Certain health issues and topics are especially relevant to teens. The following information is bound to be useful for them as they make their way through puberty.
Urinary tract infections in young women
Most urinary tract infections (UTIs) are due to bacteria from the intestinal flora. The main symptoms include a frequent need to urinate, an urgency to urinate, painful urination and lower abdominal pain.
For first-time infections, be sure to consult a doctor, especially if you have abdominal pain or fever, if you are pregnant or if symptoms last after 7 days of treatment.
If this is not your first infection and you can recognize the symptoms (burning, itchiness, redness, swelling of the vulva and vagina and odourless whitish discharge), you can talk to your pharmacist, who will recommend an over-the-counter treatment. There are vaginal creams, ovules and tablets. Treatment duration ranges from 1 to 7 days. One-day treatments are not the best choice, however, since they cause greater irritation and can often be less effective.
Here are a few suggestions to prevent UTIs:
- Follow certain hygiene measures (always wipe from front to back after going to the bathroom, urinate after sexual intercourse)
- Drink plenty of water to flush out any traces of infection in your urine
The importance of eating breakfast
Breakfast is a very important meal. It kick-starts your body after a long night without food. It’s the one meal that boosts your energy level and helps your body function properly.
A balanced breakfast should include items from at least 3 of the food groups. If you’re not hungry when you wake up, bring a snack with you and eat it on the way to school or later in the morning.
Supplements are not necessary if your overall health is good. It is better to get all the essential nutrients from your diet. And remember that there’s no magic pill to replace a meal!
Examples of a complete breakfast:
- Yogurt + fruit + whole-grain cereal
- Toast or English muffin + cheese or peanut butter + a glass of natural juice
- Smoothies: a mix of yogurt, silk tofu or milk + fruit = a healthy, thirst-quenching option!
Weight loss products
There are no magic pills to lose weight. In fact, over-the-counter weight loss products can actually be dangerous. Some contain laxatives that cause dependency involving the bowels or problems absorbing nutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.). Other products can lead to heart palpitations.
The best way to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight at any age is to have a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and get regular exercise.
Over-the-counter pregnancy tests
All store-bought pregnancy tests have been approved and are effective at detecting the presence of the pregnancy hormone in a woman’s or young woman’s urine.
A positive urine test always indicates pregnancy, but a negative result cannot completely rule out pregnancy. That’s why you should take a second test a few days after your period was due.
The time at which you take the test can affect the results. It is best to wait one day after your missed period. Using the morning urine is also recommended, because it is more concentrated (and generally contains a higher quantity of pregnancy hormone).