HOW DOCTORS CHECK FOR GROWTH DISORDERS There are certain factors that identify growth disorders. These may include malnutrition, certain medical conditions, and hormonal disorders. If the pediatrician has some concerns about the child’s growth, a pediatric endocrinologist will be referred to you. Pediatric endocrinologists are doctors specialized in treating growth and hormone disorders. Your doctor will most likely review your child and even your family’s medical history. The doctor might even ask for your child’s growth chart and might conduct a full physical examination. In order to gain a better picture, your doctor may even order for blood and lab tests, which might be used to rule out any possible medical conditions that might result in poor growth. The pediatric endocrinologist will decide if there are any further tests that need to be done. (Examples of test are provided below) You need to understand that each patient is different and it is up to your doctor which test—if any—are needed. If your doctor suspects that your child is not producing enough growth hormones, a growth hormone stim test or stimulation test may be done. Here are some of the things you need to expect during a stim test for your child: Your child’s hand or arm will be subjected to intravenous (IV) needle that can help the nurse or doctor to collect more blood sample.Your child will be given medicine that will stimulate his or her pituitary gland to produce and release growth hormone through the IV.Every few hours at different times, blood samples will be taken from your child’s IV.To confirm if your child produces the normal and expected levels of growth hormone, all blood samples will be sent to a laboratory.There are possible side effects including feeling tired and wanting to rest more. Other types of tests your doctor might want to try include: MRI or CT scan – It shows an image of the pituitary gland that can help in evaluating any changes to it.Genetic Tests – It is used to identify if there are any hereditary disorders that are affecting your child’s growth.Bone-age x-ray Mainly on your child’s hands and wrists. This test shows if there are any signs of advancement or delay in your child’s bone growth when compared to other children.Such tests will help pinpoint the main cause of your child’s slow growth. As a reminder, it is up to your doctor which tests are needed to be done. You need to talk to your pediatrician if you have any concerns about your child’s growth. The sooner you get your child to be evaluated, the sooner your doctor can create a treatment plan and the sooner results become visible.