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Growth disorders affect both children and adults. In children, they may keep a child from growing similarly to his or her peers. Conditions that may cause growth disorders include:


Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) in Children|a child’s body doesn’t make enough growth hormone on its own

One clear sign of GHD is a noticeable slowing of growth. Between the age of 2 and puberty, children with GHD may grow less than 2 inches per year. Growth hormone may help children grow to their full height potential.

Small for Gestational Age (SGA)|a child born smaller than expected for the duration of the pregnancy (gestational age)

SGA describes a child who is born smaller than most others who were born after the same number of weeks of gestation. ("Gestational age" means the length of time spent in the womb.)

Most children born SGA "catch up" to other children by age 2. They catch up by growing faster than usual during the first 2 years. But 10% of these children don't catch up and may be helped by growth hormone therapy.

Idiopathic Short Stature (ISS)|no apparent cause

Children with ISS are shorter than 98.8% of other children of the same age and gender. They are growing so slowly that they are not likely to reach a normal adult height and may benefit from growth hormone therapy.

Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS)|a genetic disorder

PWS is a complex disorder caused by changes in certain genes. It is rarely inherited from parents. It usually occurs when the fetus is forming. Growth hormone therapy may help children with PWS grow taller and increase lean body mass.

Turner Syndrome (TS)|a chromosomal disorder that affects only girls

TS is caused by changes in, or absence of, one of the two X chromosomes found in females. Almost all girls with TS have short stature and loss of ovarian function.

Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) in Adults|an adult’s body doesn’t make enough growth hormone

GHD in adults can be caused by harm to the brain or the pituitary gland, or may be the result of childhood onset. It may also be caused by surgery or radiation treatment of the pituitary gland.