Tag Archives: diabetes

The Importance of Regular Health Checks From the Age of 40+

If you are over 40 it is definitely time for a health MOT. I cannot stress enough the importance of having regular medical check ups. Go visit your GP and discuss all the tests available. It is better to be safe than sorry. Early cancer diagnosis for example can improve your chances of survival. You must also learn to listen to your body, paying attention to the warning signs. We all know our bodies. If something feels amiss go to see your doctor straight away. It is also equally important to lead a healthy lifestyle eating well with regular exercise. A sedentary lifestyle sets you up for disease. Here below are medical tests for both women and men.

Medical tests for women

Regular blood tests are important to check cholesterol levels, hormones making sure they are not out of balance and to check if you are pre menopausal. After the menopause a women is more prone to heart attacks and strokes so regular blood tests are essential. From a blood test you can check your CA 125 which is the marker for ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is known as the silent killer so early detection is important especially if there is a history of cancer in your family. A blood test can also check kidney and liver function.

A smear test and pelvic exam are very important especially if you are sexually active.

Checking your blood pressure is also important. High blood pressure can lead to all sorts of problems affecting your kidneys, brain, lungs and blood vessels.

Blood sugar levels are also important to check as elevated levels of glucose in the blood can lead to diabetes.

Mammograms are necessary for checking breast cancer.

Bone density exam is useful to detect osteoporosis which is more common in women than men.

Medical tests for men

While women are prone to heart attacks and strokes after menopause a man can be prone to a heart attack from the age of 35. Regular blood tests checking for cholesterol and triglycerides are essential. Elevated levels can lead to heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. I would get a blood test every 3 months and get a full profile checking liver and kidney function, and sugar levels.

As men grow older it becomes very important to check their prostate. From your blood test you can check your PSA which is the maker for your prostate. Elevated levels could indicate a problem with your prostate or cancer. Like with ovarian cancer for women if you have a family history of prostate cancer then regular tests are a must.

Men should also get their testosterone levels checked which can be done via a blood or saliva test. Low levels of testosterone can lead to weight gain, erectile dysfunction, fatigue and other problems.

The NHS offers a health check which is worth asking your GP about. If you have any further questions do not hesitate to contact me. I hope the above has helped.

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PCOS – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic ovarian syndrome affects many women world wide. My sister and I both have been diagnosed with the condition although I do not have any cysts on my ovaries, but I do have the symptoms. Apparently I have had it for a long time without realising it. Looking back I did have acne in my 20s and very irregular periods and at times a thinning scalp which I put down to over straightening my hair.  There is no cure for PCOS but you can manage it very well with diet and exercise. You just have to be more determined and disciplined because if untreated it can lead to  serious health issues like heart disease and diabetes. I have met many women who live normal healthy lives and have gone on to have babies. When I do not eat right my symptoms come back. When I am super healthy I feel great. So please do not feel that PCOS is a death sentence because it is not. With a healthy lifestyle you can go on to live a very happy and fulfilling life!

What is PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is when there is a hormonal imbalance in the body.  Small cysts grow on the ovaries. These cysts are benign and do not carry  health implications. They just cause hormonal imbalance and affect how a woman’s ovaries work. A women with PCOS will have high levels of male hormones known as androgens.

Symptoms of PCOS

Irregular periods

cysts on the ovaries

Abdominal pain

Acne

Weight gain

Excess facial and body hair

Fatigue

Depression

Anxiety

Hair loss

No ovulation

Aching joints

dizziness

Problems PCOS can cause

Infertility

miscarriages

Heart disease

Diabetes

Endometrial cancer

What can you do to prevent the above 

Eat healthy

Exercise regularly

Avoid smoking and excess alcohol

Foods to Avoid

Lower your intake or avoid red meat, pork, salami, all cured meats, all animal fats, all full fat dairy.

Avoid all fried foods. Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of developing heart problems so very important to avoid all fats and fried foods.

Avoid all refined sugar as this disrupts hormones and places a strain on the liver. Avoid all sweets, cakes, croissants, pastries, white pasta, white bread, When shopping read food labels properly making sure there is no added sugar.

Avoid alcohol. If you really cannot then only have 1 glass of organic red wine with your meal.

Avoid drinking too much caffeine found in coffee, tea, fizzy drinks, and chocolate.

Avoid over loading the liver with toxins like painkillers, headache tablets and fatty foods. Looking after your liver will help balance hormones.

Foods to include into your diet

As mentioned previously you should look after your liver by eating smaller meals. If you look through my posts you can find a post I did on the liver and a liver detox diet. These would be helpful to look at.

You should eat everything baked, grilled or steamed. No fried  foods or foods cooked in heavy sauces.

Introduce complex carbs into your diet like brown rice, sweet potatoes, millet. Complex carbohydrates help to regulate blood sugar levels reducing insulin therefore avoiding weight gain. The size of complex carbs should be the size of your fist.

Include good quality protein into your diet like fish, eggs, organic chicken or turkey without the skin,  lentils, chickpeas, all beans, quinoa, nuts and seeds. Again protein intake per meal should be the size of your fist. Try not to eat too many animal protein. I tend to mix it up.

Include more vegetables into your diet. A good point to note is that half of your plate should always be vegetables, a quarter should be your complex carbs or protein. Good vegetables to include are the brassica family: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and watercress.

Include Omega 3 in your diet. Good sources are: flaxseeds, hemp seeds, wild salmon, sardines.

Try to eat organic as non organic fruit and vegetables tend to be sprayed more with pesticides. Meat should always be organic as non organic is injected with hormones and antibiotics. These are all things that contribute in causing a hormonal imbalance.

Useful advice

Avoid keeping food wrapped in cling film or stored in plastic containers. Never heat plastic in a microwave.

Get plenty of exercise. Join a gym or a class. You must exercise regularly to help with weight loss, cardiovascular health and  keeping you in a good mood.

Take a good multi vitamin for women. Biocare do a very good multi vitamin for women.

B complex formula by Biocare.

Take a high strength probiotic.

 

I hope the above information is useful. For a bespoke nutritional plan email me. I do online consultations.