Growth Hormone Therapy

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Growth Hormone Therapy Increases Kids’ Height

Study Shows Therapy Is Effective Even in Children Who Aren’t Deficient in Growth Hormones

By Kathleen Doheny
WebMD Health News

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

 

Nov. 6, 2008 — Treating abnormally short children with growth hormone can increase their adult height, even in if they are not found to be growth-hormone deficient, according to a team of Swedish researchers who followed children for 20 years.

In a group of 151 children, the average height gain in those given the higher of two growth hormone doses was about 3 inches.

Doctors have known for years that giving growth hormone, which is naturally secreted by the pituitary gland, helps children who are known to be deficient in the hormone. But whether giving the hormone to children of short stature whose growth hormone levels are not deficient proves effective has not been known.

The children studied by the Swedish team had short stature due to other causes, such as idiopathic short stature (ISS), a condition in which laboratory tests, including a test to check levels of growth hormone, are normal and doctors can’t pinpoint easily a specific cause for the lack of height. Others were small for gestational age, or born small. The shortest 3% of children fall outside the bounds of what is generally viewed as “normal” growth.

Boosting Height

Kerstin Albertsson-Wikland, MD, PHD, professor of pediatrics at the University of Gothenburg, was the study’s lead author. Her team assigned the 151 children to no treatment or two different doses of growth hormone, given for an average of nearly six years. Children entered the study between 1988 and 1999 and were followed over a period of up to 20 years, until they reached their final height.

Children with parents of normal heights responded best, the researchers found. The higher dose produced better results than the lower dose.

The lower dose was 33 micrograms per kilogram of body weight a day; the higher dose was nearly double that.

While a third of those given the high dose and a fifth of those getting the low dose reached a final height well within normal ranges, none of those in the no-treatment group did.

The final height of boys in the no-treatment group averaged 5 feet 5 inches, while those in the higher-dose group reached a height of 5 feet 7 inches. The girls in the no-treatment group got to an average height of 4 feet 11 inches, while those in the higher-dose group reached nearly 5 feet 2 inches.

The study was supported by grants from a variety of sources, including Pharmacia/Pfizer, which provided the growth hormone but had no input in the study. The Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Foundation for Pediatric GH Research, and the Foundation Vaxthuset for Children also supported the research.

Growth Hormone and Height: Second Opinion

The study is called an important one by Wayne Moore, MD, section chief of pediatric endocrinology at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics and professor of pediatrics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

When weighing the options of whether or not we would allow our son to receive human growth hormone (HGH), never once did we consider surveyed public opinion which states that men must be tall to be paid an equal wage or find a wife. For medical reasons, short teens should be offered HGH.

As early as kindergarten, it was obvious that our son was not going to be tall like his father, or even as tall as his mother. As he approached adolescence, the questions outnumbered the answers from the physicians.   Simply put, his body was not producing HGH as it should have, thereby he would not grow to his genetic potential. While doctors assured us that no physical harm would come to him from being short, they were wrong.

One condition which could be directly attributed to his height was depression. He bore a tremendous weight from his classmates, and their interpretation that he lacked virility proportionate to his height. Undisciplined children were cruel and abusive in more ways than verbally.

Another was his abnormal sleep patterns and moodiness. His lack of interest in almost anything was indicative of more than simple depression.

Researching HGH brought a new found light to the darkness of his stunted height. Human growth hormone is responsible for many other things besides just height. As a treatment option, it was the only answer.

While HGH primarily increases height, it also increases muscle mass. It helps the body retain calcium for stronger, denser bones and fend off osteoporosis. By controlling the fat in the body, it helps control blood sugar and insulin levels, while boosting immunity.

At a time when his HGH level should have been rising, it was level. There was no guarantee that it would rise at all, much less to normal. We also had to face the fact that that small level would fall as well. His short stature was indicative of much more than a bruised ego, but of future maladies guaranteed without intervention.

Since beginning HGH, he has physically matured, something that would not have occurred without HGH supplements. He will never be as tall as his father, but he is now as tall as his mother. With his new-found zest for life is enviable and carries the energy to see it through. His new activity level produces sleep at the appropriate time and of appropriate length.

The even muscle tone which replaced his look of malnutrition boosts his athletic ability and confidence. Depression is a thing of the past.

Should short teens be offered human growth hormone? Yes, when medically necessary. It is more often that you would think.

 

Treatment of GH deficiency in children

Growth hormone deficiency is treated by replacing GH. All GH prescribed in North America, Europe, and most of the rest of the world is a human GH, manufactured by recombinant DNA technology. As GH is a large peptide molecule, it must be injected into subcutaneous tissue or muscle to get it into the blood. Nearly painless insulin syringes make this less trying than is usually anticipated but perceived discomfort is a subjective value.

