The changes in the human body after forty to a large extent depend on ones genetics and prior lifestyle before forty. For us to be able to take care of our bodies better after forty we need to appreciate the physical changes that are expected.
The physical changes in both men and women can be linked primarily to dips in two hormones that is testosterone for men and oestrogen for women.
The gradual failure of the male body to produce testosterone leads to the following changes after 40;
Women on attaining 40 begin experiencing perimenopause. The period from perimenopause to menopause may last from two years to a decade. Here oestrogen levels fluctuate with switches in the menstrual cycle, for this reason periods may be lighter, shorter, heavier or longer. Less oestrogen also means that lubrication of the vagina reduces making sex painful and more difficult for some.
Because of irregular periods, fertility is greatly reduced and it becomes harder to get pregnant. And even if a woman falls pregnant the chances of a high risk pregnancy are higher.
Perimenopause presents symptoms similar to menopause in some like hot flashes, sleep difficulties, night sweats, moods swings, irritability and depression.
The decline in oestrogen also lead s to other symptoms such as bone loss, increase in heart disease and accumulation of belly fat.
The basal metabolic rate also declines with age meaning in their forties require less calories than younger women, if they continue eating the same portions of food as their younger years, weight gain is inevitable.
Other changes anticipated in the forties in women include; greying or whitening of hair, sagging of the breasts, weakened pelvic muscles leading to urinary incontinence, wrinkles, dry skin, loosened skin, crinkles around the mouth and eyes, increased risk for breast, ovarian and uterine cancer, excess weight can lead to increased risk of uterine fibroids.
April 2019 – Things I should have known when I turned 40
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