What were the biggest medical concerns during puberty for you or your child?
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What are the medical concerns associated with normal puberty?
is a normal condition and not an illness, many medical conditions and illnesses
may first appear during puberty. Some conditions potentially associated with
puberty include the following:
Acne: Acne is an inflammation of the sebaceous glands and hair follicles of
the skin, which is most pronounced on the face but may occur on the neck, back, chest, or other areas. The hormonal changes in puberty
lead to the development of acne in many adolescent boys and girls.
Gynecomastia: Gynecomastia is the term used to describe enlargement of the male
breasts. The hormonal changes of puberty can cause a transient gynecomastia in
normal boys that typically lasts for six to 18 months. Pubertal gynecomastia
occurs at an average age of 13 in boys and affects up to one-half of normal
Anemia: The normal pubertal progression in males is
associated with increases in the ferritin (iron) and hemoglobin concentrations
in the blood, but this increase is not observed in females. Adolescent girls
tend to consume less iron-containing foods than boys, and this, combined with
blood losses through menstrual bleeding, may place adolescent girls at risk for
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs): If teens become sexually active
at puberty, they are at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
Scoliosis: Because of rapid growth during puberty, scoliosis (abnormal
curvature of the spine) can be worsened or may first become apparent during puberty.
Vision changes: Nearsightedness
(myopia) has a high incidence during puberty because of growth in the axial
diameter of the eye.
Musculoskeletal injuries: Adolescents may be particularly
prone to musculoskeletal injuries during the growth spurt and during growth of
muscle mass. Since bone growth usually precedes full bone mineralization,
adolescents are at risk for fractures. Also, since the growth in the limbs
usually occurs prior to growth in the trunk, some joints may be left with a
limited range of motion that increases the risk for sprains and strains.
Dysfunctional uterine bleeding: Girls who have recently begun menstruating may
have irregular, prolonged, or heavy menstrual bleeding. Anovulation (not
ovulating) is the most common reason for abnormal menstrual bleeding in