Ever wondered if dwarfs are passed down? This question comes to the minds of many people whenever they see a dwarf. A dwarf is an adult whose height is 147 centimeters (4 feet 10 inches) and below, and the average height is 122 centimeters (4 feet). A midget is a special type of dwarfs, whose body parts, though small, are proportional to the rest of the body, much like an average human being. Dwarfs hate the term “midget”, preferring to be called little people or persons of short stature, and most appropriately by their own names.
Do Midgets Have Midget Babies?
Midgets may have midget babies if they suffer from congenital growth hormone deficiency (GHD). Congenital GHD is a result of genetic errors and is normally accompanied by defects in brain structure or physical defects such as single central incisor or a cleft palate. Studies have led to the identification of some genetic defects, including:
- GHD IA, an autosomal recessive gene characterized by retardation of growth within the uterus. The resultant child is small compared to the siblings. During infancy, such a child responds normally to the administered human growth hormone (hGH). However, antibodies against the hormone develop and the child matures into a tiny adult.
- GHD IB, another autosomal recessive gene, similar to IA, but in this case the child has some growth hormone (GH) at birth and responds to hGH treatment.
- GHD IIB and III. These are similar to GHD IB. While IIB is autosomal dominant, IIIB is X-linked.
Acquired GHD results from different causes, such as:
- Perinatal or postnatal brain trauma
- Infection of the central nervous system (CNS)
- Hypothalamus or pituitary tumors – craniopharyngioma, pituitary adenoma, glioma, Rathke’s cleft cyst, germinoma and metastases
- Radiation therapy
- Infiltrative diseases such as langerhans cell histiocytosis, tuberculosis and sarcoidosis
- Idiopathic – without any known diagnosis
Do Other Dwarf Parents Have Dwarf Babies?
Do midgets have midget babies? In some circumstances. What about other types of dwarfs?Not all dwarfs necessarily have dwarf babies. Most dwarfs have skeletal dysplasia, a genetic condition involving abnormal growth of bones which leads to disproportionate dwarfism. The cause of skeletal dysplasias is genetic mutation which may be inherited or occur spontaneously. There are various types of skeletal dysplasia, including achondroplasia, diastrophic dysplasia and spondyloepiphyseal dysplasias.
Both diastrophic dysplasia and spondyloepiphyseal dysplasias are usually inherited as recessive traits, meaning that for a child to get these conditions, it must receive the respective copies of the genes from both the father and the mother.
On the other hand, achondroplasia is inherited as a dominant trait, meaning that a child only needs one copy of the affected gene to get this type of dysplasia. So a child born to parents both of who have achondroplasia, has a 25 percent chance of attaining normal height, a 50 percent chance of being born with achongroplasia and a 25 percent chance of inheriting both dwarfism genes, a normally fatal condition that leads to miscarriage.
In many cases, parents to achondroplasic children do not have the mutated gene, and the mutation happens spontaneously during conception. Scientists have not found the cause of this mutation which is apparently random and can occur in any pregnancy. In cases where a child with dwarfism is born to average height parents as a result of spontaneous mutation, there is no likelihood of other children suffering the same fate.
What to Do with Dwarfism
After the answer to “do midgets have midget babies?” here are methods to treat dwarfism.
1. Surgical Procedures
Surgical procedures may be used to address some of the problems associated with disproportionate dwarfism, including:
- Stabilize and reshape the spine.
- Correct the direction of growth of affected bones.
- Increase the size of the hollow space within bones of the spine (vertebrae) so as to alleviate pressure against the spinal cord.
- Insert a shunt for the removal of excess fluid from around the brain (hydrocephalus).
2. Hormone Therapy
People with dwarfism caused by growth hormone deficiency can benefit from hormone therapy which involves daily injections with a synthetic growth hormone. This helps to increase the final height. For maximum benefit, hormone therapy is given over many years through teenage to early adulthood, until reaching the maximum possible height, muscle mass, fat and general maturity.
Other deficient hormones may be used to supplement growth hormone. In some instances, hormone therapy may be needed throughout some individuals’ lives. Girls who have Turner syndrome receive estrogen and other related hormones besides growth hormone therapy to support their maturity into complete adults. It may be necessary to provide hormone therapy until menopause. In the case of achondroplasia, growth hormone therapy cannot help to increase height.
3. Lengthening the Limbs
Do midgets have midget babies? Sometimes. If you or someone close to you has dwarfism, you may consider surgery to lengthen the limbs. Some controversy surrounds this type of treatment and the surgery may involve several procedures over a period of time and be accompanied by some risks. It is important to find out as much as possible about the procedure before making a decision. In the case of a child with dwarfism, it may be necessary to wait till the child is old enough to make the decision.
4. Ongoing Healthcare
People with dwarfism usually need ongoing medical care by professionals who have a good understanding of dwarfism. It is worth to note that dwarfism may be accompanied by other. For this reason, medical care is needed to treat conditions that may arise including spinal stenosis, sleep apnea and ear infections. Such care is not limited to children, but adults with dwarfism as well.