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– Move your body. Regular exercise not only boosts your heart rate, but also your memory.
– Schedule a fecal occult test after your 40th birthday. This test can detect blood in the stool, an indication of possible rectal/colon cancer.
– Type II diabetes–the most common form of diabetes–occurs most often after age 40. Many people have Type II diabetes and don’t even know it. According to the American Diabetes Association, in Type II diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin, making it hard to convert food to energy. When glucose builds up in the blood, it can lead to complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, nerve damage, gum infections, and even amputation. If you are overweight, have a family history of type II diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or you are fairly inactive (you exercise fewer than three times a week)–talk to your doctor about being tested.
– If you’re going to have a baby, do so now. Fertility plummets after 40.
– “Here in Minnesota there are a lot of women with risk factors [smoking, a diet lacking in calcium, a poor overall diet, and family history] for osteoporosis,â€ says Dr. Wesley Grootwassink of OBGYN West. “In fact, living in the Midwest increases your risk for bone issues later in life, due to decreased vitamin D from a lack of sun exposure.â€ To combat osteoporosis, consider a bone density evaluation. A dexa scan (dual-energy X-ray), heel ultrasound, or CAT scan can measure current bone mineral content (and determine whether you’re maintaining, losing, or building bone mineral). The lower your bone density, the higher your risk for fractures.
Women in their 40s
Many women in their 40s consider this decade the best years of their life as they hit their stride with work and family.
And while work and family life may be under control, a woman in her 40s might realize (with a sense of frustration) it’s not quite as easy to control her weight. This is because she’s no longer building bone mass and her metabolism is decreasing, making it harder to keep the weight off. A low-fat diet, weight-bearing exercise and physical activity can help (it’s never too late to start!)
Good health also includes scheduling annual mammograms to check for breast cancer.
Digital mammography, combined with traditional ultrasound, offers the most advanced technology and comprehensive care at CRL Imaging Consulting Radiologists, with imaging centers in Edina (Southdale and Parklawn) and Plymouth. Consulting Radiologists breast imaging radiologists, who also staff the Piper Breast Center, perform necessary biopsies. The close proximity of the centers allows patients to have same-day breast MRI studies and all tests reviewed by the same radiologist and made available to referring providers at follow-up appointments.
Not only is breast cancer a concern for women as they celebrate more birthdays, but osteoporosis is also a concern in this decade.
“We remind people to have their bone density or DXA scans at the same time they schedule their mammogram,â€ says Nancy Good of Consulting Radiologists. “It is the most simple and easy test a woman can get and is so important [to have done] as we age.â€
Men in their 40s
The 40s are an exciting yet challenging time for many men. Most men still feel young and energetic during this decade, are productive in the workforce, have a certain amount of wisdom, patience, and maturity, and feel capable of either accomplishing more in life or resigning themselves to fate (many men calm down and accept where they are and where they’re going while in their 40s).
For some, family is their first priority; for others, it’s work. They also typically have the financial means to explore their varied interests and hobbies.
Testicular self-examination (checking for lumps) is important. Cancer of the testicles can almost always be cured, particularly if diagnosed early. A rectal examination is also necessary during this decade. This is because prostate cancer is the leading fatal cancer in non-smoking men in their 40s.
The Vein Center
According to “Epidemiology of Varicose Veins,â€ approximately 25 percent of women and 15 percent of men have superficial venous insufficiency resulting in spider or varicose veins.
Without proper treatment, these men and women may suffer from pain, heaviness, muscle fatigue, itchy skin, or swollen ankles. Predisposing factors include heredity, pregnancy, age, obesity, and standing occupations.
The good news is that those with vein disease can feel better with a minimally invasive, low-risk procedure available at The Vein Center of St. Paul Radiology. The physicians at the Vein Center have been at the forefront of bringing minimally invasive treatments for vein disease to the Twin Cities and are nationally recognized experts in the use of catheter-based treatments for varicose veins. The procedure is not painful and can be performed in an outpatient setting. Complications are exceedingly rare; recovery is minimal. Results can be seen in anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
Schedule an initial ultrasound and consultation in order to determine the cause of your vein problems. Once diagnosed, the physician will discuss treatment options. For more information about The Vein Center of St. Paul Radiology, please call 888-203-2260.