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Amy Roloff's Dwarfism Made Her Popular And Helped To "Educate People" About Achondroplasia, Its Symptoms, Causes And How It Can Be Diagnosed

Date October 21, 2019 16:16

There are plenty of reality TV star families, but few strike us to be as genuine as the Roloffs. Amy Roloff first attracted people's attention years ago when Little People, Big World first began. Not only did audiences learn how she navigated life with dwarfism, but we also became incredibly attached to their whole family and farm.

Amy Roloff dwarfism

In 2010, Amy Roloff commented on the beginnings of the show:

"TLC came to us about five or six years ago, and so we suddenly realized we were given a great opportunity to educate people about dwarfism.

Amy's type of dwarfism is achondroplasia, and she has experienced very few (if any) complications.

The woman proved to be a strong and self-determined person, who knows how to enjoy life despite different obstacles on her way. She used her condition to help others and educate people that dwarfism doesn't mean bad life. She provoked many people to find out more about people with this genetic disorder and here is what we know about achondroplasia:

Achondroplasia is the most common type of disproportionate dwarfism. The condition is caused by mutations in the FGFR3 gene and in more than 80 percent of cases, it isn’t inherited.

Achondroplasia symptoms

People with achondroplasia generally have normal intelligence levels. Their symptoms are physical, not mental. For instance:

At birth, a child with this condition will likely have:

  • a short stature that’s significantly below average for age and sex
  • short arms and legs, especially the upper arms and thighs, in comparison to body height

Amy Roloff's Dwarfism Made Her Popular And Helped To "Educate People" About Achondroplasia, Its Symptoms, Causes And How It Can Be DiagnosedAmy Roloff's Dwarfism Made Her Popular And Helped To "Educate People" About Achondroplasia, Its Symptoms, Causes And How It Can Be DiagnosedAfrica Studio / Shutterstock.com

  • short fingers in which the ring and middle fingers may also point away from each other
  • a disproportionately large head compared to the body
  • an abnormally large, prominent forehead etc.

How achondroplasia could be diagnosed

Achondroplasia can be diagnosed before birth. Characteristic features of this form of dwarfism are seen by X-rays, ultrasound, and other imaging techniques.

Amy Roloff's Dwarfism Made Her Popular And Helped To "Educate People" About Achondroplasia, Its Symptoms, Causes And How It Can Be DiagnosedAmy Roloff's Dwarfism Made Her Popular And Helped To "Educate People" About Achondroplasia, Its Symptoms, Causes And How It Can Be Diagnosedsam100 / Shutterstock.com

All in all, children and adults with achondroplasia can lead normal lives provided they receive attentive, informed care by their physicians and parents. Although there might be some complications including decreased muscle tone, bad hearing, obesity, pain in bones, abnormal curvature or severe spinal stenosis, there are people who don't face any of those at all, like Amy Roloff.

Life with dwarfism exist and it can be even happier than in those who were born healthy!


This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.

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