I think for us height increase researchers this news might be slightly exciting to realize. This insight on how gigantism caused by pituitary hyperplasia results in something else, which might be the real answer on why height was able to be increased.
I spent some time doing a little bit of reading/research on one of the tallest females in the USA named Alana Renaud, who is listed at either 6′ 10″ – 6′ 11″. I checked out her profile on the website TheTallestMan.com and there was a story written about Alana Renaud in some popular magazine which revealed something sort of interesting.
The backstory on Alana is rather normal and uneventful, suggesting nothing out of the ordinary for an American raised female. Alana is a lovely, beautiful women who just happened to be a few standard deviations above in the height distribution bell curve. She is an almost 7 feet tall woman after going to the chiropractor so she is going to get a lot of stares no matter where she goes. She friend laments that she could be naked next to Alana and men would still probably be more focused and interested in Alan due to how tall and big she is.
However, I want to mainly focus on the interesting scientific facts about Alana from what appears to be an American Apparel magazine article entitled “Above It All” written by Audra Melton
Correction: Alana seems to have gone to the University of West Georgia, NOT Western Georgia University to play as a student-athlete for the university volleyball team.
Alana Renaud Height/Growth Progression (All this information is taken from the article)
Father’s side of the family had many tall women
- Birth: Weight – 7 lbs, 2 oz. & Height/Length: 19.5 inches
- Age 9-10 (5th grade): grew 4 inches to 5′ 5″
- Age 10-11: grew 1 inch to 5′ 6″
- Age 12: grew 2 inches in 3 months to 5′ 8″
- Age 13: grew from 6′ 0″ to 6′ 2″
- Age 14: grew to 6′ 4″
- Freshman Year of High School: 6′ 5″
- Sophomore Year of High School: had to duck under the standard height doorway which is 6′ 8″
- Fall of Senior Year of High School: 6′ 10″
So it could be that Alana just happened to be one of those girls who had the extreme height gene being idiopathically tall like Marvadene Anderson however her extreme stature was from something else.
It says that Alan did not start menstruating even when she was 17. A trip to the gynecologist, and then to an endocrinologist lead to her pituitary diagnosis. Like so many other people who has gigantism due to pituitary hyperplasia which I have studied, her tumor was also benign but still quite active. She suffered from a hyperactive pituitary gland.
The symptoms of Gigantism, and then adult onset acromegaly are that the facial features start to protrude and bulge out as the bone tissue which can still expand will expand. The brow ridge gets bigger. Their nose and jaw can also be wider and protrude out. Their voices pitch get much lower as the voicebox which is made out of cartilage tissue become wider and wider due to the chondrocytes in the voicebox pushing the cartilage tissue apart expanding it. The results is a deepened voice. Alana is said to have a broadening noce and chin in her senior high school portrait.
Alana would later have a surgeon go through the nasal cavity to cut out the tumor on the pituitary. There was some serious complications in the surgery where there was a lot of bleeding. It would take 3 surgeries to remove the tumor tissue adequately well so that there would be a change where the tumor could never regrow back. The most interesting thing that was said was that after the surgery with the radiation, Alana’s nose and jaw slenderized back to normal.
The only other thing that was slightly unusual was that Alan supposedly found a nodule in her thyroid on a routine annual checkup with the endocrinologist.
So why is Alana Renaud’s story important for us as researchers looking for a way to help children and adults grow taller?
It is from the connection between the late onset of her menarche and her gigantism condition.
Note: Before I continue any further, I completely understand that correlation does not imply causation, but for Anala’s situation, I am willing to show that the two events are not coincidence, but that the two things are related.
From reading over hundreds of PubMed studies and looking over the literature on how gigantism develops in young kids with open growth plates, I will make a claim.
Thesis: People who have gigantism which is due to pituitary hyperplasia (from a tumor) get to the extreme height ranges from some endocrine and biomolecular mechanism resulting from the pituitary. The actual mechanism manages to slow down bone maturity significantly and slows down growth plate senescence.
