As we grower older, our body needs to be cared better as the chances of health issues are much greater. Especially for women, as time passes, they need to pay more attention to their well being because several changes are taking place in their bodies about which they need to be aware of.
Around the age of 50-55 years , majority of the Women reach menopause. This phase is characterized by huge physiological, mental and psychological changes. The physical changes are mostly related to the imbalance in the hormone concentrations caused as menstruation stops. A drop in the levels of hormones estrogen and progesterone is observed at the age of 45-55 years.
Why is estrogen important?
Estrogen is mainly a female sex hormone associated with normal menstruation and more importantly with maintenance of skin tension, stabilizing the bones, preventing bone loss, increasing good (HDL) cholesterol, decreasing bad (LDL) cholesterol levels in blood, and protecting against heart problems. Lowering of the normal estrogen levels is responsible for the noticeable increase in waist circumference among postmenopausal women. Basically, all the protective functions of estrogens are lost once women enter into menopause which requires women to take greater care of their diet and lifestyle.
Arthritis/ Musculoskeletal Disorders
- Women are more susceptible to arthritis than men with the osteoarthritis being more common after age 40. Arthritis is one of the most prevalent chronic health problems and the nation’s leading cause of disability among Americans over age 15. It is second only to heart disease as a cause of work disability.
- Osteoporosis is a major public health threat for 55 percent of people age 50 and older, 80 percent of whom are women.
- The prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis increases with age, approaching 5 percent in women over age 55. Both incidence and prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis are two to three times greater in women than men. Although rheumatoid arthritis may start at any age, patients most commonly are first affected in their 30s to their 60s.
Breast cancer screening
While breast self exams are recommended for women of all ages, if you are nearing or are over 40, yearly mammograms should be conducted as preventive measures or to avoid further complications. Apart from regular check-ups, knowing your risk factor and adopting a healthy lifestyle can help you cut the chances of getting this potentially fatal disease.
Heart disease screening
Studies have shown that more women, including young ones, are falling prey to heart diseases in India, whereas in the US, it is the leading cause of death among the fairer sex.
Health experts suggest that women should check their cholesterol and blood pressure annually, particularly if there is a history of heart disease in their families.
Bone density test
Women with a family history of osteoporosis should consult their doctor for a bone density test or DEXA scan. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, women are four times more likely than men to get osteoporosis, and it can happen at any age. Bone disease has become a health concern for women of all age. Women who have irregular menstrual periods or are entering early menopause should also take more care to prevent getting this devastating bone disease.
Some ways to keep yourself healthy as use age is regular exercise, though exercise is important at every stage of life, it becomes even more important once you cross 40 years. Regular health screening for the conditions mentioned above is another important measure step to being healthy, preventive healthcare is an essential step for a healthy life but rarely given any significance (click here to learn about the significance of preventive healthcare)
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