When a person has had a long-standing deficiency of GH, benefits of treatment are often obvious[citation needed], and side effects of treatment are rare. When treated with GH, a deficient child will begin to grow faster within months. Other benefits may be noticed, such as increased strength, progress in motor development, and reduction of body fat. Side effects of this type of physiologic replacement are quite rare. Known risks and unsettled issues are discussed below, but GH deficient children receiving replacement doses are at the lowest risk for problems[citation needed].

Still, costs of treatment in terms of money, effort, and perhaps quality of life, are substantial. Treatment of children usually involves daily injections of growth hormone, usually for as long as the child is growing. Lifelong continuation may be recommended for those most severely deficient as adults. Most pediatric endocrinologists monitor growth and adjust dose every 3–4 months. Assessing the psychological value of treatment is difficult but most children and families are enthusiastic once the physical benefits begin to be seen. Treatment costs vary by country and by size of child, but $US 10,000 a year is common.

Little except the cost of treating severely deficient children is controversial, and most children with severe growth hormone deficiency in the developed world are offered treatment. Most accept. The story is very different for adult deficiency.[citation needed

Foundation for Children starting growth hormone.

http://magicfoundation.org/www/docs/108.1020/growth_hormone_questions_children-short-small-shots.html

Summary

Recombinant growth hormone for idiopathic short stature in children and adolescents

There is some evidence that recombinant human growth hormone improves short term growth and (near) final adult height in children with idiopathic short stature.

Idiopathic short stature is the term used when children are very short compared with others of their age for unknown or hereditary reasons. They do not have a disease. Recombinant human growth hormone has been used to try to overcome growth failure in these children. It must be injected under the skin six to seven times a week until adult height is reached. Existing evidence suggests that growth hormone can increase short term growth and improve final or near final adult height.
Ten studies included altogether 741 children and lasted between six months and 6.2 years. Results showed that individuals treated with growth hormone remain relatively short when compared with peers of normal stature. Girls treated with growth hormone were 7.5 cm taller than untreated controls (growth hormone treated group 155.3 cm and control group 147.8 cm); another trial found that children treated with growth hormone were 3.7 cm taller than children in a placebo-treated group. No serious adverse effects were reported in the included studies. Although serious adverse effects (there has been concern that growth hormone would induce new tumours or increase the likelihood of tumour relapse) may be rare, their possibility must also be taken into consideration.

This is a Cochrane review abstract and plain language summary, prepared and maintained by The Cochrane Collaboration, currently published in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010 Issue 9, Copyright © 2010 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.. The full text of the review is available in The Cochrane Library (ISSN 1464-780X).
This record should be cited as: Bryant J, Baxter L, Cave CB, Milne R. Recombinant growth hormone for idiopathic short stature in children and adolescents. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD004440. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004440.pub2

Growing Taller Requires Growth Hormones – Here Is What You Should Know

When it comes to growing taller, the number one factor is the activity of growth hormones. This is why many adolescents see such great growth at the time their growth hormones are raging. Hormones can also have an effect on people after the teen years, too.

What these hormones do is to give you energy, make you feel and look youthful, and will increase your height as well. If you have too much human growth hormone (HGH), it can give you wrinkles, make you gain weight, give you acne and decrease muscle. Growth hormones will affect you both indirectly as well as directly.

Directly, growth hormones will help you with growing taller and will add height. This occurs because the hormone will connect itself to receptors on the cells responsible for growing, and will unlock the body’s growth activities as a result. When HGH attaches to a cell this way, this will result in metabolism of triglyceride, and will decrease the body’s accumulation of the lipids or fat molecules.

Then there are indirect results to this hormone, which take place because of an insulin-induced growth. Growing taller will take place because of the effect that insulin has on the target cells involved with growth hormones. There is much more to this mechanism, and is a complex process which demand that multiple hormones work in unison.

Your liver will produce an insulin-like growth factor, and increasing this production is what HGH will do. This in turn stimulates developing your cartilage tissue which will allow your bones to grow. This hormone that your liver produces will then help with growing your muscles as well as growing taller.

The fact is that there are a number of processes that occur when you produce growth hormones. For instance, your body will form more protein through different tissues, and this helps growth. These hormones will also help to regulate your blood sugar. If the hormones generate too much insulin, then the blood sugar levels can dip so much that you face a diabetic coma. There are a number of drugs containing HGH that can reduce this risk, however.

Growth hormones have a very profound effect on your body’s ability of growing taller. This process can be very hard to understand for most people, but you need to know what these hormones do so you can be sure that you can grow a little more. Luckily there are a few things you can do in order to keep these hormones in production, so you can keep growing even as an adult.

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