Did you know that as a woman, your risk for certain health conditions increases after age 50? While some of these conditions are more common in women than men, others affect women at a higher rate due to hormonal changes that occur during menopause. Keep reading to learn about five common diseases in aging women and what you can do to reduce your risk.
Osteoporosis is a disease marked by low bone density, leading to an increased risk for fractures. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this disease is prevalent in postmenopausal women. One in two women over 50 can experience bone damage due to the disease. Here are ways to prevent osteoporosis.
One of the main reasons why osteoporosis is more common in women than men is that estrogen helps to maintain bone density. However, after menopause, levels of this hormone drop, which can lead to bone loss. The NIH recommends weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises at least two days a week to offset this.
You can also help reduce your risk of osteoporosis by eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. Dairy products, leafy greens, and certain types of fish are good sources of these nutrients. You can also get calcium and vitamin D through supplements.
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes memory, thinking, and behavior problems. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, women are more likely than men to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Nearly two-thirds of Americans who have this disease are women. While the exact cause of Alzheimer’s is unknown, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk. Here are some of those options.
One study found that people who regularly played puzzle games had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Games like crosswords, Sudoku, and jigsaw puzzles can help keep your mind sharp.
Staying socially active can also help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s. Research has shown that people with strong social networks are less likely to develop the disease.
Playing Video Games
Many women might shy away from playing video games, but it could help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s. One study found that video game people had a lower risk of developing the disease.
Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 12 percent of women will eventually develop breast cancer. Here are ways to decrease your chance of breast cancer.
One of the best ways to detect breast cancer early is to get regular mammograms. The American Cancer Society recommends that women over 45 get a mammogram every year. Women under 45 should talk to their doctor about when to get mammograms.
BRCA Gene Testing
If you have a family history of breast cancer, you may consider getting tested for the BRCA gene. This gene can increase your risk of developing breast cancer. If you test positive for the gene, you may consider taking preventive measures, such as increased surveillance or prophylactic surgery.
Interestingly, women are also more susceptible to oral diseases, namely periodontal disease. This is because of their hormones. Estrogen is responsible for keeping the gum tissue healthy, but during menopause, levels of this hormone drop, which can lead to gum disease. Here are ways you can prevent this disease from happening to you.
A chipped tooth can lead to bruised gums, which are vulnerable to infection. Porcelain veneers are a type of dental restoration that can help protect your teeth and gums. By getting it, you can also achieve a whiter and brighter smile. In addition, you can also drastically reduce your chances of oral cancer.
Smoking is one of the main risk factors for periodontal disease. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your oral health.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein can help reduce your risk of gum disease. A healthy diet can also help improve your overall health.
Diabetes is a condition that occurs when there is too much sugar in your blood. According to the NIH, diabetes affects about 9 percent of American adults, which is only expected to rise. Women over 65 have a higher rate of diabetes than any other age group. You can help prevent type 2 diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet. If you have diabetes or prediabetes, it’s also essential to manage your blood sugar levels through medication or other means, such as lifestyle changes.
Women are more susceptible to certain diseases than men. These diseases can be problematic, but thankfully, there are ways to prevent or manage these diseases. By avoiding these risk factors and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you can age gracefully and avoid many age-related diseases.