This post is featured on behalf of Jenna Brown.

It seems like you can’t turn on the TV or go on the internet without seeing some kind of ad for a pharmaceutical. They sponsor racing teams, hand out pens to doctors, and pop up on almost any website you visit.

For people in their twenties, these ads are annoying, and not just because some people think all ads are annoying. The problem is compounded for younger people because the products are not relevant to them. Young people aren’t battling high cholesterol, atrial fibrillation, or acid reflux, so ads for products that treat those problems are just in the way.

But it’s critical that you don’t get the idea that you’re bulletproof at that young age. You may not be dealing with the health issues that your parents have, but you certainly are at risk for things that can impact your body in a negative way.

Fortunately, most of these issues are behavioral in origin, which means they can largely be avoided or reversed with a change in your behaviors.

Let’s examine some of the most common health issues that twenty-somethings encounter, and what lifestyle changes they may need to make to prevent or correct them:

1. Substance Abuse

While it’s true there may be something in our DNA that makes us more likely to become addicted, it still takes that first time using or abusing something to get us hooked. For that reason, it’s obvious that we need to steer clear of things like tobacco and illegal drugs.

But that’s not the whole picture. Social drinking can be nearly harmless; if you can have a glass or two of wine with dinner or a couple beers during the game, it’s no big deal in terms of your health. But if your personality or your circumstances push that into alcoholism, it’s time to get help.

So instead of staying up to date on osteoporosis treatments, young people need to know what alcoholism treatment options are available if they or a loved one develops a problem.

2. Depression

Some problems know no age. Depression is one. It can be caused by your circumstances or by a chemical imbalance in your brain. Either way, it doesn’t matter how old you are.

We think of our twenties as a carefree time when the world is our oyster. And in large part that’s true, but there can also be serious problems that we encounter.

We may struggle to find a job as we leave college, or we may be so burdened with student loan debt that we can’t enjoy life. We may have aging parents or be forced to move to a new place for a new job, leaving familiar people and places behind.

Whatever triggers it, it is a serious condition that requires qualified medical care in order to be resolved.

3. STD’s or STI’s

Well, we might as well just address it. It’s reality. That carefree lifestyle we mentioned a moment ago can carry into sexual relationships. Many young people have too many partners or use insufficient protection, and they end up with a sexually-transmitted disease or infection.

Many of these conditions are acute, meaning they can be cleared up with a defined course of treatment. Others can have lifelong effects. Either way, it’s far better to avoid STD’s than to try to treat them later, so prevention is essential.

One reason that’s especially true is that STD’s aren’t always easy to recognize. This underscores the need for twenty-somethings to get regular medical care even when they don’t have a problem, so that your practitioner can monitor for common issues.

Your twenties are a time of excitement and change. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you, with adventures around every turn.

Nothing can interrupt those adventures quite like a health problem, so it’s essential that you prevent what you can prevent and that you quickly treat what you can’t avoid. It’s the best way to make your twenties worthwhile.

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