What can a pediatric endocrinologist do for your child’s growth? All you need to know.

Parents worry when their child is not growing normally. The height of children varies significantly. Often, many children with growth issues can look healthy. As you may have noticed, a weight change is easily recognized by parents, but a change in height (or lack thereof) might not be recognized or appreciated for a long time.

What is short stature?

Short stature refers to a child who is growing significantly below their expected growth path on a growth chart.

Most children grow about 2 inches every year from age 5 years until growth has been completed. If the child's growth velocity drops, there might be an underlying hormonal issue that requires immediate attention.

Children typically begin growing at a faster rate during puberty and eventually close the gap with their peers. Some adolescents might feel uncomfortable around peers who are significantly taller than them.

Therefore, majority of experts recommend assessing a child's height as well as weight regularly.

A pediatric endocrinologist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine (hormonal) disorders in children, including diabetes and growth disorders.

If your child has an underlying growth issue, they will likely need to see a pediatric endocrinologist at some point. Your pediatrician might make the appropriate recommendations when the need becomes apparent.

During the child's endocrinology visit, a thorough evaluation will be undertaken to determine the cause of growth delay.

What can cause short stature?

When assessing a child's growth, a specialist considers a variety of factors. The height of the parents can predict how tall a child might be as an adult. Based on the parents’ heights, the mid-parental height can be calculated based on a simple formula. The mid-parental height gives an estimate of the child’s genetic potential for height. When a child is born to short parents, the child is likely to grow with a final adult height that is below average.

Some children with short stature might be ‘late bloomers’. This means that they will have late onset of puberty and finally achieve typical height as an adult.

Other medical conditions that might affect a child’s growth include heart disease, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney disease, thyroid disorders and bone disorders. Certain genetic conditions might also be associated with short stature.

How is short stature evaluated and treated?

A pediatric endocrinologist will evaluate your child for multiple causes of short stature through lab testing and bone age x-rays.

Often, children with endocrine disorders require lifelong hormone replacement therapy. To achieve the best results for their children, families need to understand their child's condition. It can be best achieved through unhurried appointments with ample time for physician-patient interaction.

KAP Pediatric Endocrinology (KAP: Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices) offers a direct patient care model that maximizes patient time and comfort, minimizes waiting times, and keeps costs low while keeping insurance out of the equation.

If you are looking for personalized endocrine healthcare, then visit kapendocrine.com and enroll to become members of our practice. We are designed to put you, the patient, first.