~ Acne in Adolescents

 نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪Acne in Adolescents‬‏
Acne is one of the most common problems in adolescent teens affecting nearly seventeen million people in the United States. Acne is nothing but a disorder involving sebaceous glands and hair follicles. Acne results from the clogging of sebaceous glands leading to the formation of pimples and cysts. The condition usually begins with the onset of puberty. Going by the facts, as teens attain puberty the androgens also called male sex hormones are produced in high number leading to sebaceous glands becoming over active which results in sebum being produced in high proportions.

Sebum, which is nothing but oil is produced by sebaceous glands which travel to the skin surface through hair follicles. But, skin cells block the follicles which results in oil also being blocked. When these hair follicles are blocked it results in the development of skin bacteria known as Propionibacterium Acnes within the follicles which in turn results in swelling of the skin called Acne. If the hair follicles are partially blocked it results in blackheads. If the follicles are completely blocked they result in whiteheads. But if these plugged follicles are not treated they ultimately burst causing the oil, bacteria and skin cells to spill all over the skin resulting in irritation and formation of pimples. Acne can be shallow as well as deep in various individuals depending on the nature of skin and amount of oil produced.

There can be various causes why Acne forms. Apart from rising hormone levels due to puberty it can also be attributed to certain other factors like intake of drugs which contain lithium, barbiturates and corticosteroids. Acne can also be caused due to excess grease and oil in the scalp, due to cooking oil and use of some cosmetics can actually alleviate the acne problem. Acne problem many times is inherited also. Acne problem is worsened if the pimples are squeezed or scrubbed too hard.

Acne can form at any place of the body but they most commonly form in the areas where there sebaceous glands are present in high proportions like face, chest, shoulders, neck and upper back. The symptoms may differ from person to person but commonly seen symptoms are: formation of blackheads, whiteheads, lesions filled with pus and which are very painful and lastly nodules. One may get confused sometimes as symptoms of acne may be like some other skin condition and it is always advised to consult a doctor in this scenario.

There are lots of treatments available today to treat acne. The primary goal of the treatment is to reduce scars and better appearance. There are various treatments and the doctor decides which specific treatment you need based on: the extent of acne problem, age, medical history, overall health, tolerance to specific medications and procedures, expectations and last but not the least what patients prefer.

Treatment of acne is classified into topical and systemic drug therapies which are given based on extent of severity. In some instances the combination of both the methods might be the way to go for acne treatment. Topical medication is nothing but creams, gels, lotions, solutions etc. prescribed to patients for acne treatment. Some of the examples of topical medication are: Benzoyl Peroxide which kills the Propionibacterium Acnes bacteria, antibiotics helps in stopping or slowing down the growth of the bacteria and also reduces inflammation, Tretinoin helps in stopping the formation of new acne lesions and Adapalene reduces formation of comedo.

Systemic drug therapies involve prescription of systemic antibiotics primarily for the treatment of acne problem which is moderate to severe in nature. The examples of antibiotics prescribed are Doxycycline, erythromycin and tetracycline. In some cases an oral drug called Isotretinoin is prescribed for teenagers with severe acne problem which shrinks down the sebaceous glands that produce oil. The results are pretty good and almost ninety percent of the adolescents have success with this oral drug. But the drug has some serious side-affects and thus it is very important that one consults a doctor before use. 



Adolescent Pregnancy

Adolescent pregnancy in ninety nine percent of the cases is unwanted and is the major consequence of adolescent sexual activity, other than STDs. This issue has affected youth, families, educators, health care professionals, and government official. A study on the high school adolescents has concluded that forty eight percent of the males and forty five percent of the females are sexually active. One fourth of the high school students had sexual contact by fifteen years of age. The average age of boys is sixteen and a girl is seventeen, who have had intercourse. Ninety percent of adolescents, in the age range of fifteen to nineteen, say their pregnancy is unintended.

Seventy four percent of females above fourteen years and sixty percent of females below fifteen years have reported to have involuntary sex. Fifty percent of the adolescent pregnancies are within the time period of six months after the initial sexual intercourse. More than nine hundred thousand teenagers are reported to have become pregnant every year in the United States. Fifty one percent of the adolescent pregnancies result in live birth, thirty five percent result in induced abortion and fourteen percent result in stillbirths or miscarriages. Four out of ten adolescent females get pregnant, before they turn twenty, at least once.  Twenty five percent of adolescent deliveries aren’t the mother’s first child. When a teenager gives birth to her first child, she increases the risk of begetting another child. One third of the adolescent parents are themselves result of adolescent pregnancies. 

