Why Adolescence Requires Its Own Specialty
Adolescence is actually a period of a person’s life that embraces the period from childhood to adulthood. According to the World Health Organization, adolescence typically involves people between 10 and 19 years old. During this period, a child first of all becomes a teenager and then a young person. It means that adolescence is loaded with incredible changes which touch on all the spheres of an adolescent’s life.
The question is not just about the very noticeable puberty changes in the physical appearance of the body. However, even more fundamental changes happen in emotional and social spheres in each yearstaday’s child.
The new challenges are exciting but at the same time frightening for the adolescents who learn to take own appearance correctly, take the best fat burner for men, get to know how to build relationship, concern about career prospects or even want to create own family.
That’s why adolescence demands own specialty which covers all the mentioned issues. And this specialty is much broader than just health care.
What Is Adolescent Medicine?
Adolescent medicine is a special subspecialty of pediatrics focused on diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions in adolescents. Adolescent medicine doctors are in most cases pediatricians who wish to specialize in treating teenagers and young adults as the major age group of their professional medical interest.
Adolescent medicine not only encompasses the health of adolescents. It thoroughly investigates this transition period in each person’s life to find out and appraise how strongly and to what extent the environment such as family and community may influence the way adolescents go through adolescence.
So, the adolescent medicine doctors are engaged not just in the solution of medical issues.
These doctors also help adolescents cope with their relationship with the parents as well as support the adolescents’ emotional and mental health. In addition, the adolescent medicine doctors directly and closely cooperate with the adolescents’ parents assisting them in better understanding of their children during their growing-up. With the aid of these doctors, the parents may more effectively help their adolescents make the right medical decisions, get acquainted with all nuances of healthcare system, and promote the development of healthy habits.
Who Is an Adolescent Health Specialist?
Adolescent health specialist is a doctor who is concerned with the provision of healthcare services to the adolescents. The adolescent doctors must finish a medical school, studying there for no less than 4 years. This education has to be continued with a 3-year long internal medicine residency, family practice, and general pediatric training.
If the pediatricians want to practice in adolescent medicine, they have to undergo a fellowship training by specializing in adolescent health care.
The teenagers are nowadays dealing with numerous challenges in their academic and social life as well as run the increased risks of suffering from dangerous behaviors, unhealthy habits, excessive weight, problem of choosing the best natural appetite suppressants that work, and dangerous medical conditions.
The adolescent doctors have to consider all these issues very attentively in order to help the teenagers and young adults to effectively and safely resolve such issues.
The adolescent health specialists train and practice to satisfy the adolescents’ both physical and psychological health care demands, ranging from vaccination and regular physical check-ups to mental state and sexual health.
What Kind of Health Care Do Adolescent Doctors Provide?
The adolescent doctors ensure that the teenagers and young adults get an access to the proper health care and treatment, engaging the highly competent solutions for a large number of diseases and medical issues.
Thus, the adolescent doctors provide the healthcare services in the following realms:
- Acute and chronic medical conditions, ranging from mild to severe diseases
- Physical examinations demanded for multiple purposes such as spots contest participation, admission to the college, obtainment of driver’s permit
- Eating pattern, overweight, obesity, and eating disorders
- Focus, concentration, attention, and learning problems
- Gynecologic, urologic, reproductive health, and sexual questions and problems
- Prevention of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and smoking
- Psychological and mental issues such as anxiety, self-confidence, depression, sleeping disorders, and stress
- Orthopedic and sports medicine disorders
- Acne and many other skin disorders
- Adolescent growth and development
- Different types of pain, ranging from headaches to severe disease-induced pain
How an Adolescent Medicine Doctor and a Pediatrician Visit Differ?
The adolescent medicine primarily highlights the adolescent’s psychological well-being since the conditions are created specifically for young adults. For adolescents, it’s always important to know that they keep a hold of situation. This is taken into consideration while arranging an adolescent medicine doctor’s consultation. The adolescent patients are incited into discussing absolutely all topics regardless of how intimate they are.
The duration of adolescent medicine doctor visits exceeds the duration of ordinary pediatrician visits. Thus, the normal adolescent doctor visits last approximately 30 minutes while the usual pediatrician’s consultation is no longer than 15 to 20 minutes. Due to this, an adolescent and a healthcare provider are not restricted in time for the discussion of all the issues like weight loss, intake of natural diet pills and others, which bother an adolescent.
The adolescent medicine doctor visit typically consists of two parts. Particularly, one part implies the presence of an adolescent’s parent, while the second part means the presence of an adolescent only. The adolescent may decide to also go to the adolescent doctor even without the parents. This is helpful for the adolescents who in such a way learn how to keep medical records on their own, clarify the issues they worry about, and many others.
