So, I’m at a place in life where I feel like my health is going through some noticeable changes.
More than some new grey hairs, I’ve got aches in new spots, and I can feel it if I’ve had a late night!
These changes feel like a part of aging, and they’re things I have to work with. But there are some health changes you should NOT just accept. Here are 7 health changes that should capture your attention, and why.
1. Increased Hunger, Thirst, and Bathroom Trips. I always feel thirsty, particularly in the summertime, which may be true for you as well. But if you notice a spike in your thirst, particularly if it comes along with being hungry and needing to urinate more frequently, these could be signs of Type II Diabetes. People over 45 are more at risk of Type II Diabetes (although sadly, it’s becoming more common in children and adolescents), primarily because we slow down and put on weight.
2. The Blues. I suppose it isn’t surprising that, as we age, we experience some level of depression. If for no other reason, our bodies may become less efficient at using the serotonin and other mood chemicals we produce. You don’t have to have full-blown symptoms of major depression for a change in mood to be of concern. If this sounds like you, talk to a healthcare professional There are so many treatment options available now; don’t let a happy life pass you by!
3. Incontinence. Friends, those commercials for Incontinence products make me crazy! Yes, you should have access to effective protection, and no, you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about it. But for pity’s sake, it’s not inevitable! Don’t just accept it as a sign of aging! If you are experiencing any of the forms of incontinence, please be brave and talk to your doctor. There are a variety of treatments that can help—both medicinal and physical therapy. Don’t just settle for treating the symptoms; go for a cure.
4. Unexplained Weight Gain. I would like to think that all of my weight gain is unexplained. Truthfully, though, I can attribute these few new pounds to age and medications. But there are other kinds of unexplained weight gain that women can face that are more serious than a middle-aged pooch. Conditions like hypothyroidism, an intestinal imbalance, or Cushing’s disease can all have weight gain as a symptom. And these are serious, friends, so if you can’t put a reason on your weight gain, or if you have other concerning symptoms (fatigue, hair loss, abdominal distress), get it checked out!
5. Increasingly Poor Posture. I have to admit, I’m a sloucher, and you may be, too. But if you notice that your posture is getting poorer, that may be a sign of osteoporosis. Women are more inclined to osteoporosis, particularly women over 50 and women of Asian or Caucasian descent. Don’t ignore signs of osteoporosis. If your posture is slipping, if you are getting shorter, and certainly if you break a bone, bring it up to your doctor.
6. Unusual discharge. Well, isn’t this a fun topic! But this is not the time to embarrassed about our own bodies. You know your body at this point, so you know if your vaginal discharge is not . . . right. If it’s not the right color, smells foul, or has blood in it at a time that isn’t your period (or you’re post-menopause), you need to tell your doctor. This could be an early sign of cervical cancer, and you’ve got to take this seriously.
7. No Symptoms At All. I’m not trying to scare you, but two of the most common health risks that pop up as we age are high blood pressure and high cholesterol. And neither of these serious conditions have any symptoms at all. That’s why it’s so important, friends, to get physicals on a regular basis. If you’re completely healthy, your doctor can gather baseline information about you, so that if your health starts to change, they know where you started. Seriously—get a checkup.
Becky Eason, PhD, is an Associate Certified Coach and Certified Leadership Coach. She would love to come with you on your journey for wellness and a happy heart. Learn more on her website: wequestforwellness.com