For the most part, a person’s height is determined by genetics. An individual will grow to a certain height based on who the parents and grandparents are. As a personal trait, height comes from family connections. Nutrition and lifestyle can have some effect on height, but most research shows that the influence of genetics is the factor that determines a person’s height.

People who are taller may have a better chance of succeeding in some professions and may actually carry themselves in society with more confidence. For this reason, people have tried to increase their height through various methods, even after the normal growth pattern has ended. This usually occurs in women during the teen years, while men can continue to grow for a few years into the 20s.

Height is partially determined by the length of the long bones of the legs, on which there growth plates that allow bone length (and height) to increase. The body has natural substances called hormones that help this growth to continue. Most lists in medical records show growth hormone, cortisol and thyroid hormones among these factors.

There are a few natural ways to ensure that a person will at least grow to their “normal” height, as predetermined by factors inherited from parents and extended family. At the top of the list is sufficient and good-quality sleep. Research indicates that growth hormone works best during “deep” sleep and lack of sleep can decrease the hormone produced.

There are a few other natural ways to ensure that a person reaches maximum height. These include good nutrition, a generally healthy life and regular exercise that is appropriate to a person’s general health. Regular use of nutrition supplements as recommended by doctors and manufacturers may help. Certain vitamins, protein supplements and calcium may have a positive effect.

In recent years, some medical personnel have used a therapy procedure involving the growth hormone, in which an insufficient level of the hormone is supplemented through injections or oral intake. A less common method of attempting to increase height is acupuncture (sometimes referred to as reflexology). This may be followed by a traction process that attempts to lengthen the legs.

Another approach has come into use as an alternative to hormone therapy, acupuncture and limb-lengthening. Because these medical procedures can be costly and may have some negative effects on health, others have tried the homeopathic route. According to some medical literature, this method offers natural, patient-focused medicines for stunted growth and delayed growth. Some homoeopathic practitioners state that there are ways to enhance adolescent growth without injections or other hormone treatments.

While these are subject to discussion among medical personnel, they do focus on some of the basic reasons for differences in growth among individuals. These reasons include genes – what is inherited from parents; natural hormone levels or abnormal levels in an individual; nutrition – including diet and lifestyle; sleep patterns; skeletal and other body abnormalities. Anyone seeking a way of enhancing height should take care when evaluating the various methods available.


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Lucas Beaumont
Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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