Genes and Growth

Genes are the blueprint for our bodies. Almost every cell in the human body contains a copy of this genetic blueprint. Genes are part of chromosomes, which are long strands of a chemical substance called Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA).

HUMANS HAVE 46 PAIRED CHROMOSOMES WITH AN ESTIMATED 23,000 OR SO GENES THAT ARE 'BEADED' ALONG EACH CHROMOSOMAL STRAND.

WE INHERIT ONE SET OF GENES FROM EACH OF OUR PARENTS. A COMBINATION OF OUR PARENTS’ STATURE, RACIAL BACKGROUND AND GENETIC CODING IS PASSED DOWN TO US.

  • GENE INFLUENCES
  • CHROMOSOMAL CONDITIONS

Genes influence growth in a variety of ways. They contain the information used by cells to control growth, development and functioning. This information comes in the form of a coded message that instructs each cell to perform its task.

The following normal variants in growth may have an underlying genetic cause:

  • Constitutional growth delay or 'late bloomers'
  • Familial short stature syndromes such as achondroplasia (also known as short-limbed skeletal dysplasia)

Sometimes a gene contains a variation or 'spelling mistake' that disrupts the gene's coded message. Variations in the genetic code can occur spontaneously or may be inherited. These genetic 'mutations' can lead to a wide range of conditions that may affect growth, development and normal body functioning.

SOME CHROMOSOMAL CONDITIONS THAT AFFECT NORMAL GROWTH INCLUDE:

  • Prader-Willi Syndrome
  • Turner Syndrome
  • Down Syndrome

Always consult your doctor if you have any concerns about your child's growth and development.