We all know the generalizations about having teens in the house. Specifically teen girls. If there’s one thing that these stereotypes have right, it’s that puberty and adolescence is a roller coaster.

There are lows that can leave you pulling your hair out. That may be outbursts of anger and screaming. Maybe it shows itself as hiding out in their room for days on end. Or your teen may stay up until all hours of the morning, struggling to complete the dramatically increased homework. Maybe their grades stay the same, maybe they falter and drop, or maybe they rise.

There are also the highs–maybe they’re happy and joking around with the family, smiling and engaging like nothing is wrong. Maybe it’s cooking together in the kitchen or working in the yard–they’re actively making time to be with you. Maybe it’s simply a hug or a smile or a ‘thank you’ that brightens your day. Or a moment where the clouds seem to clear and they understand something they haven’t been–with school or family life, friends, or romantic pursuits.

Life seems intent on keeping you guessing which teenager you’re going to wake up to. Things can change on a dime or seem to go on forever before it changes. Maybe you feel the g-forces pushing you back against your seat in surprise like an airplane taking off.

Where do these changes come from, and why are they so different from person to person? It’s exhausting keeping up, and you and your teen both just want answers.

Puberty Means Change

When a teen is going through puberty, everything is changing and in flux as these young people prepare for adulthood and grow from children into young men and women. During this transition, hormones are definitely among those changes. The activity of certain processes and organs are changing, meaning a different amount of these messengers are needed to instruct the body on what it’s supposed to do. The human body is so finely tuned that the sheer amount of hormones and which ones impact what others can be extremely overwhelming.

Because of this, it’s only expected that, as the need for these hormones change, something is going to fall out of homeostasis. The body is made to function in a certain way, so when that way is interrupted, it impacts everything else–moods, temper, cycles, and the threshold of their ability to handle people and circumstances.

Why Young Women Seem to Have it Worse, Sometimes

Women are affected more acutely by more of these hormones, meaning that hormone imbalances come far easier for them, and influence far more processes as well as moods. The good news is that we know the most common cause of hormone interruption. Stress. And who in middle and high school doesn’t have stress? Who isn’t trying to either keep up with mounting homework and resulting pressure, or pressure from friends to do this or that, or the need to fit in with the popular crowd, or wear the right clothes? How many girls feel self-conscious as their bodies change and grow? How others relate to them and how they relate to themselves may have just been flipped, leaving them unsteady in knowing who they are.  Sometimes, it’s all of the above.

Add in the fact that these same hormones are making these young adults notice their peers in ways they hadn’t before. Now there’s the need to impress certain people, the desire to be liked back, all the stress and thrill of dating and flirting as, once again, certain processes and organs discover either a new job, or a new level of activity. With so many reasons to stress in their environments, is it any wonder these young women start to feel the effects? Mood swings, withdrawing from certain people or activities, outbursts of emotion, anxiety, and depression are rampant in our young people today, and it all comes back to the fact that they’re at a time in their life that everything is changing.

Hormones Impact A Lot

Hormones are the messengers our bodies use to tell different organs and processes what to do and how much of that activity is needed. When something is that widespread, it’s going to impact a lot of areas in the body. A deficiency or excess of hormones, then, is going to have ramifications that are just as widespread as the hormones themselves. Many people are familiar with the hormone insulin. Let’s use insulin to illustrate the point of hormone imbalance.

Did you know insulin is a hormone? Healthline explains it like this:

Insulin is a hormone made in your pancreas, a gland located behind your stomach. Insulin allows your body to use glucose for energy. Glucose is a type of sugar found in many carbohydrates. … Insulin also helps balance your blood glucose levels. When there’s too much glucose in your bloodstream, insulin tells your body to store the leftover glucose in your liver. The stored glucose isn’t released until your blood glucose levels decrease. Your blood glucose levels may decrease between meals or when your body is stressed or needs an extra boost of energy.

Having the right amount of insulin in your body is important, then. If you have too much or too little, your body doesn’t function properly. We know the situation of having too little insulin as diabetes. Having too much insulin can lead to hypoglycemia.

When you consider the average teen diet of chips, fast food, sugary drinks and snacks, it’s easy to see that this one hormone can be caught in a cycle of dysregulation. And we haven’t even hit on the biggies of estrogens and testosterone!

The other hormones in the body are just as important to keep balanced. If your teen’s hormones are imbalanced, it can come out in several different ways, including emotional outbursts, withdrawing from those around them, extreme fatigue, and several others. The good news is, keeping our hormones balanced doesn’t have to come from guesses. Just as you can get your insulin tested, you can get your other hormones tested. The results of this test, then, can tell you what is going on in your teen’s body and what hormones are outside of their proper levels.

Don’t Just Fix the Symptom

Hormones don’t spike or plummet for no reason. If your teen’s pancreas is being told to produce more and more insulin, there’s a reason within that is making the body need more insulin. Medically decreasing the amount of insulin made isn’t the solution–you have to follow that back to why the body needs more insulin. Just because something is a cause for a symptom doesn’t mean it’s the cause for the ailment. The cause you’ve found may only be another symptom. Keep following the symptoms back to their causes until you find the real root cause of the problem. The root cause will be one you can fix, like the following possibilities.

Your Teen has Hidden Inflammation

Harvard Health explains inflammation like this:

When you’re injured, this inflammation is actually a good thing. The area you injured will become red and swell as an army of beneficial white blood cells flow in to fight infection and help you heal. The same response occurs in other parts of your body when you encounter a virus or infection. But sometimes this immune response occurs when it shouldn’t. It can be triggered, for example, when you are exposed to toxins, and by other causes such as chronic stress … It’s thought that this chronic state of inflammation can lead to numerous health problems, including heart disease, arthritis, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer.

Inflammation can come from continuing eating allergens, toxins in the water or air or even makeup, hair products, lotions, and household cleaners.

Your Teen is Eating too Many Inflammatory Foods

There are some foods that, even if you’re not allergic to them, only increase inflammation and make it worse. It’ll help your teen overall to cut foods such as processed sugar, dairy, GMOs, and artificial foods like dyes out of their diet. At The Wellness Way, we understand old habits die hard, however, changing eating habits on a dime can be hard. That is why we have numerous allergy-friendly recipes for you to try, and why we suggest using this app to help make eating with allergies even easier.

Your Teen’s Body is out of Alignment

The body works like a finely-tuned Swiss watch–every part impacting every other part. If something in your teen’s structure is out of alignment, it can make things like the above even harder to handle. If a part of your teen’s body is supporting something it was never meant to in the first place, it only puts more stress on the body. Chiropractic adjustments help get everything back into alignment and supported correctly, again.

Just about everything except your teen’s eye color is changing during puberty, and that can be hard. It doesn’t have to be as painful as it commonly is, these days, though. Remember, just because something is common, doesn’t mean it’s normal! To get your teens allergies or hormones tested or get adjusted to help realign everything where it’s supposed to be, contact a Wellness Way clinic today!