An Indian boy has shocked his parents by starting puberty at just two years old.
The boy, from Delhi, referred to as Akash, suffers from a rare medical condition known as "Precocious Puberty", where a child's body hits many of developmental milestones at an abnormally young age.
The child’s parents noticed that he had started getting facial and body hair, he was significantly taller than other children his age and that his genitals had started growing rapidly.
Akash's parents took him to hospital and tests revealed his testosterone levels were 500-600 nanogram per decilitre (ng/dl), equivalent to a 25-year-old adult man. A one-year-old baby’s testosterone level is usually 20 ng/dl.
"We thought Akash was just a big baby, so we did not take him to the doctor," said Akash's mother.
"But we started noticing abnormal changes by the time he was one - it was obvious that there was something wrong."
According to Dr Vaishakhi Rustagi, the doctor who treated Akash in Max Hospital, India, only one in 100,000 children suffer from this condition, with the incidents increasing to one to two in 100,000 in boys aged eight to 10.
Dr Rustagi said: “It is a rare case that happens once in every 10 or so 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."
After further tests, doctors revealed that there was no underlying cause for Akash's increased levels of hormones. He has now been put on hormone therapy.
He needs to take injections that help block the effect of the hormones once a month.
The dose will be reduced to once in three months when he is 10 to 11 years old and is ready to accept the changes in his body.
Dr Rustagi added: “If such children are not treated, they become violent. The physical changes are not suitable for their age.
"These children also stop growing after a few years and remain about 3-4ft tall.”
Akash’s parents spend nearly £100 a month on the toddler’s medication as an insurance company reportedly rejected their claims.
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