(National) Feb. 26, 2004 - Heidi Carey, 34, represents many women in her age category. She works full time, just had a baby and has trouble finding time to workout. She's now discovering some unwanted changes, "My hair is getting kind of gray, so I'm going to start coloring it pretty soon."
Chris Stephans, 36, says it's a common statement inside Tillman Salon, "I have many more wrinkles and a big blotch of gray hair."
Cosmetologist Till Fallaw says gray hair usually starts appearing in the 30's, because over time, the hair follicles quit producing color pigment. He also sees hair change when women's hormones drastically fluctuate, like during pregnancy. Sometimes curly hair becomes straight and straight hair may develop a wave.
Many women notice the first signs of aging as their bodies begin to lose muscle. The metabolism and heart rate begin to slow down and body fat increases.
In your 30's, women need to eat 100 fewer daily calories to maintain the same weight, but women need to be careful the calories they do consume are rich in nutrients. Dieticians say eat a diet high in "B" vitamins to help cope with the stresses of a demanding career and family. You can find those in brown rice, wholegrains, fish, eggs and some dairy products.
Unfortunately, things like coffee, teas, and soft drinks over time will work against a woman's pretty smile. Dr. Tom Trinker finds these damage the teeth with stains. He says another big culprit is smoking, "We're catching up for issues that have been going on for ten or 15 years in our lives. Because of where dentistry is right now, there are some great conservative things we can do that really make a big difference for people."
Trinker says one example is a whitening solution that dentists offer for a few hundred dollars.
Dr. Alric Blake, an ophthalmologist, says women need to be on a quality multi-vitamin. It enhances and preserves their teeth and eyes when a woman's overall health is good. Blake says time does have its effects and as women age and hormones change, they can develop what's called Dry Eye Syndrome, "You won't get the sense that your eye is completely dry. But you'll have irritation, discomfort at times. And really, the Dry Eye Syndrome is diagnosed by having a complete eye exam to rule out other problems."
Blake says a simple tear supplement will help the problem.
There's also a four letter word so many women in their 30's don't get: rest. Dr. Caitlin Schmidt is an OB-GYN. She encourages women to enjoy life, but not to ruin their lives trying to do too much, "Anytime you're burning both ends of the candle and really overworking your body and your mind, it's not good for your overall health."
All of the doctors say the same thing: you can't stop the aging process. Studies prove you can slow it. They emphasize a healthy lifestyle and vitamins. The best way to get them is through food, but they also recommend women be on a multi-vitamin.