Premature Adrenarche Symptoms & Causes

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In-Depth

Is premature adrenarche serious?

While an earlier onset of adrenarche is usually normal and not a cause for concern, there is the possibility that it could indicate an underlying enzyme problem or a tumor. That’s why it’s a good idea to consult a professional if your child shows symptoms of adrenarche before age 8 for girls and age 9 for boys.

What causes premature adrenarche?

Premature adrenarche is caused when the adrenal gland begins secreting sex hormones called androgens earlier than normal. In most cases, it’s not that more androgen is being made, it’s that the standard amount is being made earlier than normal. That means that in most cases, the effects of adrenarche are not exaggerated (your child won’t be hairier than her peers), the effects simply appear sooner.

It’s not known what causes the adrenal gland to begin secreting androgens early. Since exposure to these hormones causes premature adrenarche, your child may also experience it if she comes in contact with hormone creams or other hormonal medications.

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