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PMS in Teenagers: The Six Point Solution
by Dr. Daniel J. Heller
We often hear from teenagers and their parents about troublesome PMS symptoms. Just as for adults, PMS makes life even harder than it already is, from school to family to boyfriends, and everything in between. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 13-year old girl who is trying to adjust to puberty and adolescence, or an 18-year old girl whose main concern is how her symptoms affect her relationship with her boyfriend or her school or work performance. PMS symptoms can be just as much of an impediment to a happy healthy life for a teenager as for a woman of any age.
One of the most common questions we receive is: "Can my daughter take your PMS Comfort Herbal supplement?" While PMS Comfort and the herbs and vitamin it contains are natural, safe, gentle, and effective, herbs are still a type of medicine, and we prefer to see if girls can get their hormones, periods, and emotions normalized without any medicine, of any kind. Often, this can be done with the steps we suggest, below.
From age 16 on, an herbal solution can be part of a PMS Comfort solution. Girls under 120 pounds can try taking one, rather than two, herbal capsules per day. For more mild symptoms, taking the herbal capsule only from ovulation onward—during the last two weeks of the cycle, meaning starting two weeks before the onset of the period—may work as well.
Before the age of 16, we recommend the following approach to natural PMS symptom relief:
Try to find a way to relieve life’s stresses and anxieties. Girls who believe they need to be and look perfect; who are really struggling with family issues or social pressures; or who have deeper psychological issues relating to trauma, abuse, and identity and security are more likely to experience the premenstrual phase as a time of increased distress. Open, frank, and rational discussions can help a lot. Since these can be highly emotional issues, the help of a counselor or trained pastor may help here
Diet may be more important than you suspect. A healthy overall diet is important, but maintaining stable blood sugar with a diet for hypoglycemia can be especially important for girls and young women.
Getting regular exercise is essential, and actually part of the first point, since it helps to relieve stress and anxiety.
Children and teenagers nowadays tend to get much less sleep than is healthy, which is a source of stress and hormone disruption. There should be curfew on homework, electronic screen time, socializing, and good sleep hygiene. Eight hours of sleep in a dark room is an absolute minimum for growing girls and young ladies.
Try to avoid sources of hormones and "endocrine disruptors” that confuse a teenager’s endocrine system. Conventionally-raised animal products like chicken, eggs, beef, and dairy are more likely to be sources of hormones than home-raised or organic sources. Unfortunately, organic animal protein can be prohibitively expensive, and, of course, teenagers tend to eat fast food and junk food that is more likely to contain these chemicals. This guide to safer household products from the Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia can give an idea of the non-toxic household products choices that will help keep everyone in your family safer and healthier.
Scientifically-proven nutrients can help relieve PMS:
Adequate amounts of all of these nutrients will both prevent, and treat, PMS and PMDD.