Medical Appointments Every Woman Should Make

Everyone has to make regular health appointments. We all have to see the dentist on an annual basis, and we should all check in with our hygienist on an annual basis too. Then, we should see our optician once every two years. These checkups allow medical professionals to examine us and keep an eye on our well-being. However, as women, there are certain extra checks that we should keep up with. Here are some to incorporate into your routine!

Making Appointments

It is extremely important that you keep up with the following appointments. Every year, thousands of women miss their own appointments for a host of reasons. If you’re guilty of this, it’s time to change your ways.

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU, right??

After all, it’s only your own health and wellbeing that you’re risking! If you completely forget appointments, make sure to note them down in a diary and set reminders on your phone. If you fear medical professionals due to previous malpractice or negligence, overcome your fear by contacting professionals in defending malpractice claims - they can seek out justice on your behalf. If you have a hectic social schedule, make time. Cancelling one set of plans is better than leaving problems undiagnosed or untreated.

Cervical Screening

The first appointment that you should consider booking in for is cervical screening. This is alternatively referred to as a “smear test” or a “pap smear”. Put simply, it is a process that is used to examine cellular material from your cervix - this is the entrance to your womb through your vagina. Irregularities in this cellular material could be indicative of cancer or cancerous cells, so it’s important that you keep on top of these appointments. Generally speaking, it is recommended that women aged over twenty five attend annual screenings.

Breast Screening

It is recommended that you conduct regular checks on your own breasts at home. You can find out how to do this here. If you do notice changes or irregularities in your breast tissue or under your armpits, you should contact your general practitioner and schedule a breast screening. This will incorporate the use of a mammogram, which is a specialist form of X Ray that can detect the presence of cancerous cells before they are big enough to see or feel.

Gynecologist

Now, you don’t need to check in with a gynecologist as regularly as you might other medical professionals. But if you notice any problems with your reproductive system, or if you have any concerns, your doctor may recommend that you check in with one. Generally speaking, you can ask for your doctor to refer you. This saves you the hassle of finding a reliable gynecologist yourself.



Sure, medical appointments may not be the most pleasant scheduled events in our calendar. But it’s extremely important that we keep up with them. So, check the last time you were seen and contact the relevant professionals whenever you need.


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The Dangers of Self Diagnosing

We're all guilty of it. If we fear some issue that’s lingered in our bodies for longer than a couple of days, a swift search on Doctor Google brings up a million different results, and most of them life-threatening. But when we rely on Google to diagnose our problems, this becomes a very dangerous cycle. But why is this and what can we do to get out of this problem that so many of us fall prey to?

The Issue Of Convenience

It's as simple as this really, it's quicker for us to type a few words rather than go to our local doctors, sit around and wait for a shred of their spare time, only to find that the problem is not solved, and the issue persists. With something like chronic pain, it can be very frustrating when a medical professional has to refer you for further tests. In the meantime this only compounds the anxieties. It's unsurprising that we go on the internet to see what the problem is. But this is no replacement for a medical professional.

Being Scared To Speak To A Real Doctor

There is a term for people who continually search for their symptoms online and believe that they're suffering from the results that pop up. Cyberchondria is incredibly common. As the ease of access to Doctor Google means we don't have to go to the doctor ever again, this can result in us moving away from the advice of a medical professional, and for the many people out there that consider themselves proud of the fact they've never been to a doctor, it gives them more reason to search for their symptoms online, and even those numerous cases where people work with a medical malpractice attorney due to the various mistakes made in hospitals, this is, again, hardly a surprise people avoid the doctor entirely.

Why We Need To Keep Our Perspective

But while we're all continually relying on Doctor Google to provide the real answer, the fact is, we've got to nip this in the bud. We've got to keep our perspective of events. Because after all, it's unlikely we’re suffering from a rare medical condition. The increase of people who went to the doctor believing they had ALS after the ice bucket challenge highlights just how much cyberchondria there is in the world. Instead, what you can do, if you believe yourself to have an illness, is to make a note of all the symptoms, and show to your doctor what this is pointing towards. The doctor can then order tests which will confirm or deny your suspicions.

Self-diagnosis through Doctor Google is convenient, yet dangerous. It leads us down a path of anxiety, where we will end up afraid to go out and do anything. While hypochondriacs are suffering from a debilitating mental health condition, nowadays, with the ease of access to information, cyberchondria isn't far behind. After all, we all have access to a phone with millions of web pages. So the next time you feel you have some problem that won't go away, do yourself a favor and go to a doctor.


