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Teenage Health Problems and how to tackle them

Teenage is a crucial phase for a growing child. A child acquires various habits, feelings, thinking patterns, and opinions during this phase. Besides mental development, several physical changes also take place in a teenager. These sexual characteristics vary in males & females and become more pronounced towards the later teen years.

Teenage is a transitional phase for a child before becoming a full-grown adult. In various ways, teenage forms the basis for development of their personality. The habits and lifestyle learned during the teen years stay with them for their lifetime.

Each individual is unique and therefore learns and grows in their way and has unique tendencies. Various health concerns might crop up in the teenage years itself. There might be a possibility that these might go unnoticed if regular health check-ups are not conducted.

There is a tendency to assume that a child in the growing years is unlikely to acquire a disease. Still, one should try to get rid of this belief and make sure to opt for regular screenings after discussing it with your health care provider.

For your convenience, here are certain common health problems and respective health check-ups that might be necessary for your teenage child:

Iron Deficiency Anaemia

Iron is a vital nutritional element that helps in the growth and development of your teenage child. It helps make the protein called haemoglobin in the red blood cells that carries oxygen to all the cells in the body.

The deficiency of iron may occur due to the consumption of a diet with inadequate iron or a defect in the absorption of iron in the intestines. Certain signs and symptoms such as lack of energy, fainting episodes, decreased appetite, the coldness of hands & feet, lethargy, shortness of breath may indicate iron deficiency anaemia.

It is recommended to get blood tests done for haemoglobin in consultation with your doctor.

Obesity

It is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions that can affect children as well as adults. It has been observed that children who are overweight tend to develop heart disease and diabetes in adulthood. While excessive weight is something that will be visible to you, in addition to that, make sure to get your child’s BMI checked from time to time.

There are various causes for children being overweight, ranging from lack of physical activity, an unhealthy diet and genetic susceptibility. In some cases, hormonal imbalance is also a cause of obesity.

Apart from required medical intervention, weight loss may need some focused effort . You, as parents, need to make sure that your child does not lose confidence and morale. The involvement of the entire family in regular physical fun activities and following healthy meal plans help children deal with such problems without undergoing any pressure.

Diabetes

Teenage children tend to develop diabetes, especially the ones with a sedentary lifestyle and a family history of diabetes. Some children may require insulin as a part of their treatment, while others may get treated with other medications.

Diabetes is not something you will imagine your child to have. Still, if you observe weight loss, increased thirst & appetite, increase in the frequency of urination, fatigue and irritability, you may want to get your child’s blood sugar levels checked.

To ensure prevention of diabetes, always make sure that your child maintains an optimum weight, has a well-balanced nutritious diet, and indulges in sport or any other physical activity.

Thyroid Disorders

A fluctuation in the level of thyroid hormones is visible on the physical and mental health of a child. Hypothyroidism, a decrease in thyroid hormone is evident in the form of symptoms such as weakness, lethargy, depression, a general lack of interest in the child in physical activities, cold and pale skin and memory issues.

The normal growth and development are hindered to a great extent with thyroid abnormalities with delayed milestones, short height and late puberty. Some teenagers might also develop abnormal cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

The symptoms may not be noticeable in the initial stages, but as the symptoms start appearing, do not ignore them and seek medical care immediately. Once diagnosed, a regular vigilance on the thyroid levels is mandatory.

High Blood Pressure

It might seem like something unlikely to occur in your child, but various studies have suggested that hypertension is as common in children as in adults. The primary cause for high blood pressure is a combination of inactivity, unhealthy diet and family history of hypertension.

Certain pathological conditions such as kidney disease, heart disease, low birth weight and hormonal disorders may also be responsible for the rise in blood pressure. Depending upon the physical condition of your child, make sure to get it checked regularly.

Although symptoms might not be present every time, in some instances headaches, seizures, palpitations, vomiting might occur. In the majority of the cases, it can be managed with lifestyle changes. Medication might be required only in a few cases.

Depression

Teenage is a crucial period for the children as they undergo drastic mental and physical changes. They tend to become detached from their family and seek independence. Their hanging out with friends might increase with fewer interactions with their family members.

It might seem to you that your teen is feeling a temporary low phase. Still, sometimes, it is a serious problem if you think that your child is showing lack of interest in regular day to day activities, extreme irritability, facing difficulty in sleep, difficulty in concentration, inability to retain information.

The teens have their fair share of stress to handle, ranging from peer pressure to perform well in academics, the consciousness of their looks and social pressure. It is crucial for you as a parent to keep an eye on them and seek appropriate medical care in case of extreme situations. In case of a persistent abnormal behaviour, talk to the child without being judgmental and extend unconditional support.

It might seem overwhelming imagining your teenage child facing such health conditions, but it is always better to be alert and prevent any health condition go unnoticed and untreated . Involve yourself in their lives as much as you can and make sure they eat healthy and stay active!

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