FAQ - Dwarfism, Pituitary
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is PITUITARY DWARFISM life threatening?

&is it also found in certain groups? ethnic? or does any particular ethnic or sex have equal chances of getting this sydrome?

Yes, because it will cause emotional and psycho-social inability... LOL!

Anyway, it's not life threatening because the only thing that is affected by such abnormality is your HEIGHT.

Pituitary dwafism is Hormonal inbalance, so no ethnic group or sex is concerned about it... It is an individual abnormality.  (+ info)

Pituitary dwarfism?

I'm wondering if i could have this and was wondering if anyone could tell me if they thought i might, like if it might be worth asking my doctors..

Few facts:
-I'm 16 and 4'10 and 3/4 of an inch which is 3% for my age
-I went through puberty pretty early i got my period when i was 10
-I don't know if this could have something to do with it, but i have migranes about once a month
-I also don't know if this has something to do with it, but i suffer from diagnosed anxiety, and my doctor said something about my thyroid, which i'm pretty such is in direct cordination with the pituitary gland...

anyways is it worth it to ask my doctor?
or would she have diagnosed me already?
i'm not worried, just more wondering why i'm so short, and pituitary dwarfism sounded like it could be the answer, i'm the smallest in my family by about 3 or 4 inches, like my wholeee family, and a solution would actually be great because i'd love to be taller, so any info would help. thanks!

the pituitary gland is in the brain just behind the optical nerve. This gland controls growth hormones and a few ather things. The thyroid has little to do with the pituitary gland and is located near the throat. Thyroid releases hormones to create homeostasis in the body(the chemical balance ). there is nothing wrong with you and trust me, if there was a problem, the doc would have known already. what he she migh have mentioned about the thyroid is that it had to much iron resulting in a huge neck. dont worry your fine.  (+ info)

What causes Pituitary Dwarfism (Hypo-somatotropism) ?

Was diagnosed with it in 1966, treated with naturally spurced HGH, was diagnosed w\Neurological Sarcoidosis in 1995 (biopsy confirmed). Was also tested for CJD Re: nat.Sourced HGH.


Dwarfism is a condition in which the growth of the individual is very slow or delayed. There are many forms of dwarfism. The word pituitary is in reference to the pituitary gland in the body. This gland regulates certain chemicals (hormones) in the body. Therefore, pituitary dwarfism is decreased bodily growth due to hormonal problems. The end result is a proportionate little person, because the height as well as the growth of all other structures of the individual are decreased.


Pituitary dwarfism is caused by problems arising in the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is also called the hypophysis. The pituitary gland is divided into two halves: the anterior (front) and posterior (back) halves. The anterior half produces six hormones: growth hormone, adrenocorticotropin (corticotropin), thyroid stimulating homone (thyrotropin), prolactin, follicle stimulating hormone, and lutenizing hormone. The posterior pituitary gland only produces two hormones. It produces antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin) and oxytocin.

Most forms of dwarfism are a result of decreased production of hormones from the anterior half of the pituitary gland. The most common form is due to decreases of growth hormone which will be discussed here. These decreases during childhood cause the individual's arms, legs, and other structures to develop normal proportions for their bodies, but at a decreased rate.

When all of the hormones of the anterior pituitary gland are not produced, this is called panhypopituitarism. Another type of dwarfism occurs when only the growth hormone is decreased. Dwarfism can also result from a lack of somatomedin C (also called insulin like growth factor, IGF-1) production. Somatomedin C is a hormone produced in the liver that increases bone growth when growth hormone is present. The African pygmy and the Levi-Lorain dwarfs lack the ability to produce somatomedin C in response to growth hormone. All causes of dwarfism lead to a proportionate little person.

Growth is the body's response to different hormones. The forebrain contains a small organ called the hypothalamus, which is responsible for releasing hormones in response to the body's needs for purposes of regulation. Growth hormone is produced in the anterior pituitary gland when growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH), is released by the hypothalamus. Growth hormone is then released and stimulates the liver to produce IGF-1. In return, IGF-1 stimulates the long bones to grow in length. Thus, growth can be slowed down or stopped if there is a problem making any of these hormones or if there is a problem with the cells receiving these hormones.

Some estimates show that there are between 10,000 and 15,000 children in the United States who have growth problems due to a deficiency of growth hormone.

Causes and symptoms

Pituitary dwarfism has been shown to run in families. New investigations are underway to determine the specific cause and location of the gene responsible for dwarfism. The human cell contains 46 chromosomes arranged in 23 pairs. Most of the genes in the two chromosomes of each pair are identical or almost identical with each other. However, with dwarfism, there appears to be disruption on different areas of chromosome 3 and 7. Some studies have isolated defects for the production of pituitary hormones to the short arm (the "p" end) of chromosome 3 at a specific location of 3p11. Other studies have found changes on the short arm of chromosome 7.

A child with a growth hormone deficiency is often small with an immature face and chubby body build. The child's growth will slow down and not follow the normal growth curve patterns. In cases of tumor, most commonly craniopharyngioma (a tumor near the pituitary gland), children and adolescents may present with neurological symptoms such as headaches, vomiting, and problems with vision. The patient may also have symptoms of double vision. Symptoms such as truly bizarre and excessive drinking behaviors (polydipsia) and sleep disturbances may be common.