There are many reasons why adolescents choose to become sexually active at an early stage in life. The reasons can be early pubertal development, poverty, sexual abuse in childhood, lack of parent’s attention, lack of career goals, family and cultural patterns of early sex, substance abuse, dropping out from school and poor school performance. Factors which discourage an adolescent to become sexually active are stable family environment, parental supervision, good family income, regular prayers, connectedness with parents and living with complete family and both the parents. The factors which are responsible for the consistent use of contraceptive among adolescents are academic success, anticipation for successful future, and involvement in a stable relationship.

There are many medical risks associated with adolescent pregnancies. Adolescents who are less than seventeen years are at a greater risk of developing medical complications, when compared to adult females. The risk is even more in teenagers below seventeen. The weight of the child, given birth by an adolescent, is very low in these pregnancies. It is usually below 2.5 kilogram. The rate of neonatal birth is also three times greater in adolescents, when compared to adults. Other problems caused by adolescent pregnancies are prematurity of the child, birth of underweight child, poor maternal weight gain, poor nutritional status, anemia, STDs and hypertension induced due to pregnancy.    

Although there is an increase in the use of contraceptive methods by adolescents during their first sexual contact, only sixty three percent of the high school students have said to use condom while having sex previously. Adolescents, who use prescription contraceptives, delay their doctor’s visit until the time they become sexually active for over a year.

According to a research, youngsters who have participated in sex education programs which gave them knowledge about contraception methods, abstinence, sexually transmitted diseases and youngsters who involved in discussions in order to get a clear picture, used contraceptives and condoms effectively without any increase in sexual activity. The Center for Disease Control & Prevention has said that the solution for unwanted adolescent pregnancies and STDs are barrier contraceptive use and abstinence.


Allergies in Adolescents

Allergies are reactions by immune system that are abnormal in nature to stuff that are usually harmless to majority of the people. When somebody is allergic to something the immune system of that person gets confused and thinks that the substance is detrimental to the body. The substances causing allergic reactions are known as allergens. The examples of allergens are dust, food, plant pollen, medicine etc. The body produces antibodies to protect itself from these allergens. The antibodies make certain cells present in the system to let chemicals to mix with the bloodstream and one of them is histamine. This chemical then acts on nose, eyes, skin, lungs, gastrointestinal tract and results in allergic reaction symptoms. Exposure to the same chemicals in future triggers same response to the antibodies again meaning every time one comes in contact with the same allergen, allergic reaction is produced in the body.

Allergic reactions can range from mild symptoms like runny nose to more severe ones such as difficulty in breathing. Teenagers suffering from asthma often have allergic reaction to cold and get asthma attack is another example of allergies. Some kinds of allergies trigger multiple symptoms.
Allergic reactions in very rare cases in very rare cases also produce severe reaction known as “anaphylaxis” for which the signs are difficulty in breathing, difficulty in swallowing, swelling in tongue, lips and throat and dizziness. This allergic reaction occurs as soon as the system is exposed to substances that trigger allergic reactions like peanut although some reactions are delayed by as much as four hours.

The reasons why people get allergies can be various and one of the reasons could be hereditary but that that does not necessarily mean that children are bound to get allergies from their parents.  Some of the common allergens include food, airborne particles, insect bite and sting, medicines, chemicals etc. Food allergies typically occur in infants and usually vanish as the child grows. The list of food allergens includes milk & dairy products, wheat, soy, eggs, peanuts, and seafood. Some people are allergic to stings and bites of certain insects. The venom in the bite is the one which actually causes reaction and can be as serious as anaphylactic in some teens. Some teens are also allergic to airborne particles which are also known as environmental allergens. They are also the commonest of all the allergens. Examples of these allergens include dust mites, animal dander, mold spores, grass pollens, trees and ragweed. Some adolescents are also allergic to certain antibiotic medicines. Another common allergen is chemical, certain chemicals present in laundry detergents or cosmetics can cause rashes that are itchy in nature.

Allergists usually treat allergic problems. They may ask questions like symptoms of the allergy and whether it is hereditary. They may also prescribe certain diagnostic tests like blood or skin test depending on the type of allergy. The best way to treat allergies is to completely avoid the substances that cause allergies. However there are certain medications and injections are also available to treat allergies.

