27 answers

Seven Year Old Girl Wih Hair on Her Legs

Hi Moms!!

I am concerned that my seven year old now has hair on her legs but also her breast seem to be developing. I have had her on soy ( She is allergic to milk and has been since a baby). Just this past summer on friend mention soy has such a high amount of female hormones that is accerlates purberty. I have looked in many books and did find one that mention early purbery could hit around 8 – but most books don’t cover it. I have not talk to her doctor because she in the room with me but will try to next time.

I am just looking for moms with older girls that can tell me is this normal – I am freaking out alittle and now trying to wean her off of Soy. I am also extremely upset at my old doctor for not making mention of this.

Thanks any insight would be helpful.

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What can I do next?

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I know from myself that it may or may not have anything to do with the soy. I got my period when I was 7, needed a bra in third grade at 8. I have never had soy in my life! While I certainly was the first and wasn't exactly "normal", it does happen.

2 moms found this helpful

Totally normal!

I was a very early bloomer (closer to 8 than 7) and I cannot remember my legs not having hair on them! I did develop very early and I remember having little spats with my mom because she would not let me shave my legs or underarms. Finally at around age 10, I just grabbed a razor and have been shaving ever since. My mom was not thrilled, but it made me feel better. I felt very uncomfortable wearing shorts or skirts around my friends when their legs were hairless and mine were not. It was bad enough that I was a head taller than everyone (including the boys) and felt out of place. Shaving my legs made me feel that much more "normal." I also was one of the very first girls to wear a bra and I got my period when I was 10. Some just develop quicker than others. I know it may be worrisome for you, but I believe it is completely normal. Oh, and I was brought up on cow's milk.

1 mom found this helpful

I have not heard that Soy does this but I will ask my friend who's children are on it and get back to you soon.

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For some reason girls are developing earlier than when we were their age. I don't think it is the soy, it is more likely all the growth hormones in the meat and milk we buy. Unless you grow your own beef, have free range chicken, have a dairy for milk and grow your own veggies your daughter is getting some kind of hormones in what she eats. It is just a fact that is hard to avoid. I do not have a girl but my sister has 2 girls and she said it is not uncommon for girls to have their period by age 8 or 9. That just blows my mind!! It might be time to try and sit down with your daughter and talk to her about he changes and what is to come.

S.

2 moms found this helpful

I know from myself that it may or may not have anything to do with the soy. I got my period when I was 7, needed a bra in third grade at 8. I have never had soy in my life! While I certainly was the first and wasn't exactly "normal", it does happen.

2 moms found this helpful

I have a 8 year old daughter who is also going through the same thing for about a year. Noticed hair down below when I walked in the bathroom and freaked out myself. She has NEVER had any soy products, so I am doubtful that is the underlying cause. My friend in North Carolina's daughter has also started developing extremely early as well. Although this is very upseting, it is normal these days and from what I am told there are books at the book stores for young readers on changes that may occur - eventually occur. This may be helpful for you and your daughter to start talking about it, so she doesn't feel out of place.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi Maureen-first of all I would stop the soy immediately and yes your friend is right. Soy produces phytoestrogens which will lead to early development and it will causes later health complications. The ONLY way soy should ever be eaten is edemame, in its natural state. Your doctor would not know or may not even care to know because they are conventional medicine.

You can give her rice or almond milk. The good news is that you can stop her development. You can pull the toxins from her body by doing detox baths and changing a few simple things to your eating and supplement regimen.

If you want more information on how to do this--please let me know.

I will send you some simple points called the blueprint for good health that myself and a few other healers have done. it is perfect for both adults and children and your family's overall health will improve dramatically.

