Androgenital syndrome

Androgenital syndrome, more popularly known as congenital adrenal hyperplasia, is a condition which occurs when there is a deficit of enzyme being provided to the adrenal gland. Your body’s adrenal gland needs to get a sufficient amount of enzyme in order to produce the cortisol and aldosterone hormones properly. If your body does not have enough enzyme then there can be some serious issues.

The adrogenital syndrome can affect both genders and roughly 1 in every 10,000 to 18,000 children are born with the condition. Adrenogenital syndrome will cause an excess of a male sex hormone (androgen) to be produced since the cortisol and aldosterone hormones are not being produced properly. As a result of this, whether on a male or female, male characteristics will begin to develop, even in the early stages of the condition.

Adrenogenital Syndrome Symptoms
The symptoms of this condition will vary between genders as there is an excess of the male hormone so the end result is much different. While there are a few similar symptoms, generally they will be different for each gender but they are equally as serious. If any of these symptoms are noticed it would be recommended to speak to a doctor in order to get a proper diagnoses.

For boys, the excessive male hormones being produced will cause quite a few things to occur. The boy could go into puberty by the age of two or three and various symptoms could occur as a result such as a deeper voice, early development of pubic and armpit hair, enlarged penis, small testes, and a strongly developed muscular system. Basically since there will be more of the male hormone the child can grow quicker than normal and various masculine traits will show up earlier as a result.

For girls, the symptoms can be equally as severe and possibly worse in some situations. Since there are male hormones being produced in large amounts in the girl’s body, it is possible for the girl to develop a deeper voice, pubic and armpit hair, and developing various male characteristics. It is also possible that the girl’s genitals will look like the genital of bother genders at the same time. This is referred to as ambiguous genitalia.

Also, there are other symptoms that girls become subject to if they have adrogenital syndrome. While the internal female organs (ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus) will continue operating properly, there are still some external modifications that will occur. This could include irregular menstrual cycles and being unable to menstruate.

Besides the body hair that is possible for both genders, it is also possible that the child could develop facial hair at an early age. This is even more common for girls than expected. Also, both genders are expected to grow much taller than other kids at their age.

The severity of the adrogenital syndrome will depend on the type of congenital adrenal hyperplasia that the child is diagnosed with. A lack of salt typically in a new born could cause many much more severe symptoms such as frequent dehydration, vomiting, electrolyte differences, cardiac arrhythmia, and more. These symptoms can show up very shortly after birth and could cause some serious health issues.

Adrogenital Syndrome Treatments
Thankfully this condition is treatable and there is hope that it can be completely erased and will not have any permanent effects on your child. The goal of treating the adrogenital syndrome is to regulate the hormone levels to a safe and healthy range. In order to do this you would need to take cortisol medication in order to bring the hormone levels to a balanced amount. You will need to speak with your doctor to get the proper prescription and dosage information.

Surgery is also necessary for girls that have ambigous genitalia and it will occur somewhere between when the child is three months old and a year old. The surgery will be able to restore the genitals of the child to a normal appearance. At birth it may not be easy to determine the gender of the child though as this condition can make it look a lot like a boy’s genital area. Therefore, it may be necessary for the health care provider to look at the chromosomes to determine the gender of your child.

Since steroid therapy is one of the main ways to treat adrogenital syndrome it is important to read up on how it works and what the side effects are if you decide to use this treatment method. While the steroid therapy method can work to treat your child’s adrogenital syndrome, you cannot just stop the therapy suddenly as this could result in a different condition (adrenal insufficiency).

Make sure you get informed on how treatment works for adrogenital syndrome if your child is diagnosed with it and take time to make the right decisions.

Last updated on Feb 26th, 2010 and filed under Endocrine System. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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