Q: I’m 20 years old and 155 cm tall. Is there any medicine that can help increase my height?

Your height is determined majorly by your genetics and a little by nutrition. If you get enough nutrition you will likely reach the maximum of your genetically predetermined height. Taking protein-rich food during the growth phase is important; easy digestible proteins like green gram should be included in the diet of teenagers.

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Getting adequate sleep is equally important, as are exercise and diet to achieve maximum height. Intake of Ayurveda tonics such as Aswagandha, Shatavari during growth phase is helpful.

We grow at a steady rate for the first 10 to 12 years of our lives, then experience a growth spurt for the next two years. After this, our growth rate slows until it stops at the end of puberty. This usually happens around age 18 for girls and 20 for boys. The final stages of this growth occur in the growth plates (epiphysis), at the end of the long bones. During puberty they begin to solidify.

It is agreed that once the epiphysis have fused, further growth is not possible. Even the overproduction of growth hormones will not help lengthen long bones in adults (21 years old and above) whose growth plates have closed.

Your height actually decreases slightly in the daytime due to spinal compression. Attempting some postural exercises may make a difference of ¼ to ½ inch on standing height.

Do not feel bad for what your height is – various major achievers in the world were not focused on their height, but on their talents.

Dr VL Shyam is a Dubai-based Ayurveda practitioner. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.