39 answers

17 Year Old with Irregular Periods

I have a seventeen year old that was told by a chinese herb doctor that because of her acne her periods are irregular. She gave her some tea that she suppose to drink twice a day and it is horrible tasting, she is suppose to drink it with warm water with honey, but NO-WAY it tastes like vomit.
I was wondering if there was another way, we have done everything else for her acne, and scars, but i have a juicer and we started to juice vegtables and she drinks alot of water and so we have notied a little improvement but just wanted to know if there was a way without going to see a ob-gyn.Any suggestions? Her mom L. p.s. don't want bc pills

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I believe irregular periods are very normal for teens. I know you want to avoid b/c pills but it can really help with the periods and acne. When I was her age I had irregular periods. The OB/GYN had me take b/c pills for only 6 months and everything normalized after that. My skin cleared up too. You could consider it for a short period of time just to get her hormones balanced.

1 mom found this helpful

This may sound funny, but does she have any friends that have very regular periods? Or do you? Because it seems like women who live together cycle at the same time.

Here is my story...when I left for college my periods got really irregular and I was only having a period about every three months. Well, my dorm roommate that I moved in with was having her period every two weeks. After a couple months we both were on a regular monthly cycle.

So, I don't know how much you need to worry about it, it may all work itself out. I understand not wanting to do the birth control pill, but the OB may have some other suggestions too.

Good Luck, M.

I can talk to the acne,

I would suggest going to just a rice diet for a week to clean out the system. Then start adding foods, a week at a time, until she starts having acne. If there is no acne, she can move on to another food. That is the food that she needs to avoid. Then add other foods. Also keep to the fresh fruits and vegetables.

My son's big acne cause was chocolate which he absolutely loved. He finally developed the mantra, eat it today, wear it tomorrow. It made it easier to avoid the chocolate.

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I am an acupuncturist and a Chinese herbalist, and I just want to let you know that Chinese herbs can really be quite effective for these disorders---I suspect that the doctor actually meant that the acne and the irregular periods stem from the same source, not that one causes the other. That being said, the decoction you describe may not be the best way to take the herbs. The Chinese herbal formulas, when taken as a tea or decoction, are really an acquired taste, and most Americans that I've run across do not have the time/patience/motivation to acquire the taste. But there are companies that make formulas into pill form. Perhaps your Chinese herbalist even does this in his or her office. Ask about other forms of the herbs before you give up, because it can be extremely effective fairly quickly, especially in a younger person.

2 moms found this helpful

Good for you for not just wanting to put her on BC pills.

I had awful acne growing up and my mom put me on zinc tablets. They helped tremendously.

I've also purchased liquid calcium from WaterOz.com and I've heard of people washing their face with the calcium. It's expensive to do it that way, but it's an option.

I use a line called ZapIt that I buy from a members only company. It's 1/2 the price of ProActive and it works. My daughters face looks great now.

I don't know very many 17 yr olds with regular periods. Do some more research and see what you come up with. I'd toss the tea!


2 moms found this helpful

Hi L.,
First of all I think it's great that you and your daughter are willing to avoid manufactured chemicals in the pursuit of regulating your daughter's hormones and overall health balance. Like some others have mentioned, it's important to check that there aren't problems like cysts or something, but a good Chinese doctor would probably also detect that in her pulse. Pulse diagnosis is pretty amazing, and Western medicine is starting to recognize how powerful and accurate it is for diagnosing internal imbalances (and sending someone to a Western doctor if appropriate). Chinese medicine considers regular, healthy flowing periods as a sign of health and hormonal balance, and if you start reading about people with hormonal imbalances, you can see it makes sense.
Anyway, I've used Chinese herbs and acupuncture here and there in the last 15 years. When I used to use it in my 20's, it fixed me up right away, and it was generally for just not feeling quite right. Like I didn't have any energy, was cold all the time, sleep was not normal. The teapills I found to be weak, and I usually just took them on faith that they were doing something. When I went to someone who prescribed herbs like your daughter is taking, it was very powerful and the results were obvious and wonderful and I felt strong again.
Now I'm in my late 30's and I've felt run down and depressed since I was pregnant with my son 3 years ago. I've tried all the recommendations of my Western doctors, I eat great, walk a lot, do yoga, and was about to get on antidepressents because I was not able to cope, was having memory loss, inability to think straight, poor sleep, irritability, lack of motivation, etc. and it was seriously impeding my life. Something had me look up a chinese dr. here in Portland (I'd seen the others in Seattle), and a week later I felt like a different person. I've been on the herbs for 4 weeks now and decided to skip the antidepressents.
Basically I just want to convey that the Chinese Medicinal herbs are pretty nasty tasting, but it's powerful and gets your body balanced pretty quickly and in a lasting way (without having to keep taking the herbs). I would just keep a glass of grapefruit juice handy as a chaser. I drink mine down before the taste really hits, and the juice gets rid of any aftertaste.
If you've started reading about hormones, it starts to makes sense how an imbalance will make any number of different problems, but how balance really makes us feel normal and healthy and vital.
Best wishes.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello L.,