T.
Detox Coach
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It is called precocious puberty. Talk to your doctor

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If I were in this situation, I would talk to the doc. I would tell him your observations and ask if the soy is doing it. I would ask about a FSH and LH before and after cutting back on soy would be a good idea. In children, FSH and LH are used to diagnose delayed or precocious (early) puberty.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi. I was very surprised when my 5-6 year old started to develop a body odor that needed attention (tried not to be too sensitive and use natural remedies, yet she was producing lots of bacteria that gave her a unique smell)then hair on private areas between 7 and 9. Not sure of a correlation with soy in the diet--my daughter is not using soy products regularly. There are many theories for this seemingly early development and it did concern me because it is definitely different from my experience. Nevertheless, my daughter and what you are suggesting is all within "normal" range. Like you stated, my research--books and drs-- states that bodies can begin to change as early as 8 or 9, there are slight differences in ethic groups, and there is no sequence of events--anything can be the first signs--breast buds, hair, hormonal changes, etc. Also, remember, puberty can last years. I am hoping my daughter has slow changes for the sake of both of us--easing into the transition would be much easier on us.

I don't think you have any reason for alarm, but confirm with your doctor or trusted resources.

Finally, I will advocate for you talking to her about what is happening to her body and the changes--not too early to talk about boys and whistles and appropriate relationships either (not in depth about relationships--just to introduce things and make her smart about what is out there. Believe me she is noticing these changes and others will too)

Good luck--hope this helps

1 mom found this helpful

Soy mimics estrogen in the body, so it could be playing a role. Other factors that are thought to be causing earlier puberty than in the past do include the hormones given to our food sources, but one major factor that I haven't seen mentioned here yet are fat cells. Fat is a natural producer of estrogen. With the rising obesity epidemic in our nation's children, this is playing a major role in why our kids are hitting puberty at earlier ages. If your girl is overweight, work on helping her to become trim in a gentle positive way.

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Maureen
When my daughter was 5 we had to start shaving her legs because she started the hair development early. Our pediatrician was not concerend because depending on genetics this can start early. Most girls around the age of 8 will begin showing signs of development and changes in the body hair and even seem to begin breast development. It is very normal but do not be afraid to discuss this with her doctor and with her. If she ends up be one of the girls that develops early and starts her period early (can happen as early as 8)you want her to understand what is happening. It can be very scary and stressful at a young age and make them fell very unconfortable.

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I'm sure that all children develop at different speeds, but it may be worth just calling the doctor / nurse to discuss over the phone without worrying about it until her next appointment. that way you can have the privacy to discuss without her listening in on the conversation.

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Hi Maureen,

I am glad that you asked this question I have twin 8 year old daughters I have one that is devloping breasts early too, I guess that I just let it go that I am a bigger woman up top and that she will be the same as me. Both my daugters have alittle hair on their legs. I am so far not to worried about it because it is not alot of hair just alittle. I have never asked their doctor about this yet. I have been told that girls are maturing at alot younger age now. I personally got my period when I was 11, I have heard that girls in the second grade are getting their periods, it is a very scary thing to think about when our little girls are growing up so fast. Good luck!

D.

1 mom found this helpful

yes, there is a link between increased soy consumption and early onset puberty, as well as an increased chance of thyroid problems. i am very surprised that neither your old or new pediatricians have talked to you about this, as i have several mom friends whose doctors screen annually for hypo/hyper-thyroidism due strictly to soy-based formulas in the daughters (not even soy milk later!). there is a misguided idea that processed soy is ok since asian communities have made use of fermented soy for such a long time...
also, you should also be aware that the increased amount of hormones in dairy products and meats have also been labelled culprits in early onset puberty. my oldest daughter (adopted at age 12) began puberty around the same time, and at 9 was where most girls are at 12-15.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi Maureen,

I have heard things about soy that are very confusing and contradictory. I went through early menopause in my 40s and did a lot of research on soy because I didn't want to take hormone replacement therapy. In the end I decided to go back to the "everything in moderation" theory and did incorporate some soy into my diet - but didn't go wild with it. Also, my daughter who is 10 years old has been brought up almost solely on meat and chicken without hormones, additives, etc. I have been very careful with trying to buy food that is organic - including milk. Having said that, she still started developing breasts when she was 8 and now has bigger breasts than I had in college! She also shaves under her arms - her legs aren't too hairy yet and she hasn't gotten her period - although she has had symptoms - cramps and moodiness during the last 6 months. She is emotionally very mature so it has not been particularly difficult for her to see her body changing - she is fascinated with it - and we talk about what is happening and why, etc.

