health

'6 things I was surprised to learn about women's health in my 30s.'

Care Pharmaceuticals
Thanks to our brand partner, Care Pharmaceuticals

I was getting into bed last night at 9:30pm because I'm a grownup (and the mum of a toddler), and I suddenly felt my lower back go into spasm. 

This is new, I thought to myself, rummaging through draws and cupboards for the heat pack my Nan had gifted me decades ago. It had only been whipped out on the odd occasion I was struck down with period cramps, that is, until now.

Welcome to your thirties.

It's not just my lower back's new disobliging attitude either. There are fine lines where once lived smooth skin, the hangovers have real staying power, and I find myself answering "how are you?" with "tired" more often than I'd like to admit.

While you're here, watch these women kicked some major goals after the age of 30. Post continues after video.


Video via Mamamia.

There are many things that I've learned about women's health in my thirties that have shocked the pants off me and the list is only growing the deeper I venture into the decade.

Here's precisely 6 of them.

So, I have to think about my bone density already?

Until our thirties, women's bone density increases at a higher rate than it's lost. Sounds like a good system, right? 

Well, according to the Cleveland Clinic after around age 35, things begin to shift in the opposite direction, and we start to lose density faster than our bodies can create new minerals. 

"35?" I hear you shriek (or was that just the voice inside my head?). Yep, it's that early. 

So, what can we do to combat this? Well, the good news is, it's all pretty basic stuff that most of us can manage. Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals found in plant-based nutrition, consistently moving your body with a focus on resistance training, keeping calcium levels up, alcohol intake down, and getting adequate Vitamin D intake (through sensible sun exposure, a Vitamin D supplement, or a combination of both). 

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Okay, sounds doable.

Wait, my tiredness could actually be down to inadequate iron intake?

Feeling tired? That's a key sign I learnt that your iron levels could use a top up. Did you know, after puberty, a woman's dietary iron requirements actually increase more than the needs of our male counterparts? 

This is in large part because of our menstrual cycles. Our dietary iron needs during pregnancy are also even higher, so a focus on good iron intake is important to support you and your developing baby. 

This is where FAB Iron range is an option for ongoing top ups of your iron stores, when you might not be getting enough from your diet. It's also a great addition for vegetarians (like me) and vegans who may find it harder to get there with nutrition alone. 

It's easy-to-absorb, intended to be gentle on the stomach, and comes in liquid, capsule and tablet forms. 

Postpartum hair loss is a thing, but it's not as simple as you think.

Hands up if you still have little baby hairs around your hairline over 12 months on from giving birth? (You can't see me but my hand is waving wildly.)

I had heard about the dreaded postpartum hair loss but what it surprised me to learn was that it’s not true 'hair loss'. Postpartum hair loss is basically down to a drop in estrogen and it's actually just part of your hair's regular growing and shedding cycles. 

While pregnant, your hair stays in a growth phase and basically skips the shedding phase entirely, that is until around 4 or 5-months postpartum when you make up for lost time. 

Don't worry, it all comes back and regulates again once your hormones sort themselves out. Phew!

Hold the phone! There are 8 B-Vitamins? And they're important?

Why yes, and emphatically yes! 

If you've ever been pregnant, you might have heard of a little thing called folic acid or folate which is essential for the growth of a healthy foetus, but did you know it's in the B-Vitamin group? More specifically, it's known as B9. 

B12 is another B-Vitamin that works overtime helping to form red blood cells, DNA and even brain and nerve cells. Neat, huh? If that's not enough to convince you of their importance, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, B Vitamins "help a variety of enzymes do their jobs, ranging from releasing energy from carbohydrates and fat to breaking down amino acids and transporting oxygen and energy-containing nutrients around the body." 

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The FAB Iron range also includes essential B Vitamins, to support these vital systems and boost energy. Win, win.

Turns out our skin is ageing with us... (this one isn't so much surprising, just very disappointing).

We've all heard about collagen and how important it is for our skin's elasticity, but did you know that we're losing it at an alarming rate? 

As we age, our skin's ability to reproduce collagen declines, by about 1 to 1.5 per cent each year I've just learnt, according to this 2021 paper in the Plastic and Aesthetic Research Journal. The good news is, there are many things we can do to support our skin's natural production of collagen, even as we age. 

According to the same source, some factors that negatively impact our collagen include "smoking, alcohol consumption, chronic sun exposure and stress". So, slop on that SPF 50+, keep an eye on your alcohol intake, don't even think about picking up that cigarette, then find your zen and you're all sorted!

Listen to Mamamia Out Loud, a thrice weekly podcast that's smart, often silly and sometimes surprising. Post continues after podcast.


Okay, but let's not get too hung up on it all.

Perhaps the most surprising thing I've learned about maintaining our health in our fourth decade is that the healthiest thing to do is... not to fixate too hard on it. 

I used to think following regimented health and fitness 'rules' were the proper way to take care of myself, but I’ve since learned that part of living a healthy, happy life is following your bliss and not depriving yourself of joy for the sake of a health trend. 

Our bodies do an amazing job of keeping us going and our happiness is right up top of the list of things that contribute to good health and a long life. So, do what you can, every bit helps, but always remember to step back and look at the bigger picture.

Check out the FAB Iron range for easy-to-absorb iron that's gentle on the stomach.  

The range offers energy-boosting B group vitamins and iron to help increase iron levels when a balanced diet alone cannot effectively maintain adequate levels of iron in the body.

Always read the label and follow the directions for use. 

Feature Image: Getty.

Care Pharmaceuticals
At FAB Health, we are passionate about women’s health and wellness. Our range of iron supplements contain an organic form of low constipation iron that is gentle on the stomach and easy to digest – because we want you to feel your best! Our range includes FAB Iron for toping up your iron levels and FABFOL a daily nutritional support for before, during and after pregnancy.