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HORMONE THERAPY

Teenage Hormone Imbalance: When to Talk to a Doctor

Teen girls are notoriously moody, secretive and embarrassed to talk about their changing bodies. In most cases, we blame it on the shifting hormones of the teenage years. So how do you know when moods and changes in appearance have gone beyond what is typical and may indicate a health issue?

Teen hormones may be in a state of flux, but can still become unbalanced due to a variety of underlying causes. In some cases, the signs of a hormone imbalance can be visible, such as delayed puberty or excessive and sudden weight gain. In other cases, you may not realize that the teenage girl in the house is suffering symptoms of teenage hormone imbalance such as heavy menstrual bleeding. In many cases, the teen may not even realize anything is amiss. After all, what is "normal" when you're a teenage girl?

What are the Symptoms of Teenage Hormone Imbalance?

Irregular or heavy periods, fatigue, weight gain, facial hair and extreme moodiness are all common symptoms of teen hormone imbalance. But there are other less common signs, as well, that can occur in various combinations depending on a teen’s specific hormonal issues:

  • Increased sensitivity to cold or heat
  • Constipation or more frequent bowel movements
  • Dry skin
  • Puffy or rounded face
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Increased or decreased heart rate
  • Muscle weakness
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Pain or stiffness in muscles or joints
  • Hair loss or fine, brittle hair
  • Increased hunger
  • Increased sensitivity to cold or heat
  • Constipation or more frequent bowel movements
  • Dry skin
  • Puffy or rounded face
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Increased or decreased heart rate
  • Muscle weakness
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Pain or stiffness in muscles or joints
  • Hair loss or fine, brittle hair
  • Increased hunger
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Blurred vision
  • Sweating
  • A fatty hump between the shoulders
  • Purple or pink stretch marks
  • Hot flashes
  • Sugar cravings
  • Fluid retention
  • Headache
  • Brain fog
  • Insomnia

 

  • Depression or anxiety
  • Blurred vision
  • Sweating
  • A fatty hump between the shoulders
  • Purple or pink stretch marks
  • Hot flashes
  • Sugar cravings
  • Fluid retention
  • Headache
  • Brain fog
  • Insomnia

Which Hormones Commonly Cause Problems for Teenage Girls?

  • Progesterone – This hormone is produced by the ovaries and increases production during ovulation. Low progesterone can cause headaches, anxiety and irregular periods. Progesterone also plays a part in balancing estrogen, so when progesterone is low, dominant estrogen can create its own set of problems.
  • Estrogen – An estrogen imbalance can impact every aspect of a young woman’s life. Too much estrogen and you gain weight, lose your sex drive, have tender breasts, mood swings and PMS. Too little estrogen means hot flashes, UTIs, fatigue, body pain and difficulties concentrating.
  • Cortisol – Cortisol is commonly called “the stress hormone.” Excess cortisol can cause Cushing’s disease, weight gain, anxiety and depression in teen girls. Low cortisol leads to Addison’s disease, fatigue and weight loss.
  • Thyroid hormones – Hyperthyroidism, or too much thyroid hormone can cause anxiety, weight loss, heart palpitations and fatigue among other symptoms. Hypothyroid, or low thyroid hormone levels, also lead to fatigue but can cause weight gain, depression, dry skin and hair and irregular periods.
  • Testosterone – Yes, teen girls have testosterone, too. It is one of the culprits of PCOS but can also cause other health issues.

What are the Common Causes of Teen Hormone Imbalance?

One of the most common causes of serious teen hormone imbalance is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Common symptoms include acne, weight gain and patches of dark skin on the back of the neck, inner thighs and armpits. PCOS can also cause excessive body hair growth and irregular or heavy periods.

Endocrine gland malfunction can cause a host of different teenage hormone imbalance issues. Endocrine glands are specialized cells that produce, store and release hormones into the blood. There are several endocrine glands located throughout the body that control different organs, including the ovaries, adrenal glands, pituitary, pineal, hypothalamus, thyroid and pancreatic islets. Anything awry with any of these glands can cause teen hormone imbalance. 

What Treatments are Available for Teen Hormone Imbalance?

Treatment will vary according to the hormones involved and the severity of the imbalance. In many cases, supplements and lifestyle changes can offer relief from symptoms.

At Coyle Institute, we understand how scary it can be for a parent and a teen to experience a health issue such as hormonal imbalance. If you suspect your teen has a hormonal imbalance, a simple saliva test can be the first step to getting to the root of the issue.

Call us today and set up a consultation with our compassionate, expert team. We're here to listen to your concerns and help you find the safest and most effective solution to teen hormone imbalance.