So - I don't think there are any clear answers about soy or eating hormone free foods, etc. It does seem like our girls are developing faster than we did - but then again, I started my period when I was 11 and I'm now 53 - my 83 year old mom also got her period when she was 11! In other words, I don't think you need be overly concerned but I would discuss it with her pediatrician when you get a chance - just to make sure and to make yourself feel better.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi there--well, I am one of those moms that is going to tell you this is COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY normal. I have a 9.5 year old daughter and at 7, yes 7, she started getting hair on her legs and her chest started to develop. I was worried because I did not develop this quickly. I have read that a majority of the meat we buy in stores is full of steroids and that is contributing to the quick physical development of these young girls. We now buy our beef from a friend that have their own cattle farm and feed them hay only. Also remember that some girls grow a lot when they are young and will taper off in the early teens and others (like myself) don't develop until the teen years....we are all different and develop at a different pace. I wouldn't be worried--just aware that you have been blessed with a "fast-grower" and she's going to be asking LOTS of questions soon.....the American Girl book about the changes that girls go through is a fantastic one to let her read. It was one of the best purchases I've made and my daughter really enjoys reading it. Good Luck!!

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I have just gone through a nightmare with my now 2 y/o. She started puperty at 9 months (premature thelarche). After several visits to the Endocrinologist at Children's, we have ruled out a brain tumor and ovarian cysts which can cause early puberty. I asked them if soy or tea tree oil were the culprit and they said likely not. They felt like it was more likely caused by the chemicals in plastics that mimic estrogen. I've done lots of googling and reading about this since and have learned that BPA is one of 73 commonly used chemicals in plastic that are hormone receptors.

I would suggest speaking to the pediatrician and see if you can get a referral to an endocrinologist. Children's in Chicago is so overwhelmed that they have not been taking new patients for a few years. We had to go to Milwaukee. We were very pleased with them though. HTH

1 mom found this helpful

I have read that it can be caused both by soy AND by cow milk that is not organic (the hormones they give the cows filter in through the milk we drink and can cause early puberty). If you do decide to switch your daughter to milk, I'd advise going with an organic brand. Of course, as others said, talk to your pediatrician.

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I am not really sure about the Soy situation, I haven't heard of such a thing, but I know that can be very stressful for your little one to start heading into puberty at 7 WOW..

Also please note, some children are will naturally mature quicker, I do have friend who's sister hit puberty EXTREMELY early, mensturation and all before she was 10, and I am quite sure that milk had nothing to do with it.. I think do to our food now, and it being jam packed with artificial hormones could also contribute.

I have a quick question about something you said in your e-mail.. You work from home? What do you do and what company do you work for. I currently have 19 month old and little on the way, I would love to find out more information. Sorry to change the subject, but any suggestions you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks -

1 mom found this helpful

I went thru puberty at an early age as well, developing by 8 and period by 11. When my mom talked to my doctor, he said it is just our enviroment. It may have a little to do with genetics, but nutrition is a big factor. Girls are well fed now, get plenty of vitamins and nutrients, and are in a relatively safe enviroment. That is what I've understood that triggers puberty. The soy may have nothing to do with it. You've just fed her well and haven't stressed her out a whole lot. Good for you! Now you have to make sure she's OK with it.

1 mom found this helpful

I do not have experience with early puberty, but have recently had some issues with soy, myself. If you look on- line, there is a lot of interesting info about soy and also about soy in relation to thyroid problems and issues especially for women. Some of it is scary. I would seriously research this to find some answers. I would, also, be very careful of the soy products that you do purchase and make sure they are from a reliable source. I have not yet decided if soy is a good thing, or a bad thing. I'm not sure the doctors have either. I just wanted you to be aware. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Totally normal!

