Have you ever taken your child to play in the park and found that he was shorter than other children? If so, anxiety is the first thing you feel when you find out your child’s height is low. Then, you take the initiative to find useful information to help maximize children’s growth, such as providing body-enhancing milk and visiting hormona de crecimiento.
However, if you are more careful with the information you get, many things affect a child’s height. The main factor that affects a person’s height is their genetic makeup. However, many other factors can affect height during development such as hormones, nutrition, medical conditions and activity.
Factors Affecting Children’s Height
Scientists believe that genetic makeup, or DNA, is responsible for about 80 percent of a person’s height. This means that tall people tend to have offspring who are also tall. People will usually experience body growth until they reach the age of 18 years. Before that, various environmental factors can affect how tall they get.
By the time a child is 8 years old, they will be growing an average of 5.5 centimeters per year. In addition, it is suspected that adolescents will experience accelerated growth around puberty. After this, the growth plates stop making new bones, and the person stops growing. Hands and feet stop growing first, then arms and legs. The last area to stop growing is the spine.
The following are some of the factors that can affect how tall a child will grow:
DNA is the main factor determining a person’s height. Scientists have identified more than 900 different genes that determine size. Some of these genes affect growth plates, and others affect growth hormone production.
The average height range is different for people from different ethnic backgrounds. Again, this is determined by their DNA. Several genetic conditions can also affect a person’s height as an adult, including Down syndrome and Marfan syndrome.
The body produces hormones that instruct growth plates to make new bones. This includes:
- Growth Hormone: It is made in the pituitary gland and is the most important hormone for growth. Several health conditions can limit the amount of growth hormone the body makes, and affect height.
- Thyroid Hormones: The thyroid gland makes hormones that affect growth.
- Sex Hormones: Testosterone and estrogen are very important for growth during puberty.
Boys tend to be taller than girls. Boys can also continue to grow longer than girls. On average, an adult male will be about 14 centimeters taller than an adult female.
Nutrition is The Key to Supporting Children’s Height Growth
Nutrition plays an important role in growth. Nutritionists recommend that children eat a varied and balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. This will help them get all the minerals and vitamins they need to thrive.
Protein and calcium are essential for bone health and growth. Some protein-rich foods include:
- Nuts and seeds
Some calcium-rich foods include:
- Soya bean
Apart from nutrition, there are two other things that are also important enough to support a child’s growth, namely adequate sleep and regular exercise. Sleep can promote growth and development in children and adolescents because during deep sleep, the body releases hormones it needs to grow. While regular exercise can make bones healthier, denser, and stronger.
There are several factors that affect a child’s height. However, if you are worried that your child will experience impaired body growth due to certain diseases, you can invite your child to go to the nearest hospital or an endocrinologist.
The Role of the Pediatrician Endocrinologist
Pediatrician endocrinologist is a doctor who has special expertise to examine and treat children who have disorders related to hormones and glands.
A Line of Problems a Pediatrician Endocrinologist Can Handle
Pediatrician endocrinologists treat health problems related to the child’s endocrine system.
The endocrine system consists of organs that act as endocrine glands in the body, including the adrenal, parathyroid, ovaries, testes, thyroid, and pancreas glands. These organs produce hormones, which are chemicals that play an important role in regulating bodily functions, such as growth and reproduction.
The following are some conditions in children that can be treated by a pediatric endocrinologist:
- Growth problems, such as short and abnormal growth in children due to growth hormone deficiency
- Early or delayed puberty problems in children
- Problems with the thyroid gland, such as congenital hypothyroidism, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer
- Disorders of the pituitary and adrenal glands
- Abnormalities of the ovaries (ovaries) and testicles
- Type 1 or type 2 diabetes and childhood obesity
- Disorders related to vitamin D deficiency, such as rickets and calcium deficiency
- Emotional disturbances caused by hormonal factors
Actions that can be performed by a pediatric endocrinologist include:
- Performing a physical examination and tracing medical history, growth and development, and monitoring weight
- Evaluate children’s nutritional adequacy
- Evaluate the child’s emotional condition associated with hormonal disturbances
- Carry out supporting examinations, either by laboratory tests or by imaging
- Provide insulin therapy for children with diabetes
- Planning for surgery on the affected glands
- Carrying out treatment, care, and monitoring of children with cancer
- Provide explanations regarding the problems experienced by children to parents
When to Check Your Child to a Pediatric Endocrinologist?
It is recommended that you take your child to a pediatric endocrinologist if your child:
- Experiencing unusual and abnormal growth according to age
- Appears thinner or overweight for no apparent reason
- Experiencing early or late puberty
- Experiencing symptoms of frequent urination, constant thirst, and a sharp increase or decrease in appetite
- Often feel tired for no apparent reason
- Has body odor like adults
Getting the best and suitable pediatric endocrinologist for your child is not easy. Therefore, don’t hesitate to ask questions and ask for recommendations from relatives, friends, relatives, or the pediatrician you visit.
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