Let’s take a few minutes to discuss women’s health and how we can stay on top of the ever changing status of a woman’s health status. Women’s health can cover diet, nutrition, exercise, screening tests, sex drive, hormonal status, mental status and holistic medicine. There are hundreds of publications that discuss the health of a woman as it may seem more important in the media than what a man’s health status would be. It’s just how marketing guru’s target their market segments. It’s easier to sell women’s health products than it is for men. Trying to be the perfect woman is a tall order and there are enough publications that can tell you what you need to do. One aspect that women must consider is the biological health that can be monitored quite easily through routine clinical diagnostic testing.
The total health status of a woman can be determined based on the age of a woman. For women who are between the ages of eighteen and thirty five, it’s fairly basic cocktail of testing. The biological tests one would order to determine women’s health status are some basic body chemistries, a blood count and urinalysis. A Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) is the first step. This is a group of fourteen tests that gives you information about the current status of your kidneys, liver, and electrolyte and acid/base balance as well as of your blood sugar and blood proteins. The tests measured include Glucose, Calcium, Albumin, Total Protein, Sodium, Potassium, CO2, Chloride, BUN, Creatinine, ALP, ALT, AST, and Bilirubin.
As we continue the evaluation of women’s health status, the status of ones blood cells is very important. The Complete Blood Count with Differential (CBC) screens for blood abnormalities including red and white blood cells, hemoglobin and platelets. The CBC is used as a screening test to check for possible disorders such as anemia, infection, and many other diseases. An finally, when running a women’s health profile, the urinalysis is usually ordered. The Urinalysis with Microscopic test is performed to detect the presence of some possible substances in the blood in order to give a first alert for many possible problems. For example to screen for metabolic and kidney disorders and for urinary tract infections this group of tests is useful. This test is done during a routine physical or when there are symptoms of a urinary tract infection, such as abdominal pain, back pain, frequent or painful urination, or blood in the urine. Also as part of a pregnancy checkup, a hospital admission, or a pre-surgical work-up.
When looking at women’s health over the age of thirty five, we start to look at the endocrine system which involves hormones. The most important hormone would be Estradiol. Estradiol levels are used in evaluating ovarian function. Its main use has been in the differential diagnosis of amenorrhea. For example it is used to determine whether the cause is menopause, pregnancy, or a medical problem. Estradiol is also sometimes used to monitor menopausal hormone replacement therapy. One will measure Estradiol if you are a woman who has unexplained abnormal menstrual cycles, abnormal or heavy bleeding, infertility, symptoms of menopause, or any other hormonal alterations.
The women’s health hormone status requires that the Progesterone levels be tested. Progesterone is a steroid hormone in women’s health that helps minimize menopausal symptoms and optimize healthy bone structure. Progesterone belongs to a class of hormones called progestogens, and is the major naturally occurring human progestogen. The measurement of DHEAS is also very common in women’s health hormone monitoring. DHEAS (Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate) provides important regulatory functions for the immune system, optimizing cardiovascular function and improving cognitive function. This test is done to check the function of the adrenal glands. Cortisol is the final hormone that should be considered. Cortisol is the primary hormone secreted by the adrenal gland which has a broad spectrum of physiological effects, ranging from supporting blood pressure and promoting normal circulation to helping the body to defend itself against outside stress.
Finding a way to grasp the complex and unique biological markers that define women’s health can be a difficult task but there is enough good literature and websites out there. Common publications like Cosmopolitan, Women’s health, Redbook and many others are great resources for women’s health tips. There is always a great women’s health article that is being published for women to enjoy while getting their nails done.