Many of you would agree with the fact that height is one of the most important aspects of your overall personality. Some of you might even have experienced some bitter or harsh comments if you’re slightly shorter than average.
Unfortunately, it is a widely accepted concept that height is one of the traits that is beyond our control and can’t be altered as per our wish. Not anymore. This article is all you need to know about increasing your height both naturally and pharmacologically. Whether you’ve just hit your teenage or have crossed your twenties, we’ve got solutions for every age group. So without wasting any more time, let’s get started!
Height is an excellent example of polygenic inheritance. This means that two or more genes are responsible for
determining the height of an individual. This makes it clear that your height is genetically determined and you’ll end up growing almost as tall as one of your parents.
Interestingly, only 85 percent of your height is genetically determined whereas the remaining 15 percent is dependent upon environmental factors, ethnicity and nutrition. In other words, there is a high chance that you can grow taller than either of your parent if your lifestyle is directed towards the right path and you work on factors that help in increasing your height.
Have you ever wondered what underlying process makes you grow taller? Why some of your friends are shorter than you while others are taller? It’s all a game of human physiology and believe me, it’s a very interesting one.
The vertical growth of our bones makes us taller. Every long bone in our body has epiphyseal plate at each of its end. Simply put, it is the growth of this epiphyseal plate that elongates the bone. During puberty, this growth is rather enhanced as more epiphyseal plates are added onto the old ones. All this is under the influence of hormones and growth factors. This is why you experience a surprisingly evident increase in your height when you reach your teen years. This process continues until you’re 20 to 25 years old when your epiphyseal plates seal and you can grow no taller.
You may wonder as to where does the role of genes fit into the picture? It is the genetic makeup of an individual that determines the synthesis of hormones and growth factors and hence regulates epiphyseal plate growth. By the age of 25, ninety percent of the population reaches their genetically determined height.
You’d be amazed to hear that your height is constantly changing on a day to day basis. This change is so minor that you may not even notice it. The underlying cause is the compression of fluid sacs between vertebral bodies when you’re in a standing position. This may decrease your height by up to 1%. Contrary to this, you reach your original height while lying down because there is no axial pressure on the vertebral disks and the fluid sacs expand.
The claim that stretching can increase your height basically works on this phenomena but it will be discussed in detail later on.
How can you increase your height?
If there’s one thing that impacts every aspect of our health then it’s our nutrition. Nutrition plays a significant role in determining how tall you grow. Research has proved that increased intake of protein in the developmental years can add a bit to your genetically determined height. Let’s see how nutrition affects the overall height of an individual.
Human body needs at least eight hours of sleep every night to function properly. While sleep helps you get rid of mental and physical fatigue, it has got the potential to help you grow taller and stronger. This is why you may have observed neonates and children sleeping for more than ten hours a day.
Sleep activates numerous chemical cascades inside the body and releases hormones that promote growth and recovery. Lack of sleep during the developmental period may be associated with stunted growth and reduced cerebral development.
If you want your child to attain the maximum height, try to make their sleeping environment calm and peaceful. Ensure that their sleep remains undisturbed by light or noises because it’s during this time that the tissues recover and the bones grow.
The greatest emphasis on sleep is because of the fact that human growth hormone is produced in the pituitary gland during the slow wave sleep. Getting a peaceful sleep ensures adequate production of the hormone and hence you grow taller. A cup of chamomile tea or a warm bath before bedtime can do wonders in inducing a peaceful sleep.
You might wonder that what does immune system has to do with height. Researchers have proven that childhood diseases prove to be the prime culprits of stunted growth.
An infant should be properly immunized according to the international standards to avoid short height in the future. Vitamin C is an excellent vitamin that keeps the immune system healthy and active. Hydrogenated foods and processed meals are your biggest enemies as they are pure junk.
The curvature of your spine plays a significant role in making you look taller. A hunched back or rolled shoulders would automatically make you look shorter even if you are six feet tall. Try to stand straight with your shoulders back and head high. Avoid slouching when you walk and sit up straight when you’re in a chair. Even if you’ve reached an age where you can’t grow taller, a good posture would reflect a confident personality and would make you look tall and dominant. Check out this
Studies have revealed that exercising on a regular basis releases HGH, a hormone that is responsible for growth and development. It is necessary to adapt to this lifestyle from a young age because human growth hormone poses maximum benefit during puberty. Once your growth plates have sealed, even intense workout won’t help in adding inches to your height.
Although water does not directly has any influence on the growth cascade, it does help the body perform all its functions efficiently. A hydrated body is more likely to reach its full growth potential compared to a dehydrated one. Make a habit of consuming at least eight glasses of water daily because it flushes toxins from the body and improves metabolism.
When all the measures fail and your consultant has eliminated the nutritional factor, you may opt for any of the following pharmacological approaches. This is because hormonal deficiency and autoimmune diseases might be the underlying problem.
Spinal conditions like scoliosis and kyphosis, arthritis and other bony abnormalities that are quite common in the older age group may make you appear shorter than normal. In such conditions, the main aim of treatment is directed towards removing the underlying cause by drugs or surgery. Diagnosing the problem at the right time and treating it accordingly can add several inches to your effective height.
In many of the cases, the individual is consuming a balanced diet but is not gaining height. Such cases must be referred to a doctor where he may prescribe you growth hormone supplements. Oral intake of growth hormone has shown to increase the height by up to 9 centimeters in individuals who do not respond to any other measure.
However, dealing with the endocrine system is a risky matter. You should only go for this approach if your baseline investigations prove that your body is not generating enough hormones. If your pituitary is already secreting the normal concentration of hormone then further intake may cause the gland to shrink and stop working altogether.
Opting for surgery to increase your height is a highly controversial subject in medicine as it is both an invasive and a painful procedure. Apart from the fact that it may cost you a fortune, leg lengthening surgeries require long recovery period that is uncomfortable for both the patient and the caretaker. The procedure involves breaking the tibia and fibula and inserting a device to keep them separated. This is followed by physical therapy and long strengthening phases before you can walk on your feet again. The rate of complications is also very high hence this option is never suggested or appreciated by the consulting physicians.
When all the treatment options fail or become too miserable for you to undertake, you may follow our fashion advice to look taller than you normally are. The following measures might help you fake your height and give temporary benefits but you can at least adapt them to dignify your personality in a social gathering or special events.
Girls are slightly luckier than boys at this point. They can easily opt for heels if they want to look taller but we won’t let boys stay disappointed either. Short heighted men can wear insoles called risers in their shoes to add a few inches to their height.
Skinny outfits do a great job in making you look slimmer and taller. They accentuate your body lines and enhance your features. Try wearing skinny jeans and avoid baggy shirts if you don’t want the world to think of you as the plump, fat girl or the dwarf boy. If you’re comfortable with wearing shorts or mini-skirts than it would be the best way to highlight your long legs which would make you look taller.
Dark colored clothes make you look slimmer and sometimes that is all you need to look tall. The slimmer you are, the taller you will look.
If you’re fond of wearing striped shirts then go for the vertical ones. Horizontal stripes make you look broad and short. This might sound a bit strange but that’s what our fashion experts say.
Making a high bun or backcombing your hair gives them a more vertical alignment that not only makes your face look longer but also gives the impression that you’re tall.
In spite of all the techniques I told you to increase your height, let me tell you something more important. Your height is not everything. You’re best the way you are because there’s nothing wrong in being short height.
Don’t agree? Well, look back upon Yuri Gagarin and Andrew Carnegie. They were one of the most influential people even if they didn’t have a tall, broad physique. They were successful in spite of being short. It is your perspective of life that matters the most. How you project yourself to the world makes you more successful than your height.