How to Detect Slow Growth in Children


slow growth in children

Slow Growth in Children is a troubling issue. Most doctors are not sure what to do about it and the cause is not known. I am going to share with you some of my experience over the years with my patients that suffer from Slow Growth in Children. A slow growth problem is a symptom of an underlying disorder such as congenital hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid, or hyperthyroidism. Depending on the underlying cause, treatment can be very different for children than it is for adults.

Congenital Hypothyroidism is a common cause of Slow Growth in Children. If a child has slow body growth, it could be due to an underactive thyroid gland. In this case, the most important step is to start treatment right away to alleviate symptoms. The most common symptoms include constipation, slow mental growth, dry skin, and weight loss. Treatment will include medications that will help balance the thyroid hormones.

An Overview

A woman sitting in a pot

In the case of a hyperthyroid condition, treatments will vary depending on the severity. In this case, medication is required, but there are other options that include daily injections of prescribed synthetic thyroxine to provide the needed level of growth hormone supplementation. This option has been effective in treating both mild and severe cases. While medications are not an immediate solution, they offer hope by alleviating symptoms such as constipation and slow-release breasts.

Another problem that may lead to slow growth in children is the presence of digenic dysfunction. Some of the symptoms of digested disorders are slow pulse, slow breathing, enlargement of the liver, enlarged spleen, and increased calcium in the blood. If these symptoms are present, it is time to have a liver biopsy and obtain a urine sample for testing. If the doctor finds the presence of a tumor, surgery may be necessary. This is especially true in the case of benign tumors, which can be removed surgically.

Congenital Hypothyroidism is another possible cause for the slow growth in children. This is usually the case with individuals who were born with a small sized thyroid gland. The congenital hypothyroidism has a number of different causes including heredity, radiation exposure, infection, and autoimmune processes. Treatment is typically based on what was known at birth, but in some cases there are available treatments to relieve the symptoms of the congenital hypothyroidism.

Detecting Slow Growth In Children

A little girl standing next to a tree

A problem with slow growth in children can also be associated with nutrition. Children with inadequate nutrition and adequate vitamins and minerals may experience a variety of symptoms. These symptoms include a lack of appetite, vomiting, cramping, growth failure, loss of weight, and lethargy. A deficiency of certain vitamins such as iodine can also lead to stunted growth in children. This can be especially true in cases where the child may have been exposed to an iodine deficiency before birth.

Another common cause of slow growth in children is hyperthyroidism. In this condition, the pituitary gland secretes too much of the hormone thyroxine. Doctors can use medication to correct the hyperthyroidism, but there are no hormonal remedies that can reverse the effects of hyperthyroidism. Other ways to treat this type of condition include: hormone replacement therapy, which allow doctors to slowly stimulate the pituitary gland so it can produce more of the growth hormone, and removing some of the gland’s normal tissue to increase production.

Slow growth in children can be frustrating for parents, because they don’t understand how the situation came about. However, they should be reassured that their little one is not experiencing a life-threatening illness, and that it is simply because their thyroid hormone levels are out of balance. In many cases, this can be corrected by taking supplements that contain iodine, a hormone blocker, vitamin B12, or vitamin D. These supplements are available at most health food stores and online. For more information on treating the underlying cause, it is advisable to speak with a pediatrician.

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