The thing is that from reading multiple articles of studies done by researchers who used growth hormone therapy in children to improve the children’s adult final height, it seems that GH treatment might not even do anything to make the child taller. It only works for children suffering from GH deficiency disorder. The GH therapy may not be able to make the child taller than what their intended height was supposed to be if they didn’t have the disorder causing short stature.
There is even suggestions that excess GH usage in testing subject children caused their bone maturity to be accelerated, which is the exact opposite thing we would want to increase final adult height.
So the obvious question then is, if synthetic recombinant GH injected into kids don’t make them super tall, why does pituitary gland hyperplasia due to benign (rarely malignant) tumor causes some people to become extremely tall?
At this time, I don’t know the exact cause but I do suggest that the pituitary gland controls human vertical growth in more than 1 way. Using an alternative endocrine or signaling pathway, the pituitary gland tumor can cause the body to decrease the rate of bone maturity, NOT accelerate it.
Main Point: This shows that the way people become really tall, and achieve extreme heights in the long tail of the height distribution is more likely from slowly down bone maturity instead of increased GH release into the system. There is at least two mechanisms going on. On the one hand, the natural GH made by the pituitary gland can release the GH to accelerate bone maturity, but there is some other unknown process which it does to slow down bone maturity.
The thing is that Alana stopped growing at an age reasonable for most males, 17-18. Most females stop growing around 14-15. I can say from talking with my sisters that the taller one at 5′ 7″ started menarche when she was around 12 and she stopped growing taller when she was 13-14. It took just 1 year approximately from the time that my sister experience menarche and when she stopped growing. This shows that menarche is a very good sign in a girl that she is probably going to stop growing any taller very soon.
Menarche is the scientific term for when a female gets her first period. This is the sign within many cultures that a females has gone from a girl into a full woman who finally has developed the sign that she can give birth to children. Menarche defined by scientists also signify that her body can theoretically have children (not that she should). Alana’s extremely late menarche reveals that somehow the gonadotropins could not be released form her ovaries, showing that there was some process in her body keeping her from starting gonadarche. This phenomena can be validated slight by the fact that african american women in the USA is about 1 inch shorter than their caucasian american female counterparts. The scientific reason that is given is that the african american women start puberty about 1 years earlier than the caucasian females. So puberty is the signal that a person is going to start to reach the process where they are going to stop growing anymore, at least vertically.
We see this in Sultan Kosen, who grew 2 inches when he was 27. We see this in Lee Lazelle who grew even when he was 30 years old. We see this in Tanya Tngus, who supposedly grew even when she was 27-29. I had written posts about all of these giants at one point saying that the fact that they were still growing even in their late 20s signify that their growth had to be from somewhere else besides the growth plates, which should have closed for them since they were in their late 20s. Now I cam saying that I was probably very wrong about my assessment from the past posts. It seems that the pituitary gland that was affecting them had someway to slow down growth plate senescence, so that they could extend the amount of time for them to continue to grow a little taller.
However, it seems that the only way for the child to achieve really tall height is not through GH therapy, since it doesn’t seem to be able to make them tall, but only correct for height deficiencies. The reason that the pituitary gland tumor works to turn them into giants is because it uses a currently unknown mechanism to slow down the growth plate senescence and bone maturity so that they have a few more years to continue to grow further. This is done in females at least by keeping them from going through certain puberty stages. If Renaud did not have the pituitary hyperplasia, her growth would have ended when she was around 13-14 since her puberty would have been triggered much earlier causing the ovaries to release estrodial which would have definitely hatled her height dramatically, which would have made her height reduced by about 12 inches, if we remove the extra four years she had to grow and the 2 years of actual growth in puberty also diminished. She would have ended up tall still, probably around 5′ 10 – 6′ 0″ due to the fact that her father’s side of the family had some very tall females, but not as tall as she is today.
So in conclusion, I seemed to have been wrong about an important scientific point but now I realized that I am wrong. Tyler suggested this idea when I brought up this point and I considered it but never found any studies or evidence to validate his point. However this article seems to show that he was right.
- Birth Year: February 1980
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