What are hormones? We’ve all heard about them. We know they’re important. But how important? Here’s a list of things in the body hormones have influence over:
- Development & Growth
- Metabolism of Food
- Sexual Function
- Cognitive Function & Mood
- Maintainance of Body Temp & Thirst
Look closely at that list. Now ask yourself. What don’t hormones have influence over? Yet, when we’re sick, we rarely look to hormone imbalance as a culprit. And at the same time, the availability of all-natural & artificial hormones is increasing exponentially! We have to stop hormone abuse in teens.
If you’re any kind of sports fan, you know all about steroids, but mostly in a theoretical sense. They help athletes grow muscle mass and hit home runs. And while that sounds all fine and dandy, the long term effects of steroids are serious! Liver tumors start growing, which leads to liver failure. Your cholesterol levels spike, threatening you major heart disease. In adolescents, it can lead to stunted growth. And while not a physical side effect, steroids effect your mood, making you more irritable and aggressive. Now, did you know that a recent study suggests 4.2 percent of high school males have used steroids without a doctor’s prescription?
HGH became a household name when Lance Armstrong was outed as an abuser of hormones. Often, it’s thought of as a safer way to go than steroids, but that’s simply not true! Taken at high doses, not only can HGH cause muscle weakness that leads to heart failure, but it’s linked with the very serious Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease! And it’s not just about teens looking to enhance athletic performance. Girls use it as a quick fix for what they perceive to be unattractive bodies. In a 2013 study 12% of boys reported having used artificial HGH & 9% of girls.
And it’s not just about altering their bodies. The abuse of Melatonin is growing in teens. And not just by teens, parents are administering Melatonin to their children because it’s an over the counter hormone. The problem is they have no idea of correct usage or dosage. But the real kicker is, Melatonin doesn’t even do what people think it does!
And now, we’re starting to see insulin abuse. Some body builders use insulin while taking steroids. More seriously for teens, however, is the belief that insulin use can lead to weight loss. Non-diabetics using insulin are in extreme risk of very serious health issues, including death, which is what happened to one teenager in London in September of 2014. She suffered brain damage as a result of a dramatic drop in blood sugar.
These are just three common ways teens can abuse hormones. With the explosion of the health supplement industry in recent years, who knows what side effects are lurking in the background. This is why it’s important to understand where you and your children stand when it comes to hormones. If you suspect your kids are abusing hormones, get them tested! It’s better to be safe than sorry.