Know Your Risks: Health Risks That Come With Aging and Menopause
No matter how old you are, it’s great to be alive. But the more candles you add to your cake, the more health risks that loom on the horizon. As a woman, you have the added complication of menopause, bringing with it annoying symptoms and increased health risks.
Knowing the health risks that go along with aging and menopause can help you take some proactive steps to prevent or minimize them. Your doctor can help you assess your risks and create a lifestyle that will give you a leg up in staying healthy for many years to come.
Heart disease is a leading cause of death in women, and both aging and menopause can take a toll on your heart. You can minimize your risk by asking about hormone replacement therapy (HRT), eating well, exercising regularly, maintain a healthy weight, minimizing stress, and not smoking.
With age and menopause, your bones can become weaker and more prone to breakage. Your risk for osteoporosis goes up, especially if you have a family history of it. HRT, calcium, and exercising are some of the ways you can minimize your risks, along with not smoking and avoiding excessive alcoholic, caffeinated, and carbonated beverages.
Aching joints can come with age and menopause, making it difficult for you to be active and comfortable. The less active you are, the greater your risk for developing other, more serious health conditions. HRT may be helpful, along with medications and supplements targeted for arthritis. Even though it hurts to move, being active can be helpful, so it’s important to work with your doctor to develop an activity plan that’s right for you. It’s also important to eat well and maintain a healthy weight. Physical therapy may also bring relief and teach you how to move with less pain.
As a result of menopause and aging, you could develop respiratory issues, some more serious than others. Your risks increase if you are a smoker or have developed osteoporosis which can compress your chest and thus your ability to take in enough air. Quitting smoking is a definite positive step, as well as undergoing any appropriate lung screenings. If you have a history of respiratory issues or if there are any in your family, discuss those with your doctor. Being proactive could reduce your risk or minimize the symptoms.
With age and menopause can come some brain fog and a decline in cognitive abilities. It may become harder to multi-task and process information quickly. If there’s a family history of dementia or Alzheimer’s, you may be at great risk developing them, too. HRT and a healthy lifestyle can be helpful, along with staying active and challenging your brain. Do puzzles, read books, play games that challenge your mind, enroll in a class to learn something new, or take up a new hobby.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: Know Your Risks: Health Risks That Come With Aging and Menopause