It’s crucial to look after your health at any phase in life, but more so as you begin aging. Some females sail through their mid-to-late 30s and 40s without a second thought about health ailments. For others, health concerns can make midlife less than “golden age.”
So what can you expect in the next five years? All women age differently, and lifestyle has a significant impact, but you’ll experience both impossible-to-ignore and okay-to-neglect changes in your mental health and physical appearance.
The fertility of a woman is at peak when she is in her 20s. It remains somewhat stable until the age of 30 but starts declining when she turns 45 years old, with only 80-100 women giving birth to every 1,000 trying without contraception. That’s because a woman has a finite supply of eggs at birth, around 300,000. Most of these eggs die off via a process named atresia as she ages. Also, if an aging woman experiences menopause, there’s a likely chance that her ovaries stop functioning. However, age-related infertility may be experienced several years before menopause.
Solution: Fortunately, solutions like IVF (In vitro fertilization) are accessible to women of all ages. It’s the process of fertilizing eggs outside of the woman’s body with sperm. Once they’re fertilized, the embryo is placed into the uterus with the hope that healthy pregnancy will occur. Resources like YourFertilityFriend will allow you to learn more about the different IVF options available. The success rate of the procedure varies with the female’s age, and across IVF procedures and clinics. Patients can explore various facilities, as well as financing and payment terms. Also, if they’re taking fertility drugs, they can learn more about the pros and cons of each.
- Heart Disease
According to The Heart Foundation, women account for more than 50 percent of all heart disease-related deaths in the US each year. However, menopause isn’t the reason behind the increased risk of cardiovascular disease as a woman ages. Instead, it’s the lifestyle, such as lack of exercise, binge eating, and smoking that can take a toll on the cardiovascular health in the 30 and over women. Over time, the heart’s efficiency at pumping blood throughout the human body declines. Simultaneously, fatty deposits start penetrating blood vessels, causing them to become less elastic. The combination of stiffer arteries and less efficient cardiovascular muscle prevents proper blood flow, which can cause stroke, suffocation and heart attack
Solution: Women can make several modifications in their lifestyle to reduce the risk of heart disease, including maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and exercising regularly. It’s also a good idea to change your eating habits. Follow a heart-healthy diet that includes beans, whole grains, low-fat dairy items, lean meats, and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid excessive use of sugar, salt, and saturated fat. Additionally, women need to incorporate heart-healthy supplements in their lifestyle, such as omega 3 fish oil. And they’ll need to follow better their prescribed medication routine, which can involve intake of aspirin, blood thinners, and blood pressure pills. All these measures help in better managing conditions that increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, and fatty liver.
While arthritis can hit you at any age, it is more prevalent in women aged 30 and above. Declines in the neuromuscular, cardiopulmonary and musculoskeletal systems put older women with arthritis at higher risk of joint pain and loss of mobility. The classic signs are swollen or puffy legs and knees that hurt when bent. The agony results from bone rubbing on another bone after cartilage has reduced (which serves as a cushion between bones). Arthritis pain is felt in specific pivot points – like your knee joints and neck – and less in the surrounding muscles. The muscular pain goes away in a few days following massage and rest; arthritis pain takes long to subside following appropriate treatment.
Solution: There’s no permanent cure for arthritis, but those who suffer from the condition can take several measures to minimize its impact. Joints remain healthy on the same diet as your brain and heart. So eat plenty of whole grains, seeds, nuts, oily fish, fruit, and vegetables. Other than that, incorporate regular exercise into your lifestyle as it helps strengthen joint mobility. If you can’t lift weights, look into non-weight bearing exercises like swimming and cycling. Hydrotherapy, an activity done in thick, warm pool, can produce excellent results.
- Tooth Decay
Women over 40 are more prone to cavities because the root of their teeth becomes soft and typically more exposed as they age. Cavities can appear on the parts of teeth that never had a symptom before, but you can also become a victim at the root of your tooth or around old fillings. A lot of it is the outcome of your eating habits. Women who consume sugar on a regular basis are more likely to develop tooth decay as they age. When you drink sugar, the bacteria in your mouth produce acid, which breaks down the teeth’s protective enamel, causing deterioration. Lost mobility and other physical issues can also disrupt dental hygiene, making older females prone to tooth problems.
Solution: Fluoride isn’t just for children. Women should add a daily fluoride rise to their teeth brushing routine, or consult with their healthcare provider about a stronger prescription fluoride medication. If you’ve recently developed cavities, even if there’s fluoride in your water, consider rinsing with fluoride. Consult with the dentist if this is the right measure to take. And everyone can minimize the pain by watching what they drink and eat. Take out chocolates and other sugary stuff from your diet. Scan labels for corn syrup, dextrose, and honey – it’s all sugar.
It’s more important than ever to keep your heart, joints, teeth and sexual health in tip-top shape. Your plan of action? Understand the symptoms of common age-related diseases, so you can take measures to treat and prevent them.