This post is a book review of The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife & Beyond by Janet Horn, MD and Robin H. Miller, MD. This book offers a chapter on common health issues faced by women after the age of 50. The health issues range from your brain to your uterus.
What I find most interesting about the chapter on memory and stroke is the mention that migraines decrease with age. 90% of headaches in younger people are often due to migraines or tension headaches, while only 66% of headaches in people over the age of 50 is due to migraines. So after the age of 50, migraines like headaches are an important topic to discuss with our doctors.
Falls are the most common way that older people injury themselves. Almost every elderly woman I know who fell had broken a hip. No matter how active they were before they broke their hip, things just went south really fast after that. My grandmother passed away 1.5 years after she fell and broke her hip. My landlady in college passed away 3 years after she fell and broke her hip even with an around the clock nurse.
While the chapter on sight, hearing, and balance discuss some actions items that we can do in our youth to prevent sight and hearing problems, I am disappointed that it did not do so for the loss of balance with age.
I am glad there is a chapter on heart disease, the number one killer for women and men. That’s right, it is not breast cancer. What I like most about this chapter is that it discuss the different symptoms that women experience when they have a heart attack and it is not the heart clutching symptom that men experience.
This book does not even discuss exercise until chapter 11. I would expect it to be in chapter 1 and make a casual mention at the end of every chapter to remind the readers the importance of exercise in order to stay physically independent as we age. To me, exercise is one of those “rinse and repeat” mantra that deserve to be mention over and over again.
Is the The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife & Beyond worth reading?
This book’s target audience is women 45 and older. This is a good collection of the types of possible health issues women face after the age of 50.
If nothing else, I would buy The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife & Beyond simply because there are some recommendations for each health issue that fall under the “alternative medicine” category. As I mentioned previously, I am Chinese. To me acupuncture and herbal supplements are as “normal” to me as the prescribed medications my doctor gives me. I always view alternative medicine and herbal supplements as another revenue I can discuss with my doctor when traditional medicine fail to give me an answer. Of course, traditional medical advice are not neglected either in this book. Love the roadmap at the end of the book on how to take care of ourselves after 50.
Until next time and thanks for stopping by Small Steps to Health.
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