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Teen Health

Features Related to Teen Health

  1. Slim Chances: The Risks of Being Too Thin

    My patient Cindy had always been a star student, but when she turned thirteen, the stress of adolescence became too much for her. Her parents were splitting up, and Cindy’s mother was struggling with self-esteem issues. She constantly criticized both herself and Cindy for not looking their best. Mea

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  2. The Pill: Myths and Facts

      My patient Lori wasn’t having much luck with the prescription-strength NSAID drug or the complementary remedies she tried, so I suggested oral hormones. She hesitated. “This’ll sound dumb,” she told me, “but I really don’t want to gain weight.” “Don’t worry, that’s just a myth,” I told her. Lori’s

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  3. Where's Your Spot on the Range?

    Before you look at the chart below, repeat after me: “Normal is a range. Being outside the range doesn’t mean there’s a problem—but I should see a doctor.” Normal Not Normal Bleeding lasts 1 to 7 days. Bleeding lasts longer than 7 days. Cycles (the time between Day 1 of one period and Day 1 of the n

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  4. What's Normal, What's Not

      Everyday “blues” are like the common cold—everybody gets them, and you’ll shake them sooner or later, especially if your sadness comes from something specific, like breaking up with your boyfriend or fighting with your BFF. Clinical depression, on the other hand, is a major disease and often won’t

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  5. Suffering is Out: What You Can Do

      Even in normal periods, your monthly cycle can affect a lot more than your uterus and vagina. Some symptoms are easy to explain. Cramps, for instance, happen because your uterus contracts when it sheds its lining (called the endometrium)—similar to the way it contracts during labor. No wonder it h

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  6. Painful Periods

      Not a day goes by when a patient doesn’t come in for help with cramps, aches, and other period-related pain. That’s not surprising. Studies show that 60 to 92 percent of teenage girls have painful periods. So if you’re dealing with pain, know you’re not alone. About 15 percent of girls have pain t

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  7. Your Healthy Weight: Body Mass Index

      With more body types than car models out there, it’s not always obvious what a healthy weight might be. So doctors look at the ratio of your height and weight, then compare it to other people like you to see if you’re in the healthy zone. This system is called the Body Mass Index. It’s an easy cal

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  8. Why We Get Periods

    My patient Jolie had heard it all in health class and even from her mother. But she still wasn’t totally clear on why we get periods. So I gave her the CliffsNotes version. At puberty the brain starts sending chemical signals to your body, via estrogen and other hormones, saying it’s time to get dow

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  9. Mixed Messages

      Alcohol is a funny substance, surrounded by double standards. It’s socially and legally acceptable at some times in your life but not others. It’s against the law until age twenty-one but legal for adults. In small amounts it’s not harmful to your health, but in excess it can kill you. Your parent

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  10. Dealing with Friends

      A funny thing I’ve noticed: Although I talk to thousands of patients every year (many of those just before or just after they lose their virginity), none of them, not one teenage patient, has ever said to me, “Oh, Dr. Ashton, I love my boyfriend so much, and I really want to sleep with him because

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