It is quite common, especially with women, to put everyone else first and themselves last. But not taking proper care of your body will start to get in the way of you living your life to the best of your ability. You will not be able to achieve the goals you have set out for yourself if you are not healthy. You may also find that you are not able to participate in some of the joys life has to offer if you are not healthy enough, being out of shape can greatly affect you and your daily life.
Even something as simple as going for a walk or playing outside with your kids or future grandkids can become daunting and difficult to do if your health does not allow it.
While there are quite a few aspects of your health that you are not able to control, we are advocating the aspects that we are able to control and improve so that even if you are suffering from an illness, you will still be able to get the very best out of life.
Below are some ways that we can take care of our bodies to the best of our abilities.
Doctors have recommended that an adult should get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Sleep needs can also depend on the person as some so need more rest than others, however, the effects of chronic sleep deprivation are far-reaching.
Adults can even have problems sleeping because of sensory issues. Below are some tips and tricks to improve your sleep.
Being sleep deprived will affect your mood, attention, concentration, memory, libido, judgement and our ability to fight off infection. Not getting enough sleep can also lead to depression, weight gain, car accidents, potentially fatal errors, and even serious health problems like heart attacks, diabetes and strokes.
Try to always schedule time in your life for sleep. Use this week to try to move your bedtime back by half an hour.
Do you feel dehydrated? Even mild dehydration can affect your mood and energy levels. There are many doctors who still recommend that as an adult you should drink eight 236 ml glasses of water each day, however, this amount can vary, and it all depends on other factors like your size and your level of physical activity. There has been some new research which suggests taking your weight, dividing it in two and then drinking that amount in ounces each day.
You could start off by adding just one more glass of water a day to what you are currently having. You may start to feel an increase in your energy levels.
These days, nutrition is quite complicated, with all of the food intolerances and food allergies in abundance. What is good for you and your body may not be healthy at all for another person, But there are some commonalities that most people will probably agree on. Eat more fruit and vegetables, cut down on sugar. Always try to maintain good portion control standards for your body type in terms of your energy level and your height.
Nutrition is not always about your weight. It is more about your health. It is about ensuring that you are fueling your body with the good energy sources in order for it to think it can work at its optimum capacity. Having healthy food on hand is only half of your battle.
You could try choosing one thing to cut out of your diet, something that you know it’s bad for you, even if its small like having one less sugar in your coffee.
Many people think that exercising is only for weight loss, but it does so much more than just that. Exercise can help you overcome diseases like depression, high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, certain types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes. It can boost certain chemicals in your brain, which will leave you feeling more relaxed and happier than before. Exercising more often can improve your sex life, boosts your energy, and helps you sleep better.
We tend to make all the excuses under the sun as to why we can not exercise, but we could all benefit from putting in a little more effort, it all comes down to moving more. Take the stairs, park further away, go with your kids to the park and so on…
When last have you gone for a dental check-up or teeth cleaning? Are you aware that poor dental health and gum disease have actually been linked to heart disease and even a lower life expectancy? We think that alone is a pretty good reason to take dental health seriously. We should all already be brushing our teeth twice a day, which is a start. If you are not an avid flosser, then you should definitely start now.
When it comes to your mental health, it is just as important as your physical health. Regardless of how stressful your life is, there are steps that you can take to try and decrease the stress you put on your body and to ensure that you are taking the best care of yourself. Visit your friend, take a walk, read a good book, take a candlelit bubble bath, go for a massage, see a counsellor.
Breathe. Take a few minutes each day to close your eyes and slowly breathe in and out five times.
We already touched on this point in the dental health section, but take a minute to think about any other appointments that you may have been putting off or avoiding. Is there anything that is worrying you? Something that a doctor or specialists may be able to help you with? Perhaps you need to see a physiotherapist, nutritionist, chiropractor, naturopath, or a massage therapist.
Make the appointment, get it off your chest and better your health.
Information on getting tested for breast cancer
Breast cancer is one of the most common, if not the most common type of cancer in women. Roughly about one in eight women in the United States will get breast cancer in their lifetime. There is, however, some good news, mammograms can help us detect breast cancer early before it starts to spread to other parts of the body. Most women are able to survive cancer if it is found and treated or removed in time.
