Up to what age do men and women grow is a question that we usually ask the doctor in charge of controlling and monitoring the development of our children. The subject has given rise to multiple studies from perspectives that not only include genes, but also add variables such as geographic and socioeconomic aspects.
One of the guidelines that is being established in these investigations is that sex influences. In general, girls develop earlier than boys. Already at 8 years there may be hormonal variants that appear in men around 10.
With this difference of approximately 2 years, the changes in the adulthood process will continue to take place. So, during adolescence there is a time of schooling in which this margin becomes very evident among classmates.
They return to a new school year in which it seems that only the girls have grown up and their bodies have been distributed in another way. Her hips are more accentuated and her breasts are noticeable. Often a year later, it will be the boys who come back with stronger muscles and taller than the women.
Why do we grow?
Human beings grow as part of our evolution and development. It is a physiological process that occurs gradually As bones lengthen, we gain weight and reach maturity.
The most noticeable growth spurts occur in the first year of life, between the ages of 5 and 7, and then in adolescence. This is known by the name of pubertal stretch and it constitutes the last moment of rapid growth of men and women. It ranges from 10 to 19 years old, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
This stage is accompanied by other emotional and physical changes. Parallel to the accelerated growth of the bones occurs that of the larynx; this causes the voice to become more intense and deep. On the other hand, the muscles are more defined, hair grows on the genitals, face and other parts of the body.
In the case of women, the date of onset of menstruation seems to set a pace that gradually slows growth. From there they add between 3 and 5 centimeters more.
At this moment the height is achieved, if not definitive, at least very close to the maximum that we will have. On average, then, the age at which men and women grow up is between 14 and 16 years for women and between 16 and 18 years for men.
In men this margin is extended. Some continue to grow, although very little, until they are 21 years old. Always much slower than puberty. The development of muscle mass goes up to the age of 24, approximately.
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On what factors does the growth of men and women depend?
Growth, in both men and women, is highly dependent on genetics. However, other factors are involved.
The size achieved by human beings is also conditioned by the quality of their diet and their sleep. A healthy and balanced diet will provide vitamins and minerals necessary for the proper development of bones and muscles.
But how does sleep influence growth? When you sleep, the body produces hormones; among them, that of growth, called somatotropin. One more reason why we must try to create the appropriate habit of night rest, according to the number of hours they require for their age.
There are other hormones related to the thyroid that have a direct influence on bone development. Hence, hypothyroidism, sometimes innate, is linked to problems in the growth of children. A healthy person will grow from the moment they are conceived.
We notice this naturally at home as the size of clothes or shoes changes.. If it stops in an untimely or unusual way, we will have to take our son or daughter to be evaluated by a specialist.
Keep reading: Tips to avoid sleep disorders in teens
Can growth be stimulated?
There are doctors who affirm that it is possible to stimulate what men and women grow if it is done before puberty or in its early stages. Therefore, they indicate protein and multivitamin supplements.
They do it with the purpose of helping the adolescent, be it male or female, in the development of a stature higher than that which on average could be reached by the disposition of their genes.
Others believe in hormonal treatments orsports practice. Even, being a myth the idea that basketball or swimming will make them gain a few extra inches, they recommend it. Meanwhile, physical activity is necessary for health and to maintain a balance between body and mind.
Despite recognizing that the genetic factor is key, encouraging them healthy sports and rest habits will be a good idea. All this if done as an accompaniment to a balanced diet.
What can cause growth disturbances in men and women?
The main causes of impaired growth have to do with chronic diseases, such as kidney, liver, gastrointestinal problems, heart disease or some other condition that is developing in the central nervous system or in the bones.
Other congenital conditions or endocrine diseases, such as diabetes and X chromosome abnormalities, can also be the cause of height stagnation. Socioeconomic factors that lead to malnutrition influence, especially in the first years of childhood, essential for what will be development.
Suffering from malnutrition in the first years of life and for a prolonged period determines the final height. This will be the case even if there are genes that point to a higher than average height.
Reversing these effects would imply maintaining a control with a specialized doctor developing and growing. The professional could carry out a thorough follow-up of the case. Without guaranteeing that you can achieve it, it will be worth a try.
The age to which men and women grow is multifactorial
While it is true that genetics play a major factor in determining how much we will measure, we already know that the environment and food are also important. Based on this, UNICEF offers a notebook on "Evaluation of the growth of boys and girls", in which module 3 is dedicated to providing guidance on healthy nutrition.
The same document contains tables with the average percentiles for girls and boys. They are practical guides with which we could take ourselves at home a graph with the evolution in height and weight of our children.
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