Odds are, you have been aware of your hormones since your teen years when your parents blamed your somber mood or acne on your “changing hormones.” The fact is that your hormones keep changing as you age—it’s inevitable. What does that mean for you? You need to monitor and manage your hormone health now (in your 20s and 30s) to sail through each decade with health and vitality—it doesn’t all have to be left up to luck or winning at genetics.
First, you need to recognize that certain conditions, such low testosterone or thyroid dysfunction are not limited to “old people.” These are conditions of hormone imbalance that can happen at any age but when caught early and properly managed can support lifelong health and reduced risk of associated diseases.
Next, hormones fluctuate throughout the lifecycle and, unfortunately, for many women fluctuate monthly with more dramatic changes occurring with pregnancy and childbirth. When you—men or women—maintain a healthy lifestyle, these changes are less impactful with age.
Preventing hormone imbalance or managing hormone health in your 20s to 30s begins with good nutrition, routine exercise, prioritizing quality sleep and is supported by nutritional supplements and, possibly, other integrative therapies. To know when you to take action beyond the basics, you need to know what hormone imbalance might look like at your age and gender.
Male Hormones in Your 20s to 30s: Low T can Happen to You
The hormone testosterone is the predominant sex hormone in males, though men also produce some estrogen as well. In youth, testosterone plays a key role in growth and the development of masculine features. As males mature, testosterone supports muscle growth (size and strength), healthy bones, sex drive, energy levels, mood and sperm production.
Male testosterone levels tend to peak in the early 20s, then gradually drop by 1-2 percent per year after age 30. According to the American Urological Association (AUA), the normal testosterone level for males is 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) or above. Readings below 300 ng/dl indicate low testosterone—also known as low T or hypogonadism. While low T (and the symptoms that go with it) are more common after age 40, men in their 20s can experience low T as well.
Research in the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology, revealed two interesting insights about low T in young men. First, the most common symptom of low T in 20-somethings is low energy levels, not necessarily the low libido or erectile dysfunction experienced by older males. Second, the researchers also attributed a large percentage of hypogonadism in study subjects to diet and lifestyle choices. While they didn’t rule out underlying congenital causes, the researchers found “acquired conditions such as obesity, diabetes, anabolic steroid or illicit drug use have all been associated with low testosterone levels.”
While low energy is the most common symptom of low T in younger men—and low libido and
erectile dysfunction are rarer in your 20s—other symptoms of low T may include:
- Fewer spontaneous erections
- Loss of muscle mass, strength
- Irritability, depression
- Trouble concentrating
- Trouble sleeping
- Infertility issues, low sperm count
- Enlarged breasts
What else can cause low T in younger men? According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), issues with the glands that help manage hormone production—the pituitary gland and hypothalamus gland—can contribute to low T, as can low thyroid function (see below). Certain prescription medications, cancer treatments (chemotherapy), testicular injury, cancer itself and other diseases and conditions can affect testosterone levels, as well.
And do not forget some of the primary causes of low T in your 20s—those unhealthy lifestyle choices men bring upon themselves: Obesity, diabetes, anabolic steroid use, alcohol abuse and drug abuse. Unhealthy living over the long-term—and related disease states like metabolic syndrome—can also contribute to cardiovascular disease and other health issues.
Men need to keep estrogen in balance, too. While maintaining proper testosterone levels is critical, mehttps://www.evexias.com/why-men-should-not-block-estrogenn also need adequate estrogen levels to support sexual function. Low estrogen levels can inhibit sex drive, while high estrogen levels can create other problems, such as infertility (high estrogen can slow sperm production), enlarged breasts and erectile dysfunction (which typically occurs in conjunction with low testosterone).
Female Hormones in Your 20s to 30s: Irregular Periods, Weight Gain, Infertility and More
Estrogen and progesterone are the primary sex hormones associated with the female reproductive system but women also need testosterone (lower levels than men) to maintain sexual health and the reproductive system. When hormones are balanced, estrogen works in tandem with progesterone and testosterone, as well as brain hormones (follicle stimulating hormones, luteinizing hormone) to keep the reproductive system and other bodily systems in synch.
Estrogen levels fluctuate during the menstrual cycle and start declining as menopause approaches. Estrogen, which is produced in a woman’s ovaries, is responsible for producing certain female characteristics, like the breasts and hips, and plays a key role in menstruation, ovulation, pregnancy and sexual health. Estrogen also supports brain function, cholesterol, blood sugar, bone density, muscle mass, circulatory system, collagen production and more. In women, testosterone and other androgens (male sex hormones) are needed to support ovarian function, bone health and libido. Androgen hormones may also help support brain, mood and cognitive function, according to Harvard Medical School.
