Growth Disorders

Expert Care to Ensure Your Child's Healthy Growth and Development

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Duke Children’s endocrinologists provide expert care to evaluate concerns about childhood growth. We know it can be distressing to find your child growing at a different rate or position from their peers. We provide a comprehensive evaluation to determine whether your child's health and growth are on track -- many times, we can provide reassurance after reviewing growth data. When we notice growth slowing, we provide compassionate, thorough, and customized care to diagnose and treat the underlying condition. 

The most common causes of short stature in children are familial short stature (when parents are shorter) and constitutional growth delay (late bloomer).  

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What Are Growth Disorders?

Growth disorders can prevent children from reaching normal height. This could be due to any of the following:

  • Hormone deficiencies – for example, low levels of growth hormone, thyroid hormone, or other pituitary hormone disorders
  • Health conditions that can cause poor growth, such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or kidney disease
  • Genetic disorders, such as Turner or Noonan syndromes

Though we rarely see children who are taller than expected, causes for tall stature may include the following:

  • Overweight – This causes early growth acceleration, but ultimate normal height
  • Early puberty – This causes early growth acceleration and often shorter stature as an adult if not treated
  • Genetic disorders
Our Locations

Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.


Your pediatric endocrinologist at Duke will develop a customized care plan for your child that includes regular check-ups to monitor your child's growth.  We use state of the art, calibrated equipment to measure your child.

Specialized Care

If a health condition is hampering your child’s growth, we will work with your child’s pediatrician and other specialists to address the problem and provide your child comprehensive care.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

If your child has a hormone deficiency, your doctor may offer hormone replacement therapy. If your child has evidence of hormonal excess, we will discuss treatment options. Your care team will explain the treatment process in detail, including what to expect and possible side effects.

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Your pediatric endocrinologist will examine your child and thoroughly evaluate their health and growth history. The evaluation may also include the following tests:


We know that blood testing can be traumatic for your child.  We will only perform this testing if we notice growth differences.  Tests may include:

  • Thyroid studies
  • Growth factors
  • Puberty levels
  • Markers of systemic disease (CBC, BMP, Celiac panel, and more)

Bone-Age X-Ray

An X-ray of your child's hand and wrist can indicate the maturity of your child’s skeletal system. Skeletal maturity can be very different from chronological age, and can be used to predict onset of puberty and ultimate adult height.  

Brain MRI

May be ordered if your doctor suspects a pituitary gland problem.

Best Children's Hospital in NC

Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center is proud to be nationally ranked in 10 pediatric specialties.

Trusted Care for Growth Disorders in Children

Support Services
Our clinical administrators will help coordinate your child's appointments and assist you with the insurance process. 

Access to Research
Our pediatric endocrinologists are also researchers who are helping to advance care for children with growth disorders.

This page was medically reviewed on 05/30/2023 by