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Chronic Pain Care & Management

If you are suffering chronic pain it can be an emotional struggle as well as a physical one. The first thing you have to do is have the right mindset. Instead of thinking ‘why me’, look at the situation from a ‘what now, how will I deal with this’ perspective. That change in thinking alone can make the situation less stressful, and if you are less anxious, your body will cope with the pain better.


Learn To Relax

Pain occurs to warn you that there is something wrong with your body. It is often in the muscles, but remember that even some things such as your heart are a muscle. If your body is tense the pain will be worse, but learning to relax will lessen the effects of it.

Calming your body down is the objective, and you have to find the best method of relaxing your muscles that suits you and helps to improve your well-being. Some people are lucky enough just to be able to sit back and it happens naturally, where others will have to do progressive muscle relaxing for it to work.

Don’t Overdo It

If your chronic pain is a bit easier after a few days of rest and relaxation, don’t suddenly try to do everything you normally would. Overdoing it can delay your recovery so even if you are feeling better, take it easy for a while longer. Perhaps do some minor tasks such as making your own coffee, but keep them simple or you will be back at square one.

Don’t Miss Out

Some people with painful conditions feel exhausted after their evening meal and go to bed early. You should try to avoid this because it means you are missing out on family life. Rest more in the daytime and have a nap in the afternoon. Then you will not be quite so tired in the evening and will be able to enjoy time with your family.


Seek Help

There is help available when you are in chronic pain. You could visit a chiropractor, try acupuncture, massage or visit your physician. You do not have to suffer alone as help and support is there for you.

There are herbal remedies that can help as well as the painkillers your doctor could prescribe.

Eat Foods That Are Anti-Inflammatory

There are some foods such as oily fish, red fruits and vegetables that have anti-inflammatory properties. Carrots, squash, watermelon, and peaches are all additions to your diet that could help.

Set Yourself Realistic Goals

Write down a list of realistic goals. Start with the simplest of things at the top, and gradually increase the amount of effort they will need. Do the first one for a few days before moving onto the next, and eventually you will reach the last goal you have included. Never worry about having to drop back a couple as with the nature of chronic pain, there will be some days where it is worse than others.

Just take it a step at a time, and as you start to do more again, you will feel better in yourself.


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Make Health And Happiness Part Of Your Daily Life

Like so many women, if you’re living a busy and stressful life, it could be taking a toll on your general health and well-being. It’s important nowadays to take the time to look after yourself and think about each lifestyle choice you make. By making positive changes to your everyday routine; you’ll become happier and healthier, which will help to lead you through a long a fulfilling life. The following are some areas to consider if you feel like life is weighing you down a little, so that you can begin to enjoy health and happiness each day.

Nourishing Yourself

Food is our body’s fuel, so filling yourself up with junk food all the time, will not have a positive effect on your health and how you feel. By no means do you have to give up your favorite treats completely, as a little of what you enjoy can do you good. However, candy, cakes, and fast food should be regarded as treats for special occasions or a reward for a heavy duty workout. By keeping your sugar intake down; you’ll have more energy and won’t have to face any crashes from the glucose leaving your system.

Cooking fresh meals is another smart idea, as it makes it simple to control what you’re eating. If you cook from scratch, then you can monitor the ingredients, including any fats and sugar, which goes into your delicious homemade meals. Cooking can also be therapeutic, as you can focus on the task at hand, and let your daily stresses float away. The more you get creative in your kitchen, the better you’ll get; so check out some recipes and tutorials online for some inspiration, and before you know it, you’ll be feeling beautiful from the inside out!

Seeking Help

It’s always a cathartic experience to talk to somebody else about your worries and problems; however, many people find it difficult and often shy away from opening up, especially when it comes to both their physical issues and mental health. Whether you have worries regarding your intimate area and want to look into the Geneveve procedure, you’re struggling with low mood and need counsel, or you’re impacted by anxiety surrounding an array of things; there’s no better time to get help, than right now.

Try and make time to call, or even email, a friend or family member to tell them what’s happening. By going through everything, you’ll be able to take the weight off your shoulders and are likely to gain some positive advice in the meantime. A simple catch up and chat with somebody can also highlight all the successes and good points in your life right now; this in itself will give you a boost and make you feel better about your situation.


If you’re uncomfortable sharing your thoughts with those that you know, or you feel your problem is too serious or complicated for them to help solve; there are plenty of resources available to you. Take a look online, and you’ll find an array of contact details to access expert help from people who have been professionally trained in dealing with your particular problem. You might just be feeling generally overwhelmed in life, and need some advice on how to ease the pressure and move forward; whatever it is, it’s not worth keeping everything to yourself.



