Health Chats
Adolescent Health Issues
Tuesday Nov 09, 2010, 12:00PM - 01:00PM (EST)
Sigmund Norr, MDBlank
Associate Staff
Cleveland Clinic
Community Pediatrics, Willoughby Hills, OH
During adolescence patterns of behavior are established that can influence lifestyle choices that affect both the present and future health of a teenager. This is why the transition from childhood to adulthood is so important today.<br><br> Many of the health problems faced by teens affect them during their adolescent years, such as bullying, car crashes, suicide, substance use, violent and sexual behavior. Others may affect the person later in life, for example, lung cancer resulting from tobacco use initiated during adolescence. Often environmental factors such as family, peer group, school, and community characteristics also contribute to the challenges. <br><br> Take this opportunity to chat with an expert on the adolescent years of your child. Dr. Norr is a pediatric primary care physician at Cleveland Clinic’s Children’s Hospital specializing in adolescent issues. His expertise and experience in physical development, as well as, intellectual, and physiological growth may help improve the parent-teen relationship working through this transformational time. <br><br>
maddie577:
Every night when I try to go to sleep, I have a really hard time. I imagine all the horrible things that could happen, and some nights I won't fall asleep until four o'clock. It makes me cry and shake and breathe really hard and fast. It normally only happens when I try to go to sleep, but it's happened in public too. I had to leave to hide in the bathroom while we talked about Columbine in school. I don't think this is normal... so what do you think it is? Should I see a doctor? Or is it just an overactive imagination?
MedHelp:
Welcome to the Adolescent Health Issues Health Chat!
MedHelp:
A special Thank You to Dr. Norr and all members for joining us here today!
SigmundNorrMD:
Thank you for having me, I am happy to be here and take your questions
SigmundNorrMD:
Dear Maddie577: I would recommend you see your physician to evaulate your insomia to be sure there is no underlying physical problems.  Your physician can then refer you apprioriately for your concerns mentioned.
Cherie762:
Why is it teens get Mono, more often than other age groups?
SigmundNorrMD:
Interesting question.  Mono is caused by the Ebstein Barr (EB) virus, the most common symptom is no symptoms and people get Mono when the virus infects the B-lymphocytse in the tonsils and lymph nodes.  The B-lymphocytes produce antibodies. When you have Mono the body produces clones of abnormal b-lymphocytes and teens are more likely to get this because they have not been exposed to the EB virus before.  Its called the 'kissing' disease for obvious reasons
StacieMichelle892:
i am 18 years old and i haven't had a period in almost a year and a half. I was on mood stabilizers for awhile but i figured that was messing up my liver so i quit taking them. that was about two months ago and I still haven't started it. could something of messed with it?
SigmundNorrMD:
The absence of menstrual cycle is call amenorrhea, this can be influenced by many things including weight, exercise and physical and mental health problems.  We recommend that young woman should see their physicians if they have not had a menstrual cycle in over 3 months.  I would recommend you see your physician.
artstinca:
I am 14 years old and my doctor had mentioned that I should get the vaccine for HPV.  My parents do not believe in this vaccine and will not allow me to get it.  Is there anything that me or my doctor can say to them to convince them otherwise?  Are there negative effects/risks to the vaccine that I do not know about?
SigmundNorrMD:
HPV vaccine is turning out to be excellent protection against cervical cancer and gential warts.  There are 2 vaccines which have been demostrated to be very effective.  The usual side effects are low-grade fever, localized swelling and tenderness at the injection site.  There are a small number of women will faint after having the injection.  There are very rare serious complications some of which have not been directly associated with the vaccine.  The vaccine is best given before women become sexually active.  We recommend the vaccine for all young women and also now for young men to protect them from genital warts.
SigmundNorrMD:
Some parents are opposed to the vaccine for moral reasons, there is no evidence that the vaccine promotes promiscuity.  Sit down with your parents and ask them about their concerns.
ChitChatNine:
My 17yr old went for her annual physical.  She gained 30lbs this past year but looks healthy and not obese.  To be honest, she looks better with some extra weight on her.  She swims on the swim team and that starts next week.  Her Ped, however, said she was overweight, is concerned because she's stopped growing and this is her adult height, and wants to run blood work for cholesterol, CBC, etc., since it's been 10 yrs since routine blood has been done.  My daughter if horribly afraid of bloodwork - beyond the "I'm scared" of needles - how necessary is bloodwork needed at age 17 if all else is in excellent health?
mdebski:
what is a good age to begin working out? What should I do and how often should i do it?
