Achondroplasia is the commonest cause of dwarfism. It is a genetic disorder due to a dominant gene.

The children of a sufferer will have one chance in two of being affected. If both parents are achondro-plasiacs, all the children will be affected.

However mutations may occur in the genes and so a sufferer may appear in a family without history of this abnormality.

The problem involves the bones, particularly the long bones which are shortened and the typical achondroplasiac dwarf has short arms and legs, a normal trunk and a large head.

The condition can usually be recognised at birth. These children develop normally with strong muscles. Mental and sexual development are normal

Achondroplasiac women, should they become pregnant, will require caesarian section for delivery of the baby as the pelvic bones are too narrow to allow normal birth.



There are other ways in which a primary cancer can make you feel listless and weak. Such symptoms do not necessarily mean the disease has spread. Some cancers release hormones or chemicals which alter the normal balance of various minerals in the blood. In this way, particular types of cancer can result in abnormally high or low levels of calcium, potassium or sodium. Such imbalances make you feel weak and are sometimes associated with other symptoms such as nausea, diarrhoea or constipation, excessive thirst and passing large amounts of urine. Successful treatment of the primary cancer will get rid of these imbalances and therefore these symptoms, provided the cancer hasn’t spread. Of course, the symptoms would not be relieved by removal of the primary tumour if secondary deposits were already present.

Loss of appetite and weight can also occur when there is only a primary cancer that hasn’t yet spread. This happens especially when the primary cancer is in the stomach or upper part of the abdominal cavity (liver, pancreas, spleen, etc). However, it can happen with a primary cancer anywhere.