Turner syndrome is a chromosomal condition that affects the x chromosomes. This condition affects female and is mainly characterized by stunt growth and inability to conceive children due to the absence of the ovarian functionality. Turner syndrome is not inherited through the family. Other features that can vary among women include webbed neck (extra skin on the neck), low hairline at the back of the neck, lymph-edema (swelling of the hands and feet), heart defects, kidney problems and an abnormal skeletal structure.Statistics show that turner syndrome occurs at about 1 in every 2,500 girls worldwide.
Many people ask, what is turner syndrome and what are the signs and symptoms? One major symptom associated with turner syndrome is the stunted growth. Girls suffering from this condition are shorter than average. They initially have a normal height growth for the first three years, then they start to experience a slow growth. Once they reach puberty, they experience no growth of height at all.Non functioning ovaries is another major sign and symptom. Girls who suffer from turner syndrome do not produce the sex hormones progesterone and estrogen. They do not experience normal growth of breasts or undergo normal menstrual cycle without hormone treatment during puberty. Though they have non functioning ovaries, all other sex organs are normal.During early childhood, girls suffering from this condition have frequent middle ear infections. If the infections persists for a long period of time, it can lead to hearing loss.Females with the turner syndrome have a tendency to develop high blood pressure so this should be regularly checked. Fat and overweight women with this condition are at a higher risk of getting diabetes. Other majors signs and symptoms of turner syndrome include webbed neck, broad chest, lymph-edema, deformity of the spine (Scoliosis) and arms that are slightly turned out at the elbow. A condition known as Osteoporosis can occur due to lack of estrogen. This can however be prevented by undergoing a hormone replacement therapy.
Turner syndrome can be diagnosed as early as during birth. If a girl child is born with a heart problem, webbed neck or a broad chest with widely spaced nipples, the doctors widely suspect it is the turner syndrome and proper tests are carried out. At later stages girls with this condition start experiencing abnormal growth like stunted growth, lack of development of ovaries and abnormal menstrual cycles. Modern technology enable the condition to be detected during pregnancy through ultra sound tests. Prenatal testing is done to obtain cells from the unborn baby for chromosomal analysis to determine whether the child has both chromosomes.Diagnosis is confirmed through a blood test known as karyotype.
If a child is diagnosed with turner syndrome, they should seek the help of a pediatric endocrinologist who is a childhood specialist in metabolism and hormone disorders. Growth hormones injections are also very beneficial and can help increase the height of a person suffering from turner syndrome.