Private Ortadoğu Hospital Child Health and Endocrine Specialist Associate Professor Ediz Yeşilkaya gave important information on the subject.
Early adolescence in the world and in our country is increasing rapidly every year. In the vast majority of these children, no cause is found. However, some food additives, insecticides (pesticides), cosmetics, toys and some chemicals in plastics and radiation can cause premature puberty.
Private Ortadoğu Hospital Dr. Ediz Yeşilkaya ”Normally, puberty starts between the ages of 8-13 for girls and between the ages of 9-14 for boys. Early adolescence is the onset of puberty before the age of 8 for girls and 9 for boys. Especially in girls, premature puberty is more common. If these findings are seen at an early age, the pediatric endocrinologist should be consulted as soon as possible.
Why As Soon As Possible?
Because; precocious puberty is not an innocent early onset of puberty, and it may be due to an underlying disease. So the first indicator of the disease may be early puberty. For this reason, it is important to detect the disease early and not to be late in treatment. Otherwise, serious health problems may arise because; If it is not treated in early adolescence, it may cause many negative conditions such as early menstruation, short stature, obesity, behavioral and psychological problems.
Early Menstruation:In girls with untreated premature puberty, the onset of menstrual bleeding occurs at a very young age. This situation should not be thought of as an innocent menstruation. Because studies have shown that the age of menstruation is a risk factor for breast cancer development. It has been determined that a 2-year delay in the age of menstruation reduces the risk of developing breast cancer by 10%, and starting menstruation 1 year earlier increases the risk of developing breast cancer by 5%. This indicates that early menstruation may be effective in the development of future breast cancer. It also shows that girls who start menstruating at a young age have an increased risk of developing uterine (endometrial) cancer at later ages. It has been shown that when the age of onset is delayed by 2 years, the risk of developing uterine cancer decreases by 4%. For these reasons, it is important to treat girls with early adolescence on time.
Short Stature:If precocious puberty is not treated, adult stature remains short due to rapid bone maturation. Especially in untreated patients, the adult height of girls is 150-154 cm and that of boys is around 151-156 cm. In children (before the age of 6) who receive early treatment, its effect is indisputably beneficial in lengthening the adult. Even with treatment, there is an increase in height of more than 8-10 cm.
Excess Weight and Related Problems: In girls with excess weight, puberty begins earlier than their peers. On the other hand, it has been observed that girls who have menstruation at younger ages have an increased risk of being overweight, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular diseases and hypertension as adults. The risk of coronary heart disease has been found to be high, especially in girls who have menstruation before the age of 10.
Behavioral and Psychological Problems: Adolescence is a dynamic process that includes not only physical but also emotional change. Adolescence is the most sensitive period in emotional life. In children entering early adolescence, the risk of many psychiatric disorders such as depression, eating disorders and behavioral disorders increases. In addition, it has been found that children with early adolescence have anxiety and negative body perception compared to their peers.
It is observed that these children experience more psychological difficulties both with their families and their peers. Symptoms such as lack of self-esteem, decreased self-esteem due to his appearance, fear and anxiety about not being liked by his peers due to differences, problems in friendship with the opposite sex, engaging in risky sexual acts and anxiety about sexuality are common. They are also more likely to have bad habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol. In addition, not only children, but also parents are psychologically negatively affected and more worried about their children.
Private Ortadoğu Hospital Pediatric Health and Endocrine Specialist Associate Professor Ediz Yeşilkaya finally added:
Why is Early Treatment Important?
Children with early adolescence have a high success rate when early diagnosis is made and treatment is initiated. Drugs that suppress the secretion of puberty hormones are used for treatment. This treatment is administered as monthly or quarterly injections. Generally, no significant side effects occur during treatment. As a result, premature puberty is an important condition and can cause many problems if left untreated. On the other hand, early adolescence, the sooner it is intervened, the higher the success of treatment. Therefore, children with suspected early puberty should be evaluated by specialist doctors as soon as possible.