5-yr-old got breasts at the age of 2, period at 4. What is this disease?
The five-year-old Emily Dover couldn't live her childhood to the fullest--thanks to her adrenal gland disorder.
Do you remember your teens when you got your period for the very first time? Did those blood stains not freak you out initially? Now imagine, if the same situation had happened when you were just four years old. Sounds scary, right?
Well, this is actually what Emily Dover, a five-year-old girl from New South Wales, Australia, who couldn't live her childhood to the fullest--thanks to a rare adrenaline gland disorder in her body.
In fact, according to Independent, the little girl didn't just start menstruating at the mere age of four, she developed pubic hair and body odour too. That's not it, her breasts began to grow when she was only two years old and she also began to get acne. Not to mention, she wakes up daily with swollen wrists and ankles; sore, itchy breasts; and very painful bone growth issues.
"She hasn't even had a chance to be a little girl," said Tam Dover, Emily's mother who is trying her best to garner funds for her daughter's treatment.
And now, at five, the little kid is going through a menopause because of the aggressive treatment for her disease.
By the way, the disease in question here is Addison's Disease and we really need to talk about it. Call it primary adrenal insufficiency or Hypocortisolism, what really happens in this rare disorder is that your adrenal glands fail to produce enough steroid hormones, cortisol, and aldosterone. And although this usually happens to adults above the age of 30, catching it during childhood can cause early puberty as in Emily's case.
Unfortunately, the required treatment can induce symptoms of menopause and that's exactly what Emily is going through. What's worse is that she was born healthy. But now, owing to her rapid weight gain and early maturity, she's being bullied in school.
While we expect some sensitivity from the parents of those bullies who need to educate their kids to cooperate in this situation, we also need to be aware of this disorder because you know what? It can happen to anyone.