3 Medical Tests You Need after Menopause
Menopausal women may be at higher risk for developing certain illnesses because heart-protective hormones such as estrogen decline sharply during this time. It is for this reason that you may need some baseline diagnostic tests to determine if menopause is raising your risk. Here are three medical tests that can be performed at your family health clinic and how they may keep you healthy:
Bone Density Test
Menopause may raise your risk for developing osteoporosis. Women need optimal estrogen stores for healthy and strong bones, and when estrogen levels drop during the menopausal years, the bones may become brittle, thin, and susceptible to fractures. Your physician at the family health clinic can order a bone density test to evaluate the health of your bones and determine if you have osteoporosis.
After the results are in, he or she will discuss the findings and develop a plan of care if you have osteoporosis. Simple interventions to slow the progress of osteoporosis may include exercising more, consuming foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, eating more fish, and reducing your intake of caffeinated beverages. Your physician may also recommend that you take a prescription osteoporosis medication that will further help slow the progress of your condition.
Menopause may also raise your risk of developing high cholesterol levels. Your total cholesterol levels might be much higher during menopause, as well as your levels of low-density lipoproteins. Also known as "bad cholesterol," low-density lipoproteins can raise your risk for heart attack, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. Menopause may also lower your levels of high-density lipoproteins, or "good cholesterol." These types of lipids are thought to be cardioprotective, and when levels are too low, you may be at risk for a cardiac event. The doctor at the adult medicine clinic will evaluate your blood tests and make recommendations if your lipid panel is abnormal.
Conservative interventions that will help improve your cholesterol profile include maintaining a healthy weight, limiting your intake of sweets, exercising more, and not smoking. If these interventions fail to improve your numbers, your physician may recommend that you take cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins.
Fasting Blood Glucose
The risk for diabetes may also be greater during menopause. Your healthcare provider can order a fasting blood glucose test to determine if your blood sugar levels are too high. If so, it may mean that you either have pre-diabetes or diabetes. Watching your weight, eating a healthy diet, monitoring your stress levels, and exercising will help keep your blood glucose levels within normal limits; however, if these interventions are not effective, your doctor may prescribe an oral hypoglycemic agent or insulin injections.
If you are menopausal, make an appointment with a family health clinic and talk to the physician about the above diagnostic tests. Visit sites like http://www.bfpclinic.com to get in touch with a family health clinic if you don't already have one. The sooner health conditions are recognized and treated, the less likely you will be to develop complications from heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, or diabetes.