Did anyone ever tell you during your childhood days that you were not sufficiently tall or that you had stunted growth? Generally, short children may be mistaken to exhibit signs of stunted growth whereas they are developing normally.
But based on a comprehensive expert analysis on signs of stunted growth, a child is considered to have stunted growth when that child’s height falls below the expected range for their age. This indicates that the child is significantly shorter than the average height of children of the same age and gender.
In this article, I will be providing some professional insights on signs of stunted growth, causes, and what can be done to prevent or reverse the condition.
Does this sound interesting?. Let’s roll up our sleeves and dive right into it.
Comprehensive Expert Analysis On Signs Of Stunted Growth
Stunted growth is a condition that occurs when a child’s height or growth is significantly below the normal range for their age and sex. It is usually caused by malnutrition, recurrent infections, or other environmental factors that affect a child’s health and development. Stunted growth can have long-term effects on a child’s physical and cognitive development, as well as their overall health and wellbeing.
According to WHO, When a child’s height-for-age falls more than two standard deviations below the median of the WHO Child Growth Standards, they are classified as stunted.
The initial 1000 days of childhood, from inception of pregnancy to their second birthday, are crucial for their growth and development. During this period, the foundations for physical, cognitive, and emotional development are laid.
Healthy and balanced diet plays a key role during the first 1000 days of life. Appropriate nutrition, especially in the first six months, is important for the growth and development of the brain and other organs. Proper nutrition during this time helps to prevent malnutrition, which can lead to stunted growth, poor cognitive development, and weakened immune systems.
What are the possible causes of stunted growth?
The home and family are the primary sources of stunted growth. Stunted growth is caused by a variety of factors, including inadequate breastfeeding, poor material nutrition, and illness.
Family and Household factors: In order to grow and develop during the early stages of life in the womb and after birth through breastfeeding, the developing embryo depends on the mother’s food intake. Poor feeding prevents the fetus from growing as it should, which raises the chance of neonatal death.
The health of the mother has a direct impact on the likelihood of stunting in the first two days. Stunting is more likely among mothers who have malaria or HIV/AIDS, and pregnant women who have high blood pressure run the risk of having babies who are underweight and having them prematurely. If the mother has malaria or HIV/AIDS, the chance of stunting increases.
Pregnant women with high blood pressure also run the risk of increasing the risk of premature birth and low birth weight. Children who live in poor households frequently don’t eat enough or the correct sorts of food.
Poor Complementary Feeding: Beginning at 6 months of age, a child’s high need for energy and nutrients exceeds what can be met by breast milk alone. The remedy is to supplement breastmilk with foods such cooked cereals and other stables, fruits, vegetables, legumes, milk products, eggs, fish, and meat, as well as supplementary foods like these.
The remedy is to supplement breastmilk with foods such as cooked cereals and other stables, fruits, vegetables, legumes, milk products, eggs, fish, and meat, as well as supplementary foods like these. Most youngsters end up with low quality diets in areas with limited access to a range of foods and pricey quality food, eating infrequently or never, things derived from animals, such as dairy products, meat, and eggs.
Feeding infrequently, delivering foods that are too diluted, giving out insufficient amounts of food, and non-responsive feeding are all examples of poor feeding practices. Having to rely on neighbors or other family members may be necessary in homes where both patents are employed outside the home.
Depending on neighbors or other family members may restrict a parent’s capacity to effectively feed their children. Unhealthy food and water that has been tainted by contaminants from the environment or mycotoxins – which are dangerous substances made by fungi in food crops, can cause diseases that impede growth.
The risk of diseases like diarrhea, which prevent kids from growing healthily, may be reduced by practicing household hygiene practices like hand washing with soap and clean water. Foods can make kids sick and stunt growth if they are kept in dirty or unsealed containers or at temperatures that encourage bacterial growth.
Infants under 6 months, who are not breastfed exclusively are more likely to die from diarrhea and pneumonia. Only 38% of infants under the age of 6 months are exclusively breastfed globally today. Infants who begin breastfeeding as soon as possible after delivery receive healthy nutrients. Mother’s milk contains organic growth stimulants and boosts the body’s resistance to illness. Therefore, the risk of infections is decreased by appropriate breastfeeding.
Infection:- It is well known that malaria, pneumonia, diarrheal and respiratory infections have a negative effect on a child’s growth. A child is considered to be wasting when their weight is low relative to their height and is caused by severe infectious illnesses. This may affect linear growth in the long run, particularly if there is insufficient food to promote recovery.
According to estimates, 25% of the children who had stunted growth must have suffered five or more episodes of diarrhea before the age of two. Clinical infection and inflammation can be brought on by repeated exposure to bacteria in an unhygienic environment.
Read also: 33 Swoon-Worthy Healthy Lifestyle Tips
How do I know if I’m still growing?