How often should I get a mammogram?
Women at the age of 40 to 49:
Go see your doctor about when you should start getting a mammogram and how often thereafter you should go back.
Women at the age of 50 to 74:
You should be having a mammogram done every two years. Go see your doctor; they will be able to decide if you need to go for a mammogram more often.
What exactly is a mammogram?
A mammogram is a high tech x-ray picture of the breast. A very low level of x-rays are used in a mammogram, it is a type of radiation. The risk of any harm coming from a mammogram is very low.
A mammogram can be used to screen (test) for breast cancer in women who have shown no signs or symptoms. They are also great for assisting doctors in figuring out if it is cancer that is causing a particular symptom, like a lump or any other kind of change in the breast.
When having a mammogram done, a technician will place your breast in between two plates which are usually made of plastic and press it flat in order to get a clear picture. It can be quite uncomfortable to get a mammogram but it does not last very long. It takes more or less 20 minutes to have a mammogram done.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a form of cancer that forms in your breast tissue. Like other cancers, breast cancer can also spread to other parts of your body.
If you notice any of the below changes, make an appointment to see your doctor.
- An area or a lump that feels hard or firm in the breast or armpit area
- Any changes in the shape, size, or feel of the breast
- Any type of fluid that comes out of the nipple
- Itchy, flaky, red or dimpled skin on the breast
Learn more on the topic of breast cancer
What do I do if the doctor finds something wrong with my breast?
A mammogram allows the nurse or doctor to look for lumps and other changes inside the breasts that you may not be able to see or feel from the outside. If your doctor finds a lump or any other change in your breast, you will most probably need to go for more tests to find out if it is cancer or not.
The nurse or doctor may need to take a small piece of tissue from the breast to get tested. This is called a biopsy.
Always take action and go see your doctor.
Speak to your doctor about the risk factor of you having or getting breast cancer.
- You should tell your doctor if there is anyone in your family who has had breast cancer or ovarian cancer.
- Ask your doctor about the ways that you can lower the risk of you getting breast cancer.
There is another option to start with, that is self-examination.
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers that have been diagnosed in women. There is a one in eight per cent chance that you a woman will receive a breast cancer diagnosis in her lifetime.
What exactly is a breast self-exam?
A breast exam involves thoroughly checking your breast visually and by feeling them in order to detect any abnormalities that may signal breast cancer. The reason you would perform a breast exam on yourself is to catch possible breast cancer early. Unfortunately, you cannot detect all types of breast cancer through self-examination. But by combining screening tools and self-examination you will increase your chance of catching any abnormalities.
Early breast cancer detection can save lives
Examining your breast at home is a very useful strategy for detecting breast cancer early when the outcomes are a bit better and you will require less aggressive treatment.
Cancer usually develops in stages. As cancer starts to progress, it gradually spreads to other parts of your body, which makes it a lot more difficult to treat. Screening tools like breast exams and mammograms can help to detect cancer in the earlier stages when the treatment is more likely to be successful.
It is essential to do combination screening for breast cancer
A mammogram is a high tech specialised imaging device, which takes x-ray images of your breasts. It is one of the very best ways to detect if you have breast cancer. Many women assume that breast self-exams are not that important if you are getting your routine mammograms done. But you should know that even though a mammogram is one of the most effective tools for detecting breast cancer, they are still not 100% full proof and are not able to detect all types of cancer.
More or less 20% of breast cancers are detected through breast exams. If you have dense breast tissue, it will be more of a challenge to detect breast cancer. When looking at a mammogram, fatty breast tissue will appear darker, while dense breast tissue will appear white. Women who have dense breasts will have more dense tissue than fatty tissue.
This is an important factor as the dense tissue is more difficult to see through in order to detect masses like cancer. This is why it is so important to take advantage of the fact that you can do a breast self-exam along with a mammogram so that you can maximise your chances of detecting cancer early.
Breastlight is an incredible product, which allows you, in the comfort of your own home, to see inside your breast. Breastlight assists you in early breast cancer detection. It works by shining an adjustable light through your breast tissue. To find out more, visit our website on www.breastlightsouthafrica.co.za.