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Dwarfism: What Are the Signs To Diagnose It in Children?

Sunday, 09 February 2014 11:41 PM

Dwarfism is a group of conditions resulting in short development of stature.

Disproportionate and proportionate dwarfisms are the two main types of dwarfism. The most common type of disproportionate dwarfism is achondroplasia, which affects about 1 in 15,000 children. In most of the cases, the trunk development is normal and the limb development is retarded. It is called short limb development dwarfism.
Hormone deficiency causes proportionate development dwarfism, which refers to signs of overall retarded development in the baby. Signs of retarded development in a baby always need confirmation by imaging, genetic testing, and estimation of hormone deficiency. A baby’s physical appearance and the images of their bones give some idea about hormone deficiency dwarfism. 
It is possible to diagnose dwarfism through some signs at the birth of a baby or even in the fetus in the uterus by ultrasonography. A large head with broad forehead is a major sign of achondroplasia. Flat nose-bridge and bowed legs are the other signs to diagnose this condition in a baby. Some other significant signs are misaligned teeth, protruding jaw, and forward curvature of lower spine. Height below the third percentile of normal pediatric growth chart indicates short stature in hormone deficiency dwarfism in children. Generally, dwarfism associated with hormone deficiency causes proportionate dwarfism, so it is difficult to diagnose. But genetic problems dwarfism is easy to diagnose in children.

Dwarfism due to hormone deficiency is usually diagnosed by the time the baby turns 2 or 3 years old. Some hormonal injections are available to manage hormone deficiency. Delayed motor skills and reduced immunity can also be signs in these children. Often retarded physical development is the only sign a doctor and parent observes in a baby. In children with hormone deficiency dwarfism, the signs of sexual growth and intelligence may also be impaired. Other signs of short stature are degenerative bone disorders causing pain and abnormal gait.

If parents observe these signs and symptoms in their baby, then it is better to contact a physician for confirmation. Generally, pituitary hormone deficiency causes retarded growth of the baby. Human growth hormone (HGH) deficiency is another name for it. In early childhood, doctors generally look for signs such as clubbed foot and other bone deformities to rule out dwarfism. Normally, the cognitive functions are not affected in a dwarf child.

Life span of these children is the same as that of normal children. But sometimes, dwarfism is linked with many medical conditions like heart and brain development problems. Self-esteem and social relations are affected in these children, and they need to be addressed. A person with dwarfism can produce children of normal height, if the cause of dwarfism is not genetic.

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Dwarfism is a child development disorder affecting children across the world. Hormone deficiency along with many other factors is responsible for this condition. It is easy to diagnose dwarfism in a baby through some signs.
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Sunday, 09 February 2014 11:41 PM
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