Some children experience slow growth due to factors such as diet, emotional stress, or disease. For a small number of children and adults, their short stature is caused by a medical condition that either slows or stops growth. Norditropin® is used to treat some of these conditions.
Idiopathic Short Stature
Idiopathic short stature (ISS) is a term used when your child is very short compared with other children of the same age and there is no recognizable disorder, hormonal issue, or nutritional problem that would cause it.
What are the signs of ISS?
Children with ISS have normal birth weights and sufficient levels of growth hormone—which means they do not have growth hormone deficiency (GHD). Most children with ISS appear otherwise healthy and have normal body proportions. Often, short stature is the only feature present. If your child is diagnosed with ISS, there are medicines that may help.
Some signs of ISS are:
Shorter height than the normal range, regardless of biological parents’ heights
Slowing of growth rate
Growth that is below the 3rd percentile
What about puberty?
Some boys and girls with ISS experience a delay in puberty, while others don’t
How is ISS diagnosed?
Diagnosing your child with ISS means first ruling out other causes of short stature, such as GHD or a genetic disorder. Your child’s doctor will conduct a thorough personal and familial medical history and physical exam, which may include lab tests, along with measuring their height, arm span, and head circumference. Depending on the results of the examination, the doctor may make a referral to a pediatric endocrinologist for further testing—which may include genetic testing.
In addition, a pediatric endocrinologist may order a stimulation test, or “stim” test, to measure your child's level of growth hormone. During this test, your child is given a medication that causes the pituitary gland to release larger amounts of growth hormone. Over a period of time, several blood samples are taken to measure the amount of growth hormone in the body. If your child's growth hormone levels are normal, the diagnosis may be ISS.
In most cases, ISS is diagnosed by ruling out growth hormone deficiency as the cause of your child's short stature.
After the diagnosis.
After diagnosing your child with ISS, the doctor may recommend a treatment such as growth hormone and will likely ask for regular follow-up visits to monitor your child’s growth and make sure that treatment is working well.
Learn more about what life is like for families whose children are being treated with Norditropin®.