The most outstanding signs that indicate that your child is experiencing a growth spurt are changes in your child’s height and weight caused by increases in bone muscle and fat. Some other signs of a growth spurt include decrease or increase in appetite, choosy attitude or emotional outbursts.
Tracking your height over time is the most typical technique to find out if you are still growing. Although most people go through large growth spurts during adolescence, it’s not unusual for some people to keep growing well into their early 20s.
You’re probably still growing if your height is still fluctuating. To see if you’re still gaining height, measure your height frequently and compare it to earlier readings.
It’s important to remember that a variety of factors, such as genetics, nutrition, exercise, and general health, affect growth. Always consult a healthcare expert if you are worried about your growth pattern.
What foods help to grow taller?
Many uncontrollable factors, such as heredity, influence height. However, when going through puberty, you can enhance the nutrients in your food in order to grow taller. In order to do so, it is important to understand the essential nutrients that affect your height and then discover the foods rich in those nutrients.
But before we look at the foods that help grow taller, let us talk about when a boy and a girl truly starts growing.
Girls often undergo their growth spurt in the first two years, prior to the onset of their menstruation . Most girls reach puberty between the ages of 8 and 13 and begin to grow between the ages of 10 and 14.
After their periods, they grow an additional 1–2 inches in a year or two. They also grow to full height at this time. Girls often reach their mature height around the ages of 14 or 15. Depending on when she initially sees her period, this age may be lower.
Some boys reach puberty as early as 9 years old, while others don’t until they are 15 years old. Boys develop faster during puberty. Most guys reach their peak growth between the ages of 12 and 15.
However, even if you experience puberty for a longer period of time, this does not necessarily translate into being taller than those who do not. Most guys continue to develop only slightly after the age of 18 according to the growth chart. In a few rare instances, other people reach puberty in their late teens and keep growing into their early twenties.
Having said that you can also maximize your potential for growth by eating a balanced diet. A balanced diet is important for growth. Nutrients like vitamin D and calcium are essential as research claims that both significantly benefit bone health
when planning to grow taller, you must follow a strict routine for your diet. This is where certain foods rich in certain nutrients and vitamins that promote growth come in.
Here are some of the foods that help you grow taller;
Dairy products for calcium, proteins and vitamins A, B, D, and E.: Milk and other dairy products like yogurt and cheese help you grow taller since they contain all essential nutrients for height increase. Although it’s far second to firm tofu in terms of calcium content, milk is more accessible not to mention enjoyable. A 16-ounce glass of milk contains 598 milligrams of calcium, that covers 46 percent of your calcium recommended dietary allowance (RDA).
Eggs for calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B2: Eggs are cheap and widely available but the best part is that they are a powerful source of several vitamins that all help in developing strong bones and ultimately a taller build. Calcium has always been associated with height and bone strength. A 2005 study published by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and metabolism proved that supplementing with calcium effectively increases both height and bone mass.
Chicken for protein: Chicken is a good option for increasing height after reaching age 25. That’s because it’s one of the best natural sources of protein. Protein is a primary component in building tissues and muscles. Load up on high quality proteins through chickens for a month and you’ll see an increase in your height.
Soybean for protein: Soybean is yet another excellent food to increase your height provided that it’s eaten daily. It’s rich in protein that improves bone and tissue mass and density, all of which are needed for growing taller.
Banana for potassium, calcium and manganese: Banana isn’t well loved by health-conscious folks since it has a reputation for being a weight gaining food but since it’s packed with minerals like calcium potassium and manganese, this fruit will help you boost your height in various unique ways.
Oatmeal for protein: Oatmeal is also loaded with protein and extremely important nutrient to increase height and boost muscle mass. Moreover, protein-rich foods assist in repairing bones and tissues as well as encouraging the production of new tissues. The amino acid content in oats also helps achieve optimum growth.
Fish for vitamin D: As a great source of proteins and vitamin D, it’s no surprise why fish is a healthy way of boosting your height. Both nutrients are necessary for growth and bone development and density. In a study published by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and metabolism in 2009 researchers observed the effects of vitamin D on height among other physical characteristics. The researchers concluded that although vitamin D deficiency doesn’t affect bone mass, it does affect a person’s height.
Almonds for fiber, manganese and vitamin E: Almonds are high in multiple vitamins and nutrients that are necessary for boosting height rapidly. These nuts also foster bone health in addition to their growth benefits. Practically all nuts and seeds are rich in magnesium but hemp seeds have particularly remarkable amounts in comparison to chia seeds which give you 23 percent of your daily magnesium needs.
Ashwagandha for various minerals: Though not technically a food but an herbal remedy, it’s a good natural way to grow taller. It’s Indian ginseng that’s packed with a plethora of minerals that help in improving bone density which in turn helps increase your height. Additionally it can influence the human growth hormone (HGH) which is responsible for height growth.
