There are three common, serious issues affecting postmenopausal women worldwide: osteoporosis, accidental falls, and stress incontinence. The remarkable thing about each of these issues is that we can stop their progression and sometimes even reverse their effects with committed, intentional action.
Osteoporosis is a reduction of bone density. It can make us weak and vulnerable to fractures. It is considered a major health threat for over 200 million people worldwide. The effects of the disease vary depending on the severity of the diagnosis; however, conditions often include —
- Long-term pain
- Impaired ability to do housework, chores, gardening or lifting heavy objects
- Difficulty with dressing and personal care
How to manage osteoporosis: while there is no way to reverse the disease itself, there are ways to ease the symptoms of the condition. In addition to any doctor recommended prescriptions and vitamins, the best way to manage living with osteoporosis is to commit to a healthy diet and above all – an ACTIVE, healthy lifestyle with regular exercise.
Accidental Falls are the second leading cause of unintentional deaths worldwide, with adults over the age of 65 suffering the greatest number of fatal falls. Each year, an estimated one in three senior adults experiences an accidental fall. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five of those falls results in a significant injury like broken bones, fractures or a head injury. With the high rates of osteoporosis in women, they are more likely to experience an accidental fall, and more likely to sustain an injury from that fall.
Reducing your risk falling:
- Ensure your home and exterior walkways are properly lit
- Use handrails (install them if you don’t already have them)
- Avoid loose carpets and cords and keep walkways free from clutter
- Understand your medication and know if it makes you dizzy or lightheaded
- Use a cane if you need one
- Have your eyes checked
- Exercise to maintain muscles for quicker reaction, and greater balance and stability
These are just some of the many things you can do to reduce your risk of falling. If you’d like to learn more, our free fall prevention advice sheets will have you covered.
Stress Incontinence is experienced by 45% of all women, typically in their postmenopausal years, though it is also often an issue for athletes. It occurs when weak pelvic floor muscles fail under sudden extra pressure. This extra pressure can be brought on by simple everyday activities like coughing, laughing or sneezing. It can also be brought on by jogging, jumping, or lifting heavy objects. The weakening of pelvic floor muscles is common and is caused by any number of things like childbirth or obesity.
How to treat stress incontinence: Stress incontinence might make you feel uneasy, but it doesn’t have to disrupt your social and personal life. Effective therapies include routine exercises to strengthen and tighten pelvic floor muscles for greater bladder control.
Regular activity is good for your overall health at any age. And it gets increasingly important as we get older.
Women, in particular, will have special needs as their hormones change during menopause and osteoporosis becomes an increased risk and with that, falls become more dangerous.
Understanding our personal level of fitness and exploring ways to live a healthy active lifestyle will help us stay fit and avoid common injuries.
Preventative care throughout our lifetimes can prepare us for an independent, full life in our retirement years. We’re happy to provide guidance to help prevent and treat these common problems.