Turner Syndrome and Body Image

Turner Syndrome and Body Image
Turner Syndrome and Body Image

Turner Syndrome and Body Image

Poor body image is a common problem for girls around the world, particularly teens. Most girls with Turner Syndrome struggle with poor body image. Why is poor body image so much of a struggle for girls with Turner Syndrome, and what can be done about it?
Here are some common causes of poor body image and practical steps you can take to improve yours!

Reason 1. Looking Different
Poor body image is common in girls with Turner Syndrome partly because they might look different than most of their peers. For me this started in middle school, when other girls were starting to mature and reach puberty while I was not.
What You Can Do: Take care of your body inside and out, and appreciate what you DO have. Being as healthy and happy as you can be will make you much more attractive and enjoyable to be around. Healthy is beautiful. Confidence is also very attractive. Different is not a bad thing!
Remember to focus on your inner beauty, and not worry too much about what other people think.

Exercise: Pick one thing about your appearance that you like. (Ex. I like my eyes and eyelashes) Don’t wait until you catch yourself thinking negatively about your body…go ahead and think about what you DO like! Focus on what you have, not what you think you don’t.

Exercise: Take control of your health. Pick one thing you can do right now to improve your health and DO IT! The healthier you are, the better you will look and feel.

Reason 2. Bad examples and associates
For many girls, including those with Turner Syndrome, poor body image can be worsened by bad examples and associates who have poor body image themselves. For example, if you have a parent or a friend who always complains about their appearance or puts you down, it is going to affect you.
What You Can Do: Make friends that take good care of themselves and who do not complain about their appearance. Befriend people you want to be like!

Exercise: Next time a family member or acquaintance says something negative about their body or the way they look, change the subject to something positive. ūüôā

Reason 3. General Low Self Esteem
Poor self esteem is at the root of so many negative behaviors and feelings. Many people struggle with this, but there is much you can do!
What You Can Do: Take responsibility for yourself and chose to think happy and positive things, both of yourself and other people. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel about yourself and others! It is much easier said than done, but is definitely a habit worth making.

Exercise: Give someone a compliment! Looking for the good in others will help you to do the same for yourself and maintain a general positive attitude.

Turner Syndrome and Hormone Replacement

Turner Syndrome and Hormone Replacement
Turner Syndrome and Hormone Replacement

Turner Syndrome and Hormone Replacement

Girls with Turner syndrome will need to take some hormone replacement, due to the fact that their bodies can not make enough of some of them on their own.  Some hormones that a girl with Turner syndrome may be deficient in include:

Estrogen

Progesterone

Thyroid Hormone (if they have Hashimoto’s)

Testosterone

if you are a young adult with Turner syndrome (like me) you may have had a doctor put you on a birth control pill and tell you that it will give you all of the hormones that you need. ¬†However, most birth control pills do not have real progesterone in them, which is essential to protecting you against breast cancer and to your over all health. ¬†I would recommend talking to your doctor about bio-identical hormone replacement. ¬†That is what I personally do. ¬†To read more about all of this, please see my book “As a Butterfly: Turner Syndrome Survival Guide” and read the ‘Commonly Overlooked Problems’¬†section and ‘Tips for You’ section. ¬†Make sure you ask your doctor about checking your level of all of the above hormones. ¬†(I was severely deficient in testosterone, which can have many negative effects. ¬†This is commonly overlooked in women, but girls with Turner syndrome may need it.) ¬†Having the correct hormone replacement will help you to feel and look better. ¬†Your overall physical, emotional, and mental well being will improve greatly when all of your hormones are balanced.

What have been your personal experiences with Turner syndrome?  Please let me know in the comments section.  Thanks for reading!