J.M. asks from Plano, TX on November 13, 2009
Precocious Puberty in 7 Year Old Daughter
I have a 7 year old daughter (she just turned 7 last week), who has gained alot of weight and grown alot this year. (20 pounds, 4 inches, 2 shoe sizes, and she went from a clothes size of 7 to a 10-12) We have visited with a dietician--it is not her diet, and a pediatric endicrinologist and she has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. She has been on synthroid for about 2 months now, and her thyroid levels have normaled out but she has not lost any weight. I think she is going thru precocious puberty. She has gotten a few pimples on her face, she is sweating under her arms, she has some breast budding (but the doctor thought that was fat)--and she does have some fine hair growth "down there". We had her tested about 3 months ago, and the tests came back normal--but I still feel there is something wrong.
Has anyone else been thru this before? We go see the pediatrican on Monday for her 7 year Well CheckUp--and I plan on talking to her in detail--but thought I would see if anyone else had been thru this before?
Thanks so much for listening to me...
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T.W. answers from Dallas on November 14, 2009
I think you ought to talk to her endicrinologist and ask him about it. He should be able to tell you more!
D.W. answers from Tyler on November 14, 2009
It is possible that she is in the beginning stages of puberty. My sister was 9 when she first start her menstrual cycle, I was barely 11. So it's possible. The weight gain can trigger hormones that start puberty... but I do not think losing weight will stop it.
Talking to your ped dr and all will help, then you will probably need to begin talking to your daughter about the changes she can start to expect... there are books that can help and you know her maturity and understanding. Just explain in simple, not too much info, and let her know if there is anything she has questions about she can come to you. Best to begin preparing her now, so she is not scared later.
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D.D. answers from Dallas on November 14, 2009
Yours is not the first letter I have seen in this forum on the subject of early puberty. You are NOT alone! The past 3 to 4 generations have noticed early physical development in their children. Unfortunately doctors are seeing so often it has come to be accepted as "normal".
What is the cause of this you may ask? There are many that blame our environment,the food we eat, and the products that we use. The livestock and even the plants we consume are enhanced with science to grow faster so that they be sold at a faster rate to produce more profit. Well guess what? Do you think that stuff just disappears once we eat it? NOPE! It then becomes a part of us. Did you know there are "meat" chickens that have actually been breed to do nothing but eat?! You could have the door wide open and they will not leave their enclosure because all they want to do is eat. Then there are the hybrid vegetables that Monsanto has developed. These are scientifically spliced, chemically enhanced to produce faster and produce more product. Oh but I must also mention they have an "assassin gene" built into them so that their seed cannot be used to produce a plant. No, you must go buy NEW seed that is for growing from them if you wish to have a new crop. Oh and by the way, it the name Monsanto sounds familiar, they are the company that brought us Agent Orange, and many Chemical Pest controls, and fertilizers you find on the market.
So with all this STUFF we use is it any wonder we seeing early puberty in our children? Is it any wonder we are seeing lower immune systems developing? Is it any wonder allergies are on the rise?
Ok, I have said my peace and will step down from my soapbox.
SAHM mom of three:20, 19, and 6. Home Baker and Candy Maker. Married to the same man for almost 13 years.
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A.J. answers from Dallas on November 14, 2009
My 7 year old has some of the same symptoms -- some of them (like the hair growth -- for a few years now!) moreso, although no pimples or weight gain. I have been taking her to an endocrinologist at Children's for about a year to monitor her bone age, check the hormone levels in her blood, and examine her to see if any of her development is on too fast of a track. So far they are not alarmed, esp since she is not growing breast buds. I do recommend the organic milk, meat, etc. as others have suggested, but you might also check her lotion, soaps etc. for lavender... my husband read somewhere that lavender can cause an increase in testosterone levels.
Girls seem to be "developing" sooner in general than in my generation. It is not uncommon for girls to grow to a size 10 or 11 shoe nowadays and start their periods at 9-10 years old vs. 12-13. You don't mention your ethnicity, but I've also heard that darker-skinned cultures tend to exhibit signs of puberty earlier and that is normal. But don't stop inquiring until you are satisifed that Jillian is receiving the proper treatment. Good luck!
S.P. answers from Dallas on November 14, 2009
What you described is my own 7 year old!
Down to the weight-shoe sizes-up from size 7 to 10/12 and now even plain 12's are better. We've had the beginning of breakouts as well around her nose though I've shown her how to not just get her face wet but wash it with soap and washcloth which has helped.
I introduced her to deoderant as well. I've not noticed hair down there but that may be the only thing different. Her MOODS tell me more than anything! She's even done the classic crying for no reason with the response "I don't know!" when asked why she's upset.
We're super careful about our diet- we have been avoiding milk with growth hormones/antibiotics since she was 4. I also buy organic beef though we have switched completely to ground turkey grown without the same. I limit sugar and caffiene is a non-issue as well.
Had her thyroid checked at her well visit but it came back normal. I myself deal with hypothyroidism and am on Synthroid but my daughter hasn't been put on it. How did you manage to get yours on it when her test was normal?
My daughter's friends of the same age are going through the EXACT same thing-some of them began at age 4 (that's when I became aware of growth hormones/antibiotics in milk and meats)-and her best friend even wears a training bra.
I do not recall this happening so early for me. Now my older sister actually hit full puberty at age 9 though I was 13 before I did.
I know my daughter. Unlike you though I don't feel it's something wrong. I just feel it's early but from everything I see this is the new normal for this age group. I may wish to stay in touch with you!!!! Just to check back and forth and for peace of mind.
R.C. answers from Dallas on November 14, 2009
I don't have any advice on the age part of this, but I think gaining that much weight during puberty is not a problem. By 5th grade, I was wearing a women's size 12. I remember looking at a particular pair of shorts I loved later on and they were size 12! I did not think anything was wrong with me. My parents told me they loved me and I was perfect the way I was and I believed them! I stayed around that size thru junior high and then slimmed down to a size 6-8 in high school. I'm 30 now and a size 10 4 months after having my 2nd child. Our bodies start to store more fat during puberty b/c it's got a lot to do and needs more fuel. Continue to search for any health issues, but please be careful that doesn't get communicated to her as "there's something wrong with you." They have the rest of the world to tell them that. Best of luck!
J.W. answers from Dallas on November 14, 2009
I have seen the hair growth with my 8 yr old and she is wearing deoderant now. One thing you may want to change if you have not already done so is her milk. Make sure you are serving Organic or Braums milk. Braums milk is cheaper. They are linking some of these symptoms to the growth hormones included in dairy products.
J.B. answers from Tyler on November 14, 2009
I was a bra fitter for 20 years. In the beginning, a first-bra customer was about 13, sometimes 12. The fast-food industry burst on the scene, and also processed foods exploded on the market. Over the 20-year period I worked in intimate apparel, I saw the first-bra customer age go from 12/13 to 9/10. I've been out of it since 1991. I'd say the 18-year span accounts for the age going from 9/10 to 7/8. There is definitely a connection to hormones in milk and meat. Avoid it as much as possible. That means no MacDonalds! Go organic when you do buy meat and milk. But it's the eating out that does the most damage.
C.P. answers from Dallas on November 13, 2009
I have not been through that but I have a couple of suggestions. organic milk and meats to minimize the amount of additional hormones going into her body. some plastics have estrogenic effects...she's old enough to use 'glass' drinkware. I would also limit her soy intake. Good luck! ~C.~