There are three common, serious issues affecting postmenopausal women worldwide: osteoporosis, accidental falls, and stress incontinence. The guidance here focuses on women, but these problems affect men too!
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 is a bone weakness which can result in painful and debilitating fractures.
True, bone loss happens after menopause or after surgical removal of ovaries due to lower levels of estrogen, but men too can be affected, because of other factors including genetics, alcoholism, anorexia, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, antiseizure medications, chemotherapy, proton pump inhibitors, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and glucocorticosteroids. Smoking and too little exercise are also risk factors.
So this article should be of interest to everyone over 45 and all people who know them!
- Long-term pain
- Impaired ability to do housework, chores, gardening or lifting heavy objects
- Difficulty with dressing and personal care
- Disability and dependence
- The risk of major injury from minor accidents.
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. An excellent way to get started on the right track to managing or preventing osteoporosis is with Martin’s free advice sheets which you can access if you subscribe to his newsletter at the bottom of this page.
Risk of Accidental Falls
Each year, an estimated one in three senior adults experiences an accidental fall. According to the Centre 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.
How to reduce your risk of falling
- Ensure your home and exterior walkways are well lit
- Use handrails (install them if necessary – both sides!)
- Avoid loose carpets and keep walkways free of 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 female and male athletes alike. 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. For men, it can be result as a side effect of a prostatectomy.
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. Learn the specific exercise you can do to significantly reduce instances of stress incontinence in our complimentary advice sheets, accessible on Martin’s website if you subscribe to his email newsletter (see bottom of the page).
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. Subscribe to Martin’s email newsletter to access Patient Advice Notes for detailed guidance on managing and preventing this dangerous conditions.
And don’t forget to check out Martin’s Facebook page where we’re posting fun, informative tips and tricks to help you stay injury-free – whatever you’re doing.