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Can A Teenager Have Hormonal Imbalance?

By Lucy Rose Clinic

August 4, 2022

How can you tell the difference between “normal” teenager hormone balance, to “problematic” teenager hormone balance?

Teen hormone issues are becoming more common, thanks to the number of environmental endocrine disruptors we have in our food, air, clothes, skin care products, drinks – and more. Add to this environmental onslaught high stress, and the question maybe should be “Is there a teenager who DOESN’T have a hormone imbalance?”

This article looks to explore the different presentations, what is normal, how you can figure out if something more sinister is at play, and some easy tips to help your teen reclaim better hormone balance.

Hormonal Imbalance in Teenage Girls

There is nothing easy about the hormonal surges our bodies go through in our teenage years, but there are some signs you can watch for, and some easy diet and lifestyle tweaks that you can adopt, to help ease the severity.

As we mentioned at the start, the combination of environmental endocrine disruptors and stress creates a powerful combo to upset hormones. This occurs in everyone, but in our teen years, there are huge surges of hormones flooding the body, so the effects are more dramatic.

Normal Hormonal Symptoms in Teen Girls

  • Asthma attacks
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Frequent headaches or migraine
  • Depression
  • Back pain
  • Aggressiveness and mood swings
  • Acne
  • Oily hair
  • Confusion
  • Emotional liability
  • Bruising
  • Anxiety

Normal Hormonal Symptoms in Teen Girls

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Heavy periods
  • Breakthrough bleeds or spotting
  • Irregular periods – late or early
  • Excessive weight gain
  • PCOS
  • Sore, painful breasts
  • Development of facial hair
  • Dry and lifeless hair
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Suicidal thoughts

How can you tell the difference between “normal” teenager hormone balance, to “problematic” teenager hormone balance?

Teen hormone issues are becoming more common, thanks to the number of environmental endocrine disruptors we have in our food, air, clothes, skin care products, drinks – and more. Add to this environmental onslaught high stress, and the question maybe should be “Is there a teenager who DOESN’T have a hormone imbalance?”

This article looks to explore the different presentations, what is normal, how you can figure out if something more sinister is at play, and some easy tips to help your teen reclaim better hormone balance.

This article covers:
  • Normal hormonal symptoms in teen girls
  • Symptoms that should be followed up on
  • Lifestyle tips for teen hormonal balance
  • Stress – the fuel on the hormone fire
  • Tips to reduce stress for teens
  • What to do if you suspect your teen has a hormone imbalance

Hormonal Imbalance in Teenage Girls

There is nothing easy about the hormonal surges our bodies go through in our teenage years, but there are some signs you can watch for, and some easy diet and lifestyle tweaks that you can adopt, to help ease the severity.

As we mentioned at the start, the combination of environmental endocrine disruptors and stress creates a powerful combo to upset hormones. This occurs in everyone, but in our teen years, there are huge surges of hormones flooding the body, so the effects are more dramatic.

Normal hormonal symptoms in teen girls include:

  • Asthma attacks
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Frequent headaches or migraine
  • Depression
  • Back pain
  • Aggressiveness and mood swings
  • Acne
  • Oily hair
  • Confusion
  • Emotional liability
  • Bruising
  • Anxiety

While the above list is considered “normal”, if it is affecting your teen’s confidence and performance, a natural approach will quickly help calm things down.

Symptoms that suggest you should look deeper with testing and follow up with a health practitioner;

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Heavy periods
  • Breakthrough bleeds or spotting
  • Irregular periods – late or early
  • Excessive weight gain
  • PCOS
  • Sore, painful breasts
  • Development of facial hair
  • Dry and lifeless hair
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Suicidal thoughts

The above issues show a more pronounced hormone imbalance that will not easily rectify itself. If left alone, it can build to more serious health concerns affecting future health.

In these cases, we run a comprehensive panel of hormone tests that identify the triggers, allowing a trained naturopath the evidence to craft a specific treatment plan to rebalance the body as fast as possible.

Hormonal Imbalance in Teenage Boys

Whilst girls are stereotypically said to have more symptoms than boys, boys also have a lot of physical and mental changes occurring in their teens.

Boys get a broken voice, grow facial hair, fill out their bodies, and often struggle with acne due to the surges of testosterone.

Normal hormonal symptoms in teen boys include:

  • Excessive hair growth on most parts of the body
  • Mood swings
  • Oily skin and/or hair
  • Stronger body odour
  • Voice changes

Symptoms that suggest you should look deeper with testing and follow up with a health practitioner;

  • Gynecomastia, due to excess production of female hormone estrogen, that causes the development of larger breasts in boys
  • Hypothyroidism, causing delayed puberty
  • Hypogonadism, causes problems with the testes, leading to delayed puberty
  • Weight gain
  • Excessive mood swings
  • Increase in irritability and rage
  • Aggressiveness
  • Night sweats
  • Decrease in stamina
  • Hot flashes
  • Sleep problems
  • Poor concentration
  • Depression

Lifestyle tips for teenage hormonal balance

One of the biggest factors that offsets hormones in the body is environmental toxins – in particular, endocrine disruptors.

