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Growth Disorders


Simple. Measure the height of your child in centimeter and plot the height on the growth chart for Indian children (available online: iapindia,org/Revised-IAP-Growth-Charts-2015.php). If it falls below the lowest line, you should consult an expert as soon as possible. If it falls just above lowest line, you should be cautious and child needs to be monitored.
Yes. Genetic potential is the most important factor determining the final height of a child, provided the child gets an appropriate environment (most importantly, nutrition) to grow.
Appropriate nutrition (adequate protein & caloric intake) is the most important factor, especially in first 2-3 years of life. Other equally important factors are Growth hormone, Thyroid hormone and sex hormones (testosterone & estrogen).
On an average, Girls grow till 14 years of age, while boys grow till 16 years of age. Bones fuse by that age. Once menarche (onset of menses in girls) is achieved, hardly any growth is possible. So, it is always advisable to consult an expert before the bones are fused.
Yes. X ray of left hand (bone age) will give an idea about bone fusion.
No. But rough prediction is possible based on their parent’s height.
Yes. Precocious puberty (onset of puberty before 8 years in a girl and 9 years in a boy) can compromise the final height of the child because of premature fusion of the bones.
In the arena of ‘evidence based practice’, enough evidence is lacking regarding efficacy of ‘Height capsules’. You can take it at your own will & risk.
No. But, it should be promoted for the overall health and well being of a child.
Adequate nutrition with a good balance of carbohydrate, protein, fat, minerals & vitamins is essential to reach the genetic potential or even outgrow the parent’s height. Other than that, there is no evidence that any particular type of food with increase or decrease the height.
Yes. But, the benefit in terms of height gain will depend upon reason for shortness. If the reason is ‘Lack of Growth hormone’, the child will benefit the most. If the reason is anything else, the benefit will be less compared to the previous scenario.