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Avatar universal

Early rapid aging in twenties- severe insomnia

I'm only TWENTY-EIGHT!!!  This is soooo sad... I shouldn't be relating to women in their fifities and sixties now at my age. :(

I'm not joking... in the past two years.. I've slowly developed it all... the slightly crepey skin and wrinkles inside the elbow crease, all the loose bunched up crepey skin on the outside of the elbow, skin has totally thinned on my hands- veins stick out (same with my feet), my feet has such loose crepey skin and are so wrinkled I can pull the skin on them pretty good, I have jowls, wrinkles under my eyes, getting wrinkles between the nose, three lines/wrinkles on forehead, lips are lined/ lost volume, boobs dropped and shrank, I get those neck things when I smile, butt dropped and lost firmness, bat wings, wrinkled knees, tons of hair loss, etc.! I am not over-exaggerating.

It all started about two years ago when I didn't sleep for about 8 days. During those days, (it was a few months after I had a baby), I had a nine day period! Ever since I've been getting bad sleep- sleep study showed mostly only broken up light sleep (no deep beauty sleep) and a few hours a night. I would also periodically go another day or so without any sleep. And then I went another ten days w/o any! About a month into this crazy insomnia, my period got light and started coming every two weeks. I also definitely started getting hot flashes and many other symptoms of perimenopause. My insomnia gave me very high cortisol levels which I've heard can cause early menopause. I'm wondering if that is what this is or its my thyroid?

For about the first year, I just noticed a few wrinkles and age spots on my face, wrinkled hands and feet, slightest facial sagging- I could still cover everything with makeup and just looked about 8 years older than I did before. (I looked basically my age or two years older) Then, it started to get bad.. someone asked if I was sad and I wasn't... I just looked like I had a frown! My boobs sagged, etc. Makeup- I dont even wear it anymore- it dosent help. Literally, every few weeks, I had new lines/wrinkles.

I'm trying to fix my sleep, but in the meantime, I want to try to hold on to some of my looks. My family dosent understand... I'm not being selfish at all... I don't think that any woman my age would handle this well or accept it. Especially when I looked YOUNGER than my age before. Right before, guys told me I looked 17! (I was 26.) My whole family looks ten years younger than they are. I've always taken care of myself too- ate healthy, exercised, slept 9 or 10 hours. I used to love buying cute outfits and looking cute and now I can't do that anymore. The worst part is now my facial sagging and loss of elasticity is so bad- I look like I'm sad and frowning and I'm not!! I also look angry (because my face is constantly making that expression where your trying to sleep and when you can't every night for two years has given me those wrinkles!)

This is very hard for someone who used to constantly smile and loves people.. to not look pretty or approachable. You women are in your 50s and 60s and its hard enough to deal with the body changes THEN whey they are supposed to happen! Why should a twenty something have to go though this? :( There has got to be some way to stall it while I work on getting my insomnia fixed.

Do you ladies have any advice??  Does this sound like perimenopause? My periods have gotten less and less days, lighter and lighter... barely existant now. The sagging and loss of elasticity has gotten extreme the past few months.. my jowls are bad. Is that sound like peri? I showed someone a photo of me with a regular expression.. not smiling. They said, oh you look nice and ugly! They were convinced I was frowning, but I wasn't. :(

Should I go on a birth control pill or do bioidentical hormones? Has anyone tried human growth hormone? Would that thicken the skin and make me look a little younger? (I forgot to mention- people now call me a "lady"- I look like I'm in my late forties)  If I can ever get my sleep back to normal, I've definitely considered getting a facelift and fx, but I would have to get a boob job to lift my boobs, butt lift, etc. :( Its so depressing. I had a great young figure before and now its gone.

