Thanks to incredible advancements in the medical world over the last several decades, women are living longer, healthier lives than ever before. However, that doesn’t mean that women shouldn’t take extra measures to stay on top of their health as they age. There are several common conditions that affect aging women that, if left untreated, can be debilitating and even deadly.
The good news is that most age-related conditions are treatable. However, it’s important to spot the symptoms of these conditions early enough to get the proper treatment that’s required. Read on to discover four conditions that commonly affect aging women.
Arthritis affects almost half of adults over the age of 65, and most of those adults are women. This painful condition is caused by inflammation of the joints and can make the execution of simple, everyday tasks excruciatingly painful.
While arthritis is most common in seniors, symptoms can begin during adulthood and often get progressively worse with age. Risk factors include being overweight, recent hormonal changes such as menopause, and a family history of the condition.
If you experience pain in your joints, ankles, back, fingers, wrists or neck that isn’t going away, schedule an appointment with your doctor. While the pain might not necessarily be arthritis, you don’t want to take the risk.
Varicose veins, also known as spider veins, are common as women age and are hard to miss. They often appear as bulging veins along the legs and may or may not be discolored. For some women, varicose veins are painless. For others, they lead to pain, numbness and swelling of the affected leg.
Since varicose veins form when the blood flow is constricted, causing pools of blood to form in your veins, by making sure your blood circulation is good, you can reduce your risk. Walking around or exercising daily is a good idea. Not wearing constricting clothing or crossing your legs is good too, since those tend to cut off your circulation.
In addition to being painful for many, this condition can leave women feeling self-conscious about the appearance of their legs. Although varicose veins never go away, the good news is that treatment is a fairly simple procedure at places like the Ivein Treatment Center.
Although many people associate osteoporosis with the elderly, this debilitating condition can affect women of all ages. Women who are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis are those who have a history of irregular menstrual periods, are underweight, have recently gone through menopause, or have a family history of the condition.
Osteoporosis is often referred to as a silent disease, because there are very few symptoms in the early stages. It’s also best to catch and treat it in the early stages, because some of the more serious consequences of the disease include bad bone breaks and loss of height. But how can you catch a disease in the early stages if there are so few symptoms of it?
While it’s hard to notice that your bones are weakening until you end up breaking a bone, there are different signs that can point to bone loss. Among these are brittle fingernails, receding gums, bone pain, and weaker grip strength. If you experience any of these, contact your doctor as soon as possible. While you might not have osteoporosis, if you do, it’ll be much better for you if your doctor can catch it early.
Even if you’ve spent your entire life wearing sunscreen, you are still at risk of developing skin cancer. While skin cancer can affect younger people, age is one of the main risk factors. About half of the population will develop skin cancer at some point during their lifetime.
Fortunately, most types of skin cancer are easy to notice, since it forms on the external, visible parts of your body. Some skin cancers look like waxy white lumps or brown scaly patches on the parts of your body that are exposed most to the sun. Other types form as unusual growths or changes in existing moles. Still others appear as lumps.
See your dermatologist regularly. Pay attention to your skin to catch any abnormalities that may appear. If you notice something going on with your skin, don’t delay in getting it checked out. If it’s a minimal change, wait two weeks to see if it disappears, but if it doesn’t or if your skin develops a lump or growth, contact your doctor as soon as you can.
While women are more susceptible to many health conditions as they age, treatment options are more advanced and effective than ever before. The key to maintaining good health is watching out for the symptoms of these common age-related conditions and visiting your doctor regularly.