Contributed by – Dr. Pooja Chaudhary
Worried about your teenagers? Take a look at what affects teen health. Most youngsters have difficulty dealing with teenage problems; parents have tough time too. Blame the hormones! Yes, this is a major phase and teenage hormone health is an important issue. We are all aware about the link between teenage hormones and emotions. But there is much more to it.
Teenage is surely a stressful period and the changing hormones can cause great turmoil. It’s not just acne, but teenage female hormones can cause many health problems too. And that’s not all; boys too are affected with teenage male hormone imbalance. Let us understand hormonal imbalance in teens and the various ways in which it can affect teen health.
How hormonal imbalance affects teenagers?
Teenage is a phase in which there are physical and emotional changes as teens grow. Their body and mind undergoes various transformations as they step into a whole new world. This phase is mainly linked with hormonal changes, which is preparing them for procreation when they grow into adults. For some, it may be a smooth transition, but for most teens the hormone play can be a nightmare.
There are various hormones secreted for different functions of human body, including reproduction. When certain hormones newly come into action, they often cause an imbalance. For most young boys and girls, hormones take time to regularise, which bother them the most.
Headaches, anxiety, irritability, oversensitivity, depression are all a part of hormone imbalance in teenagers. Teenage hormones and mood swings are the most popularly known problems. Teens often spend sleepless nights and may show a change in their behaviour too. Some become more aggressive and easily feel offended, while some may be more withdrawn, indifferent and avoid family and social gatherings.
Hormonal imbalance in teenage girls
At the initiation of puberty, girls begin experiencing periods and other changes in the body. It is common for teenage female hormones to fluctuate during these initial phases. It causes irregular periods, heavy or scanty bleeding, painful periods, nausea and vomiting, back pain and even stomach cramps during periods.
Some girls may have delayed puberty or absence of periods. Females with hormonal imbalance commonly face this problem and are at greater risk of polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS. This condition, mainly a hormone problem characterises with delayed, absent or irregular periods due to improper functioning of ovaries. In this, the ovaries have cyst like follicles that cause irregular periods. Girls with PCOS may also experience increased male hormones causing facial hair and dark patches on skin. PCOS can affect health, cause weight gain and make it difficult to get pregnant later on. Hence it is important to diagnose this condition and treat it at the earliest. Get tests done for PCOS to identify or monitor the condition.
Other major problem of hormonal imbalance in teen girls is dysfunctional uterine bleeding or DUB. In this, the periods may last longer than usual or have more bleeding. Excessive bleeding or heavy periods can cause great loss of blood, which increases the risk of anaemia. Girls with anaemia appear pale, weak, have frequent headaches and fainting. As anaemia increases the risk of other health problems, it is necessary to diagnose it with blood haemoglobin tests and treat it without any delay. Similarly, treatment for hormonal imbalance is important to control loss of blood. Check for female hormonal imbalance with hormone tests and get the right treatment at the earliest.
Hormonal imbalance in teenage boys
In boys, secretion of testosterone regulates the development of male features. Teenage male hormone imbalance can cause late onset of puberty, acne and other skin problems, weight gain, hair fall, slow bone growth, muscle weakness, poor appetite and abnormalities with male reproductive system and functions. Check male hormones and get to know if there is an imbalance.
Other problems experienced by both boys and girls include acne, nausea, bloating, back pain, migraines, increased allergies, skin sensitivities, frequent cold, cough or sinus problems and urinary troubles. Depending on individual health, hormonal imbalance in teenagers can affect metabolism. This can increase the risk of metabolic disorders like weight gain or obesity, diabetes, thyroid and also nutritional deficiencies. Check risk of diabetes with blood sugar tests and the possibility of thyroid problems with blood tests for thyroid profile.
Hormonal imbalance in teens, affects everyone in a different way and hence; as smart parents, you need to be more watchful. Watch out for signs of hormone problems and get blood tests done to detect hormonal imbalance. Timely medical advice is important. Following a healthy diet, regular physical exercise and good sleep can help manage hormonal imbalance, along with medical treatment.
Teen health is crucial; it’s just the beginning of an important phase. So, stay alert and take the right action.
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