While worrying about having balanced hormones in your 20s might seem unnecessary, you likely are aware of the most well-known symptoms, like moodiness and hot flashes. Hormonal issues, however, often don't discriminate based off of age. Knowing the symptoms of hormone imbalance is a good way to make sure you're as healthy as possible both now and in the future.
Hormone imbalances don't just affect your reproductive system. Having things askew can cause health problems throughout your body. To understand this, it's important to understand how hormones work. "Hormones are chemicals in the blood that act as the messaging system to coordinate appropriate function among parts of the body that are not close to each other," Dr. Joshua U Klein, chief medical officer and reproductive endocrinologist at Extend Fertility tells Bustle. So even if your hormonal issues start in one place, the symptoms might travel far.
Physical and emotional reactions to hormone imbalances can vary. "From a general health standpoint, out of balance hormones can cause difficulties such as low energy levels, skin issues such as acne, and [...] interferences with becoming pregnant," ophthalmologist Dr. Ming Wang says. These are all issues to be aware of in your 20s.
Your hormones can become imbalanced any time. "Any type of disturbance to your physical or emotional health — including stress, lack of sleep, [and] change in eating habits — can disrupt this hormone balance," Dr. Klein says. You may not notice disruptions in your menstrual cycle if you're on hormonal birth control, so it's important to know the symptoms.
Here are seven little-known symptoms of hormone imbalance to look out for, according to experts.