5 Things You Need to Know for Women’s Health Month
By Judy Couch, FNP-C
In honor of Women’s Health Month, I wanted to give women a few tips for boosting their health this October. Typically I talk about hormones and why we need them, but today I think there are some other things that are just as important.
1. Do monthly breast self-exams
The first important health thing women should do is establish a monthly breast self-exam. Oftentimes, women will not do them on a routine basis, then all of a sudden they will do one and feel a lump or bump. They get concerned and worried about what this might mean.
When you do a monthly breast self-exam, you become familiar with what your breast tissue feels like. If you feel a possible lump, you may not be as concerned because you’ll know what does and doesn’t belong, and if anything has changed.
If you do feel something and you’re not sure what it is, get it evaluated with an updated mammogram. In the meantime, let’s all make sure that we’re being healthy and wise by doing a monthly breast self-exam.
2. Take vitamin D3 every day
Vitamin D3 is a very potent hormone in our bodies. Here at Your Wellness Center, we like to see those levels in a therapeutic range. Almost every patient that comes in has very low levels. Many research studies have shown vitamin D3 can:
- Protect us from breast cancer and colon cancer
- Protect men from prostate cancer
- Treat depression effectively
The reason I recommend vitamin D3 in the fall – especially in Cincinnati – is that we get less sunshine. Without the sun, your natural production of vitamin D (aka the “sunshine vitamin”) decreases. So grab your supplements and make sure you’re taking them every day.
I also recommend having your levels checked on a regular basis to make sure that you’re getting the right amount for your body. We do that testing here as part of our hormone replacement therapy, so if you have questions, please ask us!
3. Treat amino acids as your friends
There’s a lot of literature in regard to amino acids, how to use them, and which ones to take. My personal favorite book is The Mood Cure, written by nutritional psychologist Julia Ross. I highly encourage patients to read this book to understand how important amino acids are for our health and which ones would be beneficial to you.
To simplify it here, amino acids are the building blocks of life. It’s important for us to have enough of them in our bodies so that every function of our body can be positively impacted.
It’s easy to get amino acids, as they can be bought over-the-counter. I recommend:
- Powder form that you can mix in your water and drink them
- Individual capsules that are easy-to-swallow
4. Make sure your hormones are balanced
I always want folks to understand how important our hormone balance is, especially this time of year. Many people suffer from the “wintertime blues” (also known as seasonal affective disorder), a depression-like condition that is brought on by the lack sunshine, vitamin D, hormones, and/or amino acids.
Your hormones can greatly impact your overall health – and your mental well-being – so read up on them here and schedule a blood draw with us to check your levels.
5. Repair your sun-damaged skin
After this summer, we’ve probably all done some damage to our skin. The fall and winter months are a great time to look at your skin and understand what possible skin treatments you may need to keep your skin healthy and glowing. We have a wonderful MedSpa, and Kaitlyn and Alison would be happy to meet you and help be your guides.
I hope these tips have helped you build a plan for your health this October and beyond. As always, our team here is ready to help you feel better, live better, look better. If you have any concerns or questions, please fill out our online consultation form. We’ll review it and contact you to schedule the best treatment for you!