In medical terminology, Short Stature refers to a condition with restricted growth in which a person's height growth is typically below the height of the same age group. It is commonly referred to the children but can also be applied to adults as well. Growth rate is an important factor to indicate overall health of a child. Besides this a child with short stature can considerably be shorter as compared with the other children of the same age and can still be flourishing. Height is majorly determined by genetics thus a child can grow upto the parents height. But in many cases short stature indicates underlying medical issues in which early interference can help prevent future conditions and the child can grow to a normal height.
Most commonly short stature is caused due to genetic makeup, in this way there is a huge possibility for a child being short if the parents are short or below the average height and in this case if there are no underlying issues, the child's short stature may be perfectly healthy. Genetic disorders that are related to height growth are Turner syndrome, William syndrome, Down syndrome.
But medical researches have found that in around 5 percent children short stature is caused by medical conditions or diseases. These medical conditions or diseases include: lack of nutrients, GDH (growth hormone deficiency), Hypothyroidism (low level of thyroid hormone) and lung, heart, kidneys, liver or gastrointestinal tract related diseases.
Other than these endocrine diseases there are some chronic conditions that may be the cause of short stature i.e. ; celiac disease, diabetes, asthma, inflammatory disorders, sickle cell anemia, juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Also some mitochondrial disease can affect physical growth.
Diagnosis of your child starts from measuring the height, weight and limb length. Doctor also analyses your child's and family's medical history and average growth level of your family. If your child is suspected with some medical conditions or disorders, your doctor may prescribe some medical tests, which includes :
• X-ray for the assessment of problems with bone development to check your child's growth with the corresponding age.
• Test to determine growth hormone (GH) levels.
• To check if there is any blood disease, a complete blood count (CBC) is required.
• Tests to check liver, thyroid, kidney, lung and other diseases.
• DNA analysis to check down syndrome, turner syndrome, william syndrome and other genetic disorders.
• Imaging scans, to detect tumor and problems with the pituitary gland or hypothalamus, includes; X-ray and MRI.
Treatment of short stature depends on its cause. If lack of nutrients is detected than the treatment goes with providing required nutritions with the treatment of condition that prevent to absorb nutrition. If short stature is caused due to the lack of growth hormone than the growth hormone injections can be injected to treat GHD and some other conditions including chronic kidney failure, turner syndrome and other genetic or hormonic disorders. If other conditions is detected that is preventing growth of your child than the relevant treatment of the condition is required to promote their growth.
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