The term “tall stature” may be used in a variety of ways and generally means a person’s height is above average. In children, height is measured from birth to track normal growth patterns based on the individual’s circumstance. While a child’s growth may be significantly faster than normal, they may be perfectly healthy. However, tall stature may signify an underlying medical condition.
When a child’s growth is significantly faster than normal, there are typically two reasons: genetics (familial) or a hormonal disorder.
Familial tall stature, also known as constitutional tall stature, is the most common cause of tall stature. It is more common with females whose mother was also unusually tall in childhood.
Hormone conditions also contribute to tall stature, although not as common as genetic or nutritional factors. Hyperthyroidism and excessive growth hormone are two conditions that contribute to tall stature in children.
Children with genetic/familial tall stature are normal and typically don’t require treatment. If symptoms listed below are evident, medical treatment may be necessary.
To diagnose tall stature and related conditions, Dr. Joshua Smith at Rocky Mountain Diabetes Center will perform a complete physical examination including medical history. He will conduct measurements of the child’s height, weight, limbs, and trunk. Dr. Smith may also perform blood tests to determine if the cause of tall stature is related to a hormone disorder.
Children who show symptoms of hormonal tall stature should contact Dr. Joshua Smith for further evaluation. These symptoms include:
The treatment options for tall stature will vary depending on the root cause of the condition. If it is determined that abnormally rapid growth is due to a hormonal problem, treatments may be necessary. Only after a physical examination and testing will proper treatments be discussed with Dr. Smith.
If your child is experiencing tall stature symptoms, call Dr. Joshua Smith for an appointment, or fill out the form below.
Dr. Smith is the region’s only specialist in pediatric endocrinology and is specifically trained to properly diagnose and treat tall stature.
Effective treatments, if necessary, are available, but it is important to know that early intervention can prevent future problems in many cases.