Turner Syndrome in Children: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Most people have two sex chromosomes-one from each parent. Males have an X and a Y chromosome, while females have two X chromosomes. Turner syndrome occurs when a female has only one complete X chromosome. Girls with Turner syndrome tend to be shorter, and their ovaries do not produce the normal amount of female hormones.

Turner syndrome also can cause problems with many other parts of your daughter's body. Her aorta-the major blood vessel that takes blood from the heart to the body-may become narrow. This can raise blood pressure. Turner syndrome also can cause kidney problems, osteoporosis, diabetes, and a lack of thyroid hormone.

Turner syndrome is not usually passed down in families. It happens by chance. Sometimes a test done while a women is pregnant (an amniocentesis) shows that a baby will be born with Turner syndrome.

Many of the problems that Turner syndrome causes can be treated. Estrogen and growth hormone can help girls with Turner syndrome to develop more normally. For example, estrogen can help girls develop breasts. Growth hormone helps them grow in height. However, women with this condition usually cannot become pregnant on their own. But they may be able to have a baby with an egg from another woman.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Make sure to go to follow-up appointments. Turner syndrome is a lifelong condition. Your doctor needs to watch for any problems and may refer your daughter to other doctors. These may include heart and kidney specialists and a doctor who specializes in hormones.
  • Have your daughter take medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse call line if you think your daughter is having a problem with her medicine.
  • Be sure your daughter gets enough calcium and vitamin D to keep her bones strong. Females with Turner syndrome are at risk for developing thin bones. Ask your doctor how much calcium your daughter needs. Non-fat and low-fat dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, are good sources of calcium. She also can take calcium pills.
  • See that your daughter gets plenty of exercise. Walking, running, and lifting weights also will help make bones strong.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if your child has any problems.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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Current as of: October 13, 2016