Androgen is the name for a group of hormones that include androsterone and testosterone, which stimulate the development of male characteristics.
Estrogen is a group of hormones produced by the ovary, placenta, and testes that also stimulate secondary sexual characteristics in males and females. Estrogen plays an important role in a woman's menstrual cycle.
Early secretion (also called hypersecretion) of high levels of the body's sex hormones, androgen (male sex hormones) and estrogen (female sex hormones), can lead to the early outward appearance of puberty. Sometimes called pseudoprecocious puberty, this form of early puberty is characterized by the development of most secondary sexual characteristics, although the sexual glands remain undeveloped.
The production of high levels of sex hormones in the young child forces the onset of puberty characteristics.
The following are the most common symptoms of gonadotropin-independent precocious puberty. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Although the sexual glands themselves remain immature, hypersecretion of androgen and estrogen cause the development of most other secondary sexual characteristics. Symptoms may include:
The symptoms of gonadotropin-independent precocious puberty may resemble other problems or medical conditions. Always consult your child's doctor for a diagnosis.
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnosis of gonadotropin-independent precocious puberty may include:
Specific treatment for gonadotropin-independent precocious will be determined by your child's doctor based on:
The goal of treatment for the hypersecretion of androgen and estrogen is to stop, and possibly reverse, the onset of early puberty symptoms. Treatment may include the use of certain medications that inhibit the action of the sex hormones. If a tumor is causing the disorder, surgical removal may be necessary.
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