Tips for Better Health After Menopause
The years after menopause can be golden. For women with children, the kids are finally grown. Women by now are typically settled into their careers and more self-assured. Many have more free time to pursue their own interests.
Yet these years also bring greater, more serious health challenges. About 77% of breast cancers occur in women over age 50. About half of women over 50, depending on their ethnicity, have low bone mass that may lead to osteoporosis. A woman’s risk for heart disease and arthritis rises, as well as her risk for weight gain.
WebMD created these simple motivational health tips -- all based on our news articles and features -- for our online game After Menopause: Sudoku Strategies for Great Health.
If you enjoy Sudoku, check out the game. And if you’re not a gamer, scan these tips for simple, fun health strategies after menopause.
After Menopause: 19 Tips to Help Protect You From Breast Cancer
- Staying slim helps avoid breast cancer. In one study, women who gained up to 30 pounds after age 18 were at 40% higher risk of breast cancer at menopause.
- Need a reason to quit smoking? You could cut breast cancer risk by one-third, research shows. Kick the habit and cut the risk.
- Hungry? Let's get Mexican. A traditional Mexican diet -- not necessarily what many Americans think of as Mexican but soups, beans, tomato sauces, meat dishes, and Mexican cheeses instead -- may help prevent breast cancer.
- Get adequate vitamin D from lean meats, dairy, and even supplements. It helps strengthen bones and may help protect you from breast cancer.
- Lots of physical activity helps prevent breast cancer, especially walking and running. Aim for 30 to 45 minutes, five times a week.
- Many women consider genetic testing when they have a strong family history of breast cancer. Your doctor can help you decide if it's necessary.
- Lumps can be harmless cysts. They can also be breast cancer. Make sure your doctor tests them. Don't just "wait and see."
- Can taking an aspirin daily cut your breast cancer risk? Possibly, research suggests, but stomach bleeding might be a risk. Talk to your doctor.
- The majority of breast cancers are not related to family history. Worried anyway? It’s time to talk to your doctor.
- Salmon and other coldwater fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may lower risk of breast cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, and other cancers.
- Is it time to switch to tea? Too much caffeine -- four or five cups a day -- may increase breast cancer risk. Hot tea has half the caffeine of coffee.
- If you have breast cancer in your family, think twice about drinking alcohol. Even one drink daily could raise your risk.
- Breast cancer deaths are down, partly due to early detection. Regular checkups, screenings, and self-exams make a big difference.