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A Few Common Health Problems for Women Over 50 and Some Prevention Strategies

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The Philosopher Plato once said that “he who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition, youth and age are equally a burden.” While there certainly may be some philosophical merit in those words, they are not always easy to live by, especially when you back is aching, hot flashes keep you up at night, and you can´t for the life of you remember which pill you had to take before breakfast and which was supposed to go after having eaten.

Aging is a fact of life, and though George Bernard Shaw reminded us: “do not try to live forever, you will not succeed,” there are certainly things that can be done to help us maintain our health and vitality as the years go by.

Women especially face several particular health challenges that need to be taken into account if they are to age gracefully and healthfully. Below, we look at a few of the most common health problems for women over the age of 50 and then go on to offer some of the best prevention strategies to help women avoid age-related health problems.

Arthritis

Aching joints and painful bones are one sure sign of aging. While many people will not begin to notice the effects of arthritis until they reach their mid-60s, people who have been physically active throughout their youth or who have worked at manual occupations that required repetitive motions are at a higher risk for arthritis.

Women who spend a lot of time sewing or doing other activities that require repetitive movements are likely to develop arthritis in their hands and wrists. In fact, the CDC estimates that almost 50 percent of all seniors over the age of 65 will eventually develop arthritis.

For women over 50 who haven’t yet developed arthritis, maintaining a physically active lifestyle is one of the best ways to avoid the onset of this painful disease which can significantly lower the quality of life. Furthermore, if you already are sensing the onsets of those nagging aches and pains so commonly associated with arthritis, you can talk with your doctor about different exercise plans that will allow you to stay active while limiting the strain on your body. Taking up swimming is often considered to be one of the best and safest activities for adults suffering from arthritis.

Heart Disease

Twenty six percent of women over the age of 65 will suffer from form of heart disease, according to the CDC. While heart disease can be due to genetic factors, it is far more common to arise due to unhealthy lifestyle choices. Smoking and unhealthy diets are too of the most common risk factors leading to heart disease.

Even if you have smoked all your life, quitting smoking today will drastically reduce the likelihood of suffering from heart disease. Furthermore, a healthy, plant-based diet that is low in saturated fats is also an important prevention strategy for women.

Osteoporosis

The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that 54 million Americans over age 5 will suffer from low bone mass, also known as osteoporosis. Women are especially prone to this disease that can reduce the quality of life and significantly restrict mobility. Osteoporosis can also lead to fragile bones, and a broken bone after the age of 50 will certainly take much longer to heal.  

Taking a multivitamin designed specifically for aging women is also an important prevention strategy to avoid osteoporosis and make sure that your body is getting the nutrients you need. A multivitamin that is high in calcium will help to ensure optimum bone health.

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