Thursday, May 23, 2013

There's More to Being Healthy

(191; 30 minutes of far)

You're exercising and eating right and feeling better.  Yay!  But there is more to being healthy.  When was the last time you had a physical?  When was the last time you had a pap, mammogram, cholesterol checked or other regular testing?  If you're over 50 have you had a colonoscopy?

Yes, the running, weight lifting and eating better are great things.  And I'm not writing to diminish them in any way.  If you've changed these things, you've changed a big part of your life for the better.  But there is more to being healthy.  There is a reason that regular check ups/physicals are recommended.  Screening for high risk things like breast cancer, diabetes or other health issues keeps you healthier.  It catches things that need attention or that need further screening. 

I was reading articles on being healthy in general and ran across this statement:
"Obese women go less frequently for Pap tests than their thinner counterparts because of the prejudice they run into," says Joseph Majdan, MD, a cardiologist at Jefferson Medical College who has written about how he himself was stigmatized by fellow doctors before he lost 100 pounds. Research shows that obese women typically get fewer screenings for breast and colorectal cancer too. This finding is especially chilling given the fact that women with BMIs of 30-plus are more likely to die from certain cancers—endometrial, esophageal, and kidney, among them—according to a study of more than 1 million women in the United Kingdom.
It's from  this article on Fitbie. 

And do you know what?  It described me to a perfect "T".  I was that obese women who put off pap/gynecological testing.  I was that women who dreaded my mammograms.  I was the one to put things off longer that I should so that I didn't have to bare my body to anyone.  After all, when I went to the doctor about an issue in college, he was more questioning of my weight than the issue that I was there fore.  He dismissed it as something that could have been caused by my weight.  He made me ashamed instead of feeling like I was being helped. 

So, this is my call to you, and it's two-fold.  First, find a practitioner that you like and trust and develop a relationship with that medical professional.  More than just going in randomly for a virus here and there, sit down and talk about all your issues with that person and develop a health care plan.  Secondly, find out what you're at high risk for, what you need screening for and follow through.  You've done so good with weight and exercise, why not get the rest of your body in shape too?

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