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14 years old, has not reached puberty. Is this normal?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 9396 Questions
Hello Doctor,

My Son is 14 years old. He is 78% in height and 45 % in weight. We have found this during a physical check up that has been done recently. He also plays sports, tennis. i am worried about his health as doctor said he is under-weight. He is also a picky eater or he eats a littel. He has not reached his puberty too. His voice has not changed yet. Do we really need to worry about this?

Posted Sun, 31 Mar 2013 in Men's Health
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 13 minutes later
Hello and welcome to XXXXXXX

Thank you for writing to us.

In my opinion there is nothing to worry about. Teenagers are usually always underweight and of lean built. This is also good, as an obese child hits puberty late and will not develop male characteristics due to a low testosterone level caused by the obesity. He is also actively involved in sports, which is great. He seems to be a healthy child, and there should be no cause for concern. Give him what he likes to eat and will eat well, there is no harm in doing so.

About him hitting puberty, male children usually hit puberty as early as 11, and even as late as 15-16 years of age. This also should not be a cause for concern.

Male children do not always show when they hit puberty. Although some children hit puberty, they do not experience a change in voice for another 2-3 years. So this again, seems to be normal.

If you are really worried about this, you could get his testosterone levels checked, if they are normal for his age, you can rest, and be assured that his growth and development will take place as per his individual speed of body growth and development.

I hope you found my response helpful and informative. Do write back to me for any further clarifications. I would be glad to help.

Best wishes.
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