While most menopausal symptoms are likely to vanish after menopause, one may still struggles with issues like vaginal dryness and occasional hot flashes and disturbed nights because of night sweats. There is also a possible increased risk to suffer from certain types of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and diabetes. Often times, the increased risk to these complications stem from reductions in hormonal levels of estrogen and progesterone, and negative lifestyle habits. And because menopause affects a woman in stages, with the nature and intensity of the different symptoms affecting someone differently, it is no wonder that one’s health may easily be compromised in the latter years.
At this juncture, of great importance would be to take clever choices and make smart decisions, with the hope of postponing or halting these possible health complications. Every woman therefore needs to know the risks that await her after menopause and take the necessary measures to avert a possible crisis.
1. Prevention of Osteoporosis
This condition is characterized by very weak bones that are susceptible to easy breaking. One can easily tell the condition is creeping in should a bone break easily for simply twisting or straining. The gist of this condition is the role played by estrogen. This hormone is crucial in the building of new bones as the old ones get removed from time to time. However, estrogen continually becomes scarce with the onset of menopause, hence the increased risk for osteoporosis. Of course, other than the pain that may follow a broken spine, wrist, leg or hip, such fractures may hamper your independence in the running of your personal affairs since you may be handicapped for the rest of your life. Even without having to wait for bones to start fracturing, one can conduct tests for bone mineral density in consultation with a personal health care provider.
In the meantime, you can put in deliberate efforts to keep your bones strong by exploring several options. First and foremost, one can consider consumption of diets meant for building bones. These would include leafy vegetables, eggs and milk and menopause supplements. By all means, cut down consumption of alcohol and do away with smoking. Further, vitamin D from the exposure to sunshine for no more than half an hour is largely helpful. Other measures would include recommended exercise like walking and approved weights, as well as medication as advised by your doctor.
2. Deterrence of Cardiovascular Disease
A narrowing and hardening of the arteries remain key characteristics of cardiovascular diseases. Others include stroke, chest pains, and high blood pressure. Remember, it is the dwindling of estrogen that reduces protection against heart diseases, worsening the situation for older women after menopause.
While there are a number of things one can do to deter cardiovascular diseases, consider the following.
a) Keep your blood pressure under control: High blood pressure has a greater danger of killing without warning because it’s not known to show symptoms quite early. So do not just live with it - it is advisable that blood pressure does not go beyond 120/80. To realize this, you might need to consider lifestyle changes like reduced alcohol intake, minimizing consumption of salt, engaging in regular physical exercise, and to consider losing some weight. Even if it means seeking medical attention from your healthcare provider, do it to bring your blood pressure significantly down.
b) Keep a keen eye on your cholesterol: This can easily be done by checking the number of your cholesterol, for menopause is known to bring a rise on the number of ‘bad’ cholesterol. Planning for or enrolling for routine exercise programs would prove handy, coupled with low-fat foods and doctor’s advice.
c) Do away with smoking: do whatever it takes to bless your own life by quitting smoking, for stroke and heart attack are directly linked with smoking.
3. Preventing and Fighting against Diabetes
With old age, where menopause falls, comes the inability for the body to effectively regulate the release and use of glucose in the blood resulting in increased sugar levels in the blood. Consequently, you quickly fall prey to diabetes and easily become prone to kidney and eye problems. Caution should therefore be exercised to see to it that your blood sugar is kept in check for ease of managing or preventing diabetes.
Other measures would include avoiding obesity by all means, especially in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Further, do not forget to keep monitoring your numbers in blood sugar levels. A sure way of doing this is by eating diets rich in fiber, minimize consumption of carbohydrates, and exercise.
4. Watch out for cancer or urinary problems
It is not unusual for women to live a cancer free life, only to be struck by certain types of cancer and bladder infections in the period after menopause. At this juncture, the most recommended precaution is to keep undertaking recommended screens and undertake a treatment plan in consultation with your doctor.