One can follow certain things to avoid allergies like people who have food allergies that contain should peanuts and any food containing smallest amount of peanuts. Also avoid using cosmetic that contain chemicals allergic to the skin. One can also avoid airborne allergies by keeping pets in restricted areas and away from bedroom. Replace carpets and rugs from time to time. Avoid keeping things that accumulate dust. And also clean the room and house frequently. 



Anemia in Adolescents

To understand what is anemia one should begin with breathing. The oxygen that is inhaled simply doesn’t stop in lungs. It circulates though out the body and fuels the brains also. Oxygen travels to all parts of the body though bloodstream and to be precise in the RBCs I.e. red blood cells. Now, these RBCs are produced in the bone marrow of the body and they serve as boats carrying oxygen in the bloodstream. RBCs have something called hemoglobin, a protein which holds oxygen. To make adequate hemoglobin body requires iron in plenty. The iron is supplied by the foods that we take along with other nutrients. When these RBCs are fewer in number than what is needed anemia occurs in the body. There can be 3 primary reasons: RBCs are lost due to some reason, the production of RBCs is slower than what is needed and lastly the body is destroying the RBCs. Different types of anemia are linked to at least one of these causes.

The bone marrow replaces small amounts of blood is lost due to some reason without making a person anemic. But in cases where considerable amount of blood flows in small amount of time as a result of an injury due to a serious example for instance, it may not be possible for bone marrow to replace RBCs so quickly resulting in anemia. Also, losing small amounts of blood over long periods of time may also lead to anemia. Example of this situation can be seen in girls who get heavy periods attributed mainly to deficiency of iron in the diet.

Anemia due to iron deficiency is the most common kind of anemia in the United States. It occurs mainly due to lack of iron in a person’s diet. A teen with iron deficiency would have lower hemoglobin production and consequently lower RBCs. When the production of RBCs is low the person is regarded as anemic. The signs of anemia are paleness and tiredness. There can be other reasons as to why enough RBCs are not produced in the body. Folic acid and Vitamin B-12 are also essential to produce RBCs. Getting these in adequate quantities is this important too. There can be a problem with bone marrow’s working too resulting in anemia.

Hemolytic anemia occurs when a person has RBCs whose lifespan is shorter. The bone marrow may not be able to produce new blood cells if the blood cells die too early. This can result due to many reasons including person having disorders like sphenocytosis or sickle cell anemia. In some cases the immune system of the body may itself destroy the RBCs. In some cases certain antibodies can form in the blood as a result of reaction to certain drugs or infections and may attack the RBCs.

Teens get anemia as they grow rapidly the amount of iron intake may not be enough to keep up with the pace of the growth as it needs more nutrients in this process. In the case of girls they need more iron after puberty and are at risk due to heavy blood loss during menstrual periods. In some cases pregnancies also leads to anemia. Also, teens who diet excessively to lose weight may also be at risk of having iron deficiency. Meat eaters especially red meat eaters are at less risk compared to vegetarians as meat has rich iron in it. 


Asthma in Adolescents

Most of the teenagers who have asthma are also allergic to many things. The asthma can get severe even if the people with asthma are exposed to allergens of low grade. Allergies play an important role in asthma cased which are undiagnosed. Other factors that also trigger childhood asthma include upper respiratory infections like colds, second hand smoke, and certain climate conditions like cold air and due to emotional physical expressions like laughing, crying or yelling. However, it is not the end of the road for asthmatics as they can live active and healthy if they manage asthma properly by avoiding asthma triggers, regular intake of prescribed medications, being alert of the warnings and be aware of the ways to deal with an asthma attack.

There is a great consensus among the parents whether their children would outgrow asthma as they grow up. But the truth is it depends from child to child. While some children experience improvement in their teens others see asthma becoming even more severe. But almost half of the children who have asthma outgrow asthma as they grow although some symptoms may come back later.

Many parents have questions like whether their children can take part in sport activities. The answer is both yes and no. Some kids may get an asthma attack when they participate in exercises like running. But with proper management a teenager suffering from asthma can actively participate in sports. Special aerobic exercises can improve airway function. This strengthens the breathing muscles. Some of the ways that one can participate in sports is to follow the regimen of stretching the muscles prior to and after exercising, nose-breathe instead of breathing through the mouth and make sure that humidified air passes through the airways. Also parents should make sure that the adolescent has taken all prescribed medication supposed to be taken before they begin exercising. Carrying a reliever is a must for asthmatic teens which would come handy if asthma attack occurs. Asthmatic teenagers should make sure that they wear something over their mouth and nose to stop cold air from entering.

