7-year-old Guizhou boy, Junjun, has been feeling unwell in the past few months. His father brought him to Chongqing Medical University Affiliated Children’s Hospital for treatment. After physical examination, it was found that Junjun’s reproductive organs–testicles and penis had developed and pubic hairs and Adam’s apple had grown out. After hospitalization and related specialist examinations, Junjun was diagnosed with central precocious puberty caused by intracranial germ cell tumor.
There are many reasons for early puberty in children, especially boys, which may not be caused by eating hormone-containing food, according to Dr. Song Cui from the Department of Endocrinology of Children’s Hospital affiliated to Chongqing Medical University. According to Dr. Song, early puberty is a common endocrine disorder in children, manifested by the precocious appearance of pubertal characteristics before 8 years old for girls and 9 years old for boys. Usually, the first secondary sexual characteristics for girls are breast development and for boys it is testicular enlargement.
Song doctor indicated that precocious puberty can be divided into two main categories, central precocious puberty and peripheral precocious puberty. Central precocious puberty is further divided into idiopathic and secondary, girls are mostly idiopathic which accounts for 80-90% of all central precocious pubertal cases with unknown reasons, whereas boys show opposite tendencies with more than 80% of them being secondary which is caused by organic diseases. Besides controlling the symptoms of precocious puberty as far as possible, active etiological treatment should also be provided.
Most parents find it hard to detect that their boys are precocious puberty compared with girls. However, the secondary precocity caused by organic lesions may present non-specific symptoms such as polydipsia, emaciation, blurred vision etc., along with the development of the disease. Dr. Song reminded that parents should set up a healthy awareness and pay attention to their children’s physical development. If there is any sign of early puberty in the child, take him/her to a hospital with endocrine diagnosis and treatment conditions and experience in time to clarify the cause and seek for treatment.