ANY advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!!! Just be thankful you arent in my position. I need to look good to feel good about myself and be a good mom.
20 Responses
209987 tn?1451939065
Sleep,plenty of water,and lay off the makeup.  Sorry,but makeup does make you age(and yes, I realize that you've stopped,but if you wore lots of it before ...well,the damage is done.)...clogs the pores,etc. Water will help to flush your system and to rejuvenate the skin. Avoid too much sun as this causes age spots,wrinkles,etc.
I know you had a baby,and doing this WILL cause your breasts to sag...gets worse at thirty...forty...fifty...and after every baby...they will never be perky again...just buy a good bra like the rest of us over twenty-something women. lol.
I wouldn't do anything drastic though. As soon as your sleep comes back to you things will get better.
I look 50+...babe is 17 months old and doesn't sleep through the night yet,so I know how you feel.
I'm down in the dumps too as I had a great figure before having babies...I got back in shape after the last one 15 years ago,my body was once again looking good...and then along came baby boy 4.
Good luck to you.
1105753 tn?1374290948
Have you had your thyroid checked? It can cause some of those problems as well as problems sleeping which, as you know makes it worse. Just a thought.
Avatar universal
mjm- thanks!! do you have a thyroid problem?
Avatar universal
I feel for you girl. I have severe insomnia. I have been up for 12 days at a time with no sleep and when I do sleep it is the light sleep no Delta sleep which is needed to repair the body. It's torture. I have had this going on since July of this year. What I have found out is that my hormones are all screwed up. I had a test done and I am not it pre-menopause at age 42 but I do have high estrogen which causes heavy long periods. I have low progesterone which cause insomnia.. But the real kicker is I have very high cortisol which causes the severe insomnia. This is due to major adrenal fatigue. I am in the process of trying to get it all straightened out. I went to my regular ob/gn and he did a blood test and said all was fine, thyroid..etc etc but then I found someone who tests hormones with a saliva test. This is where you find out what is really going on and it sounds like your hormones are really screwed up bad. High estrogen can cause accelerated aging. You need to find a good nutritionist that can help you with this. I would avoid the pill and try to find the cause. I am taking a biodentical progesterone cream and that is helping with the periods. Still working on the insomnia but your hormones are the key to all your issues I believe. Once you get them tested you can start feeling better again and even reverse the aging process.Check out the supplement Protandim. Its suppose to really help with that. Hang in there girl!
Avatar universal
I am 32 and since I was in my early 20's, I had people tell me my hands looked old.  I have dry crosshatched skin all over my body that later developed into crepey skin.  It's like my skin is severely dehydrated but I drink tons of water, workout, and eat healthy.  My skin actually hurts to move.  It's tight and dry and feels like it is ripping when I make movements.  I literally look 80 on a good day.  I did abuse a tanning bed in my 20's but none of my friends look like this. I have become a recluse basically which is not my personality.  I always wanted to be a "young mom" and make sure my children have a great home life but since all this has taken over I can't provide them with that.  I have anxiety attacks at the thought of any events.  I hope you are doing better and if you have found anything that works, please let me know.  My skin is also hyperpigmented severly and has  a very drawn look to it.  I can literally feel where my wrinkles are and they hurt.  My periods have gotten lighter when they used to be soooo heavy.  I have a manish appearance, strong jaw, nose, and broad shoulders.  I hope you can give me some advice.  I feel like the only one going through this and alone.
Avatar universal
I am going through something similar.  Up until I turned 28 I passed for a teenager but then something changed.  I wish I could figure out what happened.  Anyways, now my skin looks like its 40 and I have these terrible under eye wrinkles like an old man. It *****.  It makes me suicidal.  I never thought of myself as vain up until "my change". And now I am a recluse.  I feel like a prisoner in my skin.  It is good to know I am not alone, though, now.  
Avatar universal
have you tried exercising? and calendula oil? and no harsh cleansers? plus ph balanced products like aloe vera gel (100%) helps. i'm so sorry...i'm sure it will get better. stay out of the sun and wear sun hats. use lactic acid cream for the body, like amlactin. that supposedly has helped some older women with their crepey skin. you're beautiful regardless and not alone. take care.
Avatar universal
I understand. At 26, guys hit on me constantly and thought I was 17. I too became very suicidal at one point.... what normal woman wouldn't be? I understand, I feel trapped in my own body. Two years later, the premature aging has now gotten so bad that I now wear my sunglasses everywhere I go, I can't go into public otherwise. Its painful to live sometimes. I too feel like a prisoner in my own skin. You aren't vain, nor am I! We're just normal women! If beauty or youthful skin wasn't supposed to be important to us, we would be MEN. (Sorry I'm so adamant about this because my family has made me feel so guilty and crazy and they basically abandoned me and that is why I just had to sit like a passenger in my own life the past four years and let this happen to my body) It is NOT selfish or vain to be upset about this rapid premature aging...its human. The thing is, I was a very balanced emotionally healthy person before...beauty wasn't the most important thing in my life..I understood it was important, but I wasn't obsessed... I even had a large nose that I didn't like but I learned to love and accept my whole self and came to see my whole self as really pretty... I often didn't even get too much into makeup because I didn't want to lose proper focus. Its really messed up that this happened to me.  What is really sad is I honestly wanted a solution when I posted back on this forum on 2010... I loved my life and my daughter. (Menopause hadn't completely changed my personality or body yet then.) I posted looking for solutions, and I definitely had ideas of what I needed to do, possible great solutions, but my parents were unsupportive so I couldn't try ANY... as I look back I realize that because I was unable to take any needed action to stop the aging or insomnia or change things, I realize I began to just become hopeless...and was grateful to find others who were also going through somewhat similar tough things...maybe because someone finally showed empathy....I started to just live in my situation and accept it and own it...what else could I do...I had a strong spirit and will and kept trying to find ways to take action, but had a really unhealthy toxic family and was trapped to be a passenger in my own life. Even the strongest fire/spirit burns out after a few years and after enough of this early aging!!! I will be producing a documentary soon if any of you girls would like to view it. My blog is also www.postpartumtragedy.blogspot.com. Also, I realize by looking back at this post that I was trapped by the abuse I was experiencing...I didn't sleep for hours at a time...I slept for less than 20 minutes a night... I remember wondering how the sleep study said I'd slept for hours when I'd merely slept minutes...I since had another sleep study and learned that they count dozing off as sleep.... so I really hadn't slept.
Avatar universal
Hello, I have been reading all of these posts and I would like to share what has helped me. I have started taking a desiccated liver powder [dried liver] in a glass of water at least once everyday, and I have started the GAPS diet. If you don't know what GAPS is, look it up. It is a healing protocol that clears up everything from allergies to anxiety. Side effect if you look younger and your skin heals, plumps up. I was  going to get filler under my eyes. After the liver, I looked in the mirror one day and they were gone. All plumped up on their own. Our bodies can heal. I truly believe that signs of 'aging' are signs that something is wrong. A healthy body looks beautiful and glows.
Avatar universal
   Please google 'acromegaly'.