It is not easy for adolescent teens to attend school when they have asthma but it is not difficult also at the same time if proper coordination is made among the teenager, doctor, family and school employees. It is a good idea to consult teachers, nurses and other pertaining employees of the school and let them know that the teenager has asthma and may have special requirements. Also, let the school management know on medications the teenager regularly takes and how to help the teenager when an attack occurs. The school staff should be asked to treat the teen normally once the attack subsides. The physical education coach should also be informed about the condition so that he/she can let the kid stretch the muscles before any exercises or to deal with asthma attack induced due to exercises. Also, before admitting the teenager to a new school care must be taken to check the quality of air, irritants and allergens if any present in the school. The school staff should take considerations to avoid symptoms which could hamper the energy level kids. Also asthmatic teens should be assured from time to time that they are no different from others and asthma in any way does not slow them down, They need this emotional confidence otherwise they may have personality problems. 



Cholesterol in Adolescents

Parts of adolescent’s body are filled with a waxy stuff identified as cholesterol. It helps to produce vitamin D, cell membranes and certain hormones. Blood cholesterol comes from two different sources, liver within the body and food. The adolescent’s liver produces enough cholesterol to carry out proper functioning.

The blood acts as the carrier of cholesterol and transports it to different parts of the body. They are transported in round particle form known as lipoproteins. There are two types of lipoproteins called the low density lipoproteins or LDL and high density lipoproteins or HDL. Low density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol is commonly known as bad cholesterol. It helps in the building up of plaque in arteries and this condition is known as atherosclerosis. The LDL level must be low in the blood and if it is high it must be decreased. Healthy weight must be maintained and exercise should be done regularly. Food items which have high contents of calories, dietary cholesterol and saturated fat must be avoided.  

High density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol is the good cholesterol. It is actually a kind of fat in blood which helps to remove bad cholesterol from the body and stops the build up of plaque in the arteries. The more the HDL cholesterol in the blood the better it is. The HDL can be raised by at least twenty minutes of exercising daily, decreasing body mass and keeping away from food with saturated fat. Some adolescents need to take medications in order to increase HDL. In such cases, increasing HDL can be a complicated procedure and the physician can make a therapeutic plan to increase HDL in the blood stream.

Cholesterol screening helps to determine the cholesterol and fat levels in the blood. Children and adolescents with normal cholesterol level is a thing of the past. Because of the changing lifestyle and junk food trend, even they have a high risk to develop high levels of cholesterol which also increases the risk of developing heart diseases which can affect the blood vessels and the coronary arteries. The main cause of this change is obesity, junk food high in fat, fast food diets, sedentary lifestyle and high cholesterol level in family history. Keeping the blood cholesterol levels at normal is a good way of avoiding high blood pressure and coronary artery diseases.

The blood cholesterol level can vary from individual to individual. Healthy levels of LDL is less than one hundred and thirty milligrams, HDL is greater than thirty five milligrams. If the HDL is less than thirty five milligrams then the adolescent is at a higher risk of developing heart diseases. And LDL more than one hundred and thirty milligrams is dangerous. But a high level of LDL cholesterol is a problem in many citizens of America. And there is an expected increase in number, the figure is unknown, of adolescents who have a family history of high cholesterol levels.

An adolescent or a child who has a parent having high levels of blood cholesterol and family history of heart diseases at an early age, should take cholesterol test from the age of two. Adolescents who are obese also should have lipid test along with cholesterol test. The lipid test shows levels of kinds of fats in blood such as triglycerides, LDL and HDL. 



Common Oral Health Problems in Adolescents

Adolescents face many oral health problems which may require them to visit a dentist or any other healthcare professional. Irregular teeth growth is a common problem and adolescents with braces are a common sight. Another problem is wisdom teeth extraction or the removal of the third molar. Dental cavities are yet another common problem in adolescents.

Orthodontics is a specialty in dentistry which deals with correction, development and prevention of irregular teeth, jaw and bite. Orthodontics also helps to correct jaw disorders and facial abnormalities. If a general dentist feels abnormalities in the adolescent, he/she will refer the patient to an orthodontist. The American Dental Association suggests that every adolescent above the age of seven should get an orthodontic evaluation done. Problems which require orthodontic treatment are crowded or crooked teeth, extra teeth, missing teeth, under-bite, overbite, jaw joint disorder, and incorrect or misaligned jaw position.

