Is type 1 diabetes affecting my son’s growth?

Dear Dr. Penny,

My husband and I are not very tall, and I’m worried because we have noticed that our son is not as tall as his friends. Does this have something to do with his type 1 diabetes?

Dear D-mom,

Thank you very much for letting us share your question, when we discuss growth, there are many factors involved in our children’s final height, including height of the parents, nutrition, hours of sleep a day, and  health in general. Type 1 diabetes, in general is not a reason to decelerate normal growth, except in situations of not receiving appropriate insulin doses for prolonged period of time, as this will cause inappropriate absorption of food calories from the diet, and loss of muscle mass, hence the person wouldn’t grow as well, however this is more from the nutritional standpoint.

It  is also very important to inquire regarding the timing of puberty in the parents, and even the age of the first menstrual period of the mother, since it is not uncommon to find multiple members in families who had delayed puberty, and actually this is the most common reason to not grow in time, especially in boys. The good news is that they will grow later. My recommendation would be  to share your concern with your endocrinologist for further appropriate assessment, which most likely will include blood work and an x-ray of the left hand.

Good luck with everything and I hope my answer has helped you.

Happy numbers!