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A to Z: Growth Disorder

May also be called: Growth Failure

Growth disorders are medical problems that stop kids from growing taller or gaining weight as they should.  

More to Know

Growth disorders have different causes. For some kids, hormones  are the problem. For others, it's genes. Some kids may not grow well as a side-effect of medicines they must take for other health problems. Growth disorder can also be connected to illnesses like kidney failure, celiac disease, heart problems, cystic fibrosis, or Crohn's disease

Doctors treat a growth disorder based on what's causing it. If a child's body doesn't make enough thyroid  hormones or growth hormone, doctors will give the child the missing hormone in pills or injections. Sometimes a growth problem is caused by another illness. When doctors treat that problem, the child's growth may improve.

Keep in Mind

Slow growth isn't always a sign of a health problem. When parents are short, kids may be too. Other kids are "late bloomers": They may not grow or develop as fast as their peers, but they catch up eventually. 

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

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