Growth Disorder

Overview of Growth Disorder

Growth disorder occurs when a child is not growing at a normal rate as per their age. Growth disorder may also be called slow growth. It can be due to either growth hormone deficiency or any underlying health conditions. Growth disorders can also be due to genetic issues. Hormone disorder and inadequate and insufficient food intake can also lead to growth problems.

Growth Disorder Meaning in Urdu

یہ بیماری بچوں کو متاثر کرتی ہے، اس بیماری کی وجہ سے بچوں کی نشوو نما میں اہم کردار ادا کرنے والے ہارمونز پیدا نہیں ہوتے جس کی وجہ سے وہ مختلف طبی مسائل کا شکار ہو جاتے ہیں۔ اس بیماری کی وجہ سے بچوں کا قد نہیں بڑھتا، جب کہ وہ وزن کی کمی کا بھی شکار ہو جاتے ہیں۔ اس کے علاوہ بچوں میں جنسی ہارمونز بھی پیدا نہیں ہوتے۔ یہ بیماری بچوں کی دماغی نشوو نما کو بھی متاثر کر سکتی ہے۔ اس بیماری کی بنیادی وجوہات میں جینیاتی مسائل اور غیر متوازن غذا کا استعمال شامل ہے۔

Normal Growth of Children

There are certain criteria and milestones that are linked with the normal growth of children. There are explained below:

  • Infants – 12 Months: In this period and age group, children normally grow at about 10 inches on average in height. Nutrition plays an important role in this. Growth in this phase is highly dependent on nutrition.
  • 1 – 2 Years of Age: Children normally grow at an average height of about 5 inches in this age group. The growth and development of a child in this age group are dependent on the hormone.
  • 2 – 3 Years of Age: In this age group, children normally grow at an average height of about 3.5 inches per year.

Signs and Symptoms of Growth Disorder

While some growth disorders can be genetic, they can also occur due to various reasons in the later years of children's growth and development. Normally, the symptoms start to appear after 5 years of age in children.

Other common symptoms of growth disorders include

  • Slow physical skills such as standing, sitting, and walking skills.
  • Delayed mental and social skills.
  • Slow growth due to stomach illness and conditions such as constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

Types of Growth Disorder

Depending upon the causes and health factors, there are various types of growth disorders. Some of them are as follows:

  • Hypothyroidism – This growth disorder occurs when the normal amount of thyroid gland is not produced. This can lead to delayed puberty and slow growth. It is, however, a rare growth disorder in children.
  • Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) – In this, the body of a child is not producing enough growth hormone. Per year, about 1 in every 30,000 children is affected by it. Due to this, children don’t grow at a normal pace.
  • Malnutrition and Malabsorption – When a child is not getting enough nutrients, it can affect their weight and growth. Further, if a child is suffering from Crohn’s disease it can affect whether they can properly absorb the nutrient or not.
  • Chronic Kidney Disease – This disease can occur either due to physical or genetic factors. Children suffering from this disease have reduced the function of their kidneys. It can cause decreased intake of electrolytes, calories, and the production of growth hormones. All of this can lead to reduced growth in children.
  • Turner Syndrome – It is one of the common types of growth disorder in girls and women. About 25-50 females out of 100,000 are affected by this. In this, the females reach adulthood at a height that is 20 cm less than the targeted one.
  • Skeletal Dysplasia – It is a group of abnormalities that can affect babies from birth affecting bone growth. It can occur in 1 out of 5000 babies.
  • Silver Russell Syndrome – Also known as SRS or RSS is a rare kind of genetic growth disorder. In this, the growth of the children is affected, along with the distinct facial features.
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome – It is a rare growth disorder that is genetic. The hypothalamus of the brain does not develop properly in this disease. It affects 1 out of 20,000 children. In this, apart from growth, the behavioral, social skill, and facial features of the children are affected.
  • Noonan Syndrome – It is a genetic disorder that can affect both girls and boys. Apart from a growth factor, it can affect the body of children in many ways such as skeletal changes, facial features, and even cardiac abnormalities.
  • Small for Gestational Age – In this, the baby reaches their normal height and weight by 2 years of age.
  • Idiopathic Short Stature (ISS) – ISS covers various health conditions. It is normally known to arise suddenly and its exact cause is unknown. It is difficult to diagnose this disease.
  • Familial Short Stature – In this, the height of the children is normally affected due to their parents, and their growth is affected and falls at the lower extreme of the growth chart.
  • Constitutional Growth Delay – In this growth disorder, the growth of the children is normal but they are small for their age. The skeletal maturation of these children is younger than their age. Their puberty may delay but they can catch up with their peers when they reach adult height.

Causes of Growth Disorder

There are various causes of growth disorders in children. Some of the major causes are as follows:

  • Genetic Disorder – Your genes can play a major role in developing a growth disorder. Turner Syndrome, Achondroplasia, and Down syndrome are examples of genetic growth disorders.
  • Endocrine Disease – The hormones in your body are regulated by the endocrine system. Diseases due to the endocrine gland can affect the distribution and development of the thyroid hormone. This hormone is responsible for the growth and development of the child. It can also affect the pituitary gland, which is responsible for the production of growth hormones.
  • Constitutional Growth Delay – In this condition, the bones of the children grow at a slower pace. Their growth rate is normal but grows shorter than average.
  • Intrauterine Growth Restriction – If a fetus suffers from poor growth and development inside the mother’s womb, it can lead to slow growth.
  • Precocious Puberty – This growth disorder is linked with an early onset of puberty. In this, a child would grow fast initially, but the growth ceases at an early age.

Other causes of growth disorder include:

  • Severe stress
  • Anemia (sickle cell anemia)
  • Poor nutrition
  • health issues such as heart, kidney, or lung disease

Risk Factors of Growth Disorder





Depending upon the symptom of your children, medical health practitioners would diagnose the growth disorder in your children. Apart from the physical examination, medical history, and inquiring about the health problem of a child’s family, the doctor would recommend the following tests for the diagnosis of growth disorder.

  • Observing and noting the overall growth and health of children over a certain period.
  • Blood tests are conducted, to rule out the health conditions such as chromosomal, hormonal, and any other disorders linked with the growth issue.
  • A scan of the pituitary gland is done, to check if there is an issue with the growth hormones.
  • An X-ray scan of your children’s wrist or bone is conducted, to compare it with age and height to get to know about growth potential.

Treatment of Growth Disorder | When to Consult a Doctor

In the case of the treatment of growth disorder. First, the root cause of the disease is noted. If the growth disorder is due to any health condition, then treating that disease would help in easing the growth problem.

The treatment of the growth disorder may not be necessary on an urgent basis as the doctor has to completely diagnose it first. But, the doctor would recommend the following treatment options for your children depending upon the condition of your children.

  • Growth Hormone Injections – It is considered an effective and safe treatment, but it can be costly. This treatment can help children with Turner syndrome.
  • Hypothyroidism Treatment – This type of treatment is recommended for children who have a low level of growth hormone i.e. thyroid hormone.

In case of any concerning signs and symptoms, you need to reach out to a certified endocrinologist