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Hormone Disorders and Diseases
What are the symptoms of growth problems?
Some growth problems may be immediately diagnosed at birth because the infant may be abnormally small for his or her age. However, many growth problems are noticed much later when the child appears smaller than his or her classmates or when growth appears to be insignificant over a period of a year. The primary symptom that may indicate a growth problem is when a child grows less than two inches a year after his or her third birthday. Symptoms of growth problems may resemble other problems or medical conditions. Always consult your child's doctor for a diagnosis.
How is a growth problem diagnosed?
Diagnosis of a growth problem must be made by your child's doctor. The method used for diagnosis will depend on the type of growth disorder presented. In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic tests may include:
- Observing the child's health and growth over several months Blood tests (to rule out hormone, chromosomal or other disorders associated with growth failure).
- X-ray of the bones (electromagnetic energy used to produce images of bones and internal organs on film to determine maturity and growth potential of bones).
- Examining the functions of the pituitary gland, which produces and secretes growth hormone and other hormones.
How are growth problems treated?
Specific treatment for growth problems will be determined by your child's doctor. Plans will be based on:
- Your child's current health status and health history
- Severity of the problem
- Your child's ability to deal with medical procedures and take prescribed medicines
- Your beliefs and desires regarding treatment
Treatment of growth problems will depend on the type of growth disorder presented. If a medical condition causes the growth problem, treatment of that condition may alleviate the growth problem.