Puberty is a natural stage that comes in every teenager’s life. When a teenager’s body starts changing into an adult, it is called Puberty. But the term Precocious Puberty is a condition when this stage occurs too early in the life of a teenager due to various unknown factors.
As per definition is given for Precocious Puberty in Dorland's Medical Dictionary, “Precocious Puberty occurs in otherwise normal children generally with a family history of early onset of puberty. The age range for such individuals overlaps the upper range for those with idiopathic precocious puberty.” Further, it is stated, “It is a condition in which secondary sex characters of the opposite sex are developed.”
During puberty, the growth of bones and muscles are very fast, the body size and shape changes rapidly. Precocious Puberty occurs in both girls and boys, in girls, it occurs at the age of 8 whereas in boys it occurs at the age of 9. The exact reason for precocious puberty is often unknown but there are certain conditions such as hormonal disorder, infections, brain abnormalities or tumor.
Symptoms of Precocious Puberty
In boys –
- Facial hair growth
- Enlarge testicles
- Enlargement in the male breast (Pubertal Gynecomastia)
In girls –
- Uneven breast growth
- Start of menstruation period
Common symptoms –
- Pubic hair growth
- Development of acne
- Body odor
Causes of Precocious Puberty
Though one cannot find the exact reason for this condition but here are some possible reasons that may cause precocious puberty.
Production of hormones – Pituitary gland releases more than limited hormones.
Production of Gn-RH – Brain releases a hormone, gonadotropin-releasing hormone.
Imbalance of Estrogen & Testosterone – Estrogen is female hormone and testosterone is a male hormone. When male produces more estrogen and female produces more testosterone, it causes precocious puberty
When To Visit a Doctor
It is better to visit your doctor as early as your child notice any of the signs and symptoms of the precocious puberty.
Prevention & Cure
Though there are various treatment options that you can approach for your child but first consult your doctor. He will evaluate the condition and if it is not in the dangerous condition, normal diet change and exercises will work to treat it. Also, there are some dietary supplements that are effective in treating this condition.
Patterns of Alcohol Use Among Adolescents and Associations with Emotional and Behavioral Problems – Greenblatt, Janet C.
A research conducted by National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) reveals that there is a significant decrease in alcohol consumption by the youths in past decade. Though despite these trends, still there were around 20% teenagers who were addicted to drink currently and around 8% were the binge drinker. The research shows the data about the relationship between health, behavior and emotional state of the adolescents that aged between 12 to 17.