Growth is the action and effect of growing. This verb, in turn, refers to taking natural increase, to produce increase by adding a new matter or to acquire increase in a symbolic sense.

In the case of living beings, growth is known as the irreversible increase in size experienced by an organism due to cell proliferation. This proliferation produces more developed structures that take over biological work.

Growth therefore implies an increase in the number and size of cells. The phenomenon occurs thanks to the assimilation of nutrients: without nutrients, growth is defective or null.

  • Abbreviationfinder: Find definitions of English word – Guild. Commonly used abbreviations related to word are also included.

In living things, growth is linked to an increase in the size and number of cells.

Hormones and growth

Hormones are also protagonists of the growth process since they are responsible for accelerating or inhibiting cell division. Among the main hormones that contribute to the growth of human beings, are estrogen (produced in the ovaries of women, helps the development of the mammary glands), corticosterone (accelerates metabolism), somatotropin (regulates body development and bone growth) and testosterone (activates and maintains the external sexual characteristics of the male ).

It is important to keep in mind that the growth of the living being continues steadily until adulthood arrives and the organism reaches its maturity.

In the field of botany, the term growth is also used. In it, it is usual to speak of anomalous secondary growth, which is that which occurs in a series of plants and which is not the usual one that takes place in eudicots or gymnosperms. In this case fundamentally that takes place in the so-called monocotyledons.

The concept in gynecology

In the same way, within the field of medicine and specifically gynecology, the term that we are now addressing is also used. Specifically, it talks about what is known as retarded intrauterine growth, which makes it clear that the fetus is suffering from a delay in its development.

Poisoning or fetal or maternal malnutrition are the two main causes that can bring about this delay in the growth of the fetus, which is fundamentally translated into the fact that it has a weight that is well below what is normal.

In the economy and elsewhere, growth is associated with increases in various indicators.

Problems in the growth of a fetus

However, congenital malformations, maternal alcoholism, circumvallate placenta or genetic syndromes can also be the reason for this growth retardation.

There are several types of growth problems of this type. This would be the case of the intrinsic, which is when the cause of those are defects in the chromosomes of the fetus; the idiopathic, which takes place when the origin of all this is completely unknown; the extrinsic, which is a consequence of a placental pathology; or the combined one, which is the result of a mixture of extrinsic and intrinsic factors.

Symbolic use of the notion

On the other hand, growth can transcend the physical. Economic growth, for example, is linked to an increase in productivity, consumption and other indicators of the economy : “Argentina has had nine consecutive quarters of economic growth”.

One can also speak of spiritual growth, inner growth, etc., referring to symbolic or non-material issues.