Growth Hormones

Staci - posted on 05/11/2009 ( 25 moms have responded )

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My son will be 12 in September and he is only 60lbs and 52 inches tall. He is barely on the growth chart with his weight and not even on the chart for his height-compared to average children his age. He went through a very tough time in December 2007. He was hospitalized for 9 days for a serious,painful infection that almost killed him. This experience caused him to get a type of post tramatic stress disorder and depression. The docs have said that this has contributed to his stunted growth. He is on meds now,and doing so much better emotionally. He wants to play sports and do all of the things that all other boys do,but his size holds him back. He is VERY self conscious about his size. He is SO much smaller than all of the kids in his class-even the girls. I feel like this is something that was takin away from him due to his traumatic experience. I want him to feel great about himself and his abilities. I have been tossing around the idea of growth hormones but I have been reluctant to share these thoughts with anyone because I don't want to seem like I just want my son to be big-like he does'nt measure up to some social standards because of his size. It's not a vanity thing. I am only 5'1" and his dad is not big either,and that's fine. I will love him no matter what,I just want him to be able and have the self esteem he should have. He is SO wonderful and I don't want the bad experience he went through to take anything more away from his happiness. Am I ok for entertaining the thought of giving my son steroids? Are they very dangerous?

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Stephanie - posted on 07/21/2012

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I have never heard of a connection between gh & leukemia. My son has been on the gh medication since age 7 and I would recommend 100% for any parent with concerns of short stature to start the process of testing with an endocrinologist. He or she is a specialist in this field and will only prescribe gh if it is medically warranted. My son has had tremendous success with his gh treatments. I encourage parents to at least visit the endo. and ask questions! Make a list of questions and have it with you. The more info you have, the easier it will be to make a decision.

[deleted account]

Emili, no offense but where in the world did you get the idea that kids treated with gh get leukemia?! I haven't heard of one documented case anywhere or even a reference to kids in gh getting leukemia...and I've been reading up on it for YEARS. The ONLY instances of cancer in children on gh was when they USED to use NATURAL gh, derived from cadavers, which they stopped using in the mid 80's. Any other 'side effects' are usually dosage related (headaches, joint pain,etc), which can be alleviated by reducing the dosage. Kids on gh are very closely monitored for ANY side effects..either with the dosage or anything else going on with them. I'd hate to see Stacy (or any other mom on here that is concerned about their child's height/growth) desuaded from doing what's best for her child because of paranoia by someone like yourself spouting 'cancer risks'. Besides, children with Growth Hormone Deficiency face other risks/problems from NOT having growth hormone than just stunted growth. Growth Hormone (Somatodin...growth hormone is its 'common name') is the 'master hormone' that controls ALL the other hormones. It controls metabolism (in conjunction with the thyroid gland), lung function, heart muscles, stamina, cholesterol, and many other things. If the child in fact is Growth Hormone Deficient, much more will be affected than their height over time. I too had gh as a child and also am on it as an adult because i STILL do not produce any. A normal person produces gh throughout their life...getting less levels as they get older...but they still in fact NEED it. So, any parent that suspects this may be a problem in their child (first indicator in children is stunted growth!), it is best to address it NOW to head off any future, more serious problems than just being short.

Annie - posted on 08/25/2013

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Jessica Ray, my son is 14 now and has been on the GH shots for 1 year this month. Same kind is story, a big baby who never really prospered like the others... The shots have changed his life! How is your son doing? Annie Straw

Marlene - posted on 07/31/2013

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Thank you stacy for sharing your son experience. my sun is 7 years old and the his endocrino pediatrician recommend growth hormone. Reading your statement helped us feel more confident about hormone treatment.

Br - posted on 11/28/2012

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First off, let me say HGH is NOT a steroid. It is a peptide hormone released by the pituitary gland. It works by causing the liver to make IGF-1 (Insulin Like Growth Factor)....



This causes growth to all cells including bone, cartilage, ligaments etc...This is why bodybuilders take HGH. It allows them to SURPASS the genetics they were born with. You are born with a certain amount of muscle fibers but with HGH a bodybuilder can ACTUALY GROW NEW MUSCLE FIBERS (Thus, surpassing the genetics they were born with).



