So you’re now in your 30s, you have a family, a steady job, financial stability, and life seems rosier. You would be forgiven for wanting to let your hair down and do what you couldn’t in your 20’s and hold out on for when you are stable. While it’s perfectly reasonable, your body is not the same as it was in your 20s.
To best enjoy your newfound stability and freedom, you need to be in your prime regarding health. While juggling a career, family, and other priorities, women’s health usually ends up being on the backburner. It’s imperative to keep up with your yearly preventive health care checkups and pay attention to the signals your body sends.
Here are the top five health signals that you must look out for in your 30s to prevent something drastic from happening.
Unexplainable Weight Gain
We said it before, and we are repeating it – your body is not the same as it was in your 20s. Your body’s metabolism begins to slow down as you cross the threshold into your 30’s and as a result, it’s likely for women to gain weight.
This is why the National Women’s Health Resource Center suggests that women in their 30s must take up some workout routine like walking or biking to stimulate metabolism. Additionally, it would be beneficial to not gorge on all the processed and junk food in the world simply because you can, instead maintain a healthy diet with an occasional indulgence now and then.
However, if your body is gaining weight despite following the above regimen, the metabolism is not to be blamed. This could be happening due to some underlying causes like hormonal imbalance or thyroid. Pay a visit to your doctor to ensure that your thyroid and hormone levels are ideal and what to do if they are not.
Watch Out for Irregular Skin Issues
If the American Cancer Society’s report is anything to go by, women in their 30’s are most at risk of developing melanoma. For the uninitiated, melanoma is the most severe type of skin cancer caused when the pigment-producing cells that give color to the skin become cancerous. Melanoma is deadly because it spreads quickly to other parts of the body.
Watch out for signs like abnormal growth around an existing mole, a growing patch of thick skin resembling a scar, dark streak under a nail (finger or toe). You can identify melanoma lesions by following the Melanoma Research Foundation’s ABCs of skin cancer.
Asymmetrical lesions, Borders irregularities, Color variation and uneven distribution, Diameter more than 6mm, and Evolution into shape, size, or color. If you notice any of the ABCDE mentioned above, a quick visit to your dermatologist is warranted.
Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
Heavy bleeding or irregular menstrual cycle is nothing to worry about if they happen rarely. However, once your body reaches a certain age (early 40’s), it experiences a higher estrogen and lower progesterone level. This results in frequent heavy periods. This ideally doesn’t happen in the 30s, and it’s worrisome if you are facing it.
According to experts, abnormal and heavy bleeding during periods can indicate a severe underlying issue. This could be anything from polyps, tumors, and even cancer. Keep an eye out for any sign of bleeding after intercourse, which could mean an infection, pre-cancer, or cervical cancer.
Don’t Ignore Respiratory Issues
If you are a smoker, you’re at a higher risk of developing severe respiratory issues. While smoking-related lung issues are more common in older individuals, women indulging in tobacco smoking are at the risk of developing the same. Some of these issues include COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma, pneumonia, and tuberculosis.
Various reports have suggested that quitting smoking before the age of 40 will reduce mortality by 90 percent, and if you stop before 30, then 97 percent. Apart from lung issues, smoking is also known for causing pregnancy issues and damage to the fetus.
Hair Loss Due to Lack of Nutrients
It’s natural for a woman to shed some amount of hair on a day-to-day basis. However, there are two signs to look out for: Telogen Effluvium (excessive shedding) and Anagen Effluvium (hair loss due to stunted follicle growth). Commonly caused by stress and pregnancy, this indicates a lack of nutrients in the body.
According to experts, the most common causes are iron and vitamin D deficiency. While the former is caused by menstruation as the body depletes iron, the latter is caused by lack of exposure to sunlight, which is now common due to lockdowns. These deficiencies can cause severe issues like weak bones, multiple sclerosis, and heart disease.
The main takeaway is not to chalk away seemingly insignificant signals your body sends you. Listen to what your body is trying to tell you, and consult your doctor whenever you spot something out of place with your body.