Q: I’m a 22-year-old girl, 5’6 tall, and weigh 57kg. I attained puberty when I was 15. My question is: Will I grow taller? And can you please suggest some tips to increase my height?

Height is determined by a range of factors like genetics, gender, medical conditions, nutrition and exercise. Getting good nutrition that includes vitamins, calcium, proteins are important to maximise the potential for growth. Growth potential of children can be calculated based on mid-parental height (average of father’s and mother’s height). Mid parental height plus or minus 2-4 inches can be the growth potential. Physical activity also plays a role in childhood growth.

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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 years for boys.

The final stages of this growth occur at the end of the long bones (arms and legs). During puberty they begin to solidify. It is agreed that once the epiphyses have fused, further growth is not possible.

In adults (21 years old and above) whose growth plates have closed, it’s possible that even the overproduction of growth hormones will not help to lengthen long bones. 

While there is nothing that can be done to increase one’s height after age 20, there are ways to look taller. Attempting some postural exercises and muscle strengthening may make a difference of ¼ to ½ inch on standing height. Also take measures to avoid age-related loss of height.

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.