Your twenties are your prime reproductive years so your hormones are meant to be in perfect balance, but you can still fall victim to the ageing effects of hormone malfunction. The culprit? Stress. ‘Stress can dramatically affect hormone production’, says Dr Jan Toledano. ‘In particular, DHEA, which gives energy and focus, can fall low’. It also triggers too much cortisol.
‘This increases your appetite, decreases muscle mass, libido and bone density and contributes to depression and memory loss,’ says Dr Natasha Turner, author of The Hormone Diet. ‘In other words, chronic stress makes us soft, flabby and much older than we truly are! But regulating it will keep your fat burning hormones revving.’
The first step to easing stress is enjoying life. ‘Laugh, breathe deeply and spend time with good company. Rest, eat, whole food, drink water and exercise,’ says Dr Claudia Welch author of Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life.