To get braces or any other orthodontic treatments, the appropriate age is ten to fourteen years. But regardless of the age, the same physical and biological process is used in correcting and moving the teeth alignments. Braces are also known as fixed orthodontic appliances. There are three types of braces used to move and reposition the teeth. The first consists of brackets which are made out of plastic or metal. They are either of tooth color or clear and are bonded onto the teeth. The second type is the lingual type of brackets which are attached to the back teeth and cannot be seen while talking. The third type is a band. It is a metal band which covers the teeth and wraps around the last ones. 

When adolescents wear braces they have to take certain precautions in order to avoid any more oral health complications. The most important precautionary measure is to brush the teeth regularly after every meal. Since the food can be easily lodged in braces, it is a good idea to brush carefully with soft bristles toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. In the morning, the adolescent must floss between the braces and teeth. Food stuffs which are sticky or hard must be avoided as they are very difficult to remove. Foods like caramel, chew candy, popcorn, and nuts must be avoided. Cleaning must be done by the orthodontist or general dentist, every five to six months.

The wisdom teeth or third molars can grow in people of the age fifteen to twenty five. These teeth cause problem, because most of the mouths are too small to adjust new teeth and hence they need to be removed. If the wisdom tooth has place to grow, without affecting other teeth, they can be left to themselves. But if the adolescent experiences pain, facial swelling, mouth infection and gum-line swelling, then they should be extracted immediately. They can also destroy the second molars and impact other tooth. Various gum and jaw diseases can be caused. There can be a tumor development; cysts development and plaque build up. Hence, a surgery is performed to remove the tooth or teeth. The gum tissue covering the wisdom tooth is removed and the connective tissue connecting the tooth to the bone is detached. The tooth is then removed and the opening is sutured. A general dentist can perform wisdom tooth surgery in the local office using anesthesia.

Five times common than asthma is tooth cavities. The tooth above the gum line is made up of enamel, the hardest tissue within the human body. The tooth below the gum-line comprise of nerves, roots and dentin. Dentin is another type of tissue and isn’t as hard as the enamel. The acid which leads to tooth decay is produced by bacteria. These acids, along with dietary sugar, attach the enamel and eat away the minerals within the enamel, until a cavity is formed. This is known as tooth cavity. The biggest prevention against dental cavities is brushing teeth twice a day and even better, after every meal with fluoride toothpaste and soft bristle toothbrush. Carbonated drinks must be avoided strictly and must be replaced with fruit juices and sugary food must be avoided. Intake of fluoridated water also helps a lot or fluoride supplements can be used as replacement.  


Depression in Adolescents

Depression in adolescents is a disorder which occurs due to persistent sadness, loss of interest, loss of self worth and discouragement. Depression is normally a temporary reaction towards situations of stress. Depression is a normal part of the maturation process of adolescents. It is even induced due to production of sex hormones. Adolescent females are depressed twice more than adolescent boys according to a study.

Adolescent behavior is normally marked with good and bad moods. The transition from a good mood to bad mood and vice-versa, can take minutes, hours and even days. That is the reason why true depression is very difficult to find out. Depression in adolescents can be caused due to bad school performance, break up with boyfriend or girlfriend, and failing relations with friends and family. These causes can lead to persistent depression. Other serious causes are chronic illness, obesity, child abuse, stressful lifestyle, poor social skills, unstable care giving and depression in family history.

Symptoms of depression in adolescents are eating disorders, weight change, irritable mood, excessive sleeping in daytime, excessive temper, criminal behavior, memory loss, fatigue, self preoccupation, sadness, difficulty in concentrating, worthlessness feelings, loss of interest, self hatred, obsession with death and thought & attempts of suicides. When these symptoms are being noticed for more than two weeks, it is important to get treatment for the adolescent.  Depression not only affects interpersonal relationships, but school performance as well. Depressed adolescents are more prone to take onto drugs and alcohol as an attempt to overcome their depression. Such problems require intensive treatment.

The doctor will take blood test and perform physical examination to determine the cause of depression. The adolescent can also be tested for substance abuse such as smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, marijuana smoking, and usage of other drugs. After the physical examination, psychiatric evaluation is also done to understand the cause of sadness, loss of interest and irritability. Depression can also lead to the development of other psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, mania and anxiety. It is also important to determine whether the adolescent poses a risk for himself/herself and others. Family and school personnel can provide valuable information about the adolescent to the doctor.

