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Top 3 reasons for early puberty in girls, that parents should be aware of

While a lot has been discussed in the past about this phenomenon, we ask experts why this is becoming a phenomenon.

There was a time in the past when girls hit puberty in their late-teens. However, now-a-days, girls as young as 8 years hit puberty. Puberty in young girls and boys is a sign of biological and emotional development. A girl/ boy hitting puberty in adolescence is normal. But when they hit it in their pre-teens (i.e. before 13 years), it calls for some understanding. While a lot has been discussed in the past about this phenomenon, we ask experts why this is becoming a phenomenon.

Unhealthy lifestyle is the main culprit behind it. 'This could be because of their unhealthy food habits or sedentary lifestyles. It is suggested that whenever one is menstruating, they should avoid processed foods, carbonated drinks, refined grains, high- carbohydrate foods, fatty meat, and excessive dairy products. Obesity is also another major concern for girls hitting early puberty. Stress also has a significant impact on early puberty, it could be school/ studies tension or peer pressure,' said Dr. Shafalika S B, Consultant - Gynaec Laparoscopic Surgeon Columbia Asia Hospital, Hebbal.

Lifestyle is a broad term. So, what are the 3 topmost common lifestyle problems that cause this early onset?

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According to Dr Shafalika, the 3 main lifestyle habits that are responsible for this are:

  1. Childhood obesity. Read: Childhood obesity: Outdoor games can help curb the menace
  2. Increased consumption of junk food, environmental factors like intake of chemicalised foods or inhaling polluted oxygen
  3. Lack of physical activity

Given that puberty is a natural biological clocking system, its early onset comes with its own set of baggages. The problems involved include difficulty in managing menstrual cycle at an early age, early teenage problems like recurrent mood swings, sudden physical changes and early menopause. Also, this causes major biological as well as physical changes in one's body. One of the biggest challenges of early puberty is hair growth. Early cycles are a sign of becoming sexually mature.

Read: Managing menopause: Improving quality of life and reducing long-term health risks

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