Thursday, August 09, 2007

my rantings on precocious puberty

Yesterday was time again for Chloe's 3 month check with the pediatric endocrinologist. We discussed the results of her lab results last month. her estrogen levels have gone down quite a bit, as well as some of her physical symptoms. yay! however, the Doctor didn't have any input as to why she still has body odor. oh well. as long as the puberty is being held back, i'm happy.

had some interesting conversation with Dr. Lifshitz. As we were discussing how long Chloe would have to be on medication, he mentioned that the average age of puberty is getting younger and younger in this country. I already knew that it was pretty young (8 years is in the normal range, and some drs. are fighting to get that age lowered to 7!), what interested me was that he said, "in this country." Which means that the age is higher in other countries. --which says to me that this is an environmental issue, not just the way the human race is changing. So my question is: why do they keep lowering the age, and say that it's "normal." When it's not normal. something is terribly wrong with the children of this country. If it were normal, it would be happening all over the world. This is not normal. This is an epidemic! Why isn't anyone doing anything about this??

So...I asked the Dr. more about that, & he agreed that it's an environmental issue. So i asked what he thought could be causing it. Could it be the hormones they use in meat products (which has always been my theory)? He said that there's a lot of speculation, but nobody really knows for sure. There's been a lot of research into the meats, but he thinks it has to do with all of the endocrine disruptors (see this for more) like plastics, that are causing it. He siad that precocious puberty is getting more and more common. In his early days, all his cases were for delayed puberty. Now it's the opposite. It's all *early* puberty.

One thing he told me awhile ago, was that women tend to start their periods when they reach 100 pounds. So something he mentioned today was that countries that have obesity problems also have more cases of precocious puberty. Thought that was interesting.

And on another note... my dr. is a bit of an activist when it comes to insurance. He's a very well-known, and highly regarded doctor around the world (not to mention, the *only* pediatric endocrinologist within several hours of us). But Blue Cross refused to pay him a reasonable rate. So he refused to be one of their providers. That's all well and good for him, but that causes problems for us, since we use blue cross. After Chloe's last appointment, we sent the claim form to our insurance company, but they denied our claim. Today, Dr. L. asked how things were going w/the insurance, so I told him what had happened, and that we were still working on our last claim (3 mos ago). When I told him that I've never had problems with our insurance company before, he said, "that's because you've never had serious health problems before. Sure, they'll cover you for little things, but the moment you need any real help, they refuse. If we never needed any real help, we wouldn't buy insurance!" He told me to call them and tell them that we were going to get a lawyer, and ask *them* to find us another pediatric endo. in the area...

He also said that we should watch the movie, "Sicko." "Anybody who has someone with chronic illness, like Chloe does, needs to watch that movie so they can learn how to deal with their insurance company. "

All in all, a very interesting, and educational doctor visit.

1 comment:

Dog snob said...

Hum, that's interesting. I have heard also that kids tend to hit puberty around 100 pounds, but I never really gave it much thought. It sounds like you had a good visit with the doctor and hopefully he can help you get things worked out with the insurence company (i've heard the same thing that once something big pops up, they're a real pain :( )