As people’s bodies change and grow during adolescence, it’s not surprising that they might experience new health issues. So if you’re in your teenage years or you have a child that is, you should know about a few of the most common health conditions diagnosed during adolescence—and how you can prevent or treat them:
For many people, acne is a fact of life. Most often appearing during adolescence, acne is caused by a combination of factors, including hormone levels, stress, and genetics. While acne can be frustrating and even painful, there are several treatments available that can help to clear up breakouts.
Over-the-counter products containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid are often effective at reducing the size and severity of pimples. For more stubborn cases, prescription medications may be necessary. Regardless of the approach taken, it is essential to be patient; treating acne can take time, and some trial and error may be required to find the right product or combination of products for your skin type.
Many teens suffer from anxiety, which can manifest as chronic worry, panic attacks, or social anxiety. While some stress is normal during adolescence, excessive anxiety can interfere with school, work, and social life. If you’re struggling with anxiety, talk to your parents or a trusted adult about getting help from a therapist or counselor. There are also many helpful books and online resources about managing anxiety.
Depression is a severe condition that goes beyond feeling “sad” or “down.” Symptoms of depression can include changes in sleep or appetite, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, and difficulty concentrating. If you think you might be depressed, it’s important to tell your parents or another adult so you can get help from a mental health professional. Therapy and medication are both effective treatment options for depression.
Eating disorders are a severe problem among adolescents. They are characterized by an abnormal preoccupation with food and weight. An adolescent with an eating disorder may become fixated on counting calories, fat grams, and carbohydrates. They may also exercise excessively or purge after eating.
Eating disorders can have serious consequences, both physical and emotional. Adolescents with eating disorders are at risk for malnutrition, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and even death. Emotionally, eating disorders can lead to anxiety, depression, and social isolation. If you think you or someone you know may have an eating disorder, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible. Treatment may include individual therapy, group therapy, and medical intervention.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or is unable to produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. While typically thought of as an adult disease, type 2 diabetes is increasingly being diagnosed in adolescents. This is believed to be due to the rise in obesity rates among young people. In fact, obese adolescents are more than twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as those of average weight.
Type 2 diabetes can cause several severe health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. It can also lead to blindness and amputation. As a result, it is important for adolescents who are obese to be monitored by a healthcare provider for early signs of type 2 diabetes. Anyone diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should receive treatment to help manage the condition and prevent complications.
Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine. While not all cases of scoliosis require treatment, children can be fitted with special back braces or even undergo surgery if their condition is severe enough. If you think your child might have scoliosis, make an appointment with your pediatrician to discuss treatment options. Early detection and treatment are vital for mitigating the effects of scoliosis and preventing it from getting worse.
However, if early detection and treatment are no longer options, and you or your child have already transitioned into adulthood, don’t worry. You can still find scoliosis treatment for adults to help treat the condition. Treatment can include scoliosis exercises which can improve your range of motion, posture, and flexibility. These exercises can also help alleviate some of the physical pain associated with scoliosis.
Overall, many common health conditions can affect teenagers—whether they’re physical issues like acne or more serious mental health concerns like depression. But by knowing what to look out for and seeking professional help when needed, you can effectively manage these conditions and prevent them from interfering with your quality of life. So if you or someone you know is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.