Men and women are different, obviously. But it’s not just the external appearances. Some health issues that plague women are unknown to men, and vice versa. Now we can control and minimize sex-linked diseases that could make life miserable for some older women (and men).
Women Health in 20’s
For women, the difference starts with puberty. Menstruation can cause mood swings, abdominal bloating and pain. It’s also a common cause of anemia, as excessive bleeding depletes women’s stores of iron.
Pregnancy and Health
Then there’s pregnancy, which is not always an unmitigated joy. Even the most health-conscious pregnant woman can complain of postpartum weight gain, occasional backache, leg cramps, and mood disorders. Doctors routinely prescribe vitamins and supplements for a pregnant woman, to ensure that her needs as well as the needs of the baby are being met.
After childbearing, women face menopause. Whereas women neared the end of a lifetime after their childbearing years, today’s women can expect to live another 35-40 years. So it’s important to manage the changes that come with ‘the change’.
One of these is a sharp decrease in hormone production, contributing to short-term discomfort in the form of night sweats, hot flashes, and mood swings. Menopause also has long-term consequences such as possible weight gain, depression, and loss of interest in sex. Lower hormone levels can increase the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis, which may be preceded by osteopenia, or thinning of the bones, is a common disease affecting older women. While it might not be life-threatening, it can take a serious toll on a woman’s quality of life.
Nutrition and Women Health
There are natural products on the market to counter the effects of menopause. Ashwagandha, for instance, also called Indian cherry, has been shown to fight fatigue and stress. Some studies suggest that it could act as a boost for libido.
Chasteberry is another herbal supplement that’s taken to relieve irritability, fatigue, and headache in women. It’s also said to relieve breast pain.
Hops, the common ingredient in beer, has a soothing effect when taken as an herbal supplement. It’s calming, anti-inflammatory, and acts as an antioxidant.
Genistein is found in some beans, including coffee beans. This herb seems to act as a phytoestrogen, to promote the formation of new bone cells while inhibiting the destruction of bone. It’s used to treat bone loss and hot flashes in postmenopausal women.
Aging does not have to be unpleasant. With a little help from our herbal friends, and a good understanding of age-related changes, women can look forward to a long and healthful mid-life.