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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Adult Growth
January 2003

Q. I am a 35-year-old female and have grown an inch in the last six months. My feet have grown two sizes in the last five years. Any ideas as to what causes this sort of thing? What kind of specialists handle adult growth?

A. This situation is not at all common and deserves evaluation. In childhood and adolescence, growth occurs near the end of the bones in an area called the growth plate. The growth plates usually close at the end of adolescence or age 20 so that no further growth can occur.

Normal growth patterns are governed by our genetics and the process driven by the pituitary gland in the brain producing growth hormone. You should consult a doctor of internal medicine or a specialist in endocrinology.



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