Treatment for depression for adolescent is similar to the treatment of depression for adults. Along with the treatment, the adolescent are given antidepressant medication and psychotherapy. Antidepressant medications include tricyclics, Prozac, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRI. Some of the medicines increase the risk, so it is a good idea that parents discuss the possible risks with the doctor. Only some of the antidepressant medications are meant for children and adolescents. Adolescents with severe depression need to be hospitalized as they are more prone to kill themselves.    

Family and school support is necessary to tackle the depression of the adolescent. Parents can get their children admitted in emotional growth schools, boot camps or wilderness programs, to solve the behavioral problems. These programs consist of non medical staff and confrontational therapies. But care must be taken as some of the programs can in turn harm children who are depressed and sensitive. Adolescents, who get caught due to criminal offense, should be taken special care of by their parents. It is best that the child face the consequences and learn a lesson from it. Depressed adolescents respond well to treatment if they are treated comprehensively and early. More than half of the adults are known to have depression when they were in their teens. 

Diabetes in adolescents

Diabetes is a rapidly growing, serious health problem among youngster today. Above thirteen thousand adolescents are diagnosed for type 1 diabetes, every year in America. There has also been an increase in the number of teenagers with type 2 diabetes, which was more common among adults above forty and who were overweight. Clinics are reporting that nearly half of the new childhood diabetes cases are of type 2. Adolescents, who are obese and had type 2 diabetes in the family history, are at a greater risk of developing diabetes.

Diabetes is a disease where the human body is incapable of producing or utilizing insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the body in order to get energy by converting starches, sugar and other items. Since the insulin isn’t used properly in diabetic people, the blood sugar level increases. This glucose buildup is found in blood and is then passed onto the urine and comes out of the body and the major source of body energy is lost.

Diabetes is a serious chronic disease and should be handled at proper time; otherwise it can create serious problems. It can pose a risk and can damage parts of the human body such as eyes, teeth, gums, blood vessels, nerves, and kidneys. This is the reason why diabetes is responsible in most of the cases of adult blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputations. And if left untreated, it can cause stroke, heart disease and eventually, death.  These problems are not only faced by adults, but also adolescents who get diabetes in their childhood. The important factor in treatment of diabetes is to keep the blood sugar level normal at all times.

There are basically two types of diabetes that will affect an adolescent. It is type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes affects the immune system’s function as the systems attacks the pancreas’ insulin producing cells, also known as the beta cells. Because of this, the pancreas loses the ability to manufacture insulin. This is the reason why people with type 1 diabetes take insulin everyday. The symptoms are weight loss, increase in urination & thirst, blurred vision, tiredness and constant hunger. And if the adolescent isn’t treated at the right time, he/she can slip in to diabetic coma which can endanger his/her life. In type2 diabetes, the body is incapable of properly using the insulin produced by the body and requires insulin from an external source, too. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes are similar to type 1 diabetes. The teenager feels sick, tired, nauseated, and thirsty. The wounds will recover very slowly; he/she will get infections frequently, will develop blurred vision and will experience weight loss.

Parents play a vital role in determining the problem. They should constantly observe their child for eating disorders or signs of depression. Although cigarette, drugs and alcohol should be avoided by all adolescents and children, it is even more important that youngster with diabetes should stay away from these things as they can worsen the situation. A person with diabetes, who switches to smoking, is at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and circulatory problems. Consumption of alcohol can cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. It is the duty of the parents to make their child aware of the possible risk they would face if they start to smoke, drink alcohol or take drugs. 

Children and adolescents, who have diabetes, face many challenges while trying to lead a normal life. They have to think twice before doing simple things as going to a party, playing sports and even when staying over with friends. This is because they require to intake oral medication or insulin. Their blood sugar level must be checked many times through out the day. Also, at gatherings, they have to avoid many food items. Because of this they will feel different from the crowd and can feel left out. Not only does diabetes pose behavioral challenges, but also emotional challenges.

Along with doctor consultation, a psychologist must also be consulted who can deal with the emotional challenges of the adolescent. The family should also play an active role in making the youngster feel better. The family should work in collaboration with physician, dietitian and diabetes educators. Teachers, counselors, school nurses, day care providers, and other community members can provide extended support and guidance. They can provide help with transportation, mental health counseling, health education, social services and financial services.


