Children's Growth Disorders

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Does your child seem much shorteror much tallerthan other kids his or her age? It could be normal. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about growth disorders in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Growth disorders are problems that prevent children from developing normal height, weight, sexual maturity or other features.

Growth patterns are different from child to child and are different for boys and girls. Your childs height also depends a great deal on your family history. Nutrition, hormones and chronic diseases can also affect growth. Very slow or very fast growth, however, can sometimes signal a gland problem or disease.

The pituitary gland makes growth hormone, which stimulates the growth of bone and other tissues. Children who have too little of it may be very short. Treatment with growth hormone can stimulate growth.

People can also have too much growth hormone. Usually the cause is a pituitary gland tumor, which is not cancer.

Too much growth hormone can cause gigantism in children, where their bones and their body grow too much. In adults, it can cause acromegaly, which makes the hands, feet and face larger than normal.

Possible treatments include surgery to remove the tumor, medicines and radiation therapy.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.