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Posted on 24-10-19 07:07:16 In Health

Turning 40 is no picnic. Not only are you, well, no longer in your thirties, but you’re offi cially not a spring chicken. There is a certaingravitas to telling someone you’re 40. If you’re lucky, the person will react with disbelief, and talk about how young you look. Enjoy that. Don’t worry you’re not necessarily headed toward a mid-life crisis. You could be edging toward the very best years of your life. However, there are some physical and emotional phenomenon that occur when you hit 40 that are worth learning about. Keep in mind, it’s not like these things happen at the stroke of midnight on your 40th birthday. These are changes that happen around age 40.

It may be harder to lose weight

Remember when you could cut out soda and fast food for two weeks and drop ten pounds? Yeah. That’s not going to be the case once you turn 40. Lutherville, Marylandbased Dr. Kathryn Boling says that, on average, a woman gains as many as 15 pounds between the ages of 40 and 55. She says it’s partly because of a decrease  n metabolism. It goes hand and hand with muscle loss. Because you lose muscle tissue at a rate of up to 5 percent per year starting at age 30, by 40 your resting metabolism drops, which results in your body burning less calories.

Your menstrual cycle might change

While it’s highly unlikely you’ll enter menopause at 40 (the average age is 51), you might see some changes to your menstrual cycle around age 40. And, these changes can go on for a decade before “The Change” occurs. It’s called perimenopause, and it’s the body’s way of transitioning into menopause. Your chance of breast cancer increases There’s a reason the American Cancer Society and The Mayo Clinic recommend you get a baseline mammogram at age 40. When you’re in your 30s, your chances for a breast diagnosis are one in 228. At 40-49, however, your chances are 1 in 69. And, since 12 percent of women in the US will develop breast cancer at some point, it’simportant to listen to the experts. Hopefully, prior to your 40th, you perform self exams, so you’re familiar with your body and can detect changes in your breast tissue. A baseline mammogram will get your doctor familiar with your breasts so any changes shown in future scans will help with early detection. Your bone density might decrease Your bone density stays pretty consistent until you turn 35 or so. Every year after that, you lose about one percent of bone density every year. By the time you’re 40, you might start to notice.You’ll probably get prettier Hey, you’ve earned those laugh lines around your eyes and they don’t make you less pretty. They say confi dence makes you more attractive, right? Deb Schilling, PA-C, says women 40 and older are more confi dentand depend less on other people. They don’t criticize themselves as harshly, and they are more decisive. There’s something to say for a woman who knows what she wants and knows how to get it. At 40, we’ve experienced enough life to know how to cut the toxic people out of our lives, make decisions on our own, manage our fi nances and more. Finding peace with yourself and accepting yourself for who you are gives you an air of grace that you can’t have when you’re 22, or even 30.

Your libido might increase

While some studies show a decrease in female libido because of perimenopause or depression, others maintain that women in their 40s are more sexual than their younger counterparts. Psychologist David Buss thinks  t’s an evolutionary thing. In a study of 827 women, Buss found women in their “middle years” are more interested in sex.

You may be a better fi rst time mom

If you do decide to become a mom at 40, there are risks and rewards. On the good side, you’re older and more mature, so you can make educated decisions and probably have reached a comfortable point with your partner. You may also be more fi nancially stable, so you’ll be able to do all the mommy stuff without worrying about how you’re going to pay for diapers.

You might become lactose-intolerant

Dairy. Some people have problems with it since birth. Others develop lactose intolerance later in life. Like, around age 40. One source tells us 80 percent of African American and Asian women will develop lactose intolerance, and 25 percent of Caucasians will. Your body makes an enzyme called lactase, and it helps your small intestine digest lactose. As you age, the levels of lactase lower, and the lactose you ingest hits your colon in an undigested state, creating gas and other intestinal problems.

You might experience changes in your vision

Around age 40, your vision might start to change. The most common changes can vary, but many will have trouble seeing close up, like when reading or doing close work, like threading a needle or working a jewelry clasp. Some will need more light for reading, as well. Others experience glare when driving at night, or in bright sunlight. Colors may look different. Dry eyes might become a problem.

Your sense of smell and taste may change

This might be the biggest bummer of all. You have approximately 9,000 taste buds when you’re born. As you get older, your number of taste buds decreases, meaning your sensitivity to the main tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami) declines gradually over the years. It happens to women earlier than men, by 10-20 years.

You may experience hearing loss

As you get older, the eardrum and inner ear change and don’t work as well. This affects your hearing, and, since your inner ear controls your balance, you may become a little less coordinated. What causes the deterioration of the ear parts? Lots of things. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) reports that around 15 percent of Americans between 20 and 69 experience high-frequency hearing loss because of their exposure to noise at work or through personal activities thank you all those rock shows we attended with no earplugs. Once you hit 40, you’ll need to pay attention to your hearing, especially because researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have linked hearing loss that goes untreated to a bigger dementia risk.


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