Lisa Curry, mother of three and co-founder of Happy Healthy You, shares her top tips to help parents navigate the, at times, tricky period of puberty and rollercoaster of teenage hormones.
For many teens, puberty is an uncomfortable topic and an awkward time of life. I remember the experiences of all three of my kids well and let me tell you, sometimes with multiple kids battling with an influx of hormones at the same time, under the same roof, it can be a difficult time for everyone at home. Hormones can mean the difference between a healthy transition and a hormonally driven nightmare. Some have an easier experience than others, but there are some very simple ways to make managing teenage hormonal changes a smooth transition for both child and parent.
Avoiding Synthetic Treatments
For many young girls, the first (and often only) method doctors prescribe for symptoms of puberty (acne, irregular periods, mood swings, etc) is the contraceptive pill. I am a firm believer in a holistic approach when it comes to wellness, my passion for healthy living has changed my life.
While the contraceptive pill works for many, there are concerns around the fact that it suppresses the body’s natural hormone production. Our natural hormone cycle will stay with us forever, as will the impact of using synthetic hormones and can impact the severity of symptoms in menopause and perimenopause. Secondly, many women already have difficulties metabolising hormones. Adding additional, unnatural, hormones into delicate systems can be like adding fuel to the fire.
Gut health is finally getting it’s time in the spotlight as more and more of us realise how important a healthy and diverse microbiome is for balanced life. Often the gut is referred to as the body’s ‘second brain’ and has a huge effect on mood, immunity, and hormones. For parents, I encourage them to focus on ensuring their kids eat a variety of different nutrients, not just the main food groups. Prebiotics are incredible for supporting the gut, so coconut yoghurt, kimchi and kombucha are some delicious items to introduce into your household. I found for my kids (and now my grandkids), limiting sugar intake also makes a huge difference. Your dentist may have told you that the bad bacteria in your mouth loves sugar which is why an increase in sugar can lead to an increase in cavities, and the same goes for your gut. The harmful bacteria in your gut thrives off a high sugar diet so reducing sugar intake can help to rebalance your microbiome.
For boys, zinc also allows for better testosterone transition. Shellfish, legumes like chickpeas and lentils, and pumpkin or sesame seeds are high in zinc.
I won’t lie, having three children go through puberty in succession had its challenges. I love my kids and remember wishing I could make that time easier on them (for their sakes as much as my own!), which is one of the reasons I started Happy Healthy You and worked with experts to create natural products like Happy Hormones for women and Happy Calm for all, which can help teens and parents balance hormones and relieve mild anxiety, stress and sleeplessness.
Hormones have a big influence on how we function so it’s important to manage them the best way possible. For me, natural alternatives help ensure our bodies naturally balance our hormone levels.