Forty is a magical number for women's health. Your career, friendships and relationships may all be flourishing . Yet turning 40 also means your chance of developing illnesses like cardiovascular (CVD) disease, osteoporosis or a thyroid condition increases significantly. You might not even be aware of the risks associated with these diseases. For instance, according to the American Heart Association, 23% of women 40 and above die within 1 year of having a heart attack compared to 18% of men.
Many diseases simply become more common as we grow older. And certain lifestyle habits, such as smoking or poor diet, begin to take their toll by age 40. You can't turn back the clock, but you can learn how to protect yourself from the health problems that could destroy your quality of life. Along with the help of your physician, you need to focus not only on prevention, but on early detection of certain medical conditions.
Here are the top 5 questions you need to ask your doctor, building to the #1 most important:
Question #5: What supplements should I take?
Women over 40 need to increase their supplement intake to make up for common deficiencies such as low vitamin D. The body needs vitamin D to help absorb calcium and protect against bone loss associated with osteoporosis. Click here to learn more about the health benefits of vitamin D.
You're at greater risk for low-vitamin D if you have dark skin, regularly wear high SPF sunscreen or live in a northern climate. To get enough vitamin D from the sun, you need about 15-20 minutes of daily exposure, which is not always possible.
To protect against bone loss:
- Women in their 40s should have their vitamin D checked with a simple blood test, practice resistance training, refrain from smoking and take a supplement.
- Women 65 and older should get a bone mineral density scan. Those who have a family history of osteoporosis, smoke or take steroids should get screened earlier. If your bone density results are below normal, prescription vitamin D and calcium, a higher intensity scan of your hips and weight-bearing exercise may be called for.
Supplements for Women Over 40
- Vitamin D
Click here to learn more about critical supplements for women.