Today’s episode is for all those parents who are worried about their child’s growth and development. Height is determined by genetics, hormones, environment and diet. Here we will discuss all the factors that might lead to stunted growth or your child not reaching his full genetic potential in height.
Every mom has a constant worry in the back of her mind, whether her child is eating well, and growing right or not. We try to map our kid’s growth by the portions of food they finish. What we eat doesn’t always translate into growth.
All we can do is ensure a balanced diet along with good physical exercise and wait for the next check-up where the paediatrician decides whether our child has been growing well or not.
Today’s episode is all about myth-busting and clearing all your doubts related to growth and hormonal changes in children. For this, we have with us a special guest who is a dear friend and a Pediatric endocrinologist- Dr. Alok Sardesai. He has done a specialization in paediatrics followed by a Post Doctoral Fellowship in Pediatric and Adolescent Endocrinology. He holds special expertise in the management of Juvenile Diabetes Mellitus.
He is currently practising as a consultant at various private and government hospitals across Bombay like apollo hospital, Mala’s children’s clinic and more. Apart from being an avid reader and a nature enthusiast he is great with kids
Growth has many determinants. Like the food we eat, our genetic makeup, how lean or fat our parents and grandparents have been, hormonal changes at puberty, the general environment that the child is growing up in, whether it is a happy household or one riddled with emotional trauma. The number one question that I as a physician get faced with, is
What should I do to increase my child’s height?Every other parent.
I mean whats this perception of a person with good height being beautiful. I feel its all a Psychological construct created by the society. We can’t change peoples perceptions about it we can surely try to break them using scientific facts.
If the parents are tall they expect their kids to be of similar proportions in height. Is it really the case?
In an ideal case with an ideal genetic makeup with ideal environmental conditions and health, the answer is yes, but we live in an imperfect world and this statement is not always true
Speaking of Genetics, a child gets a set of genes from the father and a set from the mother but he also has his own genetic makeup and variants/abnormalities in these Genes can lead to short stature.
Not only that, but even the hunger and satiety of the child are genetically determined. Our brain has different centres for each of these things. If you see a child eating more, for eg. a child who is chubby and is habitutated to eating between meals then it couldb e out of boredom. But if the child is also gaining weight then that is a cause of concern.
What should cause an alarm is eating and not getting a feeling of fullness. It can be manifested as the absence of satisfaction even after a full meal. Other contributory factors include Environment factors that play a role in determining the childs height, but they cant be controlled.
Also disease state of the child i.e. If the child has been frequently ill or had prolonged periods of illnesses then his height will be affected. That is the effect of the general health of the child on his height. Puberty is the last growth spurt that your child receives. It can be early or late and in both cases, the child can end up with short stature. so if you have a girl child look out for menses and other signs of puberty.
When you visit your pediatrician with a concern of your child’s height, then he might examine him and determine his Mid parental height. It is a sex-adjusted average of the parental heights and is usually the target range for the child’s final height. If the child has slow growth velocity then growth hormone is one intervention that can be used to help the child reach his predicted adult height.
Catching short stature, growth retardation, slowing requires regular paediatrician visits even if there is nothing wrong with the child. it is so the doctor can track the child’s growth and plot is against the normal and find if your child is developing right or not. Many Growth tracking apps are also available and Growth tracking tools that require a parent to only measure the height and weight of the child monthly.
You can connect with Dr. Alok Sardesai on his social media
If you wish to get a consultation with dr. Alok then he runs Clinics which deal with hormonal problems in children and adolescents in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane.
- T2T Hormone Clinics India Private Limited, Andheri
- Apollo Hospital Navi Mumbai
- Sparsh Children’s Hospital, Parel
- Colours Children’s Hospital, Navi Mumbai
- Mala Children’s Hospital, Thane
Do subscribe to Doctormommyspeaks parenting podcast so you will be notified each time a new episode is online. Don’t forget to like, subscribe and review our podcast where you listen. It will help others to find this podcast.
You can connect with Doctormommyspeaks on Facebook, Linkedin, And Twitter below.
Looking forward to connecting with you on Instagram.
Pin an image you like on my page, right onto your board. Or check my Pinterest for more such resources.
And you can visit our website
For all our show notes and any resources mentioned by me or my guests. And while you’re at it don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter.