May 13–19th is Women’s Health Week

May 13–19th is Women’s Health Week. As every woman knows, and most husbands eventually learn, a woman’s body behaves differently than a man’s. It often requires her to listen to her body in ways men, frankly, do not. Women’s health means something different, a distinction worthy of its own week, if not more.

I was unexpectedly reminded of this when my wife was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Much more common in women than men, her autoimmune thyroid disease opened the gate of inquiry for our family into hormones and their impact in overall wellbeing. The journey continues through to this day.

However, while our experience led beyond Hashimoto’s thyroiditis to something rare and even more hazardous, this initial diagnosis was nevertheless enough for us to re-examine our lifestyle. It also served to familiarize us with routine and even non-routine tests. Along the way we discovered many friends asking similar health questions.

So in the spirit of Women’s Health Week, and for those who may be asking many of the same questions we were, below are a few tests we found helpful in our exploration:

Heart related — Lipid profile (cholesterol panel), C-reactive protein (inflammation), A1C (blood sugar control) etc.

Thyroid — TSH, T4, and T3

Hormones — Estrogen, testosterone, growth hormone, IGF, and Estradiol

We went further still, with more body chemistry tests of CBC with differential, complete metabolic panel and more, including even a lumbar puncture (i.e. spinal tap, not the movie). However, the tests above stand out as worth periodic monitoring even in the absence specifically identified conditions.

Regardless of how and how far you intend to pursue your personal health diagnostics, you may eventually discover the old maxim, “that which gets measured, gets managed.” Now that we have our lab test results across a number of body functions, and monitor periodically, our awareness spills over into other areas of our life.

More vegetables? Check. More water? Yep. More exercise and overall activity throughout the day? Yes again. The list goes on.

The point is once you know, you cannot un-know. Think this through and you can use this behavior trick to your advantage. Not all habits are bad. Some can be good, quite good, actually.

So in the spirit of health and helping make positive changes stick, make sure to celebrate Women’s Health Week with the women in your life (and the men who might not yet heard!).

Discount Code for Health Testing Centers

For those who would like to consider some of the tests mentioned above, or others, Health Testing Centers offers HSA Coach users a 20% discount off their already retail-friendly prices. Use discount code HSA20.

The HSA Coach App. Download for Free in the App Store and Google Play.

About Aaron Benway, CFP, EA — Aaron is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP)and IRS Enrolled Agent (EA). He co-founded HSA Coach, a digital tool to educate consumers on HSAs, track health expenses and other documents, and provide individual financial calculators, to help consumers get the most from their HSA and other savings. To help individuals directly with their financial planning and wealth management requirements he founded AB Financial Planning.

Prior to HSA Coach Aaron was the CFO of HelloWallet, a financial wellness software startup purchased by investment research firm Morningstar. Earlier in his career Aaron was an investor at The Carlyle Group and a nuclear engineer in the US Navy. Aaron has an Electrical Engineering degree from the US Naval Academy and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Aaron lives in the Washington DC area with his wife and two children.