Dwarfism – What it is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments!

Dwarfism – What it is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments  to help lessen the difficulties of this condition. In addition, dwarfism  is said to be when an individual has a much smaller height (about 20% less) than the average of other people in the same population.

People who are victims of this small growth are popularly called dwarves. In general, these individuals are shorter than 1.45 meters in the case of men and 1.40 meters in the case of women.

The smallest people in the world, due to dwarfism , can reach adulthood with only 60 centimeters in height. Dwarves, however, have normal intelligence and the same abilities as other people, being limited only by their stature.

What is  Dwarfism   Dwarfismis a genetic disease that causes abnormal skeletal growth, leaving the individual with a stature 20% below the normal average of other individuals of their age and race, or less than the average of the general population.

Individuals suffering from this disease are called dwarves. Dwarfism can also occur in animals, but we will stop  here to talk about human Dwarfism  . Therefore, a man is considered to be a dwarf when he measures up to 1.45m and for a woman to be considered a dwarf she must measure up to 1.40m. Based on morphology, Dwarfism is divided into two large groups:

  • Pituitary Dwarfism  or Proportional Dwarfism  (it is caused by hormonal changes) – the individual has a short stature and the size of their organs maintains the same proportion;
  • Rhizomelic Dwarfism  or Disproportionate Dwarfism  (caused by genetic mutations) – also called Skeletal Dysplasia.

The individual’s size is much smaller than normal and some of their organs are larger in size in relation to their height. Most common types of dwarfism  are:

  • Achondroplasia (one in 26,000 to 40,000 births);
  • Spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia, Congenital (one in 95,000 births);
  • Diastrophic dysplasia (one in 110,000 births).

Causes of Dwarfism:  The main causes are genetic, and may or may not have hereditary reasons. In some cases, it can be the result of a premature arrest of skeletal growth, caused by a lack of growth hormone. In others, short stature is related to skeletal deformities.

Diagnosis occurs with an analysis of the child ‘s height , weight and head circumference. Furthermore, it is important to analyze genetics, family medical history and the results of hormonal tests and imaging studies.

Symptoms of Dwarfism:  Short stature and some delay in sexual development are the few signs that people affected by proportional pituitary dwarfism  usually show. Already, in individuals with achondroplasia, the most frequent form of disproportionate dwarfism  , are typical symptoms of the disorder:

  • Short;
  • Short arms and legs, especially compared to the normal size of the torso;
  • Large head (macrocephaly);
  • Prominent forehead;
  • Flattening at the top of the nose;
  • Short and thick fingers;
  • Small hands;
  • Flat, small and wide feet;
  • Bowing of the legs;
  • Impaired mobility in the elbow joint;
  • Marked kyphosis and lordosis;
  • Jaw protrusion and teeth misalignment.

These signs can appear at different levels and degrees in people who have the disorder.

Dwarfism Treatments:  Some cases of Dwarfism can be detected before birth, and may even undergo treatments that improve bone development, but in other cases the problem can only be detected in childhood .

Some dwarves have problems with anesthesia, as they develop a condition called “malignant hyperthermia”, an overheating of the organization that can be aggravated with some anesthetics. In other cases, due to the compression of the organs by the bone structure, some dwarfs may have their life expectancy reduced, which is not a generic characteristic.

However, Dwarfism  is a health problem like any other, and an individual with Dwarfism  can live normally like any other.

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