 Eating Disorders in Adolescents

Since the adolescence is the age where bones are sprout and grow rapidly, well nourished food must be given to the adolescent to facilitate normal growth & development. The nutritional intake must be monitored regularly and modified depending upon the growing needs. Teenagers tend to develop eating disorders which affect their nutritional health. The eating behavior must be corrected as early as possible as it can lead to the development of complex illnesses. Eating disorder is the third common chronic illness, especially in adolescent females and the number has been increasing rapidly from the past thirty years.

There are two subcategories of eating disorders, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is the restrictive form, where the intake of food is limited severely. In bulimia nervosa is the eating disorder where the adolescent binges on food and then tries to minimize the effects by forcibly vomiting, fasting, and catharsis or over exercising. When handling adolescence eating disorders, they must be handled differently from adult eating disorders. Adolescents face problems such as growth retardation, suppressed height, abnormal weight, pubertal delay, menstrual periods absence, and menses unpredictability. When the adolescent is growing there will be critical tissue components loss like loss of body fat, muscle mass and bone mineral. 

Nutritional imbalance is also caused which reflect abnormalities in the levels of vitamins, mineral and other trace elements. The problem is that these abnormalities cannot be recognized clinically. But since protein and calories are essential to the growth of the adolescent, it is important to trace their abnormalities. Because of the problems, healthy adulthood is not a possible thing. Because of all these reasons, it is important to diagnose adolescence eating disorders as early as possible. Eating disorders give rise to peak bone mass impaired acquisition in case of adolescents. When they turn into adults, this problem aggravates to osteoporosis. Even internal organs get affected due to eating disorders.  All this can be prevented by early intervention so as to limit, prevent and ameliorate medical complications, which can turn become life threatening.

Adolescents who practice unhealthy weight control practices and are obsessive about figure, weight, food or exercise should be treated clinically. Not only should the symptoms be checked, but their duration, intensity and frequency should also be checked. Although most of the physical complications caused due to eating disorders get solved with the help of nutritional rehabilitation some of the conditions become irreversible and the long term consequences of this are very dangerous.  It is best if the eating disorders are recognized in the early stages as it won’t result in irreparable damage. The medical monitoring should be pursued till the adolescent returns back to appropriate psychological and medical health. 

Eating disorders not only result in physical abnormalities, but also psychological abnormalities. Adolescents with eating disorders take onto social isolation, low self esteem, affective disorders, low self concept, substance abuse, anxiety, and depression. Usually adolescents switch to unhealthy eating habits because of depression and lack of knowledge about affective techniques to lose weight. So the patients who are being treated for eating disorders must also be treated for psychiatric illness, if they have any. Even if the habits doesn’t fit the strict criteria, adolescents who limit food intake, binge, vomit or purge accompanied with or without harsh weight loss, should be monitored because of the involvement of risk of even death. Early treatment will have an improved outcome. But the level of intervention in adolescents should be less when compared to adults.  

Eye problems and injuries in Adolescents

Every year more than one million people get eye injuries, out of which ninety percent are preventable if safety eyewear is used. One hundred and twenty five thousand eye injury cases are caused by household products.

It is a good habit to wash hands regularly, especially after handling household chemicals. When using detergents and hazardous solvents, the handler must wear chemical safety goggles. Also, no children must be around while handling chemicals. While spraying, the nozzle must be turned away from the face. Fertilizers, pesticides and paints must be stored away from reach. While doing household activities proper protective gears such as goggles, gloves, boots and helmet should be worn, if required. The house must be illuminated adequately to avoid accidents in the dark. Stairs should also be illuminated and the rails must also be installed. The instructions for opening the tops of bottles must be read carefully to avoid them from popping and injuring other people. Children and adolescents should read instructions before handling operating equipment before playing games. All power equipment must be installed with guards. While playing outside, the eyes must be protected by UV protective goggles and it is a bad idea to look at the sun directly.

Precautions should not only be taken indoors, but outdoors too. This is because; more than forty thousand people get eye injuries outdoors. Ninety nine percent of the injuries are caused while playing sports. So it is necessary for the youngsters to wear protective eyewear while playing sports or when involved in outdoor recreational activities. A special helmet is designed with wire shield or polycarbonate face mask which is not only safe, but comfortable, too. Protective eyewear should also be worn while performing experiments in science lab. Fireworks must only be handled by adults.

