Diseases Diseases

Causes Of Stunted Growth in Infants

Introduction

Growth is known as the rise in height and weight of a human
being. It’s a tool of measurement of quality of one’s life. A
chart is issued by WHO to be used worldwide having height,
weight and BMI (body mass index) on it. It compares a child’s
growth with that of others of same age and area. Various
patterns of growth are found in children. Normal growth,
Normal but unusual growth pattern, Abnormal or stunted
growth.

History

Normal growth:

Normal parameters acquired with the data observed in
children of the same area and population is known as
normal growth pattern. A person's adult height and weight
is determined by many factors, including the heights and
weight of his or her parents, the age at which puberty begins
etc.

Normal but unusual growth pattern:

Variations from the usual pattern of growth may occur and
may lie in the range of normal. Many growing children are
short because of inherited shortness from their parents. Even
though if someone is taller than his previous generations,
there will always be healthy individuals whose height will be
in the less than him. This is known as familial short stature.
This kind of growth delay may present as stress for a child.
Natural growth can be speeded up by giving a small dose

of sex hormone according to the gender. Small risks are
associated with the use, though. Constitutional growth delay
refers to normal growing children who are short for their age.

 

Features

Abnormal growth pattern:

Stunted growth is an arrested growth rate in human
development. It can be due to malnutrition in early
childhood, including malnutrition during fetal development
because of the undernourished mother. Stunted children
may or may not regain the height lost as a result of stunted
growth rate, and most will never gain the relative body
weight. This could cause premature deaths in such stunted
children.

What causes stunted growth?

From the data observed from growth chart, malnutrition
appears to be the most common reason of stunted growth.
Other causes could be: Chronic disease, Endocrine disorders,
Emotional health, & Infections.

In chronic disease, stunted growth results because body
is a state of continuous wear & tears phenomena. All that
nutrition acquired is used against the distress of continued
ailment. In an endocrine disorder, stunted growth is due
to low levels of hormones, required otherwise. In case of
emotional health derangement, one’s body is not ready to
accept the changes occurring because of physical growth of
body. A typical example is a mental retarded child who can

be of 18 years but act like 10 years old; this is another leading
cause of stunted growth.

Let me now explain to you the common cases of stunted
growth:

Poor Nutrition and systemic disease:

A balanced diet is essential for growth; therefore a disorder
leading to poor nutrition, malnutrition or poor nutrient
uptake state will cause stunted growth. Any disease that is
severe, untreated or poorly controlled can have a bad effect
on growth. Severe stress or emotional trauma may cause
stunted growth.

Bone disorders:

Abnormal formation and growth of both cartilage and bone
results in stunted growth. Children, with a skeletal growth
problem, are short and have abnormal body size; intelligence
is usually normal. Some of these problems can be hereditary.
One such problem is known to affect siblings also.

Intrauterine Growth Retardation:

Inside the womb of mother several problems may result in
fetal distress eventually leading to stunted growth.it can be
anatomical (placental), physical or infections (measles).

Turner Syndrome:

Girls can have short stature due to abnormal chromosomal
mutations. Turner syndrome involves X chromosomes.

Special blood tests on genetics are done to evaluate the
reason for stunted growth.

Thyroid Hormone Deficiency:

Hypothyroidism in mother is distressful for fetus and a
hypothyroid baby fails to grow at normal pace resulting in
stunted growth.

 

Tips and comments

Growth hormone deficiency:

Many hormones work together to stimulate normal growth,
but growth hormone is one of the most important. Its
deficiency or the absence of receptors for the action of GF it
results in fairly stunted growth of the diseased child.

Hope is built on discovering the treatment for all the causes
of stunted growth.

By Ali Javed, published at 02/02/2012
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