Have you ever had your growth hormone (GH) level checked?  GHRH, ACTH, TSH, or cortisol?
A recent CT/MRI scan of your head, chest, or abdomen?

I don't want to alarm you--but it sounds like you might have a pituitary tumor that is producing too much growth hormone....  

Problems w adrenal glands, lungs, or pancreas can also lead to similar symptoms (hyperpigmentation, acromegaly, skin changes, chronic fungal infections, menstrual changes)

Call your doctor please, get checked, treated if that's the problem.  Your life will change, for the better!
Avatar universal
I think you may have body dismorphia, what you feel isn't how any person should feel about them selves.  I've been told by doctors  that I have got it, although its hard because you can only see someone hideous in the Mirror and it is almost impossible to believe that it may be more how you think of yourself .... I have felt the the same since having my daughter 8 years ago, I am now 28 and I feel that I have the skin on an 50 year old, I feel disgusting and felt like it since she was born .... But have learned to manage it to not affect my daughter which is hard, working helps keep my mind of it but it's still always there in the background. Anti depressants helped but also made me feel numb which I did not like... I now have facials such as microdermabrasion and I go to the gym four times a week, this helps quite abit. ...... I'm sure you will find away to be happy again xx
She doesn't thabk body dysmorphia, you aren't the judge in people feelings...what shouldn't be happening is aging effects at her age..and that's it..her feelings on the matter do not warrant mental healthy accusations...so sick of people throwing the bdd diagnosis at everyone who gives a damn about hoe they look
Avatar universal
Just read about your situation.  I am 44 but currently going through almost exactly as you described.  All of it came about suddenly ( within 2 years time)
Just wondering if you have found anything that helped the issues with your skin.  I am so frustrated!!
Avatar universal
2 years ago I passed for a teenager . I am a teacher and often would get mistaken for a student. Then everything changed and I now look way older than I am . My face had dropped , it is saggy and porous and I feel like I never want to leave the house again. The only explanation I have got this change is that I started taking multi vitamin supplements and can pinpoint the change to this. No one will believe me and no one can help . I feel sucicidal and do not know what yo do , help !
Avatar universal
2 years ago I passed for a teenager . I am a teacher and often would get mistaken for a student. Then everything changed and I now look way older than I am . My face had dropped , it is saggy and porous and I feel like I never want to leave the house again. The only explanation I have got this change is that I started taking multi vitamin supplements and can pinpoint the change to this. No one will believe me and no one can help . I feel sucicidal and do not know what yo do , help !
Avatar universal
lookyoungagain1328: I just stumbled across your post and felt I ought to weigh in. I just asked my mother, who is a dermatologist, and she said the other symptoms you describe -- the hot flashes, the unending insomnia, the period that lasted 9 days -- almost certainly point to a severe hormonal imbalance. This makes complete sense, seeing that it all happened not long after pregnancy. Sudden skin aging is often an unfortunate result of too much or too little estrogen.

