Spring is here at last but is there a spring in your step to match?

Are you feeling fit and well or just too tired to put your best foot forward? Maybe you keep on putting those little niggles and aches you get to one side because your children, your partner, your parents or work commitments come first? Sometimes it can seem that everyone’s in the queue for care except you!

According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, at any time 1 in 5 people feel “unusually tired” and 1 in 10 have “prolonged fatigue” – and women tend to feel more tired than men. Public Health England’s most recent research found that, although women live on average more than 3 ½ years longer than men, they also spend nearly 3 more years living in poor health. So what can you do to improve your chances of living well?

“Don’t suffer in silence!”, advises Dr Rowena Milligan, one of our dedicated team of private family doctors who also has a particular interest in women’s healthcare. “Stop what you’re doing and ask yourself the following 6 key questions:

• Do I get enough sleep?
• Do I eat a well-balanced diet?
• Do I drink enough water?
• Do I get enough meaningful exercise (exercise that’s good for me)?
• Do I take on too much (in my work and/or personal life) and get stressed as a result?
• Do I make time for myself?”

You may be able to reduce your tiredness by taking a good look at what’s going on in your life and making some simple changes in the first instance. These could include going to bed earlier (setting an alarm beforehand), cooking meals from scratch (to reduce processed ingredients), taking up a hobby/activity you enjoy, and – the hardest of all – trying not to take on too much.

Some conditions affect women more than men, such as anaemia, auto immune diseases, thyroid conditions, vitamin deficiency, mental health problems, dementia and specific types of cancer. In addition, there’s the havoc that can be wreaked by hormonal changes relating to menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. Timely medical intervention can make a huge difference to women suffering from any of these conditions.

Doctor reassuring female patient

Of course, it can be difficult to open up much in a ten minute appointment slot or if you see a different doctor who doesn’t know your medical history. And our members have a real advantage here! Each member gets to build a long term relationship with their own private doctor who can see them in the comfort of their own home at a convenient time and can keep an eye on any health concerns.

Dr Milligan advises all her female patients who are feeling run down to take a comprehensive Well Woman Health Check, which looks at nutrition and lifestyle, as well as taking baseline blood tests to check any underlying medical conditions. Here are some of the warning symptoms you should never ignore when associated with tiredness and fatigue:

• Unintentional loss of weight
• Night sweats
• Red and swollen joints
• Change in bowel habit or abdominal bloating
• Persistent indigestion or acid reflux, or food getting stuck when swallowing
• Persistent cough or new hoarseness of voice, or coughing up blood
• Unexplained vaginal bleeding including in between periods, after sex or post menopause

The sooner any health problems are identified, the better your chances of recovery. One example is ovarian cancer, where 90% of women diagnosed with this type of cancer in its earliest stage survive for at least 5 years compared to about 5% diagnosed in its most advanced stage, according to Cancer Research UK.

So make sure you’re a Well Woman this Spring. Don’t panic but do get your health checked as a priority – especially if you recognise any of the warning symptoms listed above. Our personalised Well Woman Health Check costs £150.00 and is exclusively available to Concierge Medical members.

Call 01451 600900 to find out more about Concierge Medical’s private doctor services in the Cotswolds, Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Wiltshire. You’ll soon discover why we put “modern medicine, traditional values” at the heart of our expanding practice and the difference that makes to the health and wellbeing of your whole family.

And, by the way, don’t forget to remind the men in your life that they could benefit from a Well Man “Health MOT”, too!

Woman and man cycling happily through the countryside