Facts About Dwarfism

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What are “little people” or small people, midgets? And what are the causes of these conditions? Many of us have wondered why certain people are so small. This condition of small length structure in a person is known as dwarfism. Dwarfism or short

FACTS ABOUT DWARFISM

What are “little people” or small people, midgets? And what are the causes of these conditions? Many of us have wondered why certain people are so small. This condition of small length structure in a person is known as dwarfism. Dwarfism or short stature or restricted growth is a medical disorder which causes a person to remain abnormally short.

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According to the group ‘Little People of America’ an adult under the height of 4 feet 10 inches or below can be termed as a dwarf. There are about 200 odd medical causes of this abnormal condition in a person. This condition is generally found in families where both the parents are of average height.

There are many misconceptions and rumors about this medical condition, one of it being that such people are considered to be intellectually impaired. Many dwarfs have normal intelligence and lead a long, fulfilling and normal life like any other person. They are as much part of the social setup as any other average individual and therefore, looking down upon them or mocking them is something that we must avoid completely.

What Causes Dwarfism

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GENETIC MUTATION

Genetic Causes

One of the most common of all causes of dwarfism is a spontaneous genetic mutation in the egg or sperm cells prior to conception. Other genetic causes might be the gene inherited by both or one parent. In either of the cases an average sized couple can have a child with short build. In the same manner, it is also possible for a dwarf couple to have children of average height depending on the conditions that led to dwarfism in them.

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ACHONDROPLASIA

Achondroplasia

Around 80% of people with achondroplasia are born to parents with average height. The person with this disorder receives one mutated gene associated with the disorder and one normal gene from his/her average-size parents. A person with this order might pass along either a mutated copy or a normal copy of the gene to his/her children.

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TURNER SYNDROME

Turner Syndrome

Turner syndrome is a condition which occurs when there is a random omission or severe alteration of an "X' chromosome, in the sperm or the female egg. The "X" chromosome is one among the two chromosomes that determine the sex of a person. A girl suffering from turner chromosome possesses only one fully functioning copy of the female sex chromosome rather than two.

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GROWTH HORMONE DEFICIENCY

Growth Hormone Deficiency

Dwarfism or short stature can also be caused because of the deficiency of growth hormones. Growth hormone deficiency can be the reason of some genetic mutation or some injury. However, most of the times, in people suffering from the disorder no cause can be identified.

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PRIMORDIAL DWARFISM

Primordial Dwarfism

Primordial dwarfism is a condition that occurs much before the birth of the child. This condition can be identified with the help of an ultrasound that will diagnose the fetus being small when compared to its gestation age. Any growth deficiencies can also be diagnosed through ultrasound.

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DYSPLASIA

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OSTEOGENESIS IMPERFECTA

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INFANT WITH NOONAN SYNDROME

Other Causes

Spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia, congenital, diastrophic dysplasia, pseudoachondroplasia, Noonan syndrome, osteogenesis imperfecta and hypothyroidism can turn out to be few other causes of dwarfism in a person. Dwarfism can also be caused due to some serious and chronic illnesses; harsh environmental conditions like malnutrition might also lead to dwarfism in a person. These kinds of dwarfism are indirect consequences of unhealthy or malnourished conditions an individual goes through. This kind of dwarfism generally takes the form of simple, short stature without any deformities.

Reference:

Images from Google Images

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