Dwarfism – but why?
On average four-year-old European girls measure 104cms. The girl in paediatrician Dr Then’s treatment room makes it to 103cms, but is already twelve years old. What is the reason?
During the general examination the paediatrician found cool extremities (arms and legs), dry skin and a stocky body. In the x-ray he could find no thyroid. He could hardly measure any thyroid hormones. Her bone age is one of a four-year-old.
The diagnosis is a severe hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) with ensuing dwarfism. Her father says that she has not grown for the past six years.
Regular doses of thyroid hormones will be part of her therapy. Time will tell what height increase will still be possible. Unfortunately a lack of thyroid hormones also leads to mental retardation.
Since an early diagnosis makes a huge difference in the further course of the illness a hypothyroidism screening is compulsory by law in Europe and USA. (Pictures taken by Susi Rottler).