Facebook Pixel

Children with Growth Hormone Deficiency Can Grow to a Normal Size

By HERWriter
Rate This

Growth Hormone (GH) is a chemical made by special glands in the body to regulate the growth of bone and other tissues. People who have insufficient growth hormone may benefit from GH supplements. Growth hormone deficiency may be present at birth, or may be the result of a severe brain injury.

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regulates how growth hormone is made and how it can be legally administered. GH is approved by the FDA to treat certain specific conditions:

Growth hormone deficiency – Children with this condition may be very small in size and may never grow to a normal adult height unless they receive GH therapy before they finish puberty. GH treatments given after puberty will not help a person grow taller since the bones stop growing at the end of puberty. Adults may continue to receive GH treatments after puberty to help them gain normal amounts of muscle or fat.
Other conditions that cause short stature – Children who have other medical conditions that cause them to be short, including kidney disease, Turner syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome are eligible for GH treatments.
Muscle wasting – GH can be prescribed to help counteract muscle wasting caused by illnesses including HIV
Short bowel syndrome

FDA approved GH is only available by prescription and must be injected to be effective. Shots are often given at home and may be needed as often as once a day. Other forms of GH that are sold as pills which are available without a prescription are not effective because GH loses its ability to function in the body when it is digested in the stomach.

Possible side effects from GH injections include:
• Muscle and joint aches
• Fluid build-up in the tissues
• Swelling in the joints

Synthetic or man-made growth hormone is considered to be safe when used for the conditions approved by the FDA. Growth hormone made from human tissue can result in a fatal brain condition called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which is similar to mad cow disease.

If you are concerned that you or someone in your family has a deficiency of growth hormone, talk to your doctor. Early treatment is necessary for children to grow to normal adult size.

The Hormone Foundation
National Institutes of Health: Medline Plus
The Columbia Encyclopedia
Children’s Hospital Boston

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Human Growth Hormone

Get Email Updates

Human Growth Hormone Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!