Hormonal imbalance occurs when there is too much or too little of a hormone in the blood. There are many causes but common contributors include:
Early onset of puberty
The onset of puberty is considered normal if it begins at age eight or later in girls or at age nine or later in boys. If these developments begin too soon, a child may be diagnosed with precocious puberty[i].
It's not always clear what causes delayed puberty. It may just be a tendency that runs in a family. Delayed puberty is generally more common in boys and may be evident if they show no signs of development by 14 years of age. In girls, delayed puberty should be investigated if their periods have not started by the time they reach 15 years of age [ii].
Male hormone imbalance:
The symptoms of hormonal imbalance in teenage males may include loss of muscle mass, decrease in body hair and beard growth and difficulty concentrating[iii].
Hormones which commonly cause problems include:
Progesterone: This hormone increases during ovulation (when the ovaries release an egg). Low progesterone can cause symptoms such as headaches, anxiety and irregular periods. If progesterone is imbalanced it can have knock-on effects for oestrogen levels[v][iv].
Oestrogen: Oestrogen dominance is very common, it can cause symptoms such as weight gain, tender breasts, mood swings and PMS. Too little oestrogen can also cause problems such as hot flashes, frequent Urinary Tract Infection, fatigue and poor concentration [vi].
Cortisol: known as the stress hormone, too much cortisol could lead to weight gain, anxiety and depression in teen girls.
Insulin: Responsible for maintaining healthy blood sugar, insulin resistance is common with PCOS and insulin may undergo significant changes prior to and during puberty[vii]
Thyroid Hormones: too much thyroid hormone can cause anxiety, weight loss, heart palpitations, irregular periods and fatigue among other symptoms. Too much thyroid hormone is known as hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels) can also lead to fatigue, weight gain, depression, dry skin, hair loss and irregular periods.
PCOS: Common symptoms include acne, weight gain and patches of dark skin on the back of the neck. PCOS can also cause excessive hair growth on the face, back and abdomen and irregular or heavy periods.
PMS: Pre-menstrual syndrome includes symptoms such as mood swings, feeling upset, anxious or irritable, fatigue, insomnia, bloating, breast tenderness, headaches and acne.
Painful Periods: Painful periods are common in teenagers. The brain is getting used to talking to the ovaries and uterus (known as the hypothalamic axis). Less commonly, period pain can be caused by an underlying medical condition.
Maintain a nutritious diet: Quality proteins, nutrient-dense plant foods, and healthy fats provide the raw materials a teenager needs to manufacture hormones and build a healthy microbiome. The gut is intricately connected to every other system in the body, including hormone systems.
Look after the liver: avoid refined sugars and unnecessary additives and preservatives in the diet, ensure a good intake of cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens such as kale and broccoli. An overburdened liver may not effectively metabolise and regulate hormones such as testosterone and oestrogen, which results in high hormone levels in the bloodstream.
Manage stress: meditation, yoga, Pilates, mindful breathing and exposure to nature are all great stress busters.
Teenboy Food Grown Daily Multi Nutrient (60 caps): A unique complex of vitamins, minerals and botanicals formulated for teenage boys, providing the essential nutrients for psychological and cognitive function, hormonal activity and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, with added reishi mushroom and organic artichoke for natural reinforcement during a time of rapid development. Key Benefits: Zinc for healthy testosterone, vitamin B12 for immunity and energy and calcium and vitamin D for healthy bones, supporting growth.
Teengirl Food Grown Daily Multi Nutrient (60 caps): A unique complex specially formulated for teenage girls. The formula provides essential nutrients for psychological and cognitive function, hormonal activity and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. It also contains ashwagandha and organic artichoke for natural reinforcement during a time of rapid development.
The Beauty Chef Clarify Inner Beauty Support Powder: helps support a clearer complexion while nourishing the gut. Also contains high amounts of zinc and vitamin C to help repair damaged skin and support the skin barrier integrity, as well as assisting in hormone balance.
Oy! Clear Skin Purifying Serum (30ml): Made for acne prone skin, containing Black Willow Bark and tea tree to reduce redness and control bacteria. Made with 88% certified organic ingredients.
Balancing Day Lotion Set: Restore balance to oily combination skin with this delicate day lotion.
Vinopure Clear Skin Purifying Toner (200ml): infused with natural salicylic acid, grape-seed polyphenols and organic essential oils, this toner targets combination and blemish-prone skin to gently purify.
[iii] Jane Mendle, Joseph Ferrero, Detrimental psychological outcomes associated with pubertal timing in adolescent boys, Developmental Review, Volume 32, Issue 1, 2012, Pages 49-66
[iv] Peluso JJ. Progesterone Signaling and Mammalian Ovarian Follicle Growth Mediated by Progesterone Receptor Membrane Component Family Members. Cells. 2022 May 13;11(10):1632.
[v] Kolatorova L, Vitku J, Suchopar J, Hill M, Parizek A. Progesterone: A Steroid with Wide Range of Effects in Physiology as Well as Human Medicine. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jul 20;23(14):7989.
[vii] Alison N. Jeffery, Brad S. Metcalf, Joanne Hosking, Adam J. Streeter, Linda D. Voss, Terence J. Wilkin; Age Before Stage: Insulin Resistance Rises Before the Onset of Puberty: A 9-year longitudinal study (EarlyBird 26). Diabetes Care 1 March 2012; 35 (3): 536–541.
[viii] Hill EE, Zack E, Battaglini C, Viru M, Viru A, Hackney AC. Exercise and circulating cortisol levels: the intensity threshold effect. J Endocrinol Invest. 2008 Jul;31(7):587-91.
[ix] Riachy R, McKinney K, Tuvdendorj DR. Various Factors May Modulate the Effect of Exercise on Testosterone Levels in Men. J Funct Morphol Kinesiol. 2020 Nov 7;5(4):81.
[x] Bruce ES, Lunt L, McDonagh JE. Sleep in adolescents and young adults. Clin Med (Lond). 2017 Oct;17(5):424-428.
Please note that the information contained within this website does not and should not replace medical advice, and is not intended to treat or diagnose. We always recommend you consult with your doctor. Our Nutritional Therapy team is highly trained and we offer one to one Nutritional Therapy Consultations, which are designed to be complementary to any medical treatment from a functional medicine approach, as well as offering a preventative & optimal health focus.