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Monday, October 04, 2010

Healthy Vigilance Benefits Women Fighting Obesity With Weight Loss Surgery

For many women, weight loss surgery is a springboard for improved vigilance regarding all personal health issues. Women in particular become champions of their own health following the massive weight loss that results from gastric bypass, adjustable gastric band (lap-band), or gastric sleeve surgery. The weight loss affords many who suffered from overall poor health due to morbid obesity a chance to actively pursue a healthier lifestyle, including proactive monitoring of health risks.

Patients are advised to develop a relationship with their general health care provider who will monitor health risks with standard testing. Below are guidelines for standard testing. However, some patients may require different tests or different frequency in testing based on their health and family history of disease.

Breast Cancer: Mammogram is the standard screening test for breast cancer. Unless there is a family history of breast cancer women should be screened beginning at age 40 with follow-up screening every 1 to 2 years on the advice of their physician.

Cervical Cancer: Women age 25 or older should have a pap smear every 1 to 3 years to screen for cervical cancer. Personal health and family history will factor in your doctors decision for the frequency of testing. Screening may stop at age 65 if advised by a physician.

Colorectal Cancer: Women should be tested for colorectal cancer beginning at age 50 with a colonoscopy. The test should be repeated every 5 to 10 years.

Diabetes: The FPG test; oral glucose tolerance test, is the standard method of screening for diabetes. With no risk factors or family history of diabetes testing for women will begin at age 45 and be repeated every 3 years.

High Blood Pressure: The familiar blood press cuff (Sphygmomanometer) is the standard test for high blood pressure. Women should be tested beginning at age 30 with monitoring every 2 years, or more frequently if blood pressure tests high.

High Cholesterol: A blood test to measure the lipoprotein profile will indicate when a woman has high cholesterol. Cholesterol levels should be measured beginning at age 20 and repeated every 5 years. More frequent testing may be prescribed for those found to have high cholesterol.
A bone density test will be done to determine the health of the skeletal system. Women should be tested for osteoporosis beginning at age 65 and repeated every two years. Earlier testing may be ordered for those with a family history of osteoporosis.

Standard guidelines are set for all medical testing. However, a close relationship with your personal physician may indicate a different screening schedule for you based on your personal health history, current symptoms, and family health history. Establishing an honest and mindful relationship with a health care provider is beneficial to all seeking proactive health management.

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