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Premature Adrenarche Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

   

Premature adrenarche means premature puberty. It is a condition in which children become mature before their teenage starts. Children start maturing at the age of 8 in case of girls and at the age of 9 in case of boys. Basically adrenarche occurs due to premature awakening of adrenal gland. Adrenal gland is responsible for producing sex hormones. So premature releasing of sex hormones causes puberty i.e. adrenarche. Adrenal gland is present at the top of kidney. The sex hormones include androgens.


Zona reticularis of adrenal gland contains dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS). When there is increase in production of these two regulators, it leads to increased adrenal androgen production. And children start maturing before their teenage. Premature adrenarche is not normal and can cause various diseases. There is an increased risk of polycystic ovary syndrome, metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.

When we discuss puberty it means development of secondary sex characteristics which transforms a sexually immature teenager to sexually mature teenager. It is normal at the age of 14 years in case of girls but in boys at the age of 16 years. During puberty, the secondary sex organs starts developing I.e. development of breast and pubic hair in girls and development of testes, pubic hair and chest hair in boys.

Premature Adrenarche Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Premature Adrenarche Sympytoms


When premature adrenarche occurs, secondary sex organs start developing in children before the age
of maturity. Girls start maturing at the age of 8 years while boys start maturing at the age of 9 years. Breast development and pubic hair growth are the symptoms of premature puberty in girls. In boys, development of bigger testes, pubic hair growth and chest hair growth is seen during puberty. There are no other pathological symptoms but premature adrenarche can lead to some medical conditions like insulin resistance.

Premature Adrenarche Causes


The exact cause of premature adrenarche is not known. It's pathology helps a lot in understanding the reason behind premature adrenarche. Dehydroepiandrosterone DHEA and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate DHEAS are present in the zona reticularis of adrenal gland. These are the regulators of adrenal gland secretions. Increased production of DHEAS and DHEA leads to increased release of androgen which is a sex hormone. This hormone is responsible for puberty. When adrenal gland get activated before the usual age of maturity, it leads to premature adrenarche. DHEA and DHEAS are considered the biomarkers of premature adrenarche in children.

Premature Adrenarche Treatment



There is no treatment guidelines for premature adrenarche. It is just sexual growth of children before the usual age so it is considered okay. It is necessary to make sure if these changes are normal and do not causing any complications. Children with premature adrenarche are not self satisfied, so parents have to give them courage and should teach them that it is completely normal. If premature adrenarche is causing problems like insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome in adults and polycystic ovary syndrome in girls, then these conditions do require treatment. These conditions will be treated as per their treatment guidelines.

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