Puberty is a crucial stage in a person’s life as the body system matures, rapid brain development and emotional changes happen all at the same time.
Alongside these changes are health problems that need attention and proper care. According to the World Health Organization and Adolescent Psychology, these are the typical health problems of puberty.
1. Undernutrition Obesity. As puberty strikes, teenagers tend to be conscious about how they look. An increase in body weight can cause an alarm, so they resort to different ways to lose weight, mostly influenced by peers and social media. According to Webmed.com, American adolescents may be eating fewer fruits and vegetables than recommended. Nutritious foods are necessary for their growth and development and c an prevent obesity.
2. Alcohol and Drug Use. Out of curiosity, teenagers try many different things that they can see from adult family members or their surroundings as a whole. They are those who, after taking alcohol once, never got drunk again. However, so me teenagers turn to drink to cope with the changes inside them, worst if they get involved with the wrong crowd that uses prohibited drugs. They continue to use drugs to fit in, making them feel “grown – ups.” They do not fully understand the effect it will have on their physical and mental health. All they know is that it feels good whenever they are with their peers.
3. Early Pregnancy and Childbirth. Globally, about 43 girls ages between 15 – 19 out of 1,000 gave birth in 2020. Pregnancy during this tender age causes medical complications that may lead to the death of both mother and baby. Educating teenage girls about the repurcussion of getting pregnant at a young age, should be intensified.
4. Depression. For teens, poverty and stressful home environment can trigger depression. Some situations are too much to handle and they feel helpless on who to turn to , or how to manage that feeling of sadness and “aloneness”. Hormonal change that affects mood, learning diasbilities, or physical illness can also lead to depression. Awareness of the early signs of depression can save your teenager.
5. Unintentional Injuries. As teenagers try to gain independence, they try to act impulsively which led them physical injuries. One of the typical health problems of puberty is injuries from driving a motorcycle, and other road traffic accidents. Teenagers were usually tested under the influence or alcohol or recklessly driving and often parents were unaware that they took the vehicle from the garage.
6. Eating Disorder. As teenagers become more concern about body image, it becomes a source of disappointment and even depression whenever their body doesn’t fit to the “standard.”
Physical and emotional changes due to puberty can cause eating disorder as they try to cope with their physical growth and their surroundings.
Getting into puberty phase can be challenging for both the teenager and the parents. That is why a support system is crucial at this stage. Education about the physical and emotional changes a teenager has to gro through can make a difference and can prevent further health problems