Other Causes of Growth Disorders

Diseases of the kidneys, heart, gastrointestinal tract, or lungs also may lead to growth disorders, which may be the first sign of a problem in some of these conditions. Endocrine diseases involving too little or too many hormones can cause growth failure during childhood and adolescence. Growth hormone deficiency is a disorder that involves the pituitary gland, which may not produce enough hormones for normal growth. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland fails to make enough thyroid hormone, which is essential for normal bone growth.

One of the most common genetic growth problems is Turner syndrome, which occurs in girls when there is a missing or abnormal x chromosome. In addition to short stature, girls with Turner syndrome usually do not experience normal sexual development because their ovaries do not function normally.

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