Because of increasing use of computers, more and more youngsters are getting eye strains. The symptoms of eye strain caused by computer are red & watery eyes, focusing problems, aching & tired eyelids, eye muscle spasm, backache and headache. In such an environment, eye exercise must be done regularly. The eyes must be made to focus on distant objects and should be rotated from side to side. It is extremely important to give ample rest to the eyes. Glasses with UV shield must be worn when looking at the computer screen. Eye strain can be avoided by increasing the distance from the monitor.  

Eye hazards are also caused when cosmetics are used improperly by contact lens wearers. Some of the adverse reactions are injury, eye irritation, allergy, dryness, infection, and lens deposition. That is the reason why adolescents must be made aware of the risk they will face when opting for contact lens. Girls should understand that they should buy hypoallergenic cosmetics and especially the non-scented variety, manufactured by big brand names. Cosmetics should not be shared with anything else. The applicator brushes must be washed regularly and old mascara must be disposed and not refilled. Eye shadows which are glittery, pearlized, frosted or iridescent contain ground tinsel or oyster shell, which should be always avoided. Eyeliner should not be applied in the inner lid edge. Loose powder should be avoided. Cream should not be applied near the eyes. The wearer should wash hands while handling contact lens. No crying, washing of face or bathing should be done with the contact lens on.


Heat-Related Illnesses in Teens

Heat related illnesses are caused due to prolonged exposure to heat and also humidity without any reprieve and due to inadequate intake of fluids. Kids and teens adjust to the variations in heat compared to adults who adapt more quickly. However the heat production is high in them when compared to adults but sweat relatively less. Sweating is the natural action of the body and cooling mechanism to counter heat. Kids and teens often ignore these facts and do not hydrate themselves enough while playing, participating in sports and exercises.

Kids and teens with health problems that are chronic or those who are on certain prescription could be more susceptible to heat related problems. Overweight adolescents or those who wear heavy clothing in times of exertion also suffer heat related illnesses. Heat related illnesses are basically classified into three types. They are: Heat cramps, heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Heat cramps are the mildest of all heat related injuries and constitute aching muscle cramps and also spasms that occur during intense exercising and also after intense exercising and also sweating in high heat.  The symptoms of heat cramps include cramps that are painful in the legs. Flushed and moist skin is also symptoms of heat cramps. The symptoms could also include mild fever generally below 102 degree Fahrenheit. Teens suffering from heat cramps should move to a cool place and take adequate rest. Remove any excessive clothing and wear or put cool clothing on skin or cool skin using air conditioner or fan. Sports drinks which are cool and which contains sugars and salts can also be taken. Stretching out cramped muscles slowly and steadily also helps reduce heat cramps.

On the other hand hear exhaustion is more serious and severe compared to heat cramps and occur due to heavy loss of salt and water from the body. Extreme heat conditions, inadequate fluid intake and excessive sweating results in this conditions. Also, heat exhaustion occurs as a result of inability of the body to maintain the body temperature below the normal which can deteriorate further and also result in a heat stroke which is even worse. The symptoms of heat exhaustion are: muscle cramps, moist skin, pale skin, nausea, fever above 102 degree Fahrenheit, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, headache, weakness, anxiety and faint feeling. Teens suffering from heat exhaustion should stay in cool surrounding and take enough rest. Removing excessive clothing, putting on cool clothes and sitting in fan or air conditioning also helps the situation. Intake of cold sports drinks which contains salts and sugars are also advisable. If a teen doesn’t show any signs of improvement even after taking all these measures a physician should be consulted immediately.

Heat stroke is the severest condition of all heat related illnesses. In this condition the body gets overwhelmed with excessive heat and the efficiency of the system that regulates body heat goes down considerably which can result in a serious emergency requiring immediate medical care. The symptoms of heat stroke include dry and warm skin, very high fever generally above 104 degree Fahrenheit, increased heart rate, appetite loss, nausea, headache, vomiting, fatigue, agitation, confusion, stupor, seizures, coma and possible death. A teenager experiencing symptoms of heat stroke should stay in a cool place and have adequate rest. Heat stroke is a serious condition and emergency attention should be sought by calling 911. In the meanwhile the affected teenager should be made free of excessive clothing and should be worn with cool clothes and also put cool water on the skin to lower the temperature. Placing ice bags in armpits also helps. Make the teenager drink cool drinks if the teenager is alert.

Heat strokes are very much preventable if certain precautions are taken like drinking adequate water during hot days, avoiding alcoholic and caffeine drinks, wearing light clothes, exercising in cooler time of the day, wearing sunglasses and hat, using umbrella on a hot day, applying sun cream with a spf of at least 15 etc.

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