Healthy lifestyle leads to healthy aging

Many women are surprised by the normal changes that come with aging, as well as menopause hormone changes. Once symptoms start, they don't know where to turn for help or how to seek treatments that are safe.

Dr. Diana Bitner, a nationally recognized menopause specialist from Spectrum Health, talks about the physical changes that come with aging, and some effective treatment options.

Midlife and menopause symptoms can cause complications in their daily lives. With symptoms like sleep disturbance, daytime hot flashes, night sweats, pain with sex, increasing the risk of prolapse and incontinence, it can make maintaining a healthy lifestyle difficult.

On top of causing bothersome symptoms, midlife changes and Menopause are the most dramatic risk factors to cause women to develop illness such as:

  • Bone loss-osteopenia or Osteoporosis
  • Heart disease
  • Vascular Disease
  • Obesity
  • Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes
  • Mood Disorders
  • Sexual Health concerns
  • Pelvic Health
  • Osteoarthritis

There are factors that can make symptoms worse, and make chronic illnesses develop more quickly. However, by following the guidelines of a healthy lifestyle, it can lessen symptoms and reduce the chances of developing any of listed illnesses.

  • Water: 8 glasses a day, and 1 more for each cup of coffee or serving of wine or beer.
  • Sleep: 7 hours a night or 49 for the week with catch up when able, including 20 minute power naps.
  • Vitamins: Vitamin D, a multivitamin, and calcium from food.
  • Fiber: Vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and a fiber pill can avoid constipation or BM too soft.
  • Food: Daily 5 servings each of healthy carbs and protein,  3 servings of healthy fats, and only 1 sugar treat including alcohol.
  • Activity: 30 minutes a day of either aerobic activity, strength training or stretching.
  • Mind-body with gratitude: Daily gratitude (other than prayer) and metered breathing before bed or in the middle of the night falling back to sleep.

No matter a woman's age, following these guidelines to a healthy lifestyle will help relieve or lessen symptoms. Age is inevitable, but how a woman ages is up to her.

Want to learn more about healthy aging and other health benefits for women? Dr. Bitner will be speaking at a Spectrum Health Doctor Dialogue on May 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Calvin College's Prince Center.

Dr. Bitner's office is located at 3800 Lake Michigan Drive Northwest, Suite A. To schedule an appointment with her, call (616)-267-8225.

All information was provided by Dr. Diana Bitner and her blog. Read more.

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