July 17, 2024

Care Nex

Stay Healthy, Live Happy

10 Common Health Conditions After Age 40

4 min read

Once you reach your 40s, you may be more likely to experience a few health conditions. Some conditions may include overactive bladder, kidney stones, high blood pressure, and depression or anxiety. Read on to learn more about these and other potential conditions prevalent during middle adulthood.

Overactive bladder (OAB) is the result of the bladder squeezing out urine and leading to frequent urination or the need to do so. While overactive bladder (OAB) can happen at any age, it affects middle-aged adults the most.

An overactive bladder and incontinence have many solutions. Some treatment options include:

  • Bladder retraining
  • Kegel exercises
  • Muscle relaxers

By their mid-40s, some people with ovaries will begin to have perimenopausal symptoms. While perimenopause isn’t exactly an illness, symptoms—including hot flashes, irregular periods, and heavy bleeding—can be disruptive.

Testosterone levels decline as part of the hormonal changes occurring in perimenopause. Treatments like hormone therapy can help with symptom relief.

Kidney stones—bits of minerals that can form in your urinary tract—are extraordinarily painful. As you get older, you may have an increased chance of developing stones in your 40s and beyond. They are more common in males, but females also can get them.

While kidney stones typically pass on their own, surgery may be required to remove them if they do not. Staying hydrated is the best way to avoid this painful problem. Dietary changes can also help prevent reoccurrence.

Both men and women may experience more genitourinary infections in their 40s. For people with vaginas, increased urinary tract infections (UTIs) are possible. The increase is due to the thinning vaginal walls and changes to the vagina’s pH that accompany aging.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the medical term for an enlarged prostate, which is a male reproductive system gland. An enlarged prostate is more likely to occur in your 40s but may also lead to UTIs. The common UTI treatment for people with male or female reproductive systems is antibiotics.

Food allergies don’t just develop in childhood. “Allergists are finding more adults developing food allergies than before,” David Erstein, MD, a board-certified allergist and immunologist, told Health. Shellfish and tree nuts are some of the main offenders.

Some possibilities regarding this increase include widespread antibiotic use and taking NSAIDs, which can disrupt the gastrointestinal environment. There is only one instance, however, where the specific cause of an allergy has been found, said Dr. Erstein. Bites from the lone star tick can lead to an allergy to red meat.

Other than avoiding tick bites, there aren’t any ways to avoid developing a new allergy. Keeping an eye out for symptoms can help you figure out whether you have one. See an allergist if you notice signs of an allergic reaction to food–including difficulty breathing, stomach cramps, or hives.

Osteoarthritis can occur around your 40s. As cartilage, the connective tissue that acts as a cushion between joints, wears away, achiness and discomfort ensue.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. A healthy, balanced diet and weight-bearing exercise can help prevent it.

At your next physical, a healthcare provider may tell you that you have hypertension or high blood pressure. Managing this condition is important since left unchecked, it increases your risk for heart attacks and strokes.

High blood pressure management options can include:

  • Medications as needed
  • Regular exercise
  • Sodium intake reduction
  • Stress reduction

Getting and maintaining an erection may be more difficult as a person gets older. Often this is due to other medical conditions, such as obesity, hypertension, or metabolic syndrome, which can all result in reduced blood flow to the penis.

Medications can help, but working on intimacy may also be beneficial. For example, you can channel younger years and focus on making out instead of penetrative intercourse. This takes the pressure off your partner and can lead to a physically and emotionally satisfying experience.

Skin cancer is another condition that may show up during middle age. Cumulative sun exposure causes basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma, while sun exposure and genetics can cause melanoma.

Check your moles for changes and keep an eye out for new ones, as moles can be a risk factor for melanoma. You’ll also want to use sunscreen for more prevention.

Most mental health disorders first appear in adolescence or early adulthood. Stressors in your 40s, however, may exacerbate underlying issues such as depression and anxiety.

Adulthood’s challenges—financial anxiety, aging parents, raising kids if you have them, and your changing physical appearance—can be deeply taxing. Talking to friends or seeking out therapy can help with symptom relief.

There are several health conditions to pay attention to when you reach your 40s. UTIs, food allergies, skin cancer, and erectile dysfunction are just a few of the conditions you might encounter. In many cases, these conditions may be treated and prevented.

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