Health Concerns of Older Women and How to Deal With it
As women age, they are susceptible to a variety of health concerns. While some health problems are unavoidable, there are many steps that many women can take to reduce their risk of developing other issues.
It’s important for women to stay on top of their health, and to know when to seek medical attention for any concerns they may have. In this article, we will discuss the most common health concerns for older women, and provide advice on how to deal with them.
There are a number of conditions that can lead to arthritis, but Osteoarthritis is one of the most common types. It’s estimated that over 10 million Americans have been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis.
The beginning stages of arthritis often go unnoticed by the patient, and it may take a while for them to seek help from their doctor. If you have been diagnosed with arthritis, there are several steps that you can take yourself to reduce the risk of further deterioration:
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
Make sure that your diet is full of anti-inflammatory foods, such as “wild-caught” fish and organic fruits and vegetables. While over-the-counter medications may help to reduce pain and swelling, it is important to try and avoid these if possible.
- Stay active, but take care of your joints.
Exercises that don’t put too much stress on your joints can be beneficial in reducing symptoms of arthritis, so swimming and biking are great low impact exercises for those who suffer from arthritis. However, you should be careful when carrying out any kind of exercise, especially if it will place a lot of pressure on your joints.
- Take supplements to support healthy joints.
Supplements are available that can help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, so talk to your doctor about what would be most beneficial for you. Fish oil is one of the most common supplements for arthritis, but there are many others that can help your joints stay healthy.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can be especially dangerous for older women since it tends to increase the risk of stroke and heart disease – two leading causes of death in older women. If you are experiencing any signs of high blood pressure, you should see your doctor immediately.
- Keep a healthy weight.
Being overweight can contribute to high blood pressure, so maintaining a healthy weight is essential for those who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. In addition, exercise has been shown to greatly benefit those with high blood pressure by reducing their risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Enjoy some caffeine every day.
Caffeine has been shown to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, so it’s important for women to take note of how much caffeine they are ingesting. However, it is important not to consume too much caffeine each day, since this can increase your risk of high blood pressure and lead to other complications.
- Quit smoking.
Smoking can lead to high blood pressure, but quitting smoking can help you reduce your risk of disease. Talk to your doctor about the best ways to quit smoking if that is something that you are interested in doing.
Older women are more susceptible to diabetes because they are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke – two conditions that can lead to diabetes. In addition, older women are also at a greater risk for obesity, which is another contributing factor in developing diabetes.
The good news is that if you have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or gestational diabetes, staying active and adjusting your diet can greatly reduce your risk of developing type II diabetes. As previously mentioned, maintaining a healthy weight is also key in reducing your risk of diabetes.
Other steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing type II diabetes are learning about early warning signs of the disease, discussing with your doctor whether or not you would benefit from taking medication to control your blood sugar.
As women age, they are susceptible to developing osteoporosis due to the fact that their estrogen levels decrease. This loss of estrogen can lead to bone thinning, which increases your risk of fractures and other complications.
However, you should know that there are many steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis:
- Exercise and eat a balanced diet.
Both exercise and a healthy diet can reduce your risk of osteoporosis, so make sure to stay active and eat plenty of vegetables and fruits each day to maintain strong bones. In addition, weight-bearing activities such as jogging or lifting weights can help you develop stronger bones.
- Take calcium and vitamin D supplements.
Calcium and vitamin D supplements can help strengthen bones, so talk to your doctor about whether or not you should consider taking these each day to protect against bone thinning.
Incontinence, commonly known as the loss of bladder control, can be a very embarrassing and difficult condition for women. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to reduce your risk of developing incontinence:
- If you have had children, make sure to do Kegel exercises.
Kegels tighten the muscles of your pelvic floor and will help prevent stress urinary incontinence. If you are unsure about how to do Kegels, here’s a guide to help.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables each day.
Fibre has been shown to reduce stress urinary incontinence by keeping waste moving along in the digestive tract, so make sure that you eat lots of high fibre foods such as fruits and vegetables. In addition, staying hydrated will also help to prevent incontinence by keeping your urine dilute and eliminating waste from your body more quickly.
- Take a break from heavy lifting when you need to.
Lifting heavy objects can put pressure on your bladder and lead to leakage, so make sure that you take a break when you need to and drink plenty of fluids in order to stay hydrated.
- Use pads and over the counter medications.
Over the counter medication such as estrogen cream or bladder control products can help control stress urinary incontinence, so try these before you seek medical attention for this condition.
Although breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, women can reduce their risk of developing this condition by knowing what factors increase a woman’s risk of developing it.
Some factors that may increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer include:
- Being overweight or obese.
Obesity is linked to developing many different types of cancer, including breast cancer, so it’s important to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet in order to maintain your ideal weight.
- Having dense breasts can also put you at an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Dense breasts contain more glandular and connective tissue than fatty tissue, so it can be harder to detect tumors in women with dense breasts.
- Drink less alcohol and don’t smoke.
Both smoking and drinking alcohol have been linked to developing breast cancer, so make sure to avoid these two substances.
Having some specific gene mutations also increases your risk of developing breast cancer, so talk to your doctor about whether or not you should consider getting tested for these genes if you are worried about developing breast cancer.
Visit your doctor regularly for routine screenings. Regular visits to the doctor can help catch tumours early on, increasing your chances of successfully treating them if it is detected early on.
Older women are susceptible to a variety of health concerns, including bone loss, incontinence, and breast cancer. However, there are many steps that women can take to reduce their risk of developing these conditions. It’s important for women to stay on top of their health, and to know when to seek medical attention for any concerns they may have.