The primary symptom of pituitary dwarfism is lack of height. Therefore, a change in the individual's growth habits will help lead to a diagnosis. Another diagnostic technique uses an x ray of the child's hand to determine the child's bone age by comparing this to the child's actual chronological age. The bone age in affected children is usually two years or more behind the chronological age. This means that if a child is ten years old, his or her bones will look like they are those of an eight-year-old child. The levels of growth hormone and somatomedin C must also be measured with blood tests.

Hypopituitarism may be gained or acquired following birth for several reasons. It could be due to trauma to the pituitary gland such as a fall or following surgery to the brain for removal of a tumor. It may also be due to the child's environment (deprivational dwarfism).

On examination by the doctor there may be optic nerve atrophy, if the dwarfism is due to a type of tumor. X rays of the area where the pituitary gland is located (sella turcica) or more advanced imaging such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography CT may show changes of the pituitary gland itself. Computed tomography, is an advanced form of x ray that will help determine the integrity of the bone and how much calcification the tumor is producing. Magnetic resonance imaging, will also help in the diagnosis. MRI is a type of imaging device that can visualize soft tissues such as muscle and fat.

If the dwarfism is due to environmental and emotional problems, the individual may be hospitalization to monitor hormone levels. Following a few days of hospitalized, hormone levels may become normal due to avoidance of the original environment.


The main course of therapy is growth hormone replacement therapy when there is lack of growth hormone in the body. A pediatric endocrinologist, a doctor specializing in the hormones of children, usually administers this type of therapy before a child's growth plates have fused or joined together. Once the growth plates have fused, GH replacement therapy is rarely effective.

Growth hormone used to be collected from recently deceased humans. However, frequent disease complications resulting from human growth hormone collected from deceased bodies, lead to the banning of this method. In the mid-1980s, techniques were discovered that could produce growth hormones in the lab. Now, the only growth hormone used for treatment is that made in a laboratory.

A careful balancing of all of the hormones produced by the pituitary gland is necessary for patients with panhypopituitarism. This form of dwarfism is very difficult to manage.


The prognosis for each type of dwarfism varies. A panhypopituitarism dwarf does not pass through the initial onset of adult sexual development (puberty) and never produces enough gonadotropic hormones to develop adult sexual function. These individuals also have several other medical conditions. Dwarfism due to only growth hormone deficiency has a different prognosis. These individuals do pass through puberty and mature sexually, however, they remain proportionately small in stature.

If the individual is lacking only growth hormone then growth hormone replacement therapy can be administered. The success of treatment with growth hormone varies however. An increase in height of 4-6 in (10-15 cm) can occur in the first year of treatment. Following this first year, the response to the hormone is not as successful. Therefore the amount of growth hormone administered must be tripled to maintain this rate. Long-term use is considered successful if the individual grows at least 0.75 in (2 cm) per year more than they would without the hormone. However, if the growth hormone treatment is not administered before the long bones-such as the legs and arms-fuse, then the individual will never grow. This fusion is completed by adult age.

Improvement for individuals with dwarfism due to other causes such as a tumor, varies greatly. If the dwarfism is due to deprevational causes, then removing a child from that environment should help to alleviate the problem.

Adrenocorticotropin (corticotrophin)
A hormone that acts on cells of the adrenal cortex, causing them to produce male sex hormones and hormones that control water and mineral balance in the body.

Antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin)
A hormone that acts on the kidneys to regulate water balance.

A tumor near the pituitary gland in the craniopharyngeal canal that often results in intracranial pressure.

Deprivational dwarfism
A condition where emotional disturbances are associated with growth failure and abnormalities of pituitary function.

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
A hormone that in females stimulates estrogen and in males stimulates sperm production.

Growth hormone
A hormone that eventually stimulates growth. Also called somatotropin.

A chemical messenger produced by the body that is involved in regulating specific bodily functions such as growth, development, and reproduction.

Lutenizing hormone
A hormone secreted by the pituitary gland that regulates the menstrual cycle and triggers ovulation in females. In males it stimulates the testes to produce testosterone.

A hormone that stimulates the uterus to contract during child birth and the breasts to release milk.

Generalized decrease of all of the anterior pituitary hormones.

A hormone that helps the breast prepare for milk production during pregnancy.

Point in development when the gonads begin to function and secondary sexual characteristics begin to appear.

Thyroid stimulating hormone (thyrotropin)
A hormone that stimulates the thyroid gland to produce hormones that regulate metabolism.  (+ info)

Is there a naturopathic treatment or advice for a person with pituitary dwarfism?

I'm 4'11, 21 years old, and I have all the symptoms growing up. I still have the vision, nausea, and migraines. I was 5 pounds 4 oz when I was born, and my parents constantly had CPS over because I was so small.. my grandmother is 4'6. My parents are about average.

