What are the causes of abnormal growth in children? Let us take a look at the factors that can cause abnormal growth in children.
Abnormal growth is a broad medical term that is used to include many types of growth related anomalies in children. From a simplistic perspective a very common manifestation of abnormal growth is not growing properly according to age or developing premature changes in the body.
Quite often these issues are sorted out naturally in puberty. However, sometimes there is a serious genetic, hormonal or biological problem behind abnormal growth and this is when parents have to be proactive enough to get the case medically examined. Here are some top reasons which are responsible for triggering abnormal growth.
Disorder of Pubertal Development
When a child suffers from any kind of disorder related to pubertal development there is a direct effect on height, weight, bone growth and body hair. There are two major kinds of disorders; precocious puberty
and delayed puberty. If sex organ development is triggered in a girl child before the age 8 or a boy before the age of 10 then this condition is classified as precocious puberty.
The centre for controlling puberty exists in a part of the brain called hypothalamus and if this is triggered prematurely then sex hormones are released prematurely in the body of the child. Ultimately there are many negative side effects of this condition and hormonal medication must be consumed at an appropriate time after a thorough blood assay test done by a child specialist.
On the other hand if puberty has not set in by the age 13 in girls or by the age 15 in boys then it is called delayed puberty. Medical issues related to the hypothalamus, primary sex organs (ovaries/ testes), pituitary glands etc can cause delay in the onset of puberty. Treatment with hormonal medication like cortisone is also known to trigger a delay in puberty.
Intra Uterus Growth Retardation or IUGR is a medical condition where the growth of the foetus has been interrupted in the uterus for some reason. IUGR does not mean premature birth
but it can lead to ether of these two conditions; dysplasia and chondrodystrophy. Dysplasia happens when there is abnormal growth in the body while chondrodystrophy happens when abnormal growth happens at the end regions of the bones.
The foetal growth problems can result in a lot of growth abnormalities after birth. If the mother indulges in substance abuse alcohol/cigarettes or suffers from German measles during pregnancy then IUGR can occur.
There are many genetic disorders
which are related to growth. One of the most common growth abnormality genetic syndromes is Turner’s syndrome
where girls have only 1 X chromosome which results in their ovaries being underdeveloped and their growth being spurted.
Another common hereditary problem is Marfan syndrome where children slowly develop very long limbs and problems in the vision. Heart problems may also surface later in life. Interestingly it was widely believed that Abraham Lincoln also suffered from Marfan’s syndrome.
Hypopituitarism and Hyperpituitarism
The gland majorly responsible for controlling the patterns of growth is the pituitary gland. Sometimes this gland fails to secrete sufficient quantity of this hormone and this can be tested while prescribing a GH Test. Child who has deficiency of growth hormone tend to develop dwarfism. After correct diagnosis daily injections of GH or Growth hormones is given to cure this condition.
In the condition called Hyperpituitarism there is an increase in the production of GH by pituitary gland. Sometimes a tumour may occur in the pituitary gland which causes this overproduction. The result is acromegaly or gigantism in which bones are thickened and body structures grow to an abnormal rate. Surgery or radiation therapy is usually prescribed as the cure.How to prevent abnormal growth in children? How to identify abnormal growth in children? What are the ways to deal with abnormal growth in children? Discuss here.