A one-year-old Indian boy has developed sexual organs of an adult man, and has been diagnosed with a rare hormonal condition that affects one in 100,000 children in India.
The infant from Delhi was found to have the testosterone level of a 25-year-old man. The parents noticed visible physical changes on the toddler when he was only six months old. He was seen to be developing pubic and facial hair, as well as his genitals growing abnormally for his age. Besides, he was taller by 10-15cms than children his age, and his voice had also started breaking, the local media reported.
"We thought maybe he was just a big baby, so we did not take him to the doctor. But by the time he was one, it was apparent there was something wrong. My mother-in-law, who has taken care of several children in the family, also said that his growth seemed unnatural. That is when we took him to the doctor," the Hindustan Times quoted the infant's mother as saying.
The rare medical dysfunction known as precocious or early puberty is a result of an abnormal production of oestrogen, which is often caused by damage to the brain or cerebral disorders.
The child was taken to Max Super Speciality Hospital in the city, and the paediatric endocrinologist, Dr Vaishakhi Rustagi, who is treating the child, said: "His testosterone levels were exceptionally high, as high as that of a 25-year-old, because of which he had started experiencing physical changes. Since he was so young, he was not able to understand what was happening. He would experience sexual urges too."
Typically, a one-year-old baby's testosterone level is 20 nanogram per decilitre, whereas, this Delhi boy is reported to be having 500-600 ng/dl.
"It is a rare case that happens once in 10 odd years. Precocious puberty is traumatic for a child of his age. The baby can't express his feelings or understand what is happening to him, while his parents are left confused," Dr Rustagi added.
The doctors have put him on a hormone therapy, where he will be injected every month that will block the effect of the hormones in the child. He would need to continue taking lesser dosage of injections once in three months for another 10 years.
Dr Rustagi warned that such children can turn violent if left untreated. Besides, their growth halts after a few years and they remain about three or four foot tall.
The medical bills are reportedly not being covered by the insurance company as this rare condition is not life threatening.