Dwarfism is a genetic condition that causes the human body to only grow to a certain height. Although everyone with dwarfism is thought of having the same condition, there are actually more than 300 types of the disorder that are currently known. Most people with the condition won’t achieve a height that is greater than 4 feet 10 inches, but that won’t stop anyone from finding success. A person with dwarfism can do just about everything anyone else can do. Here are some more interesting facts to think about.
1. Most Cases Are a New Mutation
People who have dwarfism will pass on the genetic markers for it to their children. This isn’t a guarantee that their children will also be smaller than the human average, but it does increase the chances of it happening. Kids born from a parent with dwarfism have a 50% chance of having the condition themselves. 8 out of every 10 new cases of dwarfism that are known come from new mutations that could happen to any set of parents.
2. Ways To Improve Height
For some, their height is a detrimental condition that holds them back from what they want to be able to achieve in life. A fairly controversial surgical procedure that helps to lengthen limbs has been developed that can extend a person’s height by about a foot. It takes about a year for the procedure to be completed on each limb and it essentially entails breaking bones and then keeping them artificially separated to force new bone growth to extend bone length.
3. Nothing Else Is Different
Sometimes people see dwarfism as a reduction in intelligence. Others view it as a death sentence. People with dwarfism, however, have the same life expectancy rates as the general population. They also have the same IQ levels. People with dwarfism are susceptible to the same diseases. The one risk that does need to be managed with this condition is weight. Being overweight with dwarfism can cause joint damage.
4. Stress Can Simulate Dwarfism
Although this form of dwarfism isn’t genetic in nature, medical science has shown that huge amounts of stress can actually reduce the amount of growth that would naturally be achieved. This is because the body is producing more epinephrine than it needs. In return, not enough growth hormone is produced and so a child simply stops growing, even though they will mature normally and have no congenital or nutritional defects.
5. A Momentary Blunder
People with dwarfism have always been treated with a certain level of inferiority. Even Walt Disney has a dark moment with the release of Pinocchio in theaters. Trying to capitalize on their 7 dwarfs success, they hired 11 dwarfs to dress in costumes to wave at children coming to the theater. After a long day of drinking, however, all 11 stripped to their birthday suits and played craps on the marquee instead.
Dwarfism is just a genetic disorder that causes the human body to grow in a different way. By understanding this fact, maybe people with dwarfism can start be treating as any other member of society.