Children may be short due to various reasons. While evaluating a short child, first we need to find the genetic potential for height for that child. In Harmony center, we are calculating mid-parental height from the height of both the parents. We also extrapolate Target height which is the adult height expected from a mid-parental height. This is done by plotting the height weight parameters on the growth charts. We also assess further growth potential by checking the Bone age of the child with the help of a Hand X-ray. it is important to rule out any hormonal issues associated with a reduction in height velocity.
Various reasons for short stature could be
- Thyroid disease
- Delayed puberty
- CDGP (Congenital delay in growth and puberty)
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Vitamin D/ calcium deficiency
- Growth hormone deficiency
- Renal tubular acidosis
- Variety of chromosomal disorders
Thyroid and vitamin D deficiency are the most common causes of short height and both are treatable causes. But it has to be clinically suspected and screened accordingly.
An uncommon but important cause is Growth hormone deficiency which can cause a gross reduction in growth. Testing for this hormone is critical and cumbersome and is done by Clonidine Stimulation testing, which is also done at Harmony. This condition is treated by giving growth hormone (GH) injections.