I opened a Pandora box last week, when I discussed “urinary incontinence in men”, after a colleague a retired Permanent Secretary like me, visited Gregory University Specialist Hospital Uturu, from Aba.
A former staff’s text message, forced out a promise from me to also discuss “urinary incontinence in women “. Then I got another text from a female respondent in Lagos, requesting that I discus aging in women. She said “Doc, I look older than my age, sometimes I feel embarrassed by people assuming I am much more older than I am. What is responsible for this”. That did it for me. That was how incontinence in women flew out through the window, and aging in women flew in.
What every woman must understand is that, the process of aging begins in the middle teens to late twenties, and continues till death. No one escapes its effect. But there are often great differences in its degree of impact on people of same age especially women.
In females as one of our Professors used to state in the medical school, women have to hurry up and finish growing, because they have limited time for pubescence. That is, that they have to exhaust their reproductive cycle before they attain climacteric. This indirectly affects their appearance. In some women excess production of growth hormones leads to earlier maturation of all organs and adolescence.
Premature aging in women could manifest through the following ways:
I have always advised my female patients not, for any reason, deliberately practice walking slowly. It affects your limbic system and before you know it your body neurological set up starts adopting the slow motion. Have you noticed that there are people in their 70s, who still walk very briskly, and look very healthy. While some in their 50s almost crawl for a walk. There must be something wrong with their locomotive system.
Women learn to walk fast, it improves both your body metabolism and health. If your walking pace slows down while you are in your 40s, it may be a sign, that you are aging faster than is typical. A woman should make conscious efforts to walk faster, it is a form of exercise that gradually uplifts you, and gives you a radiant push and younger look.
As a woman, mild memory changes go along with aging and can start as early as your 40s. It might take you longer to recall names or facts, or remember why you went into the room or climbed upstairs.
But if it becomes too drastic – please consult your doctor. Something might be wrong. Alzheimer disease and other types of dementia do not happen until after age 65. And dementia is not a normal part of aging in women. To help every woman keep her mind, please start eating healthy, stay socially active and exercise.
Your periods usually become less regular in your late 30s or early 40s. That is peri or pre – menopause, the time leading up to menopause. Your body produces less estrogen. That means your periods may be lighter and shorter, or come less often.
Consult your doctor if your periods suddenly become very different or painful, especially in your 30s. It could be a sign of early menopause, caused by internal organ disorder.
As a woman, your skin makes less oil as you age. It can become dry and dull, especially if you are over 40. But dryness can also be caused by things you do (or do not do). To prevent it. 1. Take short baths or showers using warm – not hot water. 2. Clean your skin gently and moisturize well. 3. Drink plenty of liquids. 4. Do not spend a lot of time in dry weather. If your skin is still very dry and itchy, consult a dermatologist, to rule out medical issues.
Not every woman gets stiff joints when they get older. But your chances of getting osteoarthritis go up as you age. Men tend to get symptoms after age 45, and women after 55. If your symptoms start before 30, please consult your doctor.
You might find your hands have to work harder opening a bottle or jar, or your hold on the steering wheel is not as firm.
Your grip strength usually starts to drop in your 50s. You can keep your hands strong by playing with clay or mud, or squishing a stress ball, or wringing water out of a washcloth. If you lose your grip strength early, say before 30 or suddenly, then please consult your doctor, there may be a sign of arthritis, nerve damage or another health issue.
Always be medically guided.
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