I think you should get your daughter into the doctor for some blood testing. She may have a thyroid problem....or as the other "mama's" were saying, anemic, etc. By the way, I believe the correct name for the thyroid issue is called "hypothyroid."

It is so important for everyone to get blood tests every 6 months, if financially possible. I do that in my family. You can catch things that are undetected......the human body is EXTREMELY complicated. And with cancer attacking anyone and everyone, you just can never be too careful. I try to practice prevention in my family.

I wish you the very best to your family!

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Are you opposed to taking your daughter to an OB/GYN because you prefer natural medicine/treatments? Or is this more of a "she's uncomfortable" about going situation?

If you prefer the more naturopathic way--try contacting Bastyr in Wallingford (I see you're in Bothell), and asking for a referral to adolescent/early adulthood service providers.

I do know two great naturopaths in Kirkland who are both Bastyr graduates. They both specialize in women's health as well as family-practices. They work with most insurance too.

You have many great responses from other moms. I hope your daughter gets some relief from her issues soon.

1 mom found this helpful

'might try acupuncture--but find a woman acupuncturist who specializes in women's issues and fertility ... (mine took off on worldwide walkabout, but I think she found a replacement for while she was gone; if you are in Portland you could look up Blue Turtle acupuncture, or there are a variety of cooperative chiropractic/acupuncture clinics and some of them focus on fertility and birth issues) ...

I was SOOOOOO irregular ... really up until after this last (fourth) birth (now that I think of it, it was with this birth that I tried the acupuncture ;), although I was doing it to get labor going before 'time ran out' on my midwife being able to deliver) ...

... of the variety of things I had going on, a cervical eversion kept things confused, probably also hypothyroidism (but I never got the expensive, more accurate test, and the cheap one my insurance covered showed I was "fine") ... if you find a good obGyn, your 17 year old should be fine (I finally last year found an obGyn I liked, Thomas Flath--yes, he's a man, but when I said I wanted to ask questions without the whole disrobing thing he was fine with that and actually took me out of the exam room and into his office (no stirrups etc. to be distracted by) ...

Good luck and God bless to you and your daughter ...

1 mom found this helpful

I strongly recommend seeing a naturopathic physician. They look at the body as a whole and can/will do some tests that will give them a better idea as to where to go. They also use bioidentical hormones rather than synthetic ones. I will admit that sometimes what they prescribe is not much better than tea that tastes like vomit, but you can discuss that with the ND and work something out. They typically have 3 or 4 options for treatments.

I don't recommend using bc pills for acne. The progesterone and estrogen in them is not a bioidentical hormone it is a chemical hormone and can cause other issues later on down the road. I was one who did that and now have PCOS and some other issues with bc pills (I can't take them.) They turn me into a raving lunatic.

I don't know of any in your area but you can check your insurance and see a listing of dr's there or go online and do a search for ND's in your area.

Good Luck


1 mom found this helpful

The best thing my mom did for me when I was a teenager was take me to the dermatologist. I got an antibiotic and it cleared my acne right up. Acne is caused by bacteria. I know antibiotics are contoversial because they make bacteria stronger, but when you're 17 all you want is clear skin. I tried numerous topical medications that only mildly worked, although anything with sulfur in it works pretty well, also from the dermatologist. I have also had irregular periods since I was 13, and it was never an issue for me until I started trying to have a baby. I doubt that's an issue for her right now, so I'd focus on the acne. Good luck!

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