The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hi,

I just turned 19. I am a male and am 5'10". I think I'm still going through puberty. I am still developing body hair (chest and back) for example. As for shaving I can go three weeks without shaving and only do shave really when I have to for work; otherwise, I could go a month. Some of my friends shave every day and one can grow a full bread within a week. About two weeks ago I traveled and was stopped by the police walking though the airport as they thought I had run away from home and didn't look old enough to fly on my own. During my shift at work we were talking about me getting stopped, and my coworkers said I didn't look 19, more like 16-17. Last year I went on holiday and lost 3 stones (42 pounds) and cannot put the weight back on. I have been to the doctors and they did not find anything. When all of my friends are with me, it makes me feel down because of the size differences between us is huge. Also within the last few months, I noticed the hair on my arms have gotten darker and more noticeable when I wear a T-shirt. Is this normal for someone my age? Also just to add, my arms feel really heavy, the muscles are sore, and I have no idea why.


Answer

Chest and back hair normally begin to show at the start of stage 5 and continue during your adult years. Facial hair also develops more fully after stage 5 and some men grow facial hair more slowly than most. While you are done growing taller, there are still changes taking place. Some you can see, such as your hair, but others are internal, such as your brain functions. I haven't seen you, but my guess from your description is that you have reached stage 5.

At this point in your life, having a youthful look can be annoying, but when you get to be 40, you will appreciate it. Since I don't know what your current weight is, I can't comment on whether you are underweight or not.

Normally sore, tired arms come from building muscles. Have you been lifting heavier things that usual or lifting more often?

Thanks for your reply.

The thing that is really getting me down is the fact that when all of my friends are with me, they all look a lot more grown up than me when I am the oldest one. They are a lot bigger as in larger than me, especially when we are all standing together. Will I eventually catch them up or is it something that I will get use to? Is stage 5 the end of puberty?

As for my arms I not been to the gym in over a year. I do a lot of walking with the family dog, so I have not really been lifting anything more than I would have done three months ago.

All the best and thanks for the help. It means a lot.

Stage 5 is considered the end of your growth in height, but not quite the end of the changes. As I said, I am guessing from your description, which isn't much to go on. Your doctor would be better able to answer the question of whether you are done growing since he can see you. You can also try the Tanner Stage Calculator for Boys to get an estimate.

If you are actually at stage 5, then, yes, you will just have to get used to the fact that you won't be as big as some other guys, though at 5'10" you are over the average male height of 5'9".

The tiredness in your arms may be nothing, but if it continues or spreads to other muscles, you need to go back to your doctor. This combined with weight loss can be symptoms of a serious disease. Things your doctor should check are your thyroid hormones and the potassium levels in your body.