Endocrine = hormone + disruptor.

There are over 1000 chemicals that meet the criteria for an endocrine disruptor, according to a report in Reproductive Toxicology – and they are in everyday products available at your local supermarket.

Exposure to these nasty elements is via your diet, the air, your skin, drinking water, paint on the walls, carpets, mattresses, and even the clothes you wear.

There is also a link between endocrine disruptor exposure and thyroid problems, obesity, and diabetes. Plus papers have been done on its effect on fertility – both men and women. (1)

Realistically, we don’t have control over everything we’re exposed to, but among the things we can control, diet and personal and home care products are major potential sources of exposure to endocrine disruptors.

Here are some easy items to avoid that will dramatically reduce your exposure to endocrine disruptors.

  • Avoid artificial fragrances. This comes in perfumes, air fresheners, some scented candles, detergents, and cleaning products. Opt for natural essential oils instead.
  • Reduce plastic use. While most of us are more aware of plastic for the environment, it also contaminates foods in contact with it. Especially don’t cook in it! (such as roast bags or silicone molds)
  • Avoid canned foods. The lining inside of tinned goods is plastic and one if the biggest sources of BPA. (2)
  • Avoid furnishings with flame retardant coatings.
  • Air out your rooms daily and if possible, let sunlight in.
  • Check your shampoos, conditioners, skincare products, and all personal items on the EWG.org database and stop using any that are marked as endocrine disruptors.

Stress – the fuel on the hormone fire

Being a teenager is stressful! The pressures of developing, adapting, school, and for most teens, work, all add up to one big constant stress.

These trigger the fight/flight/freeze response, upregulating steroid hormone production and sending neurotransmitters awry. This pace leads to fatigue, anxiety, depression, and overwhelm.

Stress also drives many hormone imbalances further as well, particularly PCOS in girls, rage in boys, and weight gain and depression in hypothyroid teens.

Tips to reduce stress for teenagers

While we can’t take all the stress away, there are some easy things we can do to help our teens calm down and feel more centered.

  1. Sleep. Teens need more sleep, so allow them sleep-ins and lazy days around the house.
  2. Keep gaps in the schedule. Most teens I know have a million things on their to-do list. Don’t allow them to overschedule themselves, or take on too many projects or sports.
  3. Create time for fun. Not only can this lighten the general mood in the house, it can be a great time for bonding, and learning about your teen. They are changing, so getting to know the person they are becoming in play can create a great framework for a healthy relationship.
  4. Healthy snacks. Keep nutritious and healthy snacks in the cupboard including fruit, nuts, seed bars, yogurt, hommus, avo dip, etc. And of course, keep junk food out of the house to reduce intake.
  5. Lead by example. Relax! Sit in the sun and read a book. Do some yoga on the floor. What you do has more impact than what you say!

What to do if you suspect your teenager has a hormone imbalance

If your teen is ticking some serious hormone imbalance boxes, the good news is that there is help!

We have worked with many teens over the years, from teens with diagnosed thyroid issues, to teens with severe symptoms but no clear diagnoses from the family GP. Regardless, we help them get back balance, improve their mood, improve their performance at school and sports, and generally make the tough teen years just a little easier.

Step 1. Initial appointment. We have a longer appointment time to be able to get on board with all your teens history, demands, and goals.

Step 2. Run some required testing. We run functional pathology which is dofferent to what the GP will run. The purpose of functional pathology is to discover the root cause and triggers behind what is driving the symptoms.

Step 3. Build a treatment plan that fits in with your teen. Every treatment plan is different. We use the pathology results to guide the correct treatment to support nutritional deficiency or excesses, detoxification, energy, sleep, and mood. We keep this as simple as possible and utilise a compounding pharmacy to create our individualised formulas – meaning you get fewer supplements.

For teens that are interested, Food Intolerance testing is invaluable. We have found that teens actually love following their food intolerance report, and get amazing results very fast.

I hope this article has helped you see that the teen years can be a little easier navigate – for you and your teen!

We offer a free 15-minute appointment so you can have a chat with us before commiting to any consultations, please take advantage of it! CLICK HERE

If you are still in research mode, we have loads of information on our website. Here are some quick links you might find useful;

 

 

References:

  1. Human infertility: are endocrine disruptors to blame? – PMC (nih.gov)
  2. Effect of Exposure of Plastic Infant Feeding Bottle Leached Water on Biochemical, Morphological and Oxidative Stress Parameters in Rats – PMC (nih.gov)

 

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