Stating that one of the most common causes of short stature is thyroid hormone deficiency (hypothyroidism), Pediatric Health and Diseases Specialist Dr. Elif Sağsak reminded that a simple blood test may be sufficient to detect this congenital or future problem.

Short stature is defined as a child's height below the lower limit of the normal growth curves for age and gender. Stating that it is difficult for parents to detect this situation with the measurements they will make at home and that it may not give accurate results, Child Health and Diseases Pediatric Endocrinology Specialist Assistant Professor Elif Sağsak, MD gave important information to families about short stature and the underlying causes.

Stating that the 3 to 97 percentile is considered normal in the growth curves and the height is below the 3 percentile according to age and gender, is defined as short stature Pediatric Endocrinology Specialist Assistant Professor Elif Sağsak, MD continued her words as follows:

“Measurements made at home may not give very accurate information. Therefore, it is appropriate to measure and monitor children's height and weight in routine controls. If the annual increase in height is less than normal for that age, the growth rate is considered insufficient. Short stature can be diagnosed early with regular follow-up of the neck”.



Reminding that children have certain dimensions that need to be extended according to age, Dr. Elif Sağsak said, “The child needs to grow 25 cm in the first year, 12 cm in the second year, 2-4 cm in a year between the ages of 6 and 8, and 4 cm in a year between the ages of 5 and adolescence. After puberty, we can expect to grow an average of 8 to 10 inches per year. Do children who do not show these elongations have short stature? It needs to be examined,".



Stating that there are many reasons for short stature in children, Dr. Prof. Sağsak gave the following information about the factors that cause short stature in children: “Familial short stature is included in short stature that is not classified as a disease. The parents are short in stature, but the child's growth rate is normal. To estimate the child's adult height, the height of his parents is taken into account. In familial short stature, the child reaches this target height. However, if the mother and father are very short, it is necessary to investigate whether there is a hereditary disease in the mother and father.

Another reason for short stature, which is not classified as a disease, is short stature due to delayed puberty (Structural growth and puberty delay). It is especially seen in men. It is observed that these children grow healthy until the age of 3-4, and after this age their height remains below normal. The growth rate of these children is also normal. However, because puberty is delayed, the elongation is less. With the onset of puberty, growth accelerates and adult height reaches the predicted target height.”

Stating that one of the causes of short stature is hormonal reasons, Dr. Elif Sağsak said, “We see hypothyroidism most frequently. That is, low levels of thyroid hormones. It is possible for me to detect this condition, which can be detected at birth or in the future, with a blood test. The important thing is to reach the doctor on time.”



Reminding that growth hormone is a hormone that directly affects growth, Dr. Elif Sağsak said, “The deficiency may be congenital or may occur at later ages. With some tests we will do, it can be determined whether the child is deficient in growth hormone and then it can be treated. However, treatment can take many years. That's why you have to be patient".


Underlining that it is not possible to reach the target height with only sports and nutrition in children with hormonal deficiency, Yeditepe University Hospitals Pediatric Endocrinology Specialist Dr. Elif Sağsak added the following information: “First of all, if there is an underlying disease, it must be treated. The treatment should be done before the growth plates, which we call the "Epiphysis", are closed. Because after the plates are closed, the elongation stops. Since height growth will decrease after puberty, we may not get the response we want with treatments. Therefore, it is necessary to consult pediatricians for early intervention. In the controls, the child's height and weight are measured and the growth rate is evaluated. If he/she is short in stature or growth rate is insufficient for age and gender, he/she is referred to a pediatric endocrinologist.



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