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Short Stature

What do you mean by Short Stature?

Short Stature is a general term used for people whose height is much shorter when compared to the height of their peers. This term is usually used for children but can even be used for adults. In Short Stature, a person’s height is below the 3rd percentile.

What are the possible causes of Short Stature?

The most common cause of Short Stature is a child’s parents whose height is below average. However, there are certain medical conditions responsible for Short Stature, namely:

  • Bone or skeletal disorders (rickets, achondroplasia)
  • Chronic diseases (asthma, congenital heart disease, diabetes, cushing disease, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney problems, sickle cell anaemia, thalassemia)
  • Genetic conditions (Down syndrome, Noonan syndrome, Russell –Silver syndrome, Turner syndrome)
  • Growth hormone deficiency
  • Infections of developing baby before birth
  • Malnutrition
  • Poor growth of baby in womb
What are the symptoms of Short Stature?

The signs and symptoms of Short Stature in children are:

  • Child has stopped growing or growth is very slow when compared to peers
  • Unexpected weight loss/weight gain
  • Poor nutrition
  • Delayed puberty
How can Short Stature be treated?

The treatment for Short Stature depends on the underlying cause, for example:

  • Thyroid hormone replacement therapy is done for children with hypothyroidism.
  • Recombinant human growth hormone therapy is done for children with growth hormone deficiency.
  • Surgical treatment if brain tumor is causing growth hormone deficiency.