When I was in my 20s, I had already developed a number of health issues - asthma, allergies, digestive issues, eczema, mood swings, chronic fatigue and debilitating PMS.
I didn't know at the time that they could be resolved or prevented, and certainly didn't know what questions to even ask about my body. Below are five health questions every woman should know how to answer.
1. What are my hormone levels and how close are they to being out of the "normal range?"
I find that most doctors won't address hormones unless the results are in the "high" or "low" range. It's important to understand how far off the center of the target you are instead of waiting until you are over or under productive.
Your body produces many different types of hormones needed at certain levels. You have hormones that are responsible for your mood, body temperature, metabolism, sleep, sex drive, reproduction, heart rate and even your immune system.
Slight shifts in your hormones may go unnoticed at first. But, over time, these shifts can cause negative side-effects and even long-term health issues with any of the areas they affect.
2. What is my vitamin D level?
Vitamin D is responsible for keeping your teeth and bones healthy and strong. It also helps regulate mood, boosts weight loss, supports a healthy heart, reduces cancer risk and helps maintain a healthy immune system.
Maintain a healthy level of vitamin D between 60-80 ng/mL. Most doctors won't say there is an issue until you have dropped below 25 ng/mL. However, maintaining higher levels may help you better-manage your health and well-being now, as well as in the future.
3. Is my spine in alignment?
I remember the day in junior high when the school nurse came in to check everyone for scoliosis. I knew scoliosis meant having a curved spine and that having it was bad, but I didn't understand why.
Your spine is the main highway that connects your entire nervous system to the rest of the body. It's not just scoliosis that could be problematic.
Any misalignment in the spine can cause nerves to be suppressed, cutting off blood flow to certain regions of your body. Having regular chiropractic check-ups can help you stay on top of problems that may get in the way of your health and well-being.
4. What are my blood glucose levels?
Blood glucose is the amount of sugar circulating in your blood. Too much and you are hyperglycemic, meaning your body is unable to use all the sugar for energy. Too little and you are hypoglycemic, meaning your body does not have enough sugar for energy.
Too much or too little blood sugar can lead to diabetes or other health issues like cancer, immune system problems and heart problems. If your blood glucose levels get too high, take steps to bring it down. For example, adopt a whole-food diet and exercise regularly.
5. Do I have any food sensitivities?
Modern American food is doused in pesticides and herbicides, making it hard on the digestive system. This is where many food sensitivities and allergies come from.
People are developing food intolerances that may go unnoticed unless there is an obvious reaction immediately following consumption.
Some of the symptoms associated with food sensitivities are gas and bloating, skin disorders (like eczema, rashes or dry skin), dark eye circles, brain fog, fatigue, acne, arthritis and food cravings.
However, it doesn't stop there. When you consume a food you are sensitive to, your body sees it as the enemy and produces an immune response, creating inflammation in the body.
Think of it like putting rocks in a sinking boat. If you don't pay attention to the boat slowly sinking, you may suddenly find yourself under water. By knowing and avoiding the foods you are sensitive to, you give yourself a happier, healthier life.
Answering these five questions gives you a visual of where you are now with your health. From there, you can start figuring out where you want to go next. Enjoy the journey!