Women are unique. We care deeply about others and tend to put the needs of our family and children before our own. We may notice illness or disease in our lives but put it on the back-burner so that we can better care for our families. While this is emotionally satisfying, it can be harmful to our health.
There are a number of diseases and conditions that could worsen due to age and gender. Around age 55, health issues may worsen or increase. Older women have increased risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, breast cancer, and diabetes. Cancer is also found more often in older women. The greatest risks for women over 55 are lung cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer.
Improve Your Health In Later Years
Exercise often to improve your overall health and wellbeing. Weight training can increase overall muscle and bone strength. This helps with balance and mobility, as well as decreasing the risk of osteoporosis. Strength training can also lessen arthritis pain. Regular cardio exercise can prevent atherosclerosis, a major cause of heart disease and stroke. Women who are physically active are also less likely to develop early-onset diabetes due to its control of weight gain and regulation of glucose levels.
You will also want to check with your doctor about your medications. As you age, medications affect you differently. Also, different side effects may appear that you have never experienced before. Taking multiple medications a day increases your chance of side effects. It’s very important to keep a log of all the medications you take, even over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Note if you have side effects and ask your doctor for advice.
Health Issues & Prevention
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 71-85% of flu-related deaths occur in people ages 65 and older. To prevent the flu and pneumonia, wash your hands frequently. Fortify your immune system by eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals, such as fruits and vegetables. If you start to notice flu-like symptoms, visit a doctor immediately.
Diabetes can be prevented with a balanced diet low in processed foods and frequent exercise. Preventing heart disease requires a similar regimen. Avoid sugary, processed foods and introduce cardio exercise into your routine.
As you age, your bones become weaker since your body absorbs old bone tissue faster than it creates new bone tissue. An estimated 1.5 million fractures occur each year due to osteoporosis. If you are concerned about osteoporosis, check in with your doctor about calcium supplements. Introduce vegetables with calcium into your diet as well to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Incontinence & The Pelvic Floor
The risk of incontinence increases rapidly as you age. To increase the strength of your pelvic muscles, practice pelvic floor exercises daily.
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles on the floor of the pelvic area that supports internal organs in the pelvis. Keeping these muscles strong and healthy provides many benefits such as better bowel and bladder control. If you need more information about pelvic floor exercises, we can direct you to local specialists who can help you.
Call Your Doctor
If you are experiencing any of the above conditions, call your doctor. Your doctor should be able to answer any of the questions or concerns you have regarding the changes in your body as you age.