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Teen Health

Features Related to Teen Health

  1. Prescription Drugs

      Over the past few years we’ve heard more and more about prescription drug use as a source of serious problems for teens. At one end of the spectrum is sneaking prescription medications from your parents’ medicine cabinet. At the other end there’s “pharming.” Possibly an urban legend, but one that

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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. Surviving Sex Ed

      If your sex ed class is anything like mine was, it’s torture. First, mine was taught by the gym teachers, not by nurses or medical professionals. Second, it was a coed class. Trust me when I say that sitting next to the guy you have a crush on while hearing about periods and erections is an embarr

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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. 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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  7. Smoke Signals: What Your Cigarette Says About You

    About a million years ago—like, in the 60s and 70s—smoking was supposed to make you seem cool, sophisticated, and worldly. That image is total history. In movies and TV shows today it’s almost always the bad guy that smokes, not the hero. Today smoking doesn’t say “I’m cool.” Instead it gives off th

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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. 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. Birth Control Briefing

      Don’t expect to learn all you need to know about birth control in school. Many schools provide no instruction in birth control methods except for abstinence. It’s a shame, because there are more birth control options than ever, many newly approved for teens. Of course, condoms are still the only w

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