A period of fast physical growth is called a growth spurt. During this short time, a child’s weight and height increase quicker than normal. With girls, the final growth spurt tends to hit between 10 and 11 years. This stage can last until they are 15-17 years old. With boys, they tend to start puberty at 11 or 12 and finish around 16 to 17 years old. This of course, does depend on the genetics, quality of diet, amount of sleep and exercise the child is getting. There are teenagers who are short and hope they are just late growers. If that’s the case, what are late growth spurt signs?
What Are the Signs of a Late Growth Spurt?
Some teenagers do start the growth spurt later than their peers, but there is not something to worry about. Eventually, they will be able to catch up to the height of their friends. The signs of late growth spurt are similar to those of normal growth spurt.
1. You Gain Weight
The body tends to prepare itself when a growth spurt is nearing. This can be seen in weight gain. It can vary depending on how much growth you will have. One example would be a child of 5'5'' gaining 15-20 pounds quickly with no apparent diet or lifestyle changes. Then in a month he is measuring 5'9''.
2. You Get Wider
This is not to be confused with gaining weight. It means your chest and shoulders are going to grow wider, preparing for the height you will gain soon. When you have finished growth, distance between your shoulders will match your height. If they are disproportionate, you may still have space of growth.
3. Your Knees Ache
Those undergoing growth spurts may suffer from Osgood-Schlatter disease. This sounds bad, but it is just a term describing when your bones are growing faster than your joints and muscles. This causes more stress to the bone, which in turn leads to aches. It becomes worse if you are active. This pain tends to come before or at the beginning of a growth spurt.
4. Your Clothes Don’t Fit You
It is truly the most obvious late growth spurt sign. If you put on your favorite pants and jacket just to have them fit wrong, there is a great chance that you’re going through a growth spurt.
5. You Have a Voracious Appetite
Those going through a substantial body change, whether growing taller or gaining muscle, will see an increase in hunger. In the middle of a growth spurt, you may eat a big lunch, only to be hungry after a short time. It is one of the only times you can eat everything you want with little guilt.
Truly, the best way to see if there is a late growth spurt is to measure yourself. Keep a record on a regular basis of how tall you are. Ask someone to do it for better accuracy.
Stories of Late Growth Spurt Signs
I really was a late grower. In fact, I didn’t stop until I was 21 and gained an inch in those last couple of years. Try not to worry about it. Easier said than done, but sure it’s the best way. Just learn to love the body you have.
I was just one of the skinny short kids when I was younger. At 14 I was a little over 5 feet. But then by 16 I was at 5’11”. I thought I was done growing. Nope, a little over 17 and I was over 6 foot and a bit heavier and I lost my childish looks.
Tips That May Help You Grow Taller Naturally
A late growth usually doesn't need treatment, but the growth and development need to progressively examined by the doctor. If there is an underlying condition, you need to ask help from an endocrinologist. Sometimes hormone therapy is necessary. If there is no underlying medical condition, try to following tips to grow taller.
1. Get the Right Amount of Sleep
Getting the right amount of quality sleep makes a difference in healthy growth. Studies have shown that a minimum of 8 hours is needed every night. Sleep is important because it allows your body to regenerate and grow new tissues. You will also find that human growth hormone is released when deep sleep and slow wave sleep cycles happen. For a better sleep time, avoid drinks that contain caffeine. Reduce noise and have a comfortable sleeping area.
2. Eat Well
The right foods are critical for supporting late growth spurt signs. Avoid junk food and stick to well-balanced meals.
- Vitamin D is important as it’s one vital nutrient for healthy bones and growth. Get it from pork, eggs, dairy, fish, mushrooms, sprouts, tofu or alfalfa.
- Calcium is essential for healthy bone development. You can find it in sardines, dairy, soybeans, cheese, green veggies, and cereals that are fortified.
- You should increase your intake of zinc with eggs, peas, asparagus, oysters or chocolates for healthy growth.
3. Stay Hydrated
Making sure you get enough water will help you reach your full height. Water improves your metabolism, flushes toxins and assists digestion. Make sure to get at least eight glasses a day and for even better results, eat a diet rich in fresh, water-based foods like cucumbers and watermelons.
4. Stay Active
Regular exercise like engaging in sports is an exceptional way to encourage a late growth spurt. Even those older than 18 may see some added inches by increasing their activity level. Exercises that encourage growth include swimming, stretching exercises, and jump roping.
5. Steer Clear of Things That Can Hinder Your Growth
Drugs and alcohol are two of the most commonly abused substances that will keep you from growing as tall as you could. If taken when you’re young, steroids can impede growth. There is a research showing teens using some types of steroids fall behind their peers by an inch. Caffeine is also proven to inhibit growth by causing problems with children’s sleeping habits.
6. Sit Up Straight
Many have a poor posture when sitting at a desk or driving a car. With time, this can cause a bend in the spinal cord. It will suppress your growth and could even cause your height to shrink. If you realize you have bad posture, then consider adding exercises and stretches to correct it. When walking, hold your chin up and pull your shoulders back to help correct poor posture.