Introduction To Dwarfism, Achondroplasia, And Growth-Hormone Deficiency

I have this personal philosophy that for one to be able to reach any goal or get to any destination, it is important to study the entire range of the subject of study. I also focus a lot on what could be the opposite result or effect of the process or system being analyzed.

For example, If I wanted to learn how to success in business, not only will I study and learn from the best of the best who made their millions or even billions, I would try to study those individuals who failed and failed spectacularly bad, and learn form their experiences and mistakes to do the exact opposite of their actions or avoid those actions. This is why I believe that to learn all the methods and way to possibly increase height, it is important to also learn about the different ways one’s height can be decreased, stunted, or lost.

We had previously talked about how one will usually lose height as one gets older HERE, whether Coffee and Caffeine will stunt one’s growth HERE, and there was many mentions of how one’s height can be lost if one does not get the right nutrition and exercise. Now we wanted to focus on natural conditions (i.e. genetic disorders) that develops into short stature for people.

When talking about people of short stature, there are a few terms used in the public lexicon which apparently have different meanings each. There is dwarf, midget, pygmy, and little people. The terms midget is now considered offensive and we will not use it. The term little people is a term used for political correctness in social science arguments so we won’t use that term either. We will focus on the biological term Dwarf in this post. Dwarfs are people who suffer from dwarfism (real clear definition there). Dwarfism is sometimes defined as an adult height of less than 147 cm (58 inches) by the National Institute Of Health. However we must be very careful with that definition because dwarfism can only be used to talk about a pathology and disorder since short stature is not defined or classified as a disorder. The reason is because of the fact that pygmies are people who have through evolution evolved to their relative small sizes for fitness reasons but they do not suffer from any form of physical or genetic maladies as defined by the current medical literature.

From the Wikipedia Article on Dwarfism found HERE.

“Dwarfism can be caused by about 200 distinct medical conditions, such that the symptoms and characteristics of individual people with dwarfism vary greatly… Disproportionate dwarfism is characterized by one or more body parts being relatively large or small in comparison to those of an average-sized adult, with growth variations in specific areas being apparent. In cases of proportionate dwarfism, the body appears normally proportioned, but is unusually small. ”

Disproportionate dwarfism is characterized by one or more body parts being unusually large or small compared to the rest of the body. In achondroplasia one’s trunk is usually of average size, one’s limbs being proportionately shorter, one’s head usually larger, and a prominent forehead. In at least one case achondroplasia resulted in a significantly smaller trunk and head. Facial features are often affected and individual body parts may have problems associated with them. Orthopedic problems can result from multiple conditions such as diastrophic dysplasia and pseudoachondroplasia.

Proportionate dwarfism is marked by body parts being proportional but smaller. Height is significantly below average and there may be long periods without any significant growth. Sexual development is often delayed or impaired into adulthood. Unlike disproportionate dwarfism, in some cases intellectual disability may be a part of proportionate dwarfism. The overall stunted growth can lead to impaired intelligence when compared to physical age.

Physical maleffects of malformed bones vary according to the specific disease. Many involve joint pain caused by abnormal bone alignment, or from nerve compression. Early degenerative joint disease, exaggerated lordosis or scoliosis, and constriction of spinal cord or nerve roots can cause pain and disability. Reduced thoracic size can restrict lung growth and reduce pulmonary function. Some forms of dwarfism are associated with disordered function of other organs, such as the brain or liver, sometimes severely enough to be more of an impairment than the unusual bone growth.

Mental effects also vary according to the specific underlying syndrome. In most cases of skeletal dysplasia, such as achondroplasia, mental function is not impaired in any way. However, there are syndromes which can affect the cranial structure and growth of the brain, severely impairing mental capacity. Unless the brain is directly affected by the underlying disorder, there is little to no chance of mental impairment that can be attributed to dwarfism.

The most common form of dwarfism is achondroplasia. Achondroplasia is a bone-growth disorder responsible for 70% of dwarfism cases. With achondroplasia, one’s limbs are proportionately shorter than one’s trunk (abdominal area), with a larger head than average and characteristic facial features. Conditions in humans characterized by disproportional body parts are typically caused by one or more genetic disorders in bone or cartilage development. Extreme shortness in humans with proportional body parts usually has a hormonal cause, such as growth-hormone deficiency, once called pituitary dwarfism.

There is no single treatment for dwarfism. Individual differences, such as bone-growth disorders, sometimes can be treated through surgery, some hormone disorders can be treated through medication, and by hormone replacement therapy; this treatment must be done before the child’s’ growth plates fuse. Individual accommodations, such as specialized furniture, are often used by people with dwarfism. Many support groups provide services to aid individuals with dwarfism in facing the challenges of an ableist society.

Dwarfism is a highly visible condition and often carries negative connotations in society. Because of their unusual height, people with dwarfism often work as spectacles in entertainment and are often portrayed with stereotypes. For a person with dwarfism, heightism can lead to ridicule in childhood and discrimination in adulthood.

Short stature can be inherited without any coexisting disease. Short stature in the absence of a medical condition is not generally considered dwarfism. For example, a short man and a short woman with average health will tend to produce children who are also short and with average health. While short parents tend to produce short children, persons with dwarfism may produce children of average height, if the cause of their dwarfism is not genetically transmissible or if the individual does not pass on the genetic variation.

Me: I would say that this is a good introduction to the study of dwarfism, all the main types there are, and what affect they have on the body. There will be more analysis and study on dwarfism in the future, specifically a look at achondroplasia and growth-hormone deficiency.


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