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Keeping Your Mind Young

As a society, we’re all obsessed with youth, and with looking and feeling young. We use face creams to keep our skin youthful and soft. We drink water to try to keep ourselves healthy and our organs running at their best. We exercise to keep ourselves physically fit and to boost our circulation. Life seems so much easier when you are younger, and everything works properly, and we’re keen to keep it going for as long as we can. Even as early as our twenties, we’re starting to think about how to prevent wrinkles and aging.

But, we rarely worry about keeping our minds young. We assume that we’ve got decades before that’s something to worry about and fail to realize that by then it might be too late. Neurology will be able to help, but it’s much easier to make changes now that will help to keep your mind young in the future.

Use Your Opposite Hand

The best way to keep your mind young is to use it more and to use parts of it that you don’t usually. As children, we’re always learning and pushing our brains. They’re getting a workout every day. Then, as adults, we stick to what we know. Parts of our minds lay stagnant and unused, leading to decay.

An incredibly easy thing that you can do to challenge your brain in your day to day life is doing things with the opposite hand. Write with your opposite hand, hold your cutlery the other way around and try to rest your dominant hand when you can.

Try New Things

Trying new hobbies can be a fun way to keep your mind young. Every time you do something new, you are using a different part of your brain. Have a go at new hobbies, go to different places and try things that you’ve never done before.

Learn a Language

The language center of our brains is one that many of us rarely use. While you are young, you learn new words every day. Your vocabulary is constantly growing. Then as you get older, you just start to forget them. Reading, and having varied and interesting conversations can help a lot but learning a new language is the ultimate workout for that part of your brain.

Improve Your Diet

Your diet doesn’t just affect your body. It also has an impact on your mind. Eating healthy and getting all of the right vitamins and minerals can boost your brain power and those that regularly eat oily fish are less likely to develop cognitive impairment and dementia as they age.

Drink Less Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol over a long period is one of the worst things that you can do for your mind and can lead to premature aging both mentally and physically. Try to limit drinking to a few units a week on only two or three evenings.

Avoid Loneliness

Loneliness is a crucial cause of mental health issues. Being lonely is a common problem as we age, and over time it can lead to increased risk of dementia, depression and even reduced life expectancy.


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The Importance Of A Strong Circle

When it comes to wellness, most people completely forget that one of the most important tools in the bag is a good, supportive circle of people who love you and want to help you to get well again. When you’re in a crisis, the last thing you want to do is feel like a burden on others, so asking for help isn’t always the priority. The thing is, regular contact with family and friends can make you feel distracted from the pain that is going on in your own life, or it can mean that you have a good sounding board to get the support you need for your own issues.

The problem with a lot of mental health issues is that they make you think that you have no one to rely on, when in fact, you have a waiting circle of family and friends who want to know how you are doing and how they can help you. If you are suffering with depression and anxiety, these are the people that can make sure you’re not alone enough to feel so low there’s no way back. If you are suffering through the pain of addiction, these are the people who will be there for you with the information you need, such as Medication-Assisted Treatment: Fact vs Fiction, to help you to get the right treatment that you need. You need a strong, lasting circle to enrich your life and make you feel like you have something to live for. Friends and family around you make you feel good about yourself - even indirectly, and if you are struggling to recognize who is a good friend in your life, then think about these traits:

  • You respect, like and trust them, and they feel the same way about you.

  • They accept you the way you are. If you’re suffering depression, they’re there just to sit in silence with because they know that is what you need from them at that moment.

  • They will listen to you and share with you, whether good or bad.

  • They keep your confidence and trust you to keep theirs, too.

  • They will allow you to feel your emotions and not judge you for them, criticize you for them or make you feel like your feelings are not valid.

  • A good friend will give you the best advice - when you ask for it - and will assist you in taking the right action to feel better about yourself.

  • Will allow you to help them when they need it.

  • You look forward to being with them, but you’re not obsessed about it

  • Will never take advantage of you.

Not everyone in your circle will meet all of your emotional needs, but you can have a group, a solid circle of people who will all in some way make you feel like you want to be alive. They will appreciate you for your quirks and the way that you love them, and you’ll appreciate their support and friendship and the ability to make you smile when you don’t feel there’s anything to smile about. Looking after yourself means surrounding yourself with people who make you want to be better than you are. Making a list of the people that you feel close to in life can really help you to be a better, happier person because you can see on paper who you have that loves you in every avenue of your existence.

