Women’s Health Over 50: Conditions to Look Out For

(Last Updated On: September 15, 2022)

Whether you’re a woman over 50, into your 60s, or you’ve reached your 70s, there are some health conditions that can affect us at any time. Guest post author Jenn Walker has put together an informative and helpful list of some of these issues we may face, and what to do about them.

Keep reading to see what Jenn has to say, and how you may relate to the health conditions described when it comes to women’s health over 50.

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women's health over 50

With age comes a lot of benefits – maturity, knowledge, wisdom, money – however, once you reach the big five-oh, it is also time to start really paying attention to your health. Even if you have lived all of the last 49 years taking care of your health, as you age you become more susceptible to certain chronic health conditions. It is important to understand what you are at risk for and how it can possibly be prevented, so you can continue to mature, learn, and live happily. 

Getting older can be scary, and these conditions can creep up on you before you know it. Luckily, many of them are preventable if you catch them in the beginning, or very easily managed. By familiarizing yourself with what you are at risk of, and understanding the importance of treating these conditions, you can avoid any serious complications. 

Here are some common conditions that can creep up on women over the age of 50.

Women’s Health Over 50

health conditions to look out for after 50

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a common condition that healthcare providers see in patients who are over the age of 50 because the vascular system changes as we age. Over time, arteries lose their elasticity, allowing pressure to build inside of them. Individuals in their 50s and older also tend to carry extra weight that they may not have in earlier years, which can contribute to higher blood pressure. 

High blood pressure is often difficult to identify on your own because it does not carry many visible symptoms and according to the CDC, about one in five adults are living with high blood pressure unknowingly.

It is important to have your doctor check your blood pressure regularly because if left unattended high blood pressure puts you at risk of heart disease and stroke. You can also purchase a blood pressure cuff, which costs about $30, and check it at home.

Luckily, high blood pressure is manageable with certain medications and lifestyle changes. Diet and exercise are great ways to naturally manage your blood pressure, and a doctor can prescribe medication they see fit. 

Joint Pain

Arthritis is a common condition that women in their 50’s experience, however despite the symptoms it is also often overlooked. Arthritis causes pain and stiffness in the joints, and as individuals age, it can become more and more painful. The pain is caused by swelling and tenderness in the joints and there are two main types of arthritis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Our joints have cartilage, a hard and slippery tissue, in between them which prevents the bones from rubbing against each other as we move. Osteoarthritis causes this cartilage to break down, leaving very little to protect the ends of the bones and causing pain. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that causes the immune system to attack the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis begins by attacking the lining of the joints, which is also very painful. 

Although either kind of arthritis can form even before the age of 50, as you age they continue to worsen, leaving you more and more uncomfortable as time goes on. It is important to address this pain with your doctor to determine whether it is rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease, or osteoarthritis which is more treatable on your own.

Increased exercise and mobility of the joints can help prevent further damage if you are suffering from osteoarthritis.  

Nerve Pain

As women reach their 50s they often go through menopause, which decreases the body’s production of the hormone estrogen. Estrogen plays an important role in protecting the nerves from damage and growing new nerve cells. Many women who are going through menopause complain about a sensation of crawling skin, tingling in extremities, electric shocks, and burning feet or tongue. This is sometimes due to the absence of normal estrogen levels due to menopause. 

Nerve pain can have other causes, but women who are in their fifties should rule out this possibility with their doctors first. Nerve pain can be helped with a B12 supplement, either orally or injected in higher doses. There are also lots of supplements you can include in your diet like fish oil, magnesium, and vitamin D to lessen your pain and prevent further nerve issues. 

Depression/Anxiety

As women age, their responsibilities do not always decrease, and as you get older you may find yourself juggling even more than you have in the past. Dealing with children, marriage, work, parents, and everything in between can become stressful and take a toll on your mental health. According to the CDC, around 20 percent of people over the age of 55 experience some form of mental health concern. Most commonly, individuals this age are suffering from anxiety and depression

It is important to be cognizant of the higher risk age puts you for becoming overly stressed because it can lead to more serious conditions. When you are visiting the doctor, be honest about the toll that responsibilities and other aspects of your life are taking on your mental health. If you feel that additional treatment would benefit you, seek out help from a therapist or mental health professional. 

As women age, the change in their appearance can lead to a lack of confidence, low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. Aging is a natural occurrence, but it can be challenging to feel unhappy with the way you look. Discuss your options with a dermatologist if you determine that your appearance is taking a toll on your mental health. There are a lot of solutions to fine lines and wrinkles including microdermabrasion, laser skin resurfacing, microneedling, and even over-the-counter products. 

Certain skincare products such as retinoids and chemical exfoliants have other anti-aging benefits that can decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If you feel signs of aging are affecting your mental health, it is also important to discuss this with a mental health professional.

Mental health conditions can contribute to physical conditions such as high blood pressure and lowered immunity as well, so being on top of it is important for your overall well-being.

Decreasing Immunity

It is important throughout your whole life to take care of your immune system. However, as you reach the age of 50, you need to start paying more attention to your immune system and be conscious of the fact that your body does not have the same ability to bounce back as it did when you were younger. Talk to your doctor about any vaccinations that could benefit your immune system, such as a pneumonia vaccine. 

Additionally, staying on top of your daily health will help your immune system in the long run and prevent the acceleration of other conditions. Reducing stress, eating healthy, exercising, and proper sleep can all maintain a stronger immune system so you can continue living happily. 

Jennifer-Bell author

Jenn Walker is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beach goer operating out of Southern New Jersey.

learn how to deal with common health issues after 50

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