Dear Mothers of Teenage Daughters; Please Watch for These Symptoms

I wish my mom or Doctor would have noticed my symptoms when I was a teenager so that it would have prevented me years of suffering. 

It affected all areas of my life. 

I am talking about PCOS, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. 

Worldwide, PCOS affects approximately 1 in 10 women, making it the most common endocrine disorder in women of childbearing age. 

The noticeable symptoms of PCOS are:

  • Excess facial and body hair (hirsutism)
  • Acne or oily skin
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Weight gain, especially around the belly
  • Male pattern hair loss or thinning hair
  • Skin tags
  • Dark or thick skin patches on the back of the neck, in the armpits and under the breasts
  • Get hangry often
  • Sugar cravings

The symptoms that you don’t see are:

  • Irregular periods
  • High blood sugar
  • Insulin resistance
  • Elevated testosterone
  • Low progesterone
  • Cysts on ovaries
  • Infertility (when they are ready to start a family one day)
  • May be at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and endometrial cancer

For teenagers, these symptoms can be devastating, especially when you are shamed or bullied about your facial hair, weight, and acne. Which can worsen depression and anxiety.

I remember being on spring break my senior year in high school and a boy made fun of me (in front of everyone) for my hairy upper lip. I felt so much shame and was so embarrassed.

Over the years, I have spent thousands of dollars on bleaching, waxing and laser hair removal. Not to mention thickening shampoos and hair products for my thinning hair on my head.

The sad part of PCOS is when your daughter decides she wants to have a family one day and can’t get pregnant but doesn’t know why.

That is why my mission is to educate women and Mothers out there. Please watch for these symptoms and talk to your daughter about them. We as women need to start having more open conversations about our menstrual cycle, feelings, and our mental health.

So, what should you do if you think your daughter (and/or you) have PCOS?

  1. You can call your primary care physician and talk to them about it. But unfortunately, many Doctors prescribe hormonal birth control for it, which does NOT treat the root cause and can make PCOS worse long term.
  2. My suggestion would be to contact a Functional Medicine Doctor, Naturopathic Doctor, Dietician, Nutritionist or Health Coach that specializes in PCOS or hormone health. They will help you manage it naturally through food, supplements, and lifestyle.
  3. If you can’t afford an alternative Doctor or Coach, then do research beforehand and advocate for yourself when you go to primary care doctor. And ask them to test hormones, vitamins, blood sugar and insulin levels.
  4. Make sure you are stocking the house with healthy food such as veggies, fruit, organic grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, nuts, seeds, and low glycemic carbs. Soda water instead of soda. Treats made with stevia or monk fruit instead of sugar. Eat snacks and meals with healthy fats, fiber, protein, and healthy carbs.
  5. Breakfast is by far the most important meal of the day, eat something within 45 minutes of waking up and make sure it includes some protein! A bowl of sugary cereal is the WORST thing to eat. If that is all they will eat, then make sure it has nuts, protein powder or collagen, organic blueberries and/or hemps seeds in it.
  6. Don’t pressure them to work out and eat less to lose weight, that only makes it worse. Women with PCOS need to eat nourishing meals regularly to balance their blood sugar and do lighter workouts like walking, yoga, easy hikes, swimming, fun dance classes or HIIT.
  7. Certain supplements are VERY important to take! Please make sure you are helping them get into the habit of taking them every day.
  8. Practice mindfulness with your daughter. Go to a yoga class together or go on a walk in the woods.
  9. Be supportive and patient because it doesn’t just go away.
  10. Follow a meal plan to make it easier to plan out your meals for the week. You can download one of my free 7-Day PCOS Meal Plans here.

Once they feel supported and start living a healthier lifestyle, everything will get better. The weight will start coming off, the facial hair will lessen, they won’t feel as anxiety ridden or depressed and their PMS and periods should become more normal. Plus they will feel like they have someone in their corner and won’t feel so alone.

If they learn this at a young age, it will make their adult life way easier. Even if they don’t follow all the suggestions now, they will at least know for the future. And they might even thank you for being so supportive and understanding of them someday.

Xo,

Melissa

 

 

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