Delayed Growth and How It Is Treated

Growth delay takes place in kids who aren’t developing at a normal rate fit for their sex and age. Delay is often caused by a health condition that has not been diagnosed yet, like HGH deficiency or a condition such as hyperthyroidism. The good news is that with early intervention and proper growth therapy, your child will be able to recover his normal growth rate. If your child isn’t developing fast enough, an appointment with the doctor will get to the root cause.

Symptoms of delayed growth

If, after assessing your child, it’s found that he is much smaller than his classmates, chances are that he is experiencing growth problems. Your doctor will classify his condition as a medical situation if he falls below 95 percent of kids his age.

Doctors also diagnose growth delays in kids with height in the normal range, but with an unusually slow growth curve. Based on the issue at hand, your child may show other symptoms like dwarfism, which is associated with legs and arms being much bigger for the child’s torso.

Some kids may also have very low levels of HGH and hormone thyroxine. Such kids tend to lose energy, experience constipation, dry hair, dry skin and often have a lot of trouble keeping warm. If your child has delayed growth because of bowel or stomach disease, he will have blood in his stool and complications like constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

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Common causes of delayed growth

Delayed growth is known to result from many different issues. Some of the common causes include a history of short stature in the family. If you or any other family member has short stature, your child may also grow slowly compared to his peers.

Delayed growth caused by a family’s history doesn’t always indicate that there is an underlying problem. Your child may be shorter than average due to genetic facts.

The other common issue is what the doctor refers to a constitutional growth delay. A child with this condition is usually a little shorter than other kids of the same age, but growth shows a normal rate. However, the child will also suffer delayed bone maturity, which means his bones will mature slowly than is typical for his age.

Such kids also reach puberty a little later compared to peers, which causes a height that is below average. Fortunately, they tend to catch up with time.

HGH deficiency can also cause poor growth. If your child has partial or even total deficiency, he won’t sustain the same growth pattern during a given period. Children born with hyperthyroidism or Turner’s syndrome also experience poor growth. A child with hyperthyroidism has a poorly functioning thyroid gland.

On the other hand, Turner’s syndrome is genetic and affects a female child who is missing a portion of the x chromosome. About 1 in every 2500 females has this condition. Although kids with this condition have a sufficient amount of HGH, the body doesn’t put it to good use.

How to Diagnose delayed growth

Doctors often begin with a comprehensive family history. They collect data on your child’s history including your pregnancy, his weight, and length, the average height of members of your family, as well as information on family members who have experienced delayed growth.  

Additionally, the doctor will chart the child’s growth curve for a period spanning six months. Other tests may also be done to help with the diagnosis, including an x-ray of the wrist and hand to find out the rate of bone development.

Sometimes a blood test may be required in order to check HGH levels in the blood. In case the doctor finds that your child’s delayed growth is caused by low HGH, he will advise you on how you can help your child grow properly.

Treatment for delayed growth

The treatment plan often depends on the cause of your child’s poor growth. If it’s as a result of your family’s history, no treatment is provided. However, for other causes like HGH deficiency, Turner’s syndrome and hyperthyroidism, the doctor will provide appropriate treatment to bring growth back to normal.

For a case of HGH deficiency, your doctor will recommend growth treatment. This treatment can be provided at home or the hospital. If it’s caused by hyperthyroidism, a thyroid treatment is often provided to assist his underactive gland.

Treatment for Turner’s syndrome is treated by providing an injection of HGH. In this form, the body will be able to make use of HGH and growth will normalize within a very short time.

Final Word

There are many more causes of delayed growth. Treatment for delayed growth often depends on the cause. Therefore, the best way to get to the root cause is to schedule a meeting with your doctor so that he can carry out tests.

News Reporter
Greg Jones: Greg's blog posts are known for their clear and concise coverage of economic and financial news. With a background as a financial journalist, he offers readers valuable insights into the complexities of the global economy.