Facts About Dwarfism
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Facts About Dwarfism

What are “little people” or small people, midgets? And what are the causes of these conditions? Many of us have wondered why certain people are so small. This condition of small length structure in a person is known as dwarfism. Dwarfism or short stature or restricted growth is a medical disorder which causes a person to remain abnormally short


What are “little people” or small people, midgets? And what are the causes of these conditions? Many of us have wondered why certain people are so small. This condition of small length structure in a person is known as dwarfism. Dwarfism or short stature or restricted growth is a medical disorder which causes a person to remain abnormally short.

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According to the group ‘Little People of America’ an adult under the height of 4 feet 10 inches or below can be termed as a dwarf. There are about 200 odd medical causes of this abnormal condition in a person. This condition is generally found in families where both the parents are of average height.

There are many misconceptions and rumors about this medical condition, one of it being that such people are considered to be intellectually impaired. Many dwarfs have normal intelligence and lead a long, fulfilling and normal life like any other person. They are as much part of the social setup as any other average individual and therefore, looking down upon them or mocking them is something that we must avoid completely.

What Causes Dwarfism

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Genetic Causes

One of the most common of all causes of dwarfism is a spontaneous genetic mutation in the egg or sperm cells prior to conception. Other genetic causes might be the gene inherited by both or one parent. In either of the cases an average sized couple can have a child with short build. In the same manner, it is also possible for a dwarf couple to have children of average height depending on the conditions that led to dwarfism in them.

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Around 80% of people with achondroplasia are born to parents with average height. The person with this disorder receives one mutated gene associated with the disorder and one normal gene from his/her average-size parents. A person with this order might pass along either a mutated copy or a normal copy of the gene to his/her children.

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Turner Syndrome

Turner syndrome is a condition which occurs when there is a random omission or severe alteration of an "X' chromosome, in the sperm or the female egg. The "X" chromosome is one among the two chromosomes that determine the sex of a person. A girl suffering from turner chromosome possesses only one fully functioning copy of the female sex chromosome rather than two.

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Growth Hormone Deficiency

Dwarfism or short stature can also be caused because of the deficiency of growth hormones. Growth hormone deficiency can be the reason of some genetic mutation or some injury. However, most of the times, in people suffering from the disorder no cause can be identified.

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Primordial Dwarfism

Primordial dwarfism is a condition that occurs much before the birth of the child. This condition can be identified with the help of an ultrasound that will diagnose the fetus being small when compared to its gestation age. Any growth deficiencies can also be diagnosed through ultrasound.

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Other Causes

Spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia, congenital, diastrophic dysplasia, pseudoachondroplasia, Noonan syndrome, osteogenesis imperfecta and hypothyroidism can turn out to be few other causes of dwarfism in a person. Dwarfism can also be caused due to some serious and chronic illnesses; harsh environmental conditions like malnutrition might also lead to dwarfism in a person. These kinds of dwarfism are indirect consequences of unhealthy or malnourished conditions an individual goes through. This kind of dwarfism generally takes the form of simple, short stature without any deformities.


Images from Google Images


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Comments (26)

This was great with interesting pictures, but I actually would need more information on what these syndromes are. This is an area I know very little about.

Nice presentation.

Yes, nice. Sorry, I'm out of votes

good info.. I can never remember which is a dwarf and which is a midget.

very interesting article and great pictures

very interesting topic here. nicely done neatly laid out Ron!..I found it to be well researched n good information on the effects of dwarfism disorder..loved the pictures you put into this article as well, Well done my friend. . cheers :)

All comments are highly appreciated, thanks a lot.

Keep it up!

Excellent article. Your articles are very informative and useful. Thanks for sharing

Thanks everyone for the comments, votes and views.


To Brenda your staff writer. There is no difference between a dwarf and a midget. The term "midget" is found to be offensive by many little people and seldom heard amongst little people unless it is used to educate those who don't know the difference and are unaware of its offensive meaning.


Brenda: there is no difference between a dwarf and a midget regarding height or size. The term "midget" is found to be offensice according to most little people. The proper phrase or description for such a person is dwarf. The only time little people use the term "midget" is to educate people like yourselves who either don't know the difference or assume that there is a difference between the two. So now you know; there is no difference between a dwarf and a midget other than it being a language issue

Thanks for the insights Sharon, appreciated.

Great information, Ron. I had no idea there were so many different causes of Dwarfism. I'd heard of primordial drawrfism and that's about it. Really gerat article :D

Thanks Norma, appreciated.

Ron, very well researched and written. Your pictures truly highlight the article. Voted (of course)!

Thanks Judy.

Like Norma I knew there were dwarfs and had heard of primordial dwarfism, but had no notion the causes and effects were so many and varied. great work.

Thanks Jill

steve fletcher

theres obviously a shortage of them.ever met one?they are obnoxious.

Excellent article, voted up!

Thanks Diane - much appreciated.

A relative of mine was only 4' 10". We always suspected it was because of the lack of nutrition in the old country. Now it seems that the speculation was on target. Interesting reading.

Thank you Gayle.

This is a very well presented article. I am very interested in different genetic conditions. I believe the programs on TV featuring the lives of dwarfs is very helpful to help us all understand dwarfism. Well done! 

Thanks a lot Charlene.