Toddler diagnosed with early puberty

A TODDLER from India who was found to have the testosterone level of a 25-year-old has been diagnosed with a rare hormonal condition.

The one-year-old, known only as Vaibhav, had adult-sized genitals, facial and body hair, and his voice was starting to break.

Doctors have diagnosed the boy with precocious puberty, which is defined as any child who goes through puberty before the age of eight.

The rare condition affects about one in 100,000 younger children, with the incidence increasing to one to two in 100,000 in boys aged eight to 10.

Vaibhav's parents noticed something was wrong, but just assumed he was a big baby, his mother told the Hindustan Times.

The child's genitals were growing abnormally big, while the rest of his body was small compared to other children the same age.

"My mother-in-law, who has taken care of several children in the family, also said that his growth seemed unnatural. That is when we took him to the doctor," said his mother.

Vaibhav's doctor, Vaishakhi Rustagi, told the Hindustan Times, "Precocious puberty is traumatic for a child of his age and it makes them violent - his muscle strength increased to a level that even his parents couldn't control him."

Another danger of the condition is that a child can stop growing prematurely, and remain around 3-4ft tall for life, although Vaibhav is now on medication to relieve his symptoms.

One of the earliest cases of the condition occurred in Peru in 1939, when Lina Medina gave birth at just five years and seven months old, making her the youngest mother in history.

-nzherald.co.nz



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