adjustments are needed.
- Eat a healthy, well-rounded diet
- Maintain a healthy weight, Hyper link on BMI
- At least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day such as brisk walking, swimming
- Try to sleep a minimum of 7-8 hours daily
- Take 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid daily if you are considering to have a baby
- Quit smoking
- Limit alcohol to one standard drink or less daily (one standard drink is about a can of 12 fluid ounces of 5% alcohol beer)
- Don’t use illegal drugs or misuse prescription drugs
- Sun protection - Protect yourself from the sun
Maintaining good habits isn’t always easy, talk to your doctor and seek support to build up good daily routines.
An annual health check is an opportunity to check in on your health and set goals for the year. Through the annual checking, you could focus on taking care of your current health for illness prevention and take early action on any diagnosed disease. Regular check-up is the key to long-term wellness. Here are some discussion ideas with your doctor at the annual exam:
- Contraceptive advices and family planning
- Physical activity and daily diet
- Tobacco, alcohol and medication use
- Stress and mood management
- Family medical history
To get the foremost out of the annual check, share your concerns and questions with your doctor for further discussion.
Health screening programs are available at our clinic.
Some Common Diseases or Conditions during the stage:
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among females in Hong Kong. According to reported data in 2016 in Hong Kong, breast cancer contributes to 26.6% of all new cancers diagnosed in females. It is the third leading cause of cancer deaths. Early diagnosis saves lives, an effective and comprehensive breast health check-up exercise should include self-breast examination, clinical breast examination and mammography screening. A regular check-up with a doctor is recommended for further screening.
Diabetes mellitus, is a chronic disorder characterised by a raised blood glucose level resulting from insulin deficiency, insulin resistance, or both. Diabetes mellitus increases the risk of cerebrovascular disease, heart diseases, foot gangrene, retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy. It is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Hong Kong.
Hypertension is a chronic disease in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated. If blood pressure stays at a high level over time, different health problems may arise, including stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, and even early death.
"Heart diseases" refers to a broad spectrum of diseases related to the heart. Among different types of heart diseases, coronary heart disease constitutes a major portion of the mortality. People with coronary heart disease may experience central crushing chest pain, precipitated by exertion and relieved by rest. The pain may radiate to the arm, shoulder, neck, and jaw. Indeed, there are many risk factors for coronary heart disease and many of them are preventable or treatable.
Preparation of perimenopause
Natural menopause is defined as the permanent cessation of menstrual periods. It occurs at a median age of 51.4 years in normal women and is a reflection of complete, or near complete, ovarian follicular depletion. Perimenopause begins on average four years before the final menstrual period and includes a number of physiologic changes that may affect a woman's quality of life. It is characterized by irregular menstrual cycles and marked hormonal fluctuations. Hormones change could lead to high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as increasing your risk of anxiety and depression. Depending on your physical condition, you may or may not experience symptoms like hot flashes, weight gain, lower sex drive, and fatigue. As physiological changes are expected, a healthy diet and regular exercise may ease discomfort and keep your body healthier.
“Prevention is better than cure.”
Proactively check with your doctor and decide if you would need to take preventive measures against certain diseases. Immunisations, tests, and health screenings are some discussion topics with a doctor to develop disease prevention tactics. Potential disease prevention measures may include:
- Seasonal influenza vaccination
- Hepatitis A and B vaccination
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) screening
- Contraceptive advices, including emergency contraception
- Cervical cancer screening with Pap test and HPV DNA tests
- Blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure screening
- Clinical breast examination and mammography screening
- Comprehensive health check
Not every test or vaccine is needed every year, a better practice is to talk to your doctor about what’s right for you based on your age, medical history and any symptoms or concerns you may have.
While your life priorities may change throughout the years, taking care of your health should always be your top priority.
Our primary care team offers expertise and compassion to support you every step along the way. Schedule an appointment to get started.