Women of all ages want to feel vibrant and healthy. Maintaining our health as we age can be a challenge. Let’s talk about some common senior women’s health issues, their symptoms, and how to treat and manage them.
Urinary Tract Infection in Elderly Woman
Many women over the age of 65 have trouble emptying their bladder completely. Weakening muscles in the bladder prevent the bladder from expelling urine. If urine sits in the bladder for too long a buildup of bacteria occurs, resulting in an infection.
- Cloudy or bloody urine
Other non-specific symptoms can occur in elderly people. Confusion, agitation, delirium, restlessness, and loss of appetite are common indicators of infection in people over the age of 65. If your loved one suddenly develops any of these symptoms, a urinary tract infection could be the reason. Consult your health care professional for an evaluation.
Fibroids in Elderly Women
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths in the muscle of the uterus that usually occur in women of child-bearing age. Fibroid growth tends to slow down after menopause due to diminishing estrogen levels, but some post-menopausal women still report the following troublesome symptoms.
- Vaginal bleeding
- Pelvic pain
- Back pain
- Abdominal swelling
If you experience any of these symptoms after menopause, you should consult your gynecologist for possible treatment options. Click here for more information about post-menopausal fibroids.
Mastitis in Elderly Woman
We usually think of lactating or nursing mothers when we hear the word mastitis. Mastitis is a bacterial infection of the breast. In older women, the milk ducts near the nipple can become inflamed if they are clogged with dead skin cells, causing an infection. If you experience any of the symptoms listed below, consult your physician for treatment or to rule out a more serious condition, such as breast cancer.
- Redness, warmth, or tenderness in the breast
- Breast swelling
- A thickening or lump in the breast
- A general feeling of illness
- Pain or burning in the breast
Depression in Elderly Women
Depression can be debilitating at any age. Depression is a common mood disorder, but it is NOT a normal part of aging. Symptoms of depression in older adults are different than signs of depression in younger people. Have you noticed any of the following symptoms in yourself or your loved one?
- Feeling tired
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling of hopelessness
- Feeling isolated or alone
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty concentrating
- Headaches, aches, pains, stomach upsets that do not get better with treatment.
2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. Opportunities for socialization have been limited. If you are feeling isolated, depressed, or overwhelmed by feelings of sadness, do not hesitate to talk to a friend, family member, or health care professional. Depression can be serious. If your symptoms persist, there are medications and treatments that can help you feel better.
Yeast Infection in Elderly Woman
The symptoms of a yeast infection are the same in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Redness, itching, swelling, a white, clumpy vaginal discharge, and general discomfort in the vaginal area typically indicate that a yeast infection is present.
Elderly women often develop a yeast infection while taking antibiotics for another condition, such as a urinary tract infection.
Your physician can diagnose the condition and prescribe a vaginal cream or oral medication to relieve your symptoms and clear up the infection.
Osteoporosis in Elderly Women
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes thinning and weakness in the bones. Osteoporosis can strike anyone, but it is found most often in elderly women. Estrogen loss is one of the leading causes of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis puts women at greater risk for falls and broken bones. Click on the link to learn more about osteoporosis and some tips to take care of your bones as you age.
Anemia in Elderly Women
Anemia is a condition that is indicated when you do not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry and distribute oxygen to your tissues and organs. Anemia in elderly women is usually caused by chronic disease or iron deficiency.
Symptoms of Anemia
- Racing heartbeat
- Shortness of Breath
- Feeling cold
If you have these symptoms, you may need an iron supplement. Dietary changes that include foods high in iron are also recommended for people with anemia. A blood test is the only way to diagnose anemia. Report your symptoms to your doctor so you receive his recommendations for treatment.
Bladder Infection in Elderly Woman
A bladder infection is a type of urinary tract infection, so the symptoms are basically the same. Some women have chronic bladder infections, which means they recur despite ongoing treatment. Sometimes a bladder infection is acute. This condition is called acute cystitis. Acute cystitis is caused by bacteria that find their way into the bladder. Antibiotics are usually prescribed for the treatment of bladder infections.
Blood Pressure in Elderly Woman
High blood pressure can be attributed to a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes in elderly women. Click on our link to get more details about blood pressure in elderly women and the options you have for treatment and management of the disease.
If you have hypertension, there are steps you can take to help control and live with it. Lifestyle changes can make a big difference in the management of high blood pressure.
- If you smoke, STOP!
- Eat a heart-healthy diet that is low in fat and salt.
- Get plenty of exercise.
- Try a Yoga class or meditation to manage your stress.
Senior women’s health issues may seem overwhelming at times, especially if you have more than one of the conditions we have discussed here. Most of these can be managed with some lifestyle adjustments and the help of your healthcare provider.
The most important step you can take is to recognize your symptoms and get the help you need to remain as healthy and productive as possible as you take the journey into the Golden Years!