I'm 37 years old, I've shrunk 6cm in height and my feet have shrunk 2 sizes

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any advice much appreciated.

I'm a 37 year old male. Approximately a year ago I first noticed my height loss, one day all of a sudden I noticed my dad was taller than me, he wasn't before, I was taller than him. My dad is in his sixties so shouldn't be getting taller. I then noticed more and more that friends and family who I used to be taller than were all of a sudden taller than me. After 6 months I eventually went to see my GP. He measured my height and I was 171cm tall. To find out my previous height we looked up my hostpital admission records. A couple of years before I'd had a few hospital admissions and each admission they had measured my height which each time was recorded as 177cm. 

That was 100% confirmation I had lost height but my GP was still sceptical, saying it's unheard of for someone my age to lose that much height.

He reluctantly refered me to see a back specialist at my local hospital.

I had an X-ray of my spine. The specialist looked at the X-ray and said nothing major is showing up. He said there is minor abnormality in one of the vertebrae but nothing that would cause any significant height loss. He said to find out if I had osteoporosis I would need to have a DEXA (DXA) scan. But he said he couldn't do that as I don't meet the criteria. He said if I was a older than 50, post menopausal female then he could easily authorise it, but as I am 37 year old male there is nothing he can do.

He also said as I had no back pain there was nothing more at all he could do, so has just refered me back to my GP. That's where I'm up to now.

The thing is I don't think all the height loss I've lost is even in my back area. With my clothes the place where I've noticed a difference is in my trouser leg length. Plus my feet have dropped 2 sizes I used to be a size 10, Im now a size 8 at most. The thing is I'm too embarrassed to even bring this up with my GP, as shortening feet and legs just sounds ridiculous and unbelievable, but it clearly 100% has definitely happened. Just to say some proportion of the height loss could be in back aswell, it could be a combination of both back and legs. Just with my clothes size the place I've noticed it is in the legs.

Up until now I have avoided looking up on the internet my symptoms. Today I searched around net and I can't find anything with my particular symptoms. The closest I could find were Ankylosing spondylitis but I have no pain or swelling. Plus also osteoporosis. but no conditions anywhere specifically have shortening of legs and feet.

So I'm at a dead end now. Does anyone have any ideas what conditions/illnesses could cause this to happen to me?

I am very, very unhappy to have lost 6cm in height and I want to find out what caused it and if possible prevent it from getting any worse.

Any advice is much appreciated.

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  • Posted

    Sorry James can't help with this one. As far as I'm aware PMR will not coase your body to shrink that much.  PMR is generally only found in those over the age of 50 although some cases atypical and an average age of 73, but 37 is rather young!

    Best of luck finding an answer - has your GP referred you to a specialist?

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    • Posted

      Hi Oregonjohn, 

      yeh I think I should probably repost this question in a different forum group, but not sure which one.

      And yes my GP referred me to see a back specialist.

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    • Posted

      Yes, it is unusual for PMR and'or GCA to be found in younger people, but there are recorded cases as young as 23 and one young man aged 33 lost his life after presenting three times at the local hospital with classic GCA symptoms and each time was turned away with 'too young'.  The fourth time he lost his life.

      Statistics use 'Bell Curves' and if you fall down on either side of the curve, problem arise.

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  • Posted

    Sorry James you are not in the right place for this question.

    However, what I would do is go back to your GP and tell him everything and that includes shortening of feet and legs.  You are not helping yourself by not telling the truth.

    I think also that an MRI is called for here and you really must discuss this and it is incorrect to say you cannot have a Dexa Scan.  If they still refuse than you can get a proper Dexa scan done privately and they don't cost that much and I don't mean one done as Asda or Boots they are not accurate.

    Failing all else ask for a referral to

    The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital has a large number of consultants.

    . Dr Richard Keen - osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease

    Sorry I cannot help you further, but pursue it.

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    • Posted

      Thankyou Lodger, that is a good reply to someone that is completely lost, and you knowing your country and it's health system. Thankyou, as I didn't know what advice to give him.      I too end up on sites that I don't Really belong to, but like to learn re others' conditions/probs.....Bron
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