Are teenage mood swings normal?
Sometimes a parent will describe their child (my teenage patient) as a ‘typical moody teenager’. Unfortunately our society seems to think that teenage mood swings are normal and put it all down to hormones. The fact is though that not all teenagers are moody – so what makes some moody and others not?
Are Hormones Really to Blame?
Yes hormones have something to do with it. Hormones however are not directly responsible for teenage mood swings but instead it is the effect of the hormones on the blood that highlights that there is a problem with the body’s cooling mechanism.
What many parents are quite oblivious to, is the fact that hormones heat up the blood. Your previously calm child is now irritable, anxious, may have lost their confidence, may be acting bizarrely trying out crazy make-up, using drugs, behaving in a manner that you simply cannot understand.
You may try reasoning with them but if you knew how they felt you would see how pointless this can be.
How Your Child Really Feels
Hot blood gives them a feeling of being uncomfortable in their own skin as it creates problems with the balancing of blood sugar. It makes them over analyse everything. Everybody annoys them. They are unhappy with themselves. They want to try out new things to make them feel better. They hate all their clothes and only feel good in new clothes – (thought process) new clothes may just make them feel better about themselves. Their skin crawls which can make them want to shower a lot. They struggle to pay attention at school. They may come across as having an attitude problem but in reality they just feel awful. Some days they may feel great and behave in a normal manner only to spiral back to feeling awful again.
You may feel frustrated by their behaviour but be assured you do not feel as bad as they do.
For a teenager this can be extremely difficult to cope with. As a parent however there is something positive that you can do to resolve teenage mood swings.
Take Some Positive Steps to Allow Your Child to Feel Great again!
Step 1. Ensure your child eats breakfast that contains fat, protein and carbohydrates. Forget about sugary cereals or jam on toast, that is not going to help matters. Mood swings can often come from fluctuating blood sugar. Clear signs for fluctuating blood sugar levels are whiteheads to the side of the nose or inside of the nose or along the lip line. Fat and protein slow down sugar from entering the bloodstream thus mood swings can often be avoided. A good breakfast would be eggs on toast with a little avocado or cheese; full fat yoghurt with fruit and seeds; cream cheese on toast; good quality muesli with full fat milk or yoghurt.
Step 2. Ensure your child understands blood sugar and avoids eating sugar on its own or fizzy drinks. Snacks throughout the day can include, nuts, fruit with yoghurt and seed bars.
Step 3. Eat regularly throughout the day. Ask them to tune in to see if they feel shaky if they are late eating – if the answer is yes encourage them always to carry snacks to avoid this feeling
Step 4. Check your childs fingernails. Do they have any white marks? If more than 2 they are likely to be zinc deficient. To check this you can give them 15mg zinc with breakfast and ask them how they feel after 10 minutes. Zinc is absorbed into the bloodstream in tablet form very quickly. If they feel better continue with 15mg zinc per breakfast and arrange a hair analysis test just to check the level of the deficiency. Speak with a health practitioner for guidance on how long to take zinc.
Step 5. Many children suffering from paranoia and anxiety feel much better and relax with taking alkaline salts to neutralise their blood. At my clinic I use bio-carbonate by Biocare. 2 on an empty stomach can make a child feel so much better. If this the case, take 2 a day with water every other day until you check the sodium and potassium levels on a hair test.
Step 6. Your child may have an under active thyroid, this is especially obvious if they have slow movements and thoughts. A hair test will allow you to see selenium levels. 400mg of selenium can be tried and if symptoms improve it should be taken until the results of a hair test has been shown and advice taken as to how long selenium should be taken.
Step 7. If your child has difficulty sleeping ensure they eat something before bed. A glass of milk or a full fat yoghurt can prove beneficial to stabilise blood sugar levels. If they are over thinking 600mg of magnesium can help to relax their mind allowing them to have a good nights sleep
Step 8. If your child feels nervous with other people or has dreams where they feel everyone hates them, these are often signs of B12 deficiency. It is a good idea to have your child’s blood checked by your GP for iron, B12 and vitamin D and take your GPs advice on dosage.
At my clinic I offer advice on hair test analysis.