Midlife Health for Women
Midlife is a time of natural transition in a woman’s life. Most women recognize the biggest milestone of this stage as menopause, the end of having menstrual periods. In truth though, menopause formally happens when menstruation has stopped for at least 12 months.
There are many emotional and physical changes that women experience in this phase of life. Just as in adolescence, pregnancy and postpartum, the body is adjusting to different levels of hormones.
A Plan of Action
- Schedule regular appointments with your physician or clinician– get all recommended routine cancer screenings – breast, cervix and colon
- Know the warning signs for heart disease – talk to your clinician about your risks
- Blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar readings should be tested as recommended by your provider, physician or clinician.
- Stop smoking!
- Drink alcoholic beverages in careful moderation – if you wonder how much is too much, consult your physician or clinician.
- Be careful to control your weight. As we age, the muscle mass declines and our bodies burn calories at a slower rate. Gaining weight is easy, but losing it is hard. Eat healthy and limit yourself to smaller servings. Even a modest weight gain, increases your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, adult onset diabetes, and some types of cancer.
- Exercise regularly – walking is great!
- Weigh the risks and benefits of estrogen replacement therapy – discuss this with your physician or clinician.
- Be good to yourself – your mental health is as important as your physical health. Many women face difficult challenges and responsibilities that cause undo stress and impact their health. Emotional overload can lead to depression, anxiety, panic reactions, fatigue, increased chance of substance abuse, alcohol abuse, and other illnesses.
- Talk about your stressful situations with someone you trust. Sometimes just talking about your problems and concerns can help you put them into perspective and give you insights into ways to deal with them.
- Stay organized to help manage your time more efficiently.
- It’s OK to ask for help when you need it.
- Use relaxation techniques to calm your mind and body.
Menopause and More
Speak with your physician or clinician often about any changes or concerns you may experience. In the meantime, we’ve provided some information on menopause symptoms, as well as a look at the role and risks of Hormone Therapy. Other midlife topics of interest include skin and hair changes.
Please remember to always seek the advice of your physician or clinician regarding specific medical questions or conditions.