SigmundNorrMD:
Obesity has become one of our nationals top health problems.  Your pediatrician is wise to address this problem early before your daughters weight becomes a serious issue.  Perhaps your physician is concerned about underlying health problems that would cause such a rapid weight gain in 1 year. Talk to your pediatrician about prescribing an numbing cream to be used before the blood test and come prepared to give your daughter a lot of support
MedHelp:
We apologize about the delay in responses, we are having some technical issues.
SigmundNorrMD:
It is OK to start a low level exercise and weight lifting program even if a child has not started puberty.  However the weights must be kept very light. Any weight lifting should be done under supervision.  Once a child starts puberty a weight lifting program should be supervised by a knowledgable coach. It OK to exercise everyday as long as you vary your exercise program.
cnord29:
My son is a freshman in high school and gets really stressed out during finals.  So much so that he give himself diarrhea.  I am worried about him.  Is that a normal side effect from stress?  Is he in jeopardy of getting an ulcer or something worse?
SigmundNorrMD:
Stress can certainly cause diarrhea and can cause a variety of other symptoms.  He should see a counselor or his pediatrician if he is having such difficulty with stress related symptoms.
lorr29:
Can scar tissue from pyloric stenosis cause acid reflux/gerd as an adult?  My son has been having problems for a couple years.  He is 24 and had his surgery at 6 weeks?
SigmundNorrMD:
I am not aware of repair of pyloric stenosis being a cause of GERD.  Chronic GERD can lead to serious damage to the esophagus and needs to be address by your son's physician
SeatownHero:
When is the right time to transition away from my daughter's Pediatrician?
SigmundNorrMD:
Great question.  Many pediatricians will see their patients until 21 years of age or older.  The decision to transition to family or internal medicine is best made in consultation with your pediatrician respecting the needs of your daughter. Some pediatricians will manage routine GYN issues, but some would prefer to refer to OB/GYNs.  I like seeing my patients until they are 23 years old.
malik92:
im 18 and my hight is 4'10 i want to grow taller is there anyway i can do that? what determines height?
SigmundNorrMD:
Short stature is related to family height and can be caused by a number of medical and genetic problems.  At 18 years of age, it is unlikely that there is anything to do to help you grow taller.  However, you may want to see a pediatric endocrinologist to be sure there are no other problems about which you need to be aware.
victoriasf:
I am 16 years old, very active and in great shape.  I sometimes have tightness/sharp pains in my chest when I take deep breaths.  It does not happen often, maybe 3 times a year.  I usually lay down for a few minutes and breath slowly.  Is there any explanation for this?
SigmundNorrMD:
If you are having chest pains infrequently and very short periods of time with a deep breath, it is unlikely that there is any serious underlying problem.  However, please see your physician to be sure there is no serious problems.  Chest pains with exercise could be related to the heart or lungs and needs to be evaulated promptly by your doctor.
Abuela35:
Sorry, my question is can a 15 year old take protein supplements. He is very slim and short for his age and
SigmundNorrMD:
Protein supplements in moderation are unlikely to cause any harm. However, they are unlikely to help put on weight or build muscle mass.  Large amounts of protein supplements can cause problems.  If your son is very short and has not started through puberty he should be seen by his doctor.
Arei:
My 15 year old neighbor has been complaining of severe headaches and pressure under her eyes.  She has the taste of blood in her mouth often and last year she vomited a HUGE blood clot.  She was taken to the public clinic in town and they told her to take claritin and that it was normal and probably a sinus issue.  They also refused an MRI b/c she didnt have enough symptoms to refer her.  I feel her pain level when good is 5-6 but when its bad its about an 8.  Shoulkd she go to the nearest ER?
SigmundNorrMD:
Anyone who is having the worst headache ever should be evaulated promptly in the ER.  I would recommend that your neighbor see her pediatrician for a second opinion.
nickii11:
hii .. well idk if im considered an adolescent .. but im 19 yrs old and i have been having some problems with my health lately with my bowel movements even since i had 2 weeks of non stop fast food ... i ate it for literally 2 weeks and a half and ever since then ive been constipated and just not my usual .. if that makes sense .. ive been to my doctor, had bloodwork and an ultrasound done .. everything was great .. by the way i have no pain anywhere and no blood from either end .. just so you know .. he told me i need time to get back to a normal state because all the fast food intake through my GI system out of wack .. but i wanted to know .. what can i do? how long will it take? was it the fast food that caused this? and will i ever get better ... thank you