Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"When do most people stop growing?"
I'm not as tall as I want to be! I'm 23 years old and male. Am I done growing? Could I take something that would make me keep growing?
There are many factors that go into how tall a person will be. Obviously gender plays a role, and genetics are also foundational. Meaning that most endocrinologists use gender, and family history (i.e. how tall your mother and father are) to help predict your height. There are many different "rough" algorithms used to estimate how tall a given child of a couple will be taking gender into account. For example one popular algorithm is taking your mother height in inches and averaging it with your fathers height in inches (add together and divide by 2). Add 2 for males, and subtract 2 for females. Of course none of the algorithms are 100% accurate (or even close sometimes), but I have found this one a decent predictor. As for what causes people to stop growing...there is something called the epiphyseal plate ("growth plates") at the ends of the long bones in the human body. In childhood this is a location of cartilage that is duplicating and ossifying over time which is how bones lengthen as you grow. This is why childhood fractures involving the epiphyseal plates can potentially cause asymmetric growth of limbs. The epiphyseal plates "ossify" during puberty and result in a thin line within the bone in adulthood. Prior to puberty, hormones could potentially be given to cause increased growth. After puberty, you would be talking about surgical options for lengthening bones. I would recommend discussing your concerns with an orthopedic surgeon if this is something that you are considering. I hope that this is helpful.
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