Thursday, May 28, 2009

Health Care Exams - for women

Health Care Exams

Women of all ages sometimes seek medical help only for pregnancy or gynecological issues. Don't neglect your routine health care during these busy years. According to the National Women's Health Information Center, these are the routine checkups that every woman needs. Further, these exams can be beneficial in identifying problems and should be performed if you experience any abnormal symptoms such as pain, lump or discharge from your breast; irregular bleeding or foul smelling vaginal discharge; vaginal, uterine or ovarian pain; blood in your stool; skin growths; or dental carries

Physical Examination

Most experts recommend an annual physical by a health care practitioner. In addition to the tests listed below this should include pelvic, rectal, skin, and blood pressure evaluations. Pelvic exams, along with routine pap tests, evaluate the health of the female reproductive tract and help identify sexually transmitted diseases, cancer, or other abnormalities. Rectal exams are recommended annually for women over age 50, earlier if you have inflammatory bowel disease or a first-degree relative with colon cancer. Skin examinations should also be performed annually to check moles or suspicious growths.

Breast Examination

Your doctor should perform a professional exam of your ******* annually and you should perform a breast self-exam every month. It is recommended that women perform breast self-exams, as women are often the first to notice subtle changes in their *******.

Because breast tissue changes slightly with cyclic hormone fluctuations, the best time to do the exam is 7 to 10 days after the beginning of your last menstrual period. For women who experience breast changes during ovulation, it may be better to perform breast self exam on the last day of the menstrual cycle. For those past menopause, try to perform the exam at the same time each month.


The mammogram (breast x-ray) can often detect a lump well before you or your doctor can feel it. An initial or baseline mammogram is recommended for most women before their 40th birthday, and follow up exams are scheduled according to age and risk profile.

Some women find this procedure uncomfortable, but it is currently the best screening tool for breast cancer. In fact, many studies have shown that screening mammograms taken on a regular basis have the potential for reducing deaths from breast cancer in women between the ages of 50 to 69 by up to 40 per cent. Consult your doctor about getting regular screening mammograms.

Pap test

The Pap test is a screening tool used to monitor for precancerous or cancerous cells in the cervix or neck of the uterus. This test is usually part of a routine examination for women, starting from onset of sexual activity or age 18. Frequency of the test may be performed yearly or up to every 3 years depending on your age, risk and history of normal tests. This is best discussed with your physician to decide what is best for you.

Although this procedure is uncomfortable, it remains the number one screening tool we have for cervical cancer. Worldwide, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women. One-half of the women with newly diagnosed invasive cervical cancer have never had a Pap test, and another 10 percent have not had a Pap test in the past 5 years.

Blood tests

Blood tests may be done to screen for a variety of diseases. A blood glucose test may be performed to detect elevated blood sugar and diabetes. Total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol should be checked annually to watch for elevated cholesterol and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Your doctor may also want to check for thyroid disease using the Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) test.

Hemoglobin and ferritin levels may be done to check for anemia. Anemia can be a risk in women for two reasons, menstrual bleeding and dietary deficiency. If during menopause you experienced prolonged or heavy bleeding, your doctor may monitor these levels for development of anemia. To avoid nutritional deficiencies, be aware of the food sources of iron, vitamin B12, and folate and include them in your diet daily.

Dental exams

Twice yearly for cleaning and checkups.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Food Horoscope !

The majority of Capricorns realizes early on that it's wise for them to eat well. They have learnt from health upsets in the past how important their well being is. Lovers of fresh foods, many a Capricorn's garden are filled with herbs and veggies, organically grown to provide them with inner fortitude to face the world. They are great hosts and fabulous cooks. They operate and feel best when they avoid sugar, alcohol and ice-cream.

It's not unusual for Aquarians to eat exactly the same breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday. They don't enjoy surprises, particularly when it comes to food. They are not into cooking for pleasure, but will cook something to eat. They are content eating snacks such as biscuits and cheese with a glass of wine. This is enough to tide them over until they have a real meal- an evening out or a meal prepared by someone else.

Sweet dreams hold a special meaning for Pisceans. For them, it means going to bed loaded with chocolate and biscuits. Many have a love/hate affair with food. They love to eat but hate putting on weight. Many eat to ease troubled minds. That's why so many are constantly going on a diet, then off again. When Pisces puts on lots of weight and keeps it on, it's an indication they are protecting themselves.

Aries often look forward to meals with anticipation, but generally don't like preparing food. These munches love to crunch on foods with texture, rather than smooth foods. They enjoy having a full tummy. It's surprising we don't see more heavy" people born under Aries - being such an active sign, they burn their weight off with mental and physical activity. Feed them quickly as they become irritable when hungry.

Willpower is hard for Taureans to summon up when they diet. Many a Taurean's life revolves around what the next meal will be. At health clubs and gyms, you will see them working overtime to lose a few kilos, only to indulge in a chocolate sundae after their workout. They are excellent cooks (particularly desserts). There are more professional chefs and authors of cook books from this sign than any other.

