For each doctor’s visit that your schedule for your child, whether newborn or adolescent, your physician usually has to measure his height. This is partly because growth is a good indicator of your child’s health status. Additionally, your physician is able to keep track of your child’s growth rate to find out if he is approaching genetic height.
The doctor calculates the growth rate using a standard formula so that he has the objective measure that can help to identify growth issues. This is one way to find out if your child has a deficiency of growth hormone for children.
What diagnosis of Short Stature means for your Child
Short stature occurs in children of all ages, ranging from early childhood to early adulthood. Some parents have children as young as 6 months who aren’t growing properly while another area as old as 18.
Diagnosis involves the doctor calculating your child’s final height based on his genetic potential and middle parental height based on your height and that of your spouse. As your child continues to grow, the doctor will plot his height next to a standard curve to find out his eventual height.
A child’s growth rate may slow at any time right before he reaches his final height because of issues such as insufficient growth hormone for children. Your child’s doctor will use specific growth formulas to work out whether the child is experiencing health issues.
In most cases, poor growth could be caused by a health problem. Thus, if the doctor established the cause, your doctor may be able to recommend the best way to help your child grow. In other instances, short stature has no apparent cause.
How Short should a Child be to have Short Stature?
Short stature, the one without a cause, can be defined as a kid’s height is two standard deviations away from the predicted height. This kind of growth is common during post-pubertal height for boys, which is 5’4” and 4’11” for girls.
Although short stature may manifest during early infancy, it is most noticeable as infancy kicks, but it can occur at any time during childhood. The chance for you to help your child gain some growth will disappear once he clears puberty, which is just before he hits age 16.
If you are a concerned parent, the best time to help your child grow is between age 8 and 10, especially if your doctor finds that your child is deficient in growth hormone for children.
Common causes of Short Stature
Causes vary immensely from one child to another. Mostly, an underlying health issue causes it. For some kids, it’s usually a case of constitutional delay, which means your child’s development will be at a rate that is much slower than that of his peers. However, such a child will catch up with time.
Treatment Options for Short Stature
Treatment is dependent on the underlying issue. Usually, once the doctor addresses the cause, your child will be able to regain normal development. If the cause is malnutrition, the doctor will work with you to improve your child’s diet.
The doctor may prescribe cyproheptadine, an allergy drug that also stimulates appetite. Alternatively, if the child suffers a deficiency of growth hormone for children, growth therapy will help to induce development. Doctors often recommend this option if a genetic syndrome causes the problem.
However, where your child’s growth is a result of the constitutional delay, your child will be a late bloomer and will look a little younger than his classmates. There’s no underlying cause, but the doctor will recommend something like low dose testosterone in order to stimulate growth.
How does Growth therapy Work?
Growth therapy has been approved for use in America by the Food and Administration to treat various cases of short stature, and that includes issues like idiopathic short stature and deficiency in growth hormone for children.
The choice to go for growth therapy is often complex. The treatment itself costs a lot of money, and insurance coverage differs based on plan and diagnosis. Other than cost, the process is also intense. Child under treatment needs regular injections together with regular doctor visits.
Once six months elapses, your doctor will provide an assessment of whether the process is working. The treatment can be used to induce growth in infants, although that depends on the response, all the way to puberty.
Results are often different for each child; however, growth therapy works well in kinds with a deficiency in growth hormone for children. In general, children who receive this treatment for about 3 to four years usually experience 2 to 4 inches of growth.
Short stature is a problem for some kids. It often leads to low self-esteem because your child is constantly reminded that he is shorter than his friends are. If you are concerned, the best way to find the root cause is to speak to a physician.