Girls may already have secondary sexual characteristics at the age of six, and the breasts can start growing on boys, which is becoming more common among children of this age in Serbia. Doctor Milica Kotlajic explained to us when parents need to react urgently, as well as what causes premature puberty.
Namely, it was noticed that the children in Serbia, but also in the whole world are bigger than their parents, but also that they are developing earlier.
This information is not new, but the shock is the very idea that any girl can enter premature puberty at the age of six, and that small boys grow breasts.
- Pubertas praecox is a so-called premature puberty in which children can enter. It can be recognized when a child starts developing secondary sexual characteristics. So, they are not developing genitally, there are justs changes on the body which imply on prepuberty state, growing breasts, little knots in breasts, chest hair, and similar - explains the pediatrician Dr. Milica Kotlajic.
She explains that it is observed differently if it is diagnosed in the age up to six years and the one who is older.
- If a child is under six years old and the parents notice that a little knot appeared in the breast of the girl, or if the breasts are growing, then we think the situation is alarming and we are sending the child to the endocrinologist who is performing further diagnostics - Dr. Kotlajic warns about the early puberty and adds that the children after the six years of age are treated differently.
If it happens to the girl after the age of 6 then we think it is just a genetic predisposition for early puberty, and then we observe the situation for some time to see how the body reacts.
- It occurred that so-called knots in the breast of the girl appeared just after the age of six. A pediatrician should determine if the mother entered puberty earlier, for example, at the age of 10. If that is not the case, the doctors and the parents observe the situation, because it occurred that nothing changes for 2 years. Sometimes, the further development of secondary sexual characteristics stagnates for a long time, and then nothing should be done - says Dr. Kotlajic.
Why does premature puberty occur in children in Serbia? And this meat is full of hormones
Pubertas praecox occurs most often for two reasons: either there is a pituitary tumor or the problem arises from an unhealthy diet.
- The premise is that premature puberty in children in Serbia is caused by the introduction of meat and meat products that are abundant with hormones, most likely of female hormones. So, in larger farms in our country, the animals are fed with concentrates, hormone food, and vitamins to speed up their growth so they will be o the market as soon as possible, those are mostly chicken and beef - says Dr. Milica Kotlajoc and adds that it is economic in nature and the experts should be consulted in this area in order to find a solution for this situation.
How is premature puberty treated and does it have an effect on the health of children in Serbia?
Secondary sexual characteristics do not create any health problems for the further development of children in Serbia, but they are still being cured or stopped, especially when children are up to six years old in order to delay development. It is very important that physical development follows the mental state of a child so that our children develop normally.
- If a child is under six years old and the parents notice that a little knot appeared in the breast of the girl, or if the breasts are growing, then we think the situation is alarming and we are sending the child to the endocrinologist who is performing further diagnostics. Even when excess hormones are determined, especially female hormones, in most cases, something from the diet will be avoided and the situation will be stabilized. Hormone therapy is rarely applied to children - explains Dr. Kotlajic.
She adds that there are no consequences of this health phenomenon, but also that is not the situation where nothing should be done. It is extremely rare that there is menstrual bleeding in the period around the age of six, but the procedure of treatment is the same.
Children aren't ready for development until the age of then and that can have a psychological impact on them.
We urge parents in Serbia to give their children meat from animals that had a healthy diet, from animals that are not from big farms. In that way, we secure that our children will develop normally and that they will enter puberty at a normal time.
(Telegraf.co.uk / Jelena Bojic Obradovic / firstname.lastname@example.org)