Many parents believe that when a child does not grow enough, the easiest and fastest solution is to treat them with growth hormone to speed up the process. This hormone is responsible for giving the signal for any child to grow tall and develop, but we must bear in mind that in childhood growth, other factors such as genetics also influence, and that each child has its own rhythm.
If you are also considering treating your child to grow better, because you think he may be going through a hormone deficit, you must take into account a series of guidelines before making the decision. Keep in mind that treatment with growth hormone can have very dangerous adverse effects, and healthy children do not always grow when they are medicated with it.
Take note of all the details if you are thinking of resorting to growth hormone to stimulate the growth of the baby , and resort to it only in absolutely necessary cases.
What is growth hormone?
Growth hormone (GH), also called somatropin , is a hormone responsible for controlling the growth of bones, muscle mass and the development of the child’s organs until adulthood. This hormone is produced in the brain, in the pituitary gland or pituitary , releasing blood directly to exercise its role as messenger.
Although the growth hormone is being produced and acting constantly 24 hours a day , its highest activity occurs at night, during the hours of sleep. The child’s body temperature also influences its higher production, and of course, the level of physical exercise that it practices.
When there is a deficit in the production of the hormone , the child can be affected in its development, causing anomalies of different kinds, depending on the degree of affection.
Causes of growth hormone deficiency
In most children diagnosed with a growth hormone production deficit, an idiopathic cause is found . That is, it is not known for sure why hormone levels are not the usual, producing a smaller amount, a lower secretion, or even producing a hormone that is not active in its function.
The root of the problem of a lower amount of production of basal hormones , is directly in a problem of functioning of the pituitary gland. In these cases, there is a low amount of hormones at other levels, such as a deficiency of progesterone, lower production of hormone somatostatin, and failure in the production of other hormones produced in the pituitary gland.
Symptoms of growth hormone deficiency
When a child is not producing a normal amount of growth hormone, or if the hormones produced are not fully functional, a series of symptoms can be detected that help detect a hormonal growth problem early.
- Weight and size less than normal
- Slow human growth rate
- Neonatal jaundice
- Episodes of frequent hypoglycemia in the first years of life
- Signs of immaturity in their behavior
- Head with bulging forehead and altered dentition
- Lightweight overweight
- Very peculiar sharp voice
Treatment with growth hormone
The treatment for growth of the child through the application of growth hormone is only recommended after having made a control and a complete diagnosis of the problem. For this, the growth of the child is controlled up to 3 years , and it is from this age when the possibility of intervening against a delayed bone age is assessed.
To measure GH levels, determinations can be made throughout the day or cause a peak release. Some examples of provocations with pharmacological stimulation:
- Insulin hypoglycemia test
- The glucagon test
- Clonidine test
- The Arginine Test
These tests show data in relation to normal GH values :
- Growth hormone deficiency when the GH values are less than 10 ng / ml
- Partial deficit if the GH values are between 5 and 10 ng / ml
- Total deficit if the values are lower than 5 ng / ml.
As long as there is no option to cover the growth hormone deficit naturally, you can resort to treatment with growth hormone in the little one.
This treatment consists of daily injections , which can be prolonged up to several years, adjusting the dose individually according to the needs of each patient. The price of this treatment varies. The sooner medical treatment begins, the more likely it will be to alleviate the growth hormone deficit in the child.
Finally, comment that the manufacture of growth hormone is expensive so buying the treatment is expensive . In Spain, Social Security takes over the treatment in adults provided it is a serious GH deficiency.
When can growth hormone be used in children?
The treatment with growth hormone GH is not entirely free from risks for the child. To be able to resort to it it is necessary that the pediatrician makes a diagnosis of the problem, and thus to adapt the dose and type of treatment to each patient.
This treatment is usually used in particular cases such as:
- Children with short stature or very slow growth
- Chronic renal failure that prevents the normal production of hormones
- Short bowel syndrome
- Patients with AIDS
- Turner syndrome (lack of X chromosome)
- Noona disease (mutation of chromosome 12)
- Prader-Willi syndrome (failure on chromosome 15)
- Rett’s disease
Side effects of growth hormone treatment
Keep in mind that like any hormonal treatment, growth hormones for children administered through injections also have side effects and contraindications :
- Frequent headaches
- Joint and muscle pains
- Abnormalities in the formation of hip and leg bones
- Retention of liquids in extremities and abdomen
Only when the benefit of treatment with growth hormone is greater than the adverse effects that may have on the child, can be used in a completely safe .
How to stimulate growth hormone
In many cases, the problem of the poor production of growth hormone in children is due to bad habits of life that influence their growth. To avoid them, there are some guidelines that we can follow at home, so that we promote the natural production of the hormone so that we do not have to resort to medical treatment and avoid the negative effects of it.
The highest production of GH occurs when the child is sleeping, just in the phase of deep sleep . For this reason it is very important for the child to sleep well and to rest well enough at night to grow up healthy.
Practicing moderate physical exercise is more than enough to favor the production of hormones in children. We must avoid becoming sedentary children , promoting physical activities that encourage them to move every day.
Avoid foods rich in sugars and fats, which can also cause obesity problems, and provide quality proteins for the production of hormones, is more than enough to promote growth hormone. Following a healthy and varied diet is essential for children to grow and develop correctly.
If you have any questions about which foods stimulate growth hormone , check with your child’s pediatrician. Now that you know what growth hormone is, the meaning of hormones, what medical treatment consists of and what the adverse effects are, you can act correctly so that your little one grows properly and is a healthy and strong adult.