Geminis often need to carefully plan their diet and watch their eating habits, because these areas of their life can spin out of control. They often eat on the run, have strange food desires, unusual snacks or many drinks (such as coffee) during the day. Overeating (or drinking and smoking) can become Gemini's outlet for nervous energy. Equally, Geminis rate high on the statistical list of anorexics.

Food means a lot to Cancer, because it has a lot to do with feeling loved and comfortable. As Cancer is the sign which rules the tummy, everything they eat has a profound impact on them. Eating excessively can be their outlet for emotional turmoil, especially if they have been through an upset such as marriage break-up or a job disappointment, or have financial
difficulties. Many suffer from bulimia.

Leos are hearty eaters, but they also like to have fine food quality means more than quantity. They like to make their meals a special occasion. What makes a meal memorable for them is the presentation, the company, thewine and the location. If Leos cook, they have a great sense of style and presentation about it. Dinner parties at their homes can turn into a performance, which is talked about for a long time after.

Virgos are fussy eaters. They prefer to avoid the unknown and like to stick with foods and spices they know well. The more basic, healthy and simple their diet is, the better they feel towards it.
They feel guilty (or even suffer from nausea) if they eat fatty foods or desserts. Simplicity is their idea of dining perfection. More vegetarians and health food fanatics are born under this sign than any other.

As Librans are under the sign of the trend-marker; they are often into food styles that are different or up-to-the-minute. Good cooks, they show their originality and style by serving sophisticated dishes. They can be veritable health-food gourmets (baking their own breads etc!). The same applies to what they drink - it will be juices and herb teas (if their linkling is towards health foods) or the best wines and French champagne.

As the sign of passion, intensity and desire, when Scorpios get into food, they really get into it and overeat. The same attitude applies to a diet - if they decide to diet, they do it well. This sign can have a desirous nature all of its own - which no other sign can beat. They can be obsessive about food preferences. If inviting a Scorpio for dinner, it's wise to inquire in advance what they do or do not like to eat.

When Sagittarians get hungry, they get super-hungry. Most are born loving food and the total dining experience. They love the whole thing of sitting around a table with a drink in one hand, a fork full of food in the other, telling tales of their conquests or the things that have occurred during the day.
Dieting for Sagittarians can be hard. Removing them from food fun can be like taking a duck away from water.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Prevent Back Pain with Good Posture

Why is good posture important?

When it comes to posture, your mother did know best. Her frequent reminders to stand up straight and stop slouching were good advice.

Your spine is strong and stable when you practice healthy posture. But when you stoop or slouch, your muscles and ligaments struggle to keep you balanced — which can lead to fatigue, back pain and other problems.

Your spine's curves

A healthy back has three natural curves:

* An inward or forward curve at the neck (cervical curve)
* An outward or backward curve at the upper back (thoracic curve)
* An inward curve at the lower back (lumbar curve)

Good posture helps maintain these natural curves, while poor posture does the opposite — which can stress or pull muscles and cause pain.

Good standing posture

When standing, keep these tips in mind:

* Hold your chest high.
* Keep your shoulders back and relaxed.
* Pull in your abdomen and buttocks.
* Keep your feet parallel.
* Balance your weight evenly on both feet.

Try not to tilt your head forward, backward or sideways, and make sure your knees are relaxed — not locked.

Take the wall test

To test your standing posture, take the wall test. Stand with your head, shoulder blades and buttocks touching a wall, and your heels about two to four inches (five to 10 centimeters) away from the wall. Reach back and slide your hand behind the curve in your lower back, with your palm flat against the wall.

Ideally, you'll feel about one hand's thickness of space between your back and the wall. If there's too much space, tighten your abdominal muscles to flatten the curve in your back. If there's too little space, arch your back so that your hand fits comfortably behind you. Walk away from the wall while maintaining this posture. Keep it up throughout your daily activities.

Good sitting posture

When seated, keep these tips in mind:

* Choose a chair that allows you to rest both feet flat on the floor, while keeping your knees level with your hips. If necessary, prop your feet with a foot stool or other support.
* Sit with your back firmly against the chair. If necessary, place a small cushion or rolled towel behind the curve of your lower back.
* Stretch the top of your head toward the ceiling, and tuck your chin in slightly.
* Keep your upper back and neck comfortably straight.
* Keep your shoulders relaxed — not elevated, rounded or pulled backward.

Keep your shoulders straight

Whether you're sitting or standing, pay attention to the position of your shoulders. Slouching or rolling your shoulders forward shortens your chest muscles and reduces their flexibility. On the flip side, pulling your shoulders too far back causes your abdomen to stick out too far in front.

Check out your reflection

To see if you're keeping your shoulders straight, stand in front of a mirror or ask a friend to evaluate your shoulder position. Your shoulders should be in the same position as the image on the left.

It all adds up

Although good posture should be natural, you may feel wooden or stiff at first if you've forgotten the sensation of sitting and standing up straight. The key is to practice good posture all the time. You can make improvements at any age. Stretching and core strengthening exercises can help, too.

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