Causes of Short Stature
Short stature is more than just a physical characteristic; it can significantly affect an individual's self-confidence and social perceptions. In our society, where being tall is often preferred, individuals with short stature may face various challenges concerning aesthetic concerns and social interactions. However, it is important to understand that short stature is not merely a matter of external appearance. In fact, it can be a sign of deeper health issues that need attention. Numerous factors, ranging from genetic factors and hormonal imbalances to nutritional deficiencies and chronic diseases, can inhibit the expected growth in height. In this article, we will thoroughly explore the potential causes of short stature.
Before discussing short stature, it's important to note that height growth occurs until the closure of growth plates in the body. This varies from person to person but typically occurs between the ages of 18 and 22. Beyond this age, an increase in height is generally not possible; therefore, cases of significant short stature usually need to be followed during childhood and adolescence. So, what are the causes of short stature? Below, you can examine the possible reasons.
- Genetic Factors: The first factor determining height is genetics. Based on genes inherited from the family, some individuals may be tall, while others may be short. Short stature due to genetic factors usually does not indicate a health problem; however, if you think you are exceptionally short, it might be wise to consult a doctor.
- Nutritional Deficiency: Nutrition is a critical aspect of a child's development and growth, especially from infancy through adolescence. Children need a complete intake of various nutrients such as vitamins, calcium, fats, and proteins. Children who are malnourished can experience developmental problems and various health issues. Short stature can be one of the conditions observed in this context.
- Hormonal Disorders: Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate the body's growth and development processes, and their balance plays a critical role in determining height, particularly during childhood and adolescence. Various hormonal disorders can be involved, including thyroid imbalances, excessive cortisol, Turner syndrome, and growth hormone deficiency. If you think your child is much shorter than they should be, it would be beneficial to have a doctor's examination.
- Chronic Diseases: Chronic diseases can significantly affect a child's or adolescent's growth and development, as they influence nutrient absorption, hormonal balances, and overall health status. Common ones include gastrointestinal diseases, heart and kidney diseases, asthma, and endocrine disorders. Therefore, it is crucial for individuals with chronic illnesses, regardless of whether they have short stature or not, to not neglect their medical appointments.
- Medication and Treatments: This point covers a broad spectrum. Some medications and treatments, especially long-term use of corticosteroids, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy, can have negative effects on growth. In this case, again, the best approach is to seek expert advice.
Although the above points may seem brief, each requires thorough evaluation and examination by a specialist. If your child, who has not yet completed puberty, is significantly shorter than their peers, it would be beneficial to seek a specialist's opinion.
Does Height Increase After Puberty?
The question of whether height continues to increase is most frequently asked by young individuals; this is primarily because people pay special attention to their physical features, especially after puberty. Unfortunately, increase in height after puberty is not possible. This is due to the fact that the growth plates in our body, which play a crucial role in height development, typically close upon the completion of puberty. Therefore, biologically, individuals' growth stops regardless of whether it is supported by nutrition or sports.
The only method to increase height after puberty is through limb lengthening surgery. However, this is a significant surgical operation, and those considering this method, have to conduct detailed research beforehand. After the necessary research, if a person wishes to consult a specialist doctor, the doctor will request certain examinations and tests. Based on these results, it will be determined whether the individual is suitable for surgery. For detailed information about limb lengthening surgery, you can follow our YouTube channel or directly contact our patient representatives. Additionally, in the video below, you can listen to the firsthand experiences of a patient who has undergone leg lengthening surgery.
You will be informed about the lengthening increase, lengthening process, the prices of the surgical methods, the difference of the methods, the risks of the surgery.