- Familial short stature—parents are short
- Constitutional delay and development—child is small for age but growing at normal rate, will reach an adult height similar to parents
- Caused by chronic disease—such as malnutrition, genetic disorders, heart problems, and growth hormone deficiency
|Expected Growth (Shadow) and Short Stature|
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- Malnourishment—most common cause of growth failure and is generally associated with poverty
- Genetic disorders such as skeletal dysplasias, Turner syndrome , Down syndrome , and Silver Russell syndrome
- Endocrine disorders such as hypothyroidism or growth hormone deficiency
- Congenital heart disease
- Kidney diseases
- Liver failure
- Sickle cell anemia —a blood disorder
- Intrauterine growth retardation or small for gestational age
- Disorders of the stomach or intestines such as inflammatory bowel disease
- Lung conditions such as severe asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Malabsorption due to cystic fibrosis or celiac disease
- Use of SSRI medications—may be used to treat attention deficit disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder
- Having family members with short stature
- Poor diet
- Certain diseases and drugs taken by a pregnant woman will increase risk to the newborn child
- Stopped or dramatically slowed growth—below the third percentile as determined by your doctor
- Weight loss or gain—more than five pounds in a month
- Poor nutrition
- Loss of appetite
- Chronic abdominal pain and diarrhea
- Persistent fever
- Chronic headaches and/or vomiting
- Delayed puberty—no spotting by age 15 for a girl or no enlargement of the testes by age 14-15 for a boy
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Thyroid hormone replacement therapy—may be used in children with hypothyroidism
- Growth hormone replacement—may be used in some children such as those with growth hormone deficiency, Prader Willi syndrome , Turner syndrome, chronic kidney disease, or idiopathic short stature
- Eating a nutritious diet during pregnancy
- Avoiding smoking
- Avoiding illegal drugs
Human Growth Foundation http://www.hgfound.org
The MAGIC Foundation http://www.magicfoundation.org
HealthLink BC http://www.healthlinkbc.ca
Little People of British Columbia: Society for Short Stature Awareness http://www.littlepeopleofbc.org
Is your child growing normally? The Magic Foundation website. Available at: http://www.magicfoundation.org. Accessed June 3, 2014.
Short stature. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 7, 2014. Accessed June 3, 2014.
Short stature. Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America website. Available at: http://www.posna.org/education/StudyGuide/shortStature.asp. Accessed June 3, 2014.
When a child is unusually short or tall. American Academy of Pediatrics' HealthyChildren.org website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/gradeschool/puberty/Pages/When-a-Child-is-Unusually-Short-or-Tall.aspx. Updated May 28, 2014. Accessed June 3, 2014.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 06/2014 -
- Update Date: 06/03/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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