Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Puberty at 8 years old

Girls are hitting puberty earlier than ever, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Some kids are as young as eight years old! I cannot imagine this! I remember 6th grade being early to start when I was that age!

Here's the story from CNN:

They're still learning how to read and write and add and subtract, but health professionals say girls as young as eight years old are starting to show signs of early puberty. I think body weight probably has a lot to do with why we're seeing girls have periods earlier and see girls mature earlier. Researchers report girls are now getting their periods around the age of 12, down from the average age of almost 15 in the late 18-hundreds.

Doctors point to environmental toxins and weight gain. We know that the more fat cells a girl has, the more likely they are to have excess estrogen. That excess estrogen could raise concerns later on in a woman's life.

The more estrogen you have exposed to your body, perhaps it increases the risk of breast cancer, possibly uterine cancer. And that's not the only worry. their bodies may be maturing where their mind may not be and I think that can cause some social pressures leading to social and psychological implications that a young girl may not be ready to deal with.

What is the answer to this problem? This article says girls who grow up without fathers and those exposed to chemicals are most at risk. It sounds like another case of no one really knows why, so many hypothesis are being tested.

Have you see this new trend with your kids or their friends?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen
Methodist Medical Center's new online healthcare program, MyMethodist eHealth, is a proud sponsor of this blog post. MyMethodist eHealth is the secure link to your doctor's office that lets you request appointments, order prescription refills, update your personal health record, and more. Sign up for MyMethodist eHealth here.


tls1995 said...

I was one of the "early bloomers" when I started puberty at age 10. Let me tell you it was hard being different from all the other girls!

Anonymous said...

I also started early at age 9. I was not overweight. I think its hereditary. My mom started at 9 and so did one of my sisters and 2 of my daughters. said...

I had a friend who started at 11. That is earliest one I remember. Nine had to make swimming and gym classes a little difficult! I guess it's good you started early so you know what to tell your daughters!

Anonymous said...

My daughter is 11 and in 6th grade. She started a few months ago and most of her friends have as well. I don't think it has anything to do with weight as my daughter is in the gym 3 nights a week doing gymnastics. It is very scary as a parent because these girls are maturing much faster and look alot older. Thank goodness for good Christian books on maturity to help us tell them about life at such a young age. said...

Speaking of good Christian books, Berean Bookstore is going to be part of a give-a-way I am doing with this website and HOI in November. Look for the link coming next month~Jen

Farmboy said...

I appreciated Jen's story. I get upset when people blame hormones in milk, for example for early-onset puberty. I think researchers are definitely on to something regarding the fat cells and no-father syndromes we are seeing today. Good job, Jen.

Anonymous said...

I, too, started at age 9. What's important is to have parents prepared to handle it. My parents were not and I suffered as the result.
Bringing this to light might give help to parents who might be struggling with what to do. Thanks for what you are doing !

Shannon said...

I've read a lot of interesting stuff about this and the link to hormones in milk (sorry, farmboy...)

I've also seen a similar physical effect in my own body (without going into too much detail...) when I drink cow's milk with hormones vs. when I don't. And I really don't drink much milk at all for various reasons, but the hormone-free vs. with hormones difference is pretty dramatic.

I wouldn't be so quick to discount its possible effect.

Jennifer said...

My daughter was 12 when she started. I'm really glad she didn't start any younger, because it does make some childhood activities more difficult, such as camping trips, swimming, etc... Plus at 12 she was barely mature enough to really handle it and is still, at 13, super embarrassed to even go down the tampon aisle at Wal-mart!

Anonymous said...

I do think the hormones and steroids ADDED to milk can cause it. I also think it's all the processed garbage kids eat today (your post about the school lunches come to mind LOL)

Anonymous said...

Imbalanced hormones create fat cells - whether it comes from our own bodies or from the food we take in.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'd love to know! I just found that my 8 year old has breast buds coming up. She is 4'11", 70 lbs., but proportional (I swear her bones are made of iron).

We have always purchased organic, hormone-free milk, and we are home schoolers that don't eat processed food very often at all.

Today, she wondered what we would do if she woke up pregnant! She has no idea what causes pregnancy, but the surprise of breast buds has unnerved her (and excited her too).

It's too soon. :(

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