I was a very early bloomer (closer to 8 than 7) and I cannot remember my legs not having hair on them! I did develop very early and I remember having little spats with my mom because she would not let me shave my legs or underarms. Finally at around age 10, I just grabbed a razor and have been shaving ever since. My mom was not thrilled, but it made me feel better. I felt very uncomfortable wearing shorts or skirts around my friends when their legs were hairless and mine were not. It was bad enough that I was a head taller than everyone (including the boys) and felt out of place. Shaving my legs made me feel that much more "normal." I also was one of the very first girls to wear a bra and I got my period when I was 10. Some just develop quicker than others. I know it may be worrisome for you, but I believe it is completely normal. Oh, and I was brought up on cow's milk.

1 mom found this helpful

I have not heard that Soy does this but I will ask my friend who's children are on it and get back to you soon.

1 mom found this helpful

I think soy is just getting a bad rap these days. My daughter has been on soy for 16 years because she was also allergic to milk. She actually started puberty later then all her friends. Many of her friends started in 4th grade. How late would she have been if she was not on soy? My other daughter became a vegetarian in 6th grade and also started puberty later then all her friends. There has been many studies out there blaming everything from soy milk, to cows milk, food additives, to what we let our children watch on TV for eary puberty. It is very hard to pin point it on one thing. I would talk to your doctor and a nutritionist. When my daughter became vegan we went to the nutritionist only once and it was a lot of help. As for the hair some kids just have more hair on their legs and arms. I know I did as a child.

you have so many responses. i think the soy is like an 'alternative medicine' kinda thing most docs stay away from. i've heard and my doc said there is a girl hormone in it and NOT to give it to my son or it may, um, stunt his 'manhood' so to speak. we use rice. never too late to switch. i don't know anything else about early puberty or anything...

I don't think hair on legs alone means precocious puberty. (underarm and pubic hair would.) Just mentioning that because I have hairy kids myself, from a pretty young age.

You know, I wouldn't beat yourself up about the soy - there are also studies saying it's good for girls and I don't think there's really a scientific consensus yet about it - but our high-fat diets definitely cause earlier puberty for girls on average, and precocious puberty seems also linked with hormones in our food supply as well as pesticides. (Just speaking as a parent who's read a lot of articles about this topic out of curiosity - not an expert in any way.)

I'm a firm believer in not using soy products for that same reasons. Since she's allergic to cow's milk I would recommend almond milk. The best I've found is at Trader Joes and cost no more than soy milk. Tastes really quite good and almonds are very healthy for you. Rice milk is fine too but you don't get benefits from rice like you do from almonds. Also, the unsweetened is very low in carbs so it's great it you're dieting.

Don't be mad at your doctor. They don't know everything or read everything published so it's hard for them to be up on every possible thing. Plus it widely depends on their personal beliefs. My mother's oncologist says there's no link to soy and cancer yet many other doctors do believe it does. Some say regular milk is fine, others don't. My doctor doesn't believe in vitamins, they're a waste he says. I'm not going to stop going to him because he's a good doctor otherwise, I just know I won't discuss vitamins with him.

Also, she could just possibly be starting young. It does happen. I went to school with a few girls that this happened to and that was the 80's when hormones weren't injected into everything so much yet. But, I still think switching her to something other than soy milk would be a benefit regardless.

Best wishes.

You need to talk to the pediatrician and have him examine her. If he feels it is abnormal, he should refer you to a specialist. My daughters are 5 & 8. Both have hair on their legs, which I don't see as a big deal. However, they also have pubic hairs. My doctor did refer me to a specialist. Dr. Richard Levy - ###-###-#### who I have actually read an article on in Chicago Magazine, and Dr. W. Patrick Zeller - ###-###-####.

C. T.

Did you or any other female members of your family go through early puberty? It tends to run in families. I developed early (I was wearing a bra and having my period by my 10th birthday), but my Mom also developed early. Many of my cousins, both male and female, went through early puberty, as did my brother (just as I was the first in my class to wear a bra, he was the first to shave). Seven is pretty young, but I have read that puberty can hit as early as seven or eight. I would first look at your family history, and then take her into see a doctor just to make sure there aren't any other underlying hormonal issues. Other than that, just make sure to have the birds and the bees talk if you haven't already. Good luck!

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