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Teen Health

Features Related to Teen Health

  1. Period Problems

      It’s a rare woman who gets through her life without a cramp, pain, or other period problem. Cramps, aches, irregular bleeding, and other menstrual issues are the top reasons that new teenage patients come to see me. I tell them that most period problems start with hormones, which affect your whole

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  2. Symptoms of Eating Disorders

    One of the key signs of anorexia is a 15 to 20 percent drop in weight. So if your 120-pound friend drops below 102 or so, you should be worried. Another sign is bizarre dressing. Girls with anorexia will often wear big, heavy, loose clothing even on hot days. Giant sweatshirts hide their wasted figu

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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. The New Basics of Birth Control

      If you remember nothing else, remember this: If you don’t use birth control, you are very likely to get pregnant. Every year 85 percent of women who have sex without using birth control get pregnant, according to Planned Parenthood. This is like playing Russian roulette. It’s not cool and it’s ver

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  10. Going to Pot: The Risks of Smoking Marijuana

      One of my patients, Beth, sixteen, smoked pot several times a week. Her mom knew about it but was afraid if she told Beth to stop, it would make things worse. “Then she’d just do it behind my back,” her mother told me. I told Beth the facts about marijuana and encouraged her to quit. “The health r

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