Beef: Beef is rich in amino acids that help boost the production of human growth hormone in the body plus it helps you build muscles which are essential to bone health.
Spinach: Unknown to many leafy greens are great sources of calcium and spinach is one of the best options. A single cup of cooked spinach gives you 245 milligrams of calcium or 19 percent of your daily calcium needs.
Whole grains, legumes, seeds, for magnesium: Magnesium doesn’t exactly affect height rather it allows for better absorption of calcium and vitamin D. That was the result of a study published by the Journal of the American College of nutrition in 1994.
Pineapples: Pineapples offer plenty of health benefits among them is a boost in melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep. The better your sleep quality, the more human growth hormone you are able to produce.
In order to grow taller, good nutrition is crucial. You can improve your general health and increase your height by including a range of nutrient-dense foods in your diet. As a result, it’s critical to eat a variety of healthful, nutrient-dense foods to make sure your body is receiving the vitamins and minerals it requires.
What exercises makes you taller?
If you can grow taller with nutrition then exercising is definitely your next move. In fact, you may achieve more noticeable results with exercise as well as diet. Anyways, choose from mild to more intensive stretching exercises. Then spend at least 30 minutes doing those stretches daily.
Below are some of the stretching exercise to engage in in other to grow taller.
Bar hanging: If you can, try hanging on bars that are around six to eight feet above the ground ,it’s a wonderful way of adding inches naturally. Use a pair of gloves so you won’t slip on the bars when hanging don’t bend your back, maintain the hanging position for a minute, slack off and repeat for at least10 minutes.
Cat- cow pose: Holding yourself upright on your hands and knees, with your fingers extended wide, on a mat, keep your knees at about shoulder width apart. As you tighten your neck, try to separate your ears from your shoulders. Tuck your head in, round your back, take a slow breath in, and then exhale. Once more tilting your head upward, arch your spine and take a deep breath in before exhaling softly.
Cobra Stretch: On a mat, lie on your stomach with your legs slightly closer together than shoulder width apart. Hold your upper body up with your palms while keeping your hipbone and legs flat on the ground. Your elbows can be straight or bent depending on your range of motion. For three deep breaths, maintain this posture.
Roll Over: On a mat, lie on your back with your legs together and your legs straight up at a 90-degree angle from your back. Keep your arms at your sides. Your toes should contact the space above your head as you slant your legs backward. Go as far as your flexibility will allow if your toes can’t touch the ground; with practice, your flexibility will increase. Three breaths should be held in that position before returning to your starting position.
How to reverse stunted growth
From my experience and personal research, I believe that stunted growth can be reversed through imbibing the right lifestyle practices and eating balanced diet.
Therefore, while a child’s first thousand days are crucial, so too is the remainder of their life. According to research, elements that are crucial for preventing stunted growth, such as household income, maternal health and education, the right foods, sanitation, and health facilities, are also crucial for recovering from stunted growth.
Did you know that you can take human growth hormone supplements to boost your height. In fact you can do this along with eating height increasing foods and doing the right exercises to help you grow taller.
Supplements based on this hormone can be used to increase height in children and combat stunted growth. Nevertheless the right dose matters so you may still need to consult your doctor.
Relieve your stress because stress can inhibit the body’s ability to grow as it activates hormones that negatively impact the growth hormone. So if you’re feeling stressed about something or someone take a break. Pack up and go to a place you’ve been wanting to visit forever.
A good night’s sleep doesn’t just lift your spirits but is also an important growth factor. When you sleep deeply the brain produces the growth hormone making you taller. Doctors suggest going to sleep after a walk post dinner. Make sure to get a decent eight hours.
Give your feet a massage. Our feet carry us all day long and so it’s only right for you to take care of them. Spend 30 minutes gently massaging your feet with warm coconut oil. Doing so won’t just relieve pain but also improve blood circulation and encourage the release of growth hormones.
And of course do your stretches.
So far, I have tried to give a comprehensive expert analysis on signs of stunted growth. I will appreciate it if you can share your experience about eating height increasing foods in the comment section below.
If there are other topics you would want me to write about, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.
- Paschal Achunine Is the founder of Health Emergency Initiative(HEI) for Indigent patients. HEI stands as next -of-kin to indigent patients in public hospitals and also for road accident victims.
- Diet and Weight2023.04.18Comprehensive Expert Analysis On Signs Of Stunted Growth
- Diet and Weight2023.04.03Are Antiperspirants Bad For You?: Hidden Truths To Note
- Diet and Weight2023.02.06What Can I Eat On Intermittent Fasting?: A Comprehensive Guide On How To Go About It
- Diet and Weight2023.01.0515 Benefits of Drinking Warm Water First Thing In The Morning