Things Women In Their 40s Should Talk To Their Doctors About
Turning 40 years old is a milestone in a person's life, and for women, there are new health concerns that occur during this wonderful decade. If you are about to reach this age, it's important to understand that the health risks you face can change from what you were used to. Because of this, you should visit a family doctor to discuss the following three health concerns you should be aware of while you are in your 40s.
Breast examinations are very important for women that are 40 years old or older, and this is done through a mammogram. If you were never considered at high-risk for developing breast cancer, and if you have never found a lump on your breast, you probably have never had a mammogram completed. Getting one can be uncomfortable, but they are not as bad as what some people think.
When you reach the age of 40, your chances of developing breast cancer increase, and this is why mammograms are recommended when you reach this age. A mammogram can reveal breast cancer in its initial stages, and this makes it easier to treat. You should talk to your doctor to find out if you should begin getting mammograms at this point in your life.
Another issue you might want to talk to your doctor about is perimenopause. Perimenopause is the stage in life you will experience just before your body begins to go through menopause. At the age of 40, you might already be experiencing some signs of perimenopause, or you might not be. In either case, you should talk to your doctor about this. If you are experiencing symptoms, let your doctor know. If you are not experiencing symptoms, ask your doctor what you should expect.
During perimenopause, your body will begin to make less estrogen, and this is what can lead to symptoms such as hot flashes or irregular periods. One common sign women around this age will experience is changes in their periods. You may notice that your periods are lighter than they used to be, or they may be shorter in terms of days. You may also see changes in your sex drive, motivation, energy levels, and food cravings.
Your doctor might be able to diagnose perimenopause by testing your hormone levels. This is not always done, though, but it can be if you want to make sure that the changes you are experiencing are due to perimenopause.
One other new concern your doctor may have when you turn 40 is your risk of developing osteoporosis. As women age, they will naturally begin losing bone mass, and this is what osteoporosis is. Your doctor may recommend conducting a bone-density test to determine if you have already lost any bone mass; however, this typically is not completed until later on in life. Your doctor may suggest it if he or she suspects you may already be developing osteoporosis.
There is really no way to rebuild bone mass you have lost, but there are ways to keep your current bone mass healthy and dense. If you are starting to lose bone mass, your doctor might recommend taking vitamins to help with this. Calcium and Vitamin D are the most common ones women use for this purpose. In addition, your doctor might recommend exercising, which is another method that helps keeps bones strong.
Turning 40 can be a depressing event for women, but it doesn't have to be. While there are new health concerns you should know about, taking all the necessary steps to stay strong and healthy can help you feel great for many years to come. To learn more about this or find out more about your heath risks, schedule a visit with a family doctor today.