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Growth Disorders In Children - 7 Causes, 6 Symptoms & 3 Treatments

Growth Disorders In Children

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Is your child’s growth not on par with other children of his age? Do you notice malformation of your child’s bones? If you nodded along worriedly, your dear little one might be suffering from a growth disorder. Growth disorder needs immediate medical attention to treat it effectively. Read our post to learn all about growth disorders in children and to help your child at the earliest.

What Is A Growth Disorder?

Growth varies from child to child. A growth disorder means an abnormal growth in children in terms of height, weight, sexual maturity, etc. For instance, the child may be too short or too tall for his age.

The pituitary gland produces the growth hormone, which stimulates the growth of bone and tissues. The growth problems in children indicates a malfunctioning of the pituitary gland. You need to seek a doctor’s advice if you suspect your child is suffering from a growth disorder (1).

Causes Of Growth Disorders In Children:

Growth disorders in childhood can occur du

e to several reasons. Here is a list of some of the common causes of the disorder:

  1. Hereditary factor
  1. Poor dietary habits and nutritional deficiency
  1. Severe stress
  1. Deficiency of the growth hormone
  1. Deficiency of thyroid hormone
  1. Genetic disorders like Turner’s, Down or Marfan syndrome
  1. Chronic diseases and bone or cartilage disorders (2)

[ Read: Symptoms Of Marfan Syndrome In Children ]

Symptoms Of Growth Disorders In Children:

There are many symptoms that indicate that a child’s growth is not normal. Find below a list of common signs of child growth problems that you need to watch out for:

  1. An abnormal weight of the child.
  1. Insufficient height gain
  1. Altered development of the teeth
  1. Abnormal formation of bones and cartilages
  1. Development of thick layers of fats beneath the child’s skin
  1. Unusual pattern and odor of the stool.

[ Read: Common Developmental Disorders In Children ]

Diagnosing Growth Disorder In Children:

Your child’s pediatrician may suggest the following methods to diagnose a growth disorder:

  • Blood tests to identify chronic diseases and hormonal or chromosomal abnormalities.
  • X-ray to identify the bone age of your child.
  • MRI scan to check for the malfunctioning of the pituitary gland.
  • A growth hormone stimulation test that involves several blood tests to monitor the secretion by the pituitary gland post medication (3).

[ Read: Dwarfism In Children ]

Treating Growth Disorders In Children:

Depending on the cause of the growth problems in child, the doctor will suggest an apt treatment for it. It may include the following:

1. Growth Hormone Therapy:

The doctor may prescribe growth hormone therapy for your child. Depending on the severity of your child’s condition, the doctor may recommend the dosage and frequency of the growth hormone injections. It is a long-term treatment that may last for several years. Your child’s doctor will need to monitor his growth closely throughout the treatment and alter the medication accordingly. However, it is not a sure-shot treatment of the disorder (4).

2. Dietary Changes:

The doctor may advise you to provide your child a balanced diet that can boost his growth considerably. You need to include nutritious foods like milk, dairy products, protein-rich foods, fruits, and vegetables in your child’s daily diet to help him grow properly. He should also increase his fluid intake to enjoy a normal growth. You may consult a nutritionist for advice on the same.

[ Read: Scoliosis In Children ]

3. Treating The Underlying Disease:

If your child’s growth is not advancing due to certain underlying problems, then treating them can help promote the growth of your child. Treating kidney disease, gastrointestinal disease, or pituitary gland tumor can help promote the growth of your dear little one (5).

Did your child suffer from a growth disorder? What treatment did the doctor advise? Share your experience with other moms here.

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