Dwarfism is a condition of short stature. It is defined by the advocacy group Little People of America (LPA) as an adult height of 4 feet 10 inches or under, as a result of a medical or genetic condition. Although other groups may extend the criteria for certain forms of dwarfism to 5 feet, the average height of an adult with dwarfism is 4 feet. It occurs when an individual person or animal is short in stature resulting from a medical condition caused by slow growth.
Growth hormone (somatotropin) is a polypeptide hormone which stimulates growth and cell reproduction. Hormone deficiency will lead to stunted, halted growth may become apparent. Children with this disorder may grow slowly and puberty may be delayed by several years or indefinitely. Growth hormone deficiency has no single definite cause. It can be caused by mutations of specific genes, damage to the pituitary gland, Turner's syndrome, poor nutrition, or even stress (leading to psychogenic dwarfism).
Spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia refers to a group of conditions characterized by a shortened trunk, which may not become apparent until a child is between ages 5 and 10. Other features can include: club feet, cleft palate, severe osteoarthritis in the hips, weak hands and feet, barrel-chested appearance. Diastrophic dysplasia is a rare form of dwarfism, diastrophic dysplasia occurs in about one in 100,000 births. People who have it tend to have shortened forearms and calves and is also known as mesomelic shortening.