What’s “normal” to expect as you age? Do your hormones fluctuate as much as we think they do? When should you see your doctor? We’ve got all the answers you need to know for managing your hormones in your 50s and 60s.
What to Expect: Hormones in Your 50s and 60s
This is a time in your life that Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey have talked about as being “golden years,” when you find more self-confidence and personal intuition, and learn to let go of aspects that might have tripped you up earlier in life. I love this quote by the highly regarded Maya: “Age is nothing; waking up is everything.”
Age does not have to be a limitation to live a purposeful and fulfilling life in your 50s, 60s, and beyond.
What’s Normal In Your 50s and 60s
The average age for menopause is 51 years old in the U.S, meaning it’s quite normal to have reached menopause in your early 50s through your 60s. Menopause is identified as 12 full months without a menstrual cycle.
What does that mean? You can say bye-bye to those cyclical changes that might have plagued you in those fertile years.
As estrogen production slowly tapers down, it is not uncommon for women to start to notice some health changes because a good balance of estrogen is protective to both bones and the cardiovascular system.
How to Optimize Your Health in Your 50s and 60s
Keep an eye on your cholesterol levels. Aiming to increase healthy proteins and fats can both help to reduce arterial blockages that could lead to a heart attack, and help to support the synthesis of your sex hormones.
Consider healthy food choices.
- Wild-caught fatty fishes such as salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, and herring, or grass-fed beef or bison and organic chicken are great proteins to incorporate into your meal plan.
- Nuts, like Brazil nuts, pistachios, almonds, cashews, and walnuts, are great sources of healthy fats to include in your regular meals.
- The same goes for seeds like hemp seeds, ground flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
- Avocado, avocado oil, and extra virgin olive oil can be balancing oils to include in your diet.
Focus on bone health. If you haven’t already, this is a fantastic time to focus on your bone health. As we age, the risk of bone loss increases due to the decrease in estrogen. Focusing on bone health can help to reduce fatal falls and broken bones that can be difficult to recover from. This can include:
- Optimizing your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is necessary to help effectively absorb calcium to maintain good, strong bones.
- Movement that incorporates both weight-bearing and resistance training. These place necessary pressure on the bones to keep them strong.
- Aiming to include more calcium-rich foods into your diet (and, no this does not need to come from dairy milk and cheese). Other calcium-rich food options include: sardines, almonds, beans, lentils, chia seeds, poppy seeds, dark leafy greens, edamame, and tofu.
When to See Your Doctor in Your 50s and 60s
Menopause can be a beautiful time in your life but if you notice these concerns, it might be time to check in with your doctor:
- Difficulty sleeping, staying asleep, or falling asleep.
- Hot flashes or night sweats.
- Vaginal dryness or pain.
- Frequent urination or pain with urination.
- Mood changes.
- Brain fog or difficulty remembering.
- Breast tenderness.
- Chest pain.
- Tingling or numbness in hand or feet.
- Poor wound healing.
- Joint or muscle pain.
Other Routine Check-Ins to Pay Attention to
- Changes in vision? It is recommended that in your 50s you have an eye exam every 2-4 years, and in your 60s every 1-2 years.
- Changes in hearing? Hearing tests are recommended to be tested every 3 years.
- Colonoscopy: If you have not had one already, colonoscopy screening is recommended every 10 years.
- Vitamin D status: Your vitamin D levels are crucial to many of your body’s ongoing systems, from digestion to mood. Keeping these level will keep you feeling great.
Feeling great and have no complaints? It is still recommended that you get a well-women’s examination yearly! Regular check-ins are a great preventative measure to your health.
Dr. Danielle Vogler-Bos is a Naturopathic Doctor, registered and licensed in both Minnesota and Arizona. Her passion is educating and empowering her patients to take back their health, partnering with them to find the root cause of their struggles, and helping them feel better, faster. After graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College with a Bachelors of Arts in Biology, Dr. Vogler-Bos earned her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, a fully accredited and nationally recognized institution in Phoenix, AZ.
During her clinical training, Dr. Vogler-Bos completed a rigorous internship gaining experience in the diagnosis and treatment of hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders, and adrenal fatigue using both traditional naturopathic medicine and bio-identical hormone therapies.