ZocdocAnswersDoes my 18 year old son still look 12 because of growth problems?

Question

Does my 18 year old son still look 12 because of growth problems?

He looks very strange but the doctor said everything's OK.

Answer

It is definitely worth revisiting this issue with your pediatrician if you have concerns. I am not certain exactly what you mean by growth problems. For example, there can be problems with being short (small stature). Alternatively, there may be delay in puberty (not developing pubic hair, changes in the genitals, etc). The two problems do not always occur at the same time, and they may have different underlying causes. By far the most common "growth problem" reported to pediatricians by parents is short stature. This may be a problem of genetic potential (for example if both parents are very short) or it may be a medical problem, related to some hormonal deficiency or imbalance. If your son is short, your pediatrician can perform a complete medical evaluation and can then determine if any workup for hormonal problems is indicated. Delayed puberty is another issue. Although there is variation in the onset of puberty, by 18 all males should have evidence of puberty. Therefore, your child would need to be worked up for this, if this is the problem he is having. Potential causes could include hormone imbalances as well as genetic conditions such as Klinefelter's. Talk to your pediatrician for more information.

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