Teenage Girls, Hormones and Stress

August 9, 2011 by  
Filed under Childrens Health, Natural Medicine

Teenagers and hormones are almost a joke – and certainly appear in enough tv sitcoms and magazine articles for us to take the state for granted – but could supplementing with natural hormones help teenage girls in particular?

Dr David Zava is the CEO of ZRT Labs and the co-author with Dr John Lee of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer and he has been involved for many years with analyzing and tracking the effect of natural hormones. A particular problem can be seen in teenage girls and came to his attention through a retired nurse who asked his advice.

She wanted to have more information on the use of progesterone cream to normalize cycles in teenagers as she had found that both her own daughters had benefited from using progesterone in the latter half of the cycle to normalize their cycles when they were stressed. The teens are like a pressure cooker and stress is endemic: whether over schoolwork, exams, appearance, peer pressure and so on and often can result in depression and hormone related migraines. She was curious as she found that such stress was often is responsive to rebalancing estrogen with progesterone but could find little literature or information on the subject so turned to an expert for his opinion.

Dr Zava confirmed her own research that there have been no double-blind, placebo controlled studies with thousands of subjects as this is expensive and as natural progesterone is not patentable there is no interest from pharmaceutical companies in funding trials. The trials that are done tend to be small scale and anecdotal, and there are numerous studies indirectly supporting its use. For instance in one trial for a small group of teens with PMS. Half were given progesterone cream for the last two weeks of the cycle, half on placebo, and there was indeed substantial improvement in the group taking the cream. One study showed that in the first year after starting to menstruate 80% of girls did not ovulate, meaning they did not make progesterone. Three years after their periods had started 50% did not ovulate, and by the sixth year 10% did not ovulate. That represents a lot of girls with premenstrual bloating, weight gain, mood swings, irritability and anxiety – all of which are symptoms of oestrogen dominane.

Unfortunately there is a considerable amount of oestrogen in the environment which means that teens and young adults are much more likely to be estrogen dominant – and accounts for the increasing number of teenage boys with ‘breasts’. In teenagers the adrenal glands can pick up some of the slack in progesterone production if it is not being produced in the right quantities by the ovaries, but in a stressed young adult the adrenals will be busy elsewhere.

The suggested therapeutic dose suggested by Dr Zava and doctors in the USA who specialize in treating teenagers is 15 to 20 mg of progesterone cream during the last week or ten days of the menstrual cycle can be enormously helpful. You can find more articles on hormone balance at www.bio-hormone-health.com and if you are interested in Dr Zava’s work you will find more on his website at www.zrtlab.com.

Teenage Girls Obesity and MS Link

November 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Childrens Health


Teenage girls are often obsessed with weight, and a lot of emphasis naturally has been put on the fight against anorexia and false body image. However, the reverse is also flagging up a problem as recent research has shown that girls who were obese at age 18 faced double the risk of developing multiple sclerosis as adults.

The study is part of a very long running research project by the Nurses’ Health Study in the USA and found a much higher relative risk of MS among those girls who had a body mass index value of 30 or more at age 18. They have speculated that it could be related to inadequate levels of vitamin D or the systemic inflammation that is also associated with obesity. Those who are obese are often found to have very low levels of vitamin D.

Interestingly being overweight in childhood did not carry a similar risk, it was the weight as they reached 18-20 that was significant so it’s worth keeping an eye on teenage girls weight as they reach mid teens, if they will let you.