I'm having a hard time at my age adapting to things, and I'm pregnant with my second child. I have a hard time with things like driving (Which is why I don't have my license, I can't see in certain areas), or stupid things like reaching the seasoning. >.< Or trying to fix the shower head, I have to stand on the edge of the bathtub to reach it, and being pregnant I can't do that right now because it's obviously not safe..

Also, I've had eight miscarriages in the past. Would this have anything to do with it?
I don't need to close my legs, I'm married.. I've been married a few years.. lol..

I think you need an endocrinologist to look at your hormones - you may need thyroid or something else to help with the miscarriages as well as your general health and headaches.

And a nice light aluminum step ladder to help you out for other things.
http://www.containerstore.com/browse/Product.jhtml?CATID=64240&PRODID=60077  (+ info)

What are some good sites for information on dwarfism?

I suspect that my son may have some sort of dwarfism in him because of his short legs compared to the rest of him body. He also has a few other characteristics of dwarfism. I would like to do some research on different types of dwarfism. What are some good sites?

hereare a few sites i hope you find them helpful  (+ info)

How many cases of primordial dwarfism are found in the world?

This kind of dwarfism is very rare and I'm doing a project on it for school. But when I try to look up how many cases are found in the world or the US, I get mixed answers from 50-400. Does anyone know the real answer?

I know this is not the answer you are looking for, but it is the best that I can do.

When you are talking about 6 or 7 billion people on the planet, the difference between 50 and 400 is basically nothing. you are easily talking about 1 or 2 per million people. Immunizations and or medications that kill 1 or 2 of every half million people are considered very safe. It is an inconsequential number to argue over. You should be safe using any number between 50 and 400 and your teacher should have no legitimate complaints.  (+ info)

How old are children when they are diagnosed with Dwarfism?

I'm a nanny for a 16month old little girl. Her mother recently asked me if I think she may have dwarfism. She is quite small for her age and her head is a little big for her age/size. Most children's heads aren't proportional to their bodies for a few years so I told her she doesn't have dwarfism. But now I'm wondering if I'm wrong.

You were within your rights for your answer. Dwarfism is mostly a genetic disorder and almost all dwarfs had one in the family tree within the last 2 generations too. I would highly doubt if this child is one too. Tell the mother that in dwarfism most cases would already be diagnosed by her age. Her doctor would be aware if any of her features were too small or large for her age too. Most of this child's grandparents are alive and if this condition was in the genes on either side someone would know. Females do grow and mature faster then males, and I'm betting this is a first child too. First born children have it somewhat difficult to start. The mother can't compare it to anything and each child is different too. Too bad that kids don't come with books attached. Almost every mom can use one with the first born and even a nanny can't know everything. My granddaughter is also one, and can't wait for her turn, but not too soon. Just tell the mom to relax as the baby can tell when mommy is under any stress and that's their time to act out. Keep referring her to the childs doctor too. Good luck and God Bless  (+ info)

What is the average weight for a person with dwarfism?

I need to know the average weight of someone with dwarfism. Say someone about 3 ft 6 in, would they be about 60 pounds? Any other source would have the weight for a porportionate person but to my knowlege I know that most dwarves are not porportionate.

Because dwarfism can be so varied with the height and proportions, I would consider using not a scale to measure how much you should weigh, but checking your body fat percentage, which can be checked at any height or weight.

Body fat percentage is a better measure of diet success than your weight is.

Your doctor can check your body fat percentage, so can your gym teacher, or even your local health club. They calculate a healthy range based on your sex and height.  (+ info)

What does the pituitary gland control and where is it?

I was told that the pituitary gland controls a woman's breast size, is this true or false? What else does this gland do? How can I determine if this gland is malfunctioning? My family doctor and gynecologist doesn't know the answers to my questions. If someone out there knows anything about this gland and what it does, would mean the world and all to me!
Prior to my stomach surgery in 2000, I have been in a double D bra since I was 20 yrs. old. But after my stomach surgery my breasts are growing more and more. Now my breasts are in the size K and soon my breasts will be too big for my new size K bra! I am chronically having upper back and shoulder pain from these breasts. My doctors told me to have a breast reduction done. If I do this will my breasts start to grow again? And how do I determine if the pitituary gland is dysfunctional?

the pituitary gland is part of the endocrine system and it does secrete hormones that regulate many bodily processess including growth, reproduction, and various metabolic activities. It is referred to as the master gland of the body. Dysfunction of the gland could cause these problems
gigantism ( abnormally huge hands, feet, or body like ppl standing over 7ft) acromegaly ( big brain) pituitary basophilism ( cushings disease) it can also cause dwarfism simmonds disease If you are worried about your breat size I would be concerned that anything is wrog with the gland it could be hereditary or just a late bloomer. But the pituitary is responsible for female hormaones. I hope this helped  (+ info)

Any ways to stimulate the pituitary gland or increase growth hormone to grow taller?

I was wondering if there are anyways to stimulate the pituitary gland or to increase the amount of growth hormone to grow taller. I haven't grown taller in like 2 years and I'm 16 an not noticing any change. HELP PLEASE!

Munch bunch :) It has a 'special growth formula'  (+ info)

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