With GP waiting times increasing in many practices, and appointments for non-urgent care more difficult to access, home blood testing is becoming a common alternative for many people looking to take control of their health.
Having a good understanding of our health and wellbeing is important at any age, but different stages of life can change the likelihood of developing particular conditions.
The risk factors you may have at twenty generally look different to those in your 60s, so it’s a good idea to be aware of what you should be on the lookout for, in order to understand how to take the very best care of yourself, whatever your age.
Here’s what to watch out for …
… In your 20s
While you can reasonably expect to enjoy good health in your twenties, there are still risk factors to be aware of. Many of these, however, are based on how proactive you are about taking care of your health and making good choices.
The most common health conditions and complaints for women in their twenties are sexually transmitted infections (STIs), melanoma, liver disease and diabetes. Fortunately, all of these are preventable as long as you take the right steps to protect yourself.
Statistics show that around 1 in 2 sexually active women will contract an STI by the age of 25, so it’s important to practice safe sex, and to get regular check-ups.
Women in their 20s also have an increased risk of developing diabetes or other similar, chronic conditions as a result of a sedentary lifestyle or an unbalanced diet. Twenty-something women are also often at risk for melanoma, a form of skin cancer, so it’s crucial to remember to wear sunscreen, hats, and to keep an eye on your moles, getting them checked out if you notice any change in their appearance or texture.
… In your 30s
In addition to the risk factors of the 20s, women in their thirties may also experience weight gain and hair loss. Diet plays an increasingly important part in this decade, with the recommendation being that women follow a well-balanced healthy diet, low in saturated fats, full of fruits and vegetables and light on processed foods.
For women in their 20s and 30s, childbirth can also contribute to additional health issues, including anaemia (iron deficiency), high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. For women who want to get pregnant in their 30s, there’s an increased risk of infertility, miscarriage, and other pregnancy-related health issues.
… In your 40s
In your 40s, it’s important to take good care of your bone health. Women are more likely than men to experience rheumatoid arthritis – an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the body's joints, causing pain and swelling. To help prevent the bone-weakening disease osteoporosis, weekly strength training sessions along with weight bearing and cardiovascular exercises can help. Women in their 40s can also be at risk for stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, so maintaining a healthy diet and taking regular exercise is important.
Women in their 40s are also more at risk for breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers, so it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of these diseases and to speak with your GP if you notice them.
… In your 50s
The average age of menopause for women in the UK is 51. This means a range of physical and hormonal changes which can lead to sleep problems, irregular periods and bleeding, hot flashes and mood swings
Lower levels of oestrogen, which occurs after the menopause, can cause women to lose bone density, increasing the risk of osteoporosis. Risk factors for bowel cancer also increase in this decade so it’s important to keep an eye on your bowel health.
… In your 60s and beyond
From your 60s onwards, many of the same risks from your 50s still apply, they just increase as time goes on. Heart disease risk increases significantly in your sixties, as well as stroke risk, which doubles with every decade after 55.
Women in their 60s also might notice hearing loss and might be more vulnerable to illnesses like colds and the flu due to a weaker immune system. It’s also the case that women in their 60s might also be more likely to have a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Prevention is better than the cure
Checking in on our health is so important. Many conditions which go on to be serious and debilitating, if caught early, are easily managed through diet or lifestyle changes, supplements, or a temporary course of treatment.
With GP waiting times increasing in many practices, and appointments for non-urgent care more difficult to access, private blood testing is becoming a common alternative for many people looking to take control of their health.
Our Core Wellwoman test is a great option for those looking for a broad snapshot of their overall health, as it tests the blood for a number of key health indicators, deficiencies, and disease markers, removing a lot of guess work and flagging any potential problems.
The test looks at health indicators for:
- heart disease
- ovarian cancer
- liver and kidney function
- iron levels
- bowel checks
- vitamin B12 levels.
You can choose whether to have a home visit from a qualified nurse or visit one of our BMI hospital partners to have your blood sample collected for testing. You can also choose a vacutainer sample collection option if you prefer.