You should be able to rely on the people in your life for support and having a network of people who want to be with you and make you feel like a good person is important for your recovery. Emotional health and mental health are often fragile in those with depression and addiction, and if you know that you have a strong group of people who will always believe in you, even when you do let them down, you are lucky. You won’t always let others down, but it happens - in the same way that they may let you down. Your life can be a happier, more enjoyable thing to live when you have the right people making it worthwhile for you. Social relationships play a very important role in the quality of life that we achieve.


Life is a gift, and friends are the ribbons and bows on top that make us feel fulfilled. Making your heart feel full is easy, when you have a group of people around you who love you very much.


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Low On Energy? 3 Possible Causes To Explore

Feeling low on energy is always difficult to cope with. You otherwise feel well and like yourself, but your energy reserves seem to be permanently depleted, making even mundane, simple tasks feel as if they require a Herculean effort. For most people, low energy is an acute issue that naturally resolves itself, but for some, the problem can become more long-term.

If you have been feeling low on energy and struggling to go through your normal daily routine for a while, there are three possible causes that you may want to investigate further, starting with…

Thyroid issues

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck and, in some people, it can cause issues. Some people experience an overactive thyroid while, for others, the issue is underactivity, with the latter more likely to cause symptoms of low energy.

Thankfully, if you do have an underactive or overactive thyroid, management is relatively simple. Both conditions are well understood, there is a range of medications that can produce favorable results, and specialists such as the likes of RedRiver Health and Wellness Center can ensure you’re feeling back to your best in no time.

If you believe thyroid issues are the cause of your low energy, speak with your primary care physician for further advice.


Vitamin deficiencies

While any vitamin deficiency can cause low energy, deficiencies in vitamin B12 and vitamin D are usually the prime suspects. With most vitamins, a balanced diet is usually sufficient to ensure that our levels are where they should be. However, some people cannot absorb B12 effectively due to a condition called pernicious anemia, and vitamin D is primarily obtained through sunlight exposure rather than diet - so even someone eating a perfect, nutritious diet could still find themselves experiencing deficiencies.

As you might expect, the treatment for these deficiencies is supplementation. Vitamin D deficiencies tend to respond well to oral supplementation, but B12 can be trickier, especially when pernicious anemia is present - so always speak to your doctor to confirm the diagnosis and obtain further advice if you suspect your low energy is caused by a vitamin deficiency.


Stress

Some people experience stress as a jolt of energy, feeling as if their mind and body are constantly whirring. However, stress can cause exactly the opposite issue; a complete lack of energy that no amount of sleep, exercise, or good nutrition seems to be able to cure.

Unfortunately, stress is a difficult condition to manage, and many people experience numerous flares over the course of their lives. You may find that taking some time off from work, indulging in self-care, and other simple remedies can help alleviate the condition. However, if simple at-home treatments do not appear to be making a significant difference, do take the time to speak to your doctor for further advice.


In conclusion…

It’s important to note that low energy is not just a fact of life. If you’ve found that your get up and go has got up and gone, it’s well worth considering the possibilities above when seeking a resolution to this all-too-common health issue.



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New Years Resolutions That Will Help Your Health

People often joke about new years resolutions because everyone always says the same ‘new year, new me’ line. They’ve become something of a meme, but I believe resolutions still have a big place in your life. Think of them as a way of forcing you to get your head screwed on and make significant changes that will benefit your life.

That’s the key for me; make your resolutions bring something positive to your life. Which is why I prefer things that will have a direct impact on your health and wellness. Here are a few ideas to help you kickstart 2019 with a new mindset and improved health:


Drive less, walk more

I think this is one of my favorite ideas as it’s such an easy thing to stick to. The problem with a lot of health-related resolutions is that they’re tough to commit to for a long time. As such, gym memberships spike in January and go down in March/April. But, if you make a promise to drive less and walk more, then you’re doing wonders for your health. Driving burns no calories and can be very mentally draining as well. Walking is easy on your joints, burns calories, keeps you fit, and helps improve your mood as well. Plus, it’s basically effortless - just walk to work instead of driving, or park your car further away and walk the rest of the distance, simple!


Give up alcohol

Giving up alcohol is a classic new years resolution, but one that can benefit you massively. A lot of people drink too much alcohol - particularly over the holiday period - and they don’t do anything about it. If you carry on consuming so many units every week, it won’t be long before you end up in an alcohol inpatient treatment center getting help for addiction. Alcohol is a highly addictive substance that can ruin your physical and mental health. Make the commitment to giving it up next year - or at least cutting down substantially - and you’ll see improvements in your overall health and wellbeing.