Hormone imbalance can be troublesome for women in their 20s to 30s.
When a woman produces too little or too much estrogen, progesterone or testosterone, this hormone imbalance can result in a variety of health issues. Since estrogen is the primary sex hormone in females, many of the common issues related to hormone imbalance arise due to improper estrogen levels.
High or low levels of estrogen may cause some women to experience:
- Irregular periods, as well as light or heavy menstrual flow
- Breast tenderness, fibrocystic lumps in the breasts
- Heightened premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms
- Uterine fibroids
- Weight gain, obesity
- Insomnia, fatigue, memory issues
- Mood changes, irritability
- Cold hands and feet
- Low libido, sexual dysfunction
High levels of testosterone can also cause health issues, including a common condition known as PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome—one of the leading causes of infertility. Obesity is another key risk factor for PCOS. According to the Cleveland Clinic, women are usually diagnosed with PCOS in their 20s and 30s, often due to fertility issues, and up to 15 percent of women in their child bearing years have PCOS.
Signs and symptoms of PCOS may include:
- Benign ovarian cysts
- Irregular or missed periods
- Irregular or paused ovulation (ovulation normally occurs once a month)
- Adult acne
- Excess hair growth OR hair loss
- Skin tags
- Dark skin patches on the groin, neck, armpits or breasts
What causes hormone imbalance in young women? A variety of factors! For example, women who suffer from eating disorders may stop ovulating and therefore not produce enough estrogen. An unhealthy gut, nutrient deficiencies (like iron or magnesium deficiency), obesity, exposure to environmental toxins and stress, among other factors, can also lead to hormone imbalance.
Thyroid health is is heavily influenced by hormones and 20 somethings shouldn’t ignore it.
According to the American Thyroid Association, about 20 million Americans suffer from some form of thyroid dysfunction. While both sexes can experience thyroid issues, thyroid is much more prevalent in females. Women are five to eight times more likely to have thyroid issues, and one in eight women will end up with a thyroid disorder in their lifetimes.
While age (60+) and sex (female) are key risk factors for thyroid disease, other factors can put younger men and women at risk. These include:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Family history of thyroid disease
- Recent pregnancy
- Radiation treatment of head or neck area
- Iodine deficiency or surplus
- Environmental toxins
- Estrogen function
The most common form of thyroid dysfunction is hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid. Other conditions include, hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), Grave’s Disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, thyroid cancer, thyroid nodules and thyroid eye disease. Thyroid disease is often misdiagnosed, as many of the symptoms associated with it—fatigue, weight gain, depression and hair loss—are commonly associated with other diseases.
Be proactive and protect your health:
A knowledgeable practitioner can help you keep hormones in balance
Hormones play many important roles in the human body. If you are in your 20s to 30s and not feeling your best, hormone imbalance may be to blame. Uncovering the root cause of hormone issues is where your healthcare practitioner comes in.
As mentioned earlier, nutrient deficiencies, unhealthy diet and lifestyle, obesity, stress and environmental toxins can all play a role in hormone imbalance. In order to pinpoint the underlying cause of illness, a practitioner can perform a comprehensive medical exam to evaluate symptoms and complaints, then order lab testing to assess hormone and nutrient levels.
While hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may help some patients, many younger patients
find relief through diet and lifestyle changes, and/or nutritional therapies. Practitioners
experienced in hormonal health can:
- Help you monitor hormone and nutrient levels through blood tests
- Explain what affect unhealthy habits, diet and exercise have on hormone balance and how to put a healthy lifestyle plan in place
- Provide insight on and prescribe nutraceuticals that may be helpful for hormone balance support
- Discuss whether peptide therapy may be a good option for you
If you are in your 20s to 30s and have questions about hormone imbalance or other health concerns, the knowledgeable practitioners at EVEXIAS Health Solutions offer the latest integrative methods for promoting optimal health, including professional-grade nutraceutical products, healthy lifestyle guidance, peptide therapy and EvexiPEL bioidentical hormone pellet therapy.
Contact an EVEXIPEL CERTIFIED PRACTITIONER today for a thorough hormone level analysis and a guided plan for enhanced health and wellness. 5 / 5 125%