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How Tall Will I Be?

What helps you grow and how to predict your future growth.

Is there anything I can do to get taller, like posture exercises, foods, or supplements?

The best way to grow as tall as you possibly can is to keep healthy, provide good nutrition, exercise regularly, and sleep well.

You need good nutrition to grow, but most children and teens can get that through food and beverages without needing supplements, Grimberg says.

Great posture is a plus, but it doesn't make you grow. Think of it this way: Posture doesn't make you taller, but it makes the most of your height, Grimberg says.

Be wary of any product that claims to make you taller. Geffner says that you can find products like pills in health food stores that say "growth hormone", often with "stimulator" in parentheses, but these are scams. You cannot take growth hormone as a pill. These products aren't as strictly regulated as you might think, so you have to be careful about claims.

Doctors can prescribe growth hormone shots for certain specific causes of shortness. But routine use should be completely discouraged. Some possible side effects include diabetes and increased fluid in the brain, Geffner says.

I'm so much taller or shorter than my classmates and I'm self-conscious about it. What can I do?

You're not alone. That's a totally normal, common reaction for short or tall kids.

But you can move on from that by working on your self-esteem. The best way to build this is to emphasize your strengths.

Step back and think about what you are good at or what you enjoy doing. If you are good at sports, dance, art, or academics, then focus on this. You'll come across as confident. Remember, physical attributes change over time, Bamba says.

If you’re shorter, shoes can help for both sexes for some height. Some kids fluff up their hair for extra height. You could also be a late bloomer. A bone age test using an X-ray can show if you’re going to grow for a longer time than your friends, Geffner says.

Should I be concerned if I'm dramatically shorter or taller than members of my family?

You should go see your doctor if your height doesn’t make sense compared to your parents and siblings, whether it’s too short or too tall, Geffner says. Your doctor can decide if you need a referral to a growth specialist called a pediatric endocrinologist. 

Your doctor should be tracking your growth at yearly visits. Less than 5 centimeters of growth in one year can be abnormal.

If you’re concerned about your growth or how fast you growing, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can help you figure out if you're on track, Bamba says.

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Reviewed on June 17, 2013

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