Catch-up growth is when your growth rate speeds up after a pause.
You might not grow for a while due to environmental factors like poor nutrition, growth hormone deficiency, or infections, but once these issues are resolved, your growth will resume at a rate faster than normal.
In one study, the rate of catch-up growth was up to 4 times the normal rate.1
Why does this happen? Because your body somehow knows its optimal growth and strives for it.
This is cool in later years to add a few extra centimeters, but it can create difficulties in prepuberty.
Control your sex hormones
The trend is this: the more marked the growth delay and the faster the catch-up growth, the earlier sexual maturation occurs and the faster growth plates close.
Nutritional rehabilitation after persistent undernutrition leads to catch-up growth, coinciding with increased gonadotropin secretion, eventually leading to early puberty.2
What can you do?
My suggestion: learn about the normal growth rates and the timing of the onset of puberty for your age and gender.
If you’re young and you’ve noticed that after a long pause you’ve started growing faster than people your age, you might be experiencing a catch-up growth spurt. A rapid increase in weight can also be a signal.
Get a check-up to find out the level of sex hormones in your blood and, if necessary, bring them to acceptable levels. Sometimes this can extend the growth period, but the key is to start early.
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