Martha Jefferson Monday: Does my Teen Need to see a Doctor Ever - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Monday: Does my Teen Need to see a Doctor Every Year?

Typically, the teenage population isn't spending a lot of time in the doctor's office. They are relatively healthy population, but doctors mean that doesn't mean they shouldn't be seen.

"The reason is that most teenage health problems are preventable," noted Dr. Andrea Tribastone, a physician at Forest Lakes Family Medicine. "The issues teens have are mostly behavioral related - drugs, alcohol, tobacco, depression, suicide risks, obesity, eating disorders - and they are often behaviors that we can identify ahead of time and help to prevent early with counseling and appropriate interventions."

It's recommended that teens see their doctors for a wellness visit at minimum every three years. Doctors can look for early warning signs or symptoms that parents might not see, and teens can respond different to doctors, too.

"I think it is different hearing it from a physician rather than your parent," noted Dr. Triabstone "I think it's very hard as a teenager to listen to everything you parent says, so I think anything that can reinforce avoidance of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco is important."

And, just as screenings and wellness visits are encouraged for adults, the earlier teens get into the habit, the better.

"We are trying to focus much more on health maintenance, rather than treating the diseases once they occur. If we can prevent diabetes by counseling a 13 year-old on importance of avoiding obesity, or proper nutrition and diet, the parents often don't have the time of ability to do that, so it's important that we talk not only with the adolescent, but also the parents about how to go about that."

Dr. Tribastone notes that teens 16 and older do not need parent permission to come in and speak with a doctor about reproductive issues such as birth control or pregnancy.

For more information on this topic, call Health Connection at (434) 654-7009.

Do you have health questions? Starting June 4, get the answers every Monday morning from the experts at Martha Jefferson Hospital in our new feature: Martha Jefferson Monday.

Jenn Downs will meet with the experts of Martha Jefferson Hospital and ask them your questions. You’ll see and hear the answers during NBC29 News at Sunrise every Monday morning.

Submit your questions now! Just click this link and write your question in the email. Then tune in every Monday morning during NBC29 News at Sunrise for Martha Jefferson Monday brought to you by NBC29 and Martha Jefferson Hospital.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WVIR. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.