It’s a frequent practice when the adolescent patients are asked to fill out a special questionnaire where they tell not only about the medical problems, but also about their life. This enables the adolescent medicine doctors to better understand their patients and hence more effectively resolve their problems.
The adolescent medicine doctor’s appointment is very reasonable if the adolescent is embarrassed about telling the parents about some crucial and often vitally important issues such as drugs, testosterone booster supplements, emotions, relationship and sex problems, and prevention of unintended pregnancy.
During the consultation, the adolescent medicine doctors play a role of the competent and knowledgeable specialists who can be trusted and whose opinion should be considered.
The adolescent medicine doctors never declaim against their patients as well as are respectful and tolerant towards all adolescents. The young adults often suffer from misunderstandings and lack of attention they have to combat every day in all spheres of their life. However, the adolescent medicine doctors do their best to ethically demonstrate that each feeling of each adolescent is very significant.
When to See an Adolescent Medicine Doctor?
Depending on a particular case, a teenager can visit an adolescent medicine doctor either as a primary care physician or as specialized medical expert.
Each adolescent who has a need the adolescent medicine doctor’s assistance can take advantage of the medical services provided by this healthcare practitioner. However, there are the young adults who can have even greater advantages from consulting this kind of doctor. These groups of adolescents are as follows:
- Adolescents who suffer from chronic health issues: Sooner or later, these teenagers start thinking about sexual and fertility aspects of their life which all other their agemates face. These adolescents want to expect from their health in the future, especially when planning serious relationship or starting a family.
In some cases, the chronic medical conditions are accompanied with the need for carb blockers recommended by the highly professional adolescents. In this case, the adolescent medicine doctor is an experienced specialist who the adolescent can always rely on.
- Young adolescent parents: These young parents need special support and attention since the adolescents are lacking still lacking required experience and should get timely and competent doctor’s advice. Also, the adolescent medicine doctors can simultaneously check the health of both the adolescent parents and their children. In such a way, the young adults can save time and avoid visiting different healthcare providers.
- Young adults in difficult straits: This refers to the adolescents who suffer from family violence, drug abuse, sex assault, mental disorders, drug and alcohol abuse or find themselves in other inadmissible circumstances which demand urgent resolution.
Some groups of adolescents should visit the adolescent medicine doctors as the specialized medical experts in the following cases:
- Too early, too late, or abnormal puberty period
- Serious overweight, obesity, and eating disorder with the necessity to follow low carb diets and undergo pharmaceutical treatment
- Diagnosis and treatment of sexual and reproductive health issues
- Non-surgical sports medicine problems
Eating Disorders in Adolescence
Eating disorders are especially widespread in adolescence. That’s why adolescent medicine keeps a close eye on such disorders. The nutritional requirements during puberty are very different due to the different activity needs. Some physically active adolescents and young adults who go in for sports and use HGH supplements may need a truly high-calorie nutrition plan. At the same time, the other teenagers may have sedentary lifestyle habits accompanied with calorie surplus which is further transformed into overweight or even obesity. This is when the risk of developing eating disorders is enormously high in adolescents.
Bulimia and anorexia nervosa belong to eating disorders which mainly occur in teenagers and young adults due to numerous social, psychological, and biological reasons. The adolescents are too much bothered with how they look and how other people, especially peers perceive them. They are afraid of being overweight and hence rejected and ridiculed by peers.
Anorexia nervosa implies that the adolescents have a negative body image which mean total dissatisfaction and even aggression towards with the real body image. And the real body image in most cases doesn’t correspond to the distorted, unrealistic one. The anorexia patients are overwhelmed with unbridled dread of body weight increase. For these reasons, these people drastically cut food consumption and even stop eating at all, which leads to the plummeting body weight drop below the survival minimum. This may finally cause life-threatening electrolyte imbalance and even death.
Bulimia is one more severe behavioral eating disorder. It is characterized by the frequently repeating episodes of uncontrollable eating which is then followed with self-induced vomiting. The bulimia sufferers also practice the overuse of diuretics and laxatives. All these actions are done to prevent the body weight growth.
The adolescent medicine doctors are engaged in the solution of both physical and psychological problems in adolescents with eating disorders. The adolescent medicine specialists do medical exams to either exclude or confirm possible medical conditions which develop as complications of eating disorders. The task of these doctors is also to cooperate with parents, other family members and even friends to maximally resolve the nutritional issues in adolescents. Pharmaceutical depression treatment may be also prescribed in this case.