Dangerous Side Effects of Life After 50
There's a lot to celebrate and look forward to in our 50s, but there's also things to be aware of like declining health and preventable issues that can be avoided by practicing healthy habits. Taking care of yourself is important at any age, but in your 50s chronic conditions can sneak up on you and noticeable physical changes can happen. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell, Urgent Care Medical Director and Physician, Carbon Health and Saint Mary's Hospital who shares five common things that can happen after 50. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
What Physical and Mental Changes Can Happen After 50?
Dr. Curry-Winchell states, "The old saying age is just a number is true. However, there are specific things at age 50 and above you might notice such as a self-reflection (physically and mentally) of what does the age 50 really mean? My answer is it's what you make of it! You can do this by staying up to date with your health status. Yes, as we age, we tend to see changes in our mental clarity, stamina, and flexibility with physical activity. However, it's important to remember to take the necessary steps of maintaining a healthy diet, engage in brain stimulating, and challenging mental activities to keep yourself active and decrease those natural risks associated with getting older."
Increased Risks of a Heart Attack
Dr. Curry-Winchell says, "As you age, your risk of experiencing a heart attack increases. Knowing your risks of a heart attack are vital. Make an appointment with your healthcare provider. Staying active, eating foods that are heart healthy such as whole grains, berries, walnuts — and yes even a small amount of dark chocolate can help. Additional steps such as not smoking, and moderate to abstaining from alcohol can help lower your risks from a heart attack."
Colon, Breast, Prostate, and Testicular Cancers
Dr. Curry-Winchell emphasizes, "Getting screened can save your life! Early detection of cancers through screenings that are recommended at age 50 such as colon or breast cancer can save you. It's important to remember not everyone should wait until the age of 50 if you have specific conditions, symptoms, or a family history. In those cases, screening may be recommended at an earlier age. Don't wait, reach out to your health care provider!"
"At age 50 you may notice changes in your skin such as color (hypo or hyperpigmentation), dryness or lesions," Dr. Curry-Winchell states. "It's important to get examined to make sure a new lesion or change in the color of your skin does not warrant further examination."
Breaking a Bone
Dr. Curry-Winchell tells us, "All ages can sustain a broken (fractured) bone. As you age your risks for developing osteoporosis can increase especially for women due to menopause. You can help decrease your risks for injury or fracture through exercise, especially lifting weights, and eating a balanced diet containing dark leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, and fish. It's important to speak to your provider about your risks for getting osteoporosis."
Dr. Curry-Winchell explains, "At age 50 you have an increased risk of getting shingles also called (herpes zoster). Shingles is a viral infection associated with a painful red rash that causes blisters. Depending on the location of the rash, it can lead to serious long-term complications such as loss of vision and post herpetic neuralgia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the Shingrix vaccine (two doses-separated by 2-6 months) for adults 50 years and older."