Women's health is a multifaceted journey that evolves through various life stages, each presenting challenges and considerations they must attune to for continued well-being. From hormonal shifts to nutritional needs and from regular health assessments to self-care practices, managing it demands a comprehensive approach for which support from a doctor is essential.
"Many things change on a yearly basis, and those changes need to be assessed," Christine Baidwan, MD, OBGYN on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - McKinney, says.
How Can Women Work Together With Their Doctor To Stay Healthy Through All Life Stages?
According to Malathi Ellis, MD, OBGYN on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Centennial,"We now realize the importance of not only medical health but wellness as more comprehensive. That includes mental health, physical health, mobility, safety and security and nutrition," she says. "I think when healthcare starts to address wellness from all of those aspects, then we really make an impact on our patients' lives."
Tahera Abdulali, MD, Internal Medicine on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Plano, agrees and says, “Staying up to date with annual physicals is one of the most important ways women can work together with their doctor to stay healthy through all life stages.”
Health Indicators Women Should Pay Attention To Throughout Their Lifetime
Looking at the physical aspects of well-being, here are five examples of health factors any woman needs to pay attention to throughout her lifetime. One such factor is the thyroid gland, which regulates metabolism, energy levels and overall health. Then there is also the importance of maintaining adequate vitamin D levels, as it contributes to bone strength, immune function and overall well-being. Also, breast health is a chief concern for women in every age category. Regular self-exams empower them to become familiar with the normal texture and appearance of their breasts, making it easier to identify any changes that may signal potential issues. Furthermore, women should also look after their pelvic health, and maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle should always be a priority to avoid cardiovascular disease.
Also, according to Dr. Tahera Abdulali, one of the most important factors women should pay attention to throughout their lifetime is their daily lifestyle. “This includes eating a balanced diet, staying active through exercise, staying away from smoking, drinking in moderation and keeping a healthy weight. These healthy habits lead to longevity and a wholesome life,” she says.
“Women should also be sure to stay up to date with their Pap smears, mammograms and colonoscopies, so that any cancer can be caught early and treated if needed. Furthermore, it’s also important to note that they do not have to struggle alone when it comes to anxiety, depression and personal safety. A primary care doctor is a woman’s ally when these feelings and situations arise.”
Why Undertaking Annual Health Exams Is Of Vital Importance
Comprehensive check-ups allow healthcare providers to assess overall well-being, detect potential issues and tailor health recommendations to individual needs. From identifying abnormal Pap smears to monitoring blood pressure, these exams are instrumental in catching problems before they escalate.
Plus, they allow healthcare providers to create personalized health plans tailored to individual needs. By understanding a woman's health history and goals, doctors can provide targeted guidance for optimal well-being. Getting a better understanding can mean discussing lifestyle, diet, exercise and potential risk factors.
Dr. Tahera Abdulali also stresses the importance of an annual health exam. “The annual physical is an important part of a woman’s to-do-list for the year,” she says. “It is a time when not only a physical exam is done, but also when cancer screening is discussed, immunizations are administered and lifestyle habits are explored. This is a time where we work together to optimize a woman's life by, for example, discussing weight loss, smoking cessation or concerns related to anxiety and depression. It’s also a time when we discuss personal or family history of conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, breast cancer and colon cancer.”
Women's Health Is A Dynamic Journey That Requires Care And Attention
By being proactive with their health and well-being, women can address potential issues. Through open communication and a commitment to their regular check-ups, they can actively engage with their healthcare providers to navigate the complexities of health through all of life's stages, not only when it comes to physical but also mental health.
According to Dr. Baidwan, it is important to focus on whole-body health as a woman. "It's hard to choose a "most important part"! Nowadays, the focus has been geared more toward mental health, which traditionally women, mothers and wives have put aside,” she says. “Many people think caring about mental health only applies if you have a mental health issue like anxiety or depression, but it's important in order to manage your overall well-being. This includes allowing time for self-care and love, acknowledging the need for assistance and learning how to manage strong feelings like anger, hurt and guilt. These are avenues many do not process appropriately over their lifetime, which then contribute to illness like depression and anxiety."
Seek Regular Support For Your Health
With this information, we hope you feel ready to seek regular support for your health. Please don't hesitate to check for more information about Baylor Scott & White at bswhealth.com, and look out for updates about our upcoming women's event in the spring, where we celebrate women's health.
Physicians provide clinical services as members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Scott & White Health's subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and do not provide clinical services as employees or agents of those medical centers or Baylor Scott & White Health.