Eat less meat

Now, before you scream at me that you don’t want to turn vegan; relax! I’m not even saying you should become vegetarian, I’m merely suggesting you reduce the amount of meat you eat. Eating it every day can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, and there’s even evidence to suggest it shortens your life. There’s an interesting book called How Not To Die that goes into detail about this, so it could be worth picking up. Even if you have one or two meat-free days per week, this goes a long way to improving your overall health and ensuring you have a more balanced diet. Who knows, you may like these days so much that you change to a meat-free life full time!

These new years resolutions should be reasonably easy to stick to as they don’t require drastic lifestyle changes. Well, apart from the alcohol one, but if you struggle to cut down on that/give it up, then that shows you have a problem. Make a few changes to your life, and you’ll be amazed at the benefits they bring to your health.


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5 Ways To Feel Good This Winter

As much as we’d all love to feel incredible at all times, this isn’t always the case. In fact, you may actually find that it’s just hard for you to feel good at all. When the weather gets a little harsher and the nights are darker, you really aren’t always that motivated to feel good. You lack energy, you’re tired, you feel gross, and it can be tough. But it’s just so important for you to remember that this can be changed and that your mental state really doesn’t have to be this way. Instead, you can work on turning your mind around, on improving how you feel, and boosting your wellness efforts to just feel fantastic.

Let’s take a look at five simple ways that you can work on this today.

1. Pamper Yourself

To start with, something that always works to make you feel good, is to have a good old-fashioned pampering session. Because when you’re able to pamper yourself, you’re going to find that it’s much easier for you to lift your spirits and start to feel incredible. So run a bath, put on a mask, give yourself a manicure - pamper away!

2. Nourish Your Body

But at the same time, what you put into your body can be just as effective as what you put on it. Feeling lethargic and low in energy? Maybe you’re eating too much junk? If you nourish your body with fruits and veggies and whole foods, you’ll find that you start to feel so much better.

3. Take A Break

Now, if one of the reasons that you know you’re not feeling all that good, is because you’re overworked and overwhelmed, then you’re going to need to do something about that and fast. You need to slow down. So take a break. Do what you can to distance yourself from whatever’s stressing you out and don’t put too much pressure on yourself because this will only ever make things harder for you.

4. Be Conscious Of Your Mood

It’s always going to be incredibly important for you to be aware of your mind and your moods at all time. If you are more present, then you’ll have a much better chance of stopping yourself when you start to feel a little off. Or at least pinpoint the problem and here, you can then work on a few simple things to be happy right away. So when you notice your mood slipping, change it.

5. Do Something Fun, Just Because

And then finally, just go crazy! Don’t beat yourself up all the time or be in your head. Live a little. Go for an impromptu dinner. Travel. Go visit family. Just so something fun, because you can. Don’t let yourself get all caught up in the stresses of life all the time. Instead, let yourself have a bit of fun because that’s what life is all about! So make sure that you’re having a bit of fun this winter!



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4 Ways To Rebuild Your Health After You've Quit Smoking

So, you’ve quit smoking? Congratulations!

Quitting can be difficult because you’ve got to fight the cravings that come with it, as well as breaking a habit of a lifetime. No matter whether you smoked for a short while, or you’ve finally managed to kick the habit of over 20 years, there can be significant damage made because of this. After you’ve quit smoking, it’s important to rebuild your health, so here are some tips and tricks on what you can do.


Eat a healthier diet

Smoking can quickly deteriorate your health and more often than not, smokers tend to eat a more unhealthy diet because of the changes smoking causes to the tastebuds. Now that you’ve quit smoking, introducing a healthier diet will help your body rejuvenate. Not only that, many people find that when they quit smoking, they put on weight due to needing to keep their hands and mouths busy. Eat a healthier diet for the nutrients and to keep your waistline down!

Get yourself checked out

During the time that you were smoking it’s possible that it caused some sort of damage to your organs. Your heart and lungs are likely to be the main organs that have been affected, so it might be worth asking your GP for a heart and lung scan to check whether you’ve caused any long lasting problems. The sooner you find these problems, the more likely you are to be able to treat them.

Do a deep clean

If you smoked in your house or your car then it might be time to do a deep clean. Particles and chemicals from cigarettes can linger in soft furnishings such as sofas and rugs, and they can also linger in air conditioning filters. Doing a deep clean of your home and car will ensure that you’re not exposing yourself to any dangerous toxins, and also getting rid of any smoke smells which could tempt you back into that nasty habit.

Begin a new exercise regime

Finally, smoking deteriorates the organs and makes them weaker, so when you’ve quit smoking it’s important to put a solid exercise regime in place so that your organs can grow stronger and help prolong your life.



Quitting smoking is a fantastic achievement, so why not boost your quality of life by doing these four things so that you can rebuild your health!


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