Periods at 4 years, menopause at 5: The little girl who never got to be a child
At 2 years of age, Emily had developed breast buds, body odour and a rash on her skin that was diagnosed as cystic acne.Updated: Oct 11, 2017 16:33 IST
A five-year-old girl from Australia who started menstruating at the age of four will soon start exhibiting signs of menopause, a result of Addison’s disease.
Emily Dover’s birth was absolutely ‘normal and happy’. By the second week, however, she started growing at an unusual rate. She was the size of a one-year-old by the time she turned 4-months-old. By the time Emily turned 2, she had developed breast buds, body odour and a rash on her skin that was diagnosed as cystic acne.
In addition to Addison’s disease, Emily has been diagnosed with congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Central Precocious Puberty, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing disorder and Anxiety Disorder.
The 5-year-old’s adrenal glands don’t produce enough steroid hormones.
Emily’s mother Tam Dover said her daughter is body conscious and aware that she is different from other children her age, reports Mirror Online. Sadly, the little girl is unable to understand what she is going through.
Constant pain and reduced mobility required Emily to undergo weekly physiotherapy sessions. At present Emily is five years old, and has started menstruating. After she starts a hormone replacement therapy, she will hit menopause, with all the side effects a woman over 50 years of age has to face.
“She hasn’t even had a chance to be a little girl. She’s having to learn how to put panty liners on for menstruating,” Tam tells Mirror Online.
Tam has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to cover the ‘astronomical’ costs of her daughter’s treatments and medical care.
“Each time her growth was measured it was always way above the 99th percentile, and often 99th percentile for a couple of years above her age,” Tam wrote on the GoFundMe page.