Youth is a time to be carefree and adventurous, but this doesn’t mean the young are free from all concerns. There are a number of health conditions that can affect even those who feel untouched by disease. It’s important for every young adult to be aware of the most common problems and how to best avoid health issues in your 20s and 30s.
Addiction to alcohol and drugs is especially common among men and women in their 20s and 30s. More troubling is the fact that even when free detox options are available, most will not seek help. The reasons why they tend to avoid treatment range from being in denial to being too overtaken by the addiction to do anything to stop. There are also many people in this age range who see drugs as a way to manage the stress so frequently experienced in young adult life.
The escalation of self-medication causes the ideal situation for addiction to develop. Instead of relieving stress, the substance use preoccupies the individual’s thoughts and causes more stress than it alleviates. This leads to a cycle that ultimately leads to one of two conclusions: the individual enters a drug rehab center for treatment or the individual eventually dies a premature death. Simply put, substance abuse creates far more problems than it solves, especially for those getting their first go at life.
Obesity is an epidemic in the United States, especially among adults in their 20s and 30s, who have been raised with unhealthy lifestyle habits. By the time adolescents reach their 20s, they likely already have learned bad habits and, while they may want to lose weight, they don’t realize that their own actions are defeating their goals, either by eating too much fast food or lack of activity or both. Others may think they have plenty of time to lose the weight.
That couldn’t be further from the truth. Losing weight becomes especially difficult, once an individual passes the age of 40. Additionally, obesity in your 20s or 30s significantly increases the likelihood of developing heart disease and certain forms of cancer in your 40s and beyond. To reduce serious health risks later in life, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly in your 20s and 30s is essential.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Another major health risk facing young adults is the spread of STDs, which most commonly affects adults within the 25-35 age range. In spite of increased awareness and education, sexual promiscuity is still a problem and adds to the spread of disease. Additionally, the use of alcohol and drugs inhibits judgment and makes unsafe sexual practices more common in this age range. In fact, there were 2.3 million new instances of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis reported in 2017.
This suggests young adults should take the time to learn more about the spread of disease. By understanding exactly how sexually transmitted diseases are spread and by adopting safer practices, they can decrease the risk of contracting these diseases.
While most cancers affect either children or older adults, there are a few types of cancer that do affect young adults. These include leukemia, sarcomas, colorectal cancer, testicular cancer, and breast cancer. These types of cancer are typically more common among adults age 25 and up, though they can affect people at any age. Habits, such as smoking, unprotected sun exposure, drinking alcohol, and other environmental factors can increase your risk of developing cancer. If you’re concerned about your risk factors, talk to your doctor about changes you can make to your lifestyle.
Mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and depression, most commonly develop, during the early 20s. This has led researchers to look into the causes and they found that the brain is still developing until a person reaches their mid-20s. By this time, hormones have been released and genes have been activated, especially those linked to a predisposition to mental illness. As those genes are activated, the individual begins to experience the onset of the illness.
Young adults experiencing mental illness often can’t afford treatment. Instead, they turn to coping mechanisms, such as high-risk behaviors, to help alleviate symptoms. This is why there are so many adults with undiagnosed mental disorders, which ultimately lead to co-occurring addictions to drugs and alcohol.
Staying healthy, even as a young adult, means being conscious of the choices you make.
Limiting your use of substances, eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, and finding healthy ways of coping with pressure can all help you stay healthier for longer. While genetics do play a part in some illnesses, our lifestyle choices can affect the risks of developing many diseases.