Just when you thought you had got your child’s allergies under control, along comes puberty and everything seems to get worse. This is not surprising, since immunologists have long known that stress can exacerbate allergies and there is nothing more stressful in life than going through puberty and dealing with life as a teenager!
Ordinarily, when the brain reacts to a stressful situation, it causes the nervous system to produce certain hormones and neurotransmitters such as cortisol and adrenaline. If this is also allied with uncontrolled surges in other hormones, such as oestrogen or testosterone, which occur on a daily basis with teenagers, then you have a situation of chronic physical stress, which can depress the immune system, thus heightening the allergic response.
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It is fairly common for teenagers to have rapid mood swings, disrupted sleep patterns, tension headaches and, sometimes, display unexplained aggression. These are all signs of hormonal disruptions and the body reacting to what it perceives as a stress situation. Research has shown that teenage girls, particularly, can suffer heightened allergy responses in the week leading up to their period. Premenstrual tension or syndrome is caused by a change in hormones leading up to menstruation and it is during that time that a girl will often have more frequent or severe asthma attacks, for example.
Stress At School
Parents often find out that their teenager is having problems at school, either with tough school work, peer pressure or bullying, when their child begins to display a heightened allergy response in the form of Asthma Attacks, breakouts of eczema, migraines or stomach migraines.
Other Physical Stress Placed On The Teenage Body
Most teenagers are sugar-junkies. Because their sleep patterns are often disrupted, or they sleep well but need more sleep than they are actually getting because of the demand put on their body by growth spurts, they turn to sugar to give them an energy boost. This gets them caught in a cycle of eating a high-sugar snack, which gives them a temporary energy boost and then their blood sugar levels crash, making them tired and wanting another sugar ‘fix’.
Most teenagers have bedrooms filled with electronic devices, like TVs, games systems or computers. Plus, many have mobile phones that seem to be welded to their ears or hands. All these electronic devices produce EMF (electro-magnetic fields) and this constant exposure to EMF can have devastating health effects.
As early as 1972, scientists in the then Soviet Union were reporting strange health problems in workers who were routinely exposed to high levels of EMF. These ranged from nervous disorders to headaches, changes in blood pressure, fatigue, stress and chronic depression. Recent studies have shown that EMF levels in the home have increased drastically, particularly with the introduction of the new digital enhanced cordless landline phones and wireless Internet connection, both of which have very high EMF ratings.
So How Can You Help Your Teenager?
Stabilise The Hormones
This can be done by diet and supplements. Teenage girls can benefit from a good Vitamin B complex and taking two vitex (agnus castus) capsules a day. This will help with PMS and any other hormone swings. Both boys and girls will benefit from capsules that contain Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils. Low levels of Omega 6 in the brain have been linked to depression and anxiety. Trials conducted on violent criminals by giving them Omega 3 oils showed a marked decrease in aggression. Both oils have a balancing effect on the nervous system and, in combination are said to improve brain function generally.
Changing their diet to include more whole foods and less processed foods will boost their vitamin and mineral intake. Offering them a Healthy Diet including more fruit and vegetables will benefit their general energy levels.
Drastically Reduce Their Sugar Intake
Don’t have the bad foods in the house. Offer, instead, fruit (bananas are a good slow release form of energy), dried fruit and flapjacks made from oats (a slow release form of carbohydrate). Encourage them to snack on sandwiches made from wholemeal bread. The three supplements that help to control blood sugar and minimise the craving for sweet things are magnesium, chromium and vanadium.
Remove The Electronic Stuff From The Bedroom
If you are able to do so, then set it all up in a separate room. If that is not possible, then limit the amount of time spent on them and insist that everything is turned off at the power source at least an hour before bedtime. Don’t have electric digital alarm clocks by the bed emitting EMF all night. Don’t allow your teenager to have a mobile phone on and by the side of their bed. Finally, get rid of that metal bedstead. Metal furniture of any kind conducts and stores EMF. Change to wooden beds and chairs.