Has your child lost appetite and grown weak? Have he/she not been growing of late? Well, the chances are your child is suffering from short stature condition, a common symptom seen in children. It is critical that you don’t panic, says a doctor at a Delhi hospital who has successfully treated a nine-year-old boy who stopped growing for the past three years.
“Millions of children go undiagnosed for short stature every year,” said Vaishakhi Rustagi, consultant, paediatric endocrinology, Max Super Specialty Hospital, Shalimar Bagh.
Approximately 30-35% girls and 18-20 affected boys go untreated for the condition, Rustagi said in a statement. Nine-year-old Inderpreet could be one of them. Pritam Singh was left flummoxed when his nine-year-old boy’s growth came to a standstill. A school teacher in Srinagar, it broke his heart to see his child’s condition vis-a-vis his school mates who were all enjoying a normal growth development cycle.
Inderpreet stood at 113 cm and weighed 18 kg at the age of nine years and was suffering from a stunted growth condition.
He had lost his appetite and felt very weak. Even basic functions like walking had become an arduous task. He was taken to many doctors for consultation only to be disappointed with medicines and tonics that were ineffective.
Finally, in April 2015 the family brought the child to Max Super Specialty Hospital, Shalimar Bagh. Inderpreet is being successfully treated by Rustagi and now measures 126 cm in height and weighs 26 kg, the statement said.
The boy who had completely stopped growing for three years has grown 13 cm in just one year and gained eight kilograms. He is able to walk properly, eat well and attend school, the statement added.
“Short stature is a grave health issue that needs to be addressed urgently. It may result from skeletal dysplasia, endocrine disorders, may be familial, or may be the result of malnutrition and chronic illnesses,” Rustagi explained.
Short stature patients are often victims of social stigmas during the course of their life which results in psychological stress, depression, reclusion and other mental health problem.
It is critical to be aware of the key indicators of this problem in order to ensure timely intervention.
“The key to confronting the issue of short stature is timing! It is important to have an early diagnosis and treatment of short stature,” Rustagi said.