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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Growth problems in 13 year old ds- really concerned-would be grateful for advice.

(15 Posts)
ArcticRoll Tue 25-Sep-12 14:43:04

Feeling a bit overwhelmed and would welcome any advice from people with similar experience.
My son has not been growing at the expected rate-he grew 4.3cm last year. He used to be tall for his age and then in the last three years he appears to have slowed down whilst all his peers have shot up. He is becoming acutely aware of this. He has been seen by Endicronology consultant and blood tests show that he is insufficient in growth hormones. He has a bone age of 11 years. We are awaiting results from a glucagon stimulation test to see what is causing the growth delays-if it is lack of growth hormones they said they will look at growth hormone therapy. Bit worried about the side effects of this.
He also has asthma and , Ibs type symptoms and I feel that these are linked to his growth problems.

Sorry for long message but would really appreciate it if anyone had faced similar problems with their children?

megandraper Tue 25-Sep-12 14:49:56

Not much help, I'm afraid, but has he had a blood test for coeliac disease? This can cause growth problems in children (and doesn't necessarily come with bowel symptoms).

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 25-Sep-12 14:51:45

Is his asthma well controlled?

ArcticRoll Tue 25-Sep-12 15:00:42

Hi bedhopper and hallhasnofury..thanks for replies. He has been tested in past for coeliac disease and results have been negative-but I have read that they can sometimes produce false negative results? He probably has two asthma attacks a year-he takes Clonil Modulate two puffs twice a day and Ventolin when he is feeling wheezy. I know that there are links to steroid use and growth delays-however when I bring it up with the doctors they are quite dismissive.
We have attempted to follow a gluten free diet and also a dairy free diet at different times in past. I am now trying to implement a dairy free and gluten free diet simultaneously.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 25-Sep-12 15:21:27

I have a daughter (now 22) who has growth restriction. Like your DS she showed delayed growth as a child and teen but sadly her growth plates fused at 14/15 so she grew no more. Although I think steroids played their part (she was on double the safe adult dose of Flixotide and still not controlled as well as oral steroids) her consultant feels her problems were more likely caused by the poor sleep she got due to her asthma. DS was on a similarly high dose but his growth has been fine but he had better night-time control.

ArcticRoll Tue 25-Sep-12 16:14:59

hellhasnofury-it's interesting you mention the link with poor sleep-ds is a mouth breather and I have read reports that link poor quality sleep with growth disorder.i was thinking of asking him to be referred to ENT specialist to look at whether this could be causing problems with growth.

itsanewday Tue 25-Sep-12 20:46:29

When do you actually decide that they should be seen by a dr? My ds is nearly 14 and quite small. I have been trying not to worry as my dad didn't grow until he was 16 and he's almost 6 ft. When should one start to worry?

ArcticRoll Tue 25-Sep-12 22:32:30

itsanewday-ds was already being seen by paediatrician for his chronic IBS symptoms-we noticed that he was dropping down the height centiles so he had further tests to see why this was and was then referred to endocrinologist. I think if you worried then it's worth going to your GP.

megandraper Wed 26-Sep-12 13:26:16

Yes, coeliac blood test isn't always reliable. Good idea to try the gluten free / dairy free diet. That is hard work to do (we are only gluten free, which is hard work in itself) but - if coeliac or gluten sensitivity is a factor, should show results fairly quickly. Some people see a difference in days/weeks. With DS1, it took 6 months to see a difference w.r.t. growth - but then a big growth spurt.

Wondering if for you it could be a combination of factors affecting the growth? Definitely a good idea to pursue a sleep clinic or similar. Even if it is not related to growth, sorting out good sleep habits makes a huge difference in ongoing life.

Wishing you all the best.

lljkk Wed 26-Sep-12 13:30:03

How tall is he now, Arctic? Is he a just 13 or a rising 14?

titchy Wed 26-Sep-12 13:48:19

More likely to be related to puberty isn't it? If he hasn't started yet he won't be as tall as his peers but will catch up once he does.

If he followed the centile lines that would mean he hit puberty at exactly the average age for boys, but many boys go through puberty a year or two later than the rest. (My ds is likely to be once such - his bone age is a couple of years lower than his chronological age, but consultant said he'll go through puberty late, and when most of his peers have stopped growing he still will be so will catch up in the end.)

ArcticRoll Wed 26-Sep-12 16:25:01

Really appreciate all your replies-

bedhopper-yes I do think it may be a combination of factors which are affecting his growth. I feel a bit guilty as have let things drag and feel I should have been more active in implementing gluten free diet again-we tried it a couple of years back for his IBS and it didn't appear to make a difference but tbh I think my son was eating gluten stuff round at friend's houses. He is now keen to be more vigilant in keeping to diet as I think he wants to try anything that may make him grow- when I see him with his friends I feel so sorry for him as he is so much so much shorter and he used to be taller than them.

lljkk-he was 13 in July.

titchy-yes he's no way near starting puberty. How old is your son?

lljkk Wed 26-Sep-12 19:59:28

When did you or his dad start puberty, Arctic?

jicky Wed 26-Sep-12 20:29:09

ArcticRoll my ds is a few days off 13 and very short. He was diagnosed as coeliac about 18 months ago after being ill for 6 months, but thinking about it he hadn't really grown much for two years before that.
He has always been small so it was only when I realised that the few bits I was passing down to his younger brother were already too short that I spotted the younger one was growing faster.
I can't say I've noticed a massive growth spurt in the last year with the gluten free diet but he did need new school trousers this September!
He is no where near puberty (apart from the attitude!) but dh was late as well and grew in late teens (although still not vastly tall). I think he is beginning to feel more conscious of always being the smallest. He would also really like his voice to break.
No advice really just to say you are not alone.

titchy Wed 26-Sep-12 20:30:07

Nearly 12. 4 feet 6 and about as far away from puberty as I am!

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