6 Warning Signs You Should Watch Out For As You Age
Women who are over the age of 40 have an increased risk of developing a multitude of physical and mental illnesses. Luckily, many of them are highly treatable if they are caught early enough though. So it’s crucial to know some of the warning signs the body gives to show something is wrong. Here’s a list of six that are the most urgent.
Having both urinary and fecal incontinence is especially alarming because they signal nerve and tissue damage that could be a sign of uncontrolled diabetes. This type of incontinence is different than stress incontinence that occurs in women of all ages after they have children or gain a significant amount of weight in their abdominal region. Women completely lose their ability to make it to the bathroom in time, so they become forced to wear adult diapers.
A case of the blues is a sign the body isn’t producing enough serotonin. Taking serotonin reuptake inhibitors is usually enough to correct the imbalance in the brain, but sometimes it’s not. If medication isn’t helping your depression, there’s something bigger going on. It could just be hormonal changes, or it could be heart problems. The onset of diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s can cause depression. It could also be neurological from a serious infection spreading to the brain.
Skin Color Changes
This warning sign is most noticeable in people who have fair skin because increased skin pigmentation hides any discoloration taking place. Low iron levels in the blood (also known as anemia) can cause excessively pale skin. If the skin has a bluish tint, however, there’s not enough oxygen saturation taking place. Both lung and heart disorders can cause this.
Many women struggle with a little forgetfulness as they age because of the natural drop in estrogen that occurs after menopause. It’s usually fairly mild: they may lose common items or miss their turn as they’re driving. The real problem arises when a woman isn’t able to remember when to pay her bills or, worse, the names of her loved ones. She may forget how to get home in a once-familiar neighborhood. This type of memory loss is associated with dementia or traumatic brain injuries.
Unusual Lumps and Changes to Breasts
The risk of breast cancer significantly increases as a woman ages. That’s why doctors recommend that all women begin getting breast exams at home or through a nursing center frequently. They also need to get a mammogram on an annual basis. Two of the warning signs of breast cancer are lumps and changes in the way the breasts look. If there are any drastic increases or decreases in the size of them, or the breasts develop an orange-peel appearance, don’t wait for the next mammogram. The sooner breast cancer is diagnosed, the sooner the treatment process begins.
When insomnia occurs for weeks on end, there’s almost always an underlying health issue, like a hyperactive thyroid gland. So it shouldn’t be mislabeled as a simple sign of stress. Not getting enough sleep affects the body the same way alcohol does: it impairs memory, physical reaction time, and ability to make good decisions.
The above are just six of the warning signs of serious health problems. There are many others not listed. If you’re unsure whether or not you need treatment, make an appointment with your doctor right away.