You're likely to start by seeing your child's pediatrician or a family doctor. Or you may be referred immediately to a doctor who specializes in the treatment of hormone-related conditions in children (pediatric endocrinologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment and know what to expect from your child's doctor.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your child's diet.
- Write down your child's symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that your child takes or that others in the home take — because your child may have had access to them.
- Make a list of family members' heights, especially if any of them are short as adults.
- Write down your family medical history, and note if any family members have had precocious puberty or endocrine problems.
- Bring a copy of your child's growth curve record if you are visiting a new doctor who doesn't have access to your child's medical record.
- Write down questions to ask your child's doctor.
List questions for your child's doctor to help make the most of your time together. For precocious puberty, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my child's symptoms or condition?
- Are there other possible causes for my child's symptoms or condition?
- What tests does my child need?
- Is this condition likely temporary or chronic?
- What's the best treatment?
- When should treatment begin, and how long will it last?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
- My child has other health conditions. How can we best manage them together?
- Are there restrictions my child needs to follow?
- Should my child see a specialist?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- Are there brochures or other printed material I can take home? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask any other questions you have.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions about:
- Your family medical history, in particular, family members' heights and any history of endocrine disorders or tumors
- The age at which puberty began for siblings and parents
- Family racial composition