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Precocious Puberty

Precocious puberty is an uncommon condition that occurs when puberty begins before the age of eight in girls and before age nine in boys. The signs and symptoms of precocious puberty:

In Girls:

  • Development of breasts
  • Hair development underarm or in public parts
  • Rapid height growth
  • Onset of menstruation
  • Acne
  • Adult body odor

In Boys:

  • Enlargement of testicles
  • Hair growth in face (usually grows first on the upper lip), public parts /underarm
  • Rapid height gain
  • Deepening of voice
  • Acne
  • Adult body odor

In some children 'partial' precocious puberty could be seen. Girls may show breast development that later disappears or may persist without any other physical changes of puberty. Such children with partial precocious puberty should be evaluated by a medical professional to rule out any other health problems. By and large such instances do not require any treatment and usually will show the other expected signs of puberty at the right age.

Causes for Precocious Puberty

Abnormalities in ovary and testicles may contribute to precocious puberty. Problems in the ovaries, thyroid gland disorders can also cause the onset of puberty ahead of schedule. Sometimes precocious puberty is the result of a structural problem in the brain such as a tumor, brain injury due to head trauma, infection such as meningitis that triggers puberty to begin early. In a majority of girls there is no underlying medical problem but they simply start puberty too early for no known reason. Certain types of environmental contamination like environmental toxins could play a role in causing precocious puberty.

Central precocious puberty

  • Tumor in the brain or spinal cord
  • Infection such as encephalitis or meningitis
  • A birth defect in the brain such as hydrocephalus or hamartoma (tumor)
  • Radiation to brain or spinal cord
  • Injury to brain or spinal cord
  • Ischemia
  • McCune Albright Syndrome - a genetic disease that affects the bones and skin color and causes hormonal problems
  • A group of inherited disorders known as Congenital adrenal hyperplasia which involves abnormal hormone production by the adrenal glands.
  • Hypothyroidism

Estradiol Test

Heart disease is gender-neutral and isn't anymore categorized as a man's disease. Continued research by the American Heart Association indicates that close to 43 million women in the U.S are affected by heart disease. 1 in 4 female deaths is due to heart disease. Diabetes, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity and excessive consumption of alcohol are the key risk factors and 90% of women have one or more of these risk factors for developing heart disease.

Apart from these risk factors, in women who enter menopause, the tapering estrogen levels also increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Estradiol is a form of estrogen, a female sex hormone produced by the ovaries. In women, the ovaries and reproductive tissues are involved in making estrogen. In men, testosterone is transformed into estrodiol. Though estrogen is considered a hormone of importance only to women, research and tests indicate that the imbalance poses health issues for men too. Be it excess or lack of estrogen levels, the imbalance increases the risk of degenerative diseases.

  • Excess estrogen contributes to development of atherosclerosis.
  • Elevated estrogen levels double the risk of stroke and is a strong indicator of coronary artery disease.
  • Men with benign prostate enlargement or prostate cancer show high blood estrogen levels.
  • Lack of sufficient estrogen increases risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture.
  • Low estradiol levels are rated as high risk factor for cardiac patients, especially men.
  • Elevated estrogen levels doubles the possibility of stroke in senior men.
  • In elderly men, high level of estradiol is associated with peripheral artery disease.
  • Elevated estradiol level predisposes men over 50 years to development of an abnormal blood clots (thrombus).
  • In aging men, higher estradiol level is regarded as a risk factor for prostate cancer.

Thus it is proved that estrogen, primarily categorized as a sex hormone does cast its effect on heart health. The estradiol or E2 test procedure is the same for men, women and adolescents. In adolescents, the test is to assess early puberty or Precocious puberty. The test results are useful for healthcare providers to assess and analyze women's health issues such as menstrual problems, ovarian tumors, gynecomastia, menopausal problems and breast cancer. In men, high levels of estradiol are associated with abdominal fat, enlargement of the prostate and cardiovascular risk. Low levels of estrogen are associated with osteoporosis.

Too much of estrogen is estrogen dominance. Women who have opted for estrogen replacement may experience symptoms of estrogen dominance. In aging men, estrogen dominance can be natural phenomenon. Side effects of estrogen dominance are the same for men and women.

  • Headaches
  • Swelling in the breast area for women
  • Bloating
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Mood swings
  • Weight gain
  • Hair loss
  • Thyroid disease
  • Slowed metabolism
  • Excess facial hair in women
  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Susceptibility to allergies

Besides, estrogen dominance accelerates the aging process. Men and women keen on avoiding estrogen dominance need to know the factors that contribute to estrogen dominance. Avoid those that contribute to increasing the level and bring healthy changes to live a healthy life.

  • Certain foods and items in our environment contribute to estrogen dominance. Estrogen-producing compounds are found in haircare products, sunscreen, pesticides, and car exhaust, cosmetics, moisturizers and carpeting.
  • Excess body fat helps the body in making more estrogen.
  • Highly processed foods, MSG, caffeine and beer are associated with high estrogen levels.
  • Compared to grass fed and pasture raised animals, estrogen levels are high in animals that are fed high carbohydrate feeds.
  • Unfermented soy products have high estrogen levels compared to fermented soy products.
  • Herbicides and pesticides contain a type of xenon-estrogen.
  • Broccoli, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower reduce estrogen in the body.
  • Leafy vegetable like spinach, parsley, dandelions, Swiss chard and celery can have a lowering effect in the body.

Tags: #Precocious Puberty #Estradiol Test
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: May 25, 2024