Your paediatrician will take your child’s medical history, to help identify any genetic predisposition for slow or short growth or whether your child has been diagnosed with any disease which affects growth. Questions about the mother’s pregnancy and delivery, in particular any complications that may have arisen, will also be asked.
Additional tests, such as blood tests to check the level of thyroid hormone may also be requested to rule out the possibility of insufficient thyroid hormone levels affecting growth.
Other diagnostic tests and procedures will include:
An X-ray of the hand and wrist to assess your child’s bone development relative to his/ her age
Monitoring your child’s growth on a growth chart over a period of time
Blood tests to check for the presence of special hormones – e.g. insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) which are produced by body tissues, including the liver, as a response to the production of growth hormone.
Growth hormone stimulation tests, whereby a growth hormone stimulant is released into the body and the release of growth hormone is monitored over several hours.
If your paediatrician suspects that your child may be growth hormone deficient, a Computerized Tomography (CT) scan and/ or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the brain may also be requested to help to check the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, which is a section of the brain responsible for hormone production.