Avatar universal
Hi I'm so sorry to hear so many of you feel this isolating out of control change over the sudden appearance change. I also got really old really quickly and the skin is the worst, what is that about!! I don't go out unless I have to. I think cause it happens so quickly it stripes your confidence. I wish you wer'nt made feel its a petty thing to consult a doctor over. It seems logical that it would be related to some sudden hormonal change,
Avatar universal
Basically, so many of the symptoms you describe: loss of skin collagen, loss of muscle, increased abdominal fat, insomnia, depression, anxiety, poor wound healing, hair loss, etc., are symptoms of elevated cortisol levels.

Cortisol is increased in situations of chronic stress.  Cortisol can also be increased by taking exogenous steroids, adrenal dysfunction, and pituitary dysfunction.

In your situation, I am concerned about increased cortisol as a result of chronic stress after the birth of your child.

Avatar universal
I googled 'rapid aging' and came across your post. I know it's older, but I still have to chime in. I have a very similar problem - I am incredibly disturbed by this, It has destroyed my quality of life.

Severe insomnia. Rapid aging of skin. Erratic menstrual pattern. A year ago I was prescribed 'seroquel' for my insomnia. While it helps me sleep somewhat, the symptoms that have developed in this past year are alarming. Bad weight gain ( I was always 120, now almost 140) I have had blood and urine tests - no one finds anything wrong. I have had extensive thyroid tests...perfect levels.

I am in my mid thirties.

SIX - NINE months ago I was literally without exaggeration mistaken for a nineteen year old...or early - mid twenties - these are young people who thought I was THEIR age. I was routinely carded!! I have NEVER smoked, don't drink and wear sunscreen. Cut to Spring 2015 and I now appear ten-fifteen years older than my age. People used to mistake my teenage daughter for my sister - WELL NO MORE. They don't bat an eyelash when I say I am her mother, in fact, they KNOW I am 'Mom' before I even say anything. From her infancy people thought I was 'sis'...

A year or so ago my hair was (not to brag) was a beautiful natural deep gold and very thick and shiny...always got tons of compliments...now it is literally falling out, brittle and turning WHITE, almost OVERNIGHT. I ran into an ex-bf a year and a half ago and he was shocked by how little I'd changed from when he knew me (mid twenties) Well, now he'd be shocked by how bad I look...truly alarming. My forehead is especially bad, extremely crepey and de-elasticized, like the forehead of s sunworshipper twenty years my senior. I have bad dark circles, and even eye bags...my hands are veiny too. What is sooo disturbing is I, like you looked YOUNGER than my age...something very strange is happening. I was thinking maybe with me it's the med, somehow messing with my hormones and causing sudden aging or something...as this is not in the realm of 'normal' aging. Creams, vitamins...nothing helps and I am beyond frustrated and depressed about these developments.
Avatar universal
and here I thought aging was a 'gradual' process....not something that comes in shocking bursts!
Avatar universal
OMG, I just saw this and hope u r doing ok.
I am nearly 50 now, but began aging rapidly around 28......getting carded one minute then the only one not getting carded with my friends. I know how horribly sad and depressing this is, I cant figure it out, my bio mom is only 15 years older than me at 65, she has literally flawless taught skin; we get mistaken for sisters all the timd. I was also cursed with cystic acne, and to add insult to injury, developed moderate facial assymetry on my right side.
I can deal with the scars, but at 49 I am so insecure.....add all the other the other fugly stuff that goes along with being peri-menopausal, and I am one hot mess! I just want to be happy with myself, I know truly that has to come within, but I am ready to take drastic steps and considering surgery next year.
Hugs to u❤️
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