HGH doesn't CAUSE cancer but if someone ALREADY has a cancerous tumor it will make it spread like throwing gas on a fire. Why? The reason is because what I stated earlier. HGH causes IGF-1 which causes cells to grow...............INCLUDING CANCER CELLS.



So again, HGH just shouldn't be used if someone ALREADY has a cancer tumor but if there is no cancer it is fine because HGH doesn't CREATE CANCER, it just makes it GROW FASTER.

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Mailey - posted on 04/21/2014

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Hi, HGH is released by the pituitary gland in pulses. When HGH levels rise, more muscle-building proteins are produced as well as the number of sarcomeres that keep muscles in motion. Since there is less uptake of glucose when Human Growth Hormones levels are elevated, the amount of adipose (fat) tissue declines.

Magdalena - posted on 04/08/2014

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Hi everyone - I have been looking for some support on This topic - my daughter is 4 and a half and giong to be having a nightly shot of Nutropin. How did you experienced moms discuss with your kids??

After all of the testing and shots and needles, she is not going to take her first few very well, but I would still like to be able to talk to her about it without scaring her or making a big deal out of her condition.

Here I am worrying about her being ready - I am far from it.

Thanks in advance!

Shenitra - posted on 03/23/2014

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My son is on the growth hormone shot every since he was 2 years old. He was off the charts in height, but now he's really really growing. Not really gaining much weight, but the height is just right now!!!! I was recommend it!!!

Jackie - posted on 02/14/2014

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Hello,
newbie here. my daughter haylie is 7 now. She has been on GH since she was two. I do recommend it. My daughter has Turner Syndrome. Her growth has been good, better than it would have been without it.. Shes a tiny little thing, smallest in her class but shes got spunk. :)

Br - posted on 01/14/2013

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Danit - First off, let me ask you a question...What do you think would be more difficult for your son, stuck in the body of a 7 year old his whole life which will effect (Physical abilities, emotional thoughts, confidence, relationship with women etc..) or just a RISK for diabetes??

Millions of people live with diabetes and live long healthy lives...To me the difference isn't even comparable...Go for it

Danit - posted on 01/13/2013

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my son weighed 1lb 3 oz at birth, and he had a grade IV hemmorahage at birth. Although the brain bleed healed its self the damage was already there. My son is 10 years old and 43lbs and 40 inches he eats like crazy but has not grown or put weight on in 2 years. My son has had something medical go on every year since i brought him home. My son has 16 medical diagnoses and still going. we go back at the end of the month to see the endocrinologist to discuss the growth hormone shots. My son had the xray of bone showed he was right at the age of 7 the doctor said if colby gains weight to fast he will be a greater risk for Type 2 diabetes, but if he doesnt start growing now by the time he is 13 he will be trapped in a 7 year old body which could be very dangerous for colby. I really dont have a great choice here because whatever decision we make puts our son at risk. colby has scarring on the brain already from the static encephalopathy and damage on his brain. I do know one of the side efffects of the shots is intra cranial pressure, which if colby gets that we will have to stop the shots, then what will we do he has to have the shots to grow. My husband and i are going to get several opinions before we decide on these shots, but since we dont have 6 months to make a decision we have to ask fast. My son has been below the 5th perecentile in height and 1 percentile in weight he totally fell off the chart. Sometime i wish we had more options but its either do this or else. has anyone else been on a long medical journey like us and now has to discuss the shots. please help cant seem to find anyone on the shots that has other health issues going on.

Br - posted on 11/28/2012

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First off, let me say HGH is NOT a steroid. It is a peptide hormone released by the pituitary gland. It works by causing the liver to make IGF-1 (Insulin Like Growth Factor)....



This causes growth to all cells including bone, cartilage, ligaments etc...This is why bodybuilders take HGH. It allows them to SURPASS the genetics they were born with. You are born with a certain amount of muscle fibers but with HGH a bodybuilder can ACTUALY GROW NEW MUSCLE FIBERS (Thus, surpassing the genetics they were born with).



HGH doesn't CAUSE cancer but if someone ALREADY has a cancerous tumor it will make it spread like throwing gas on a fire. Why? The reason is because what I stated earlier. HGH causes IGF-1 which causes cells to grow...............INCLUDING CANCER CELLS.



So again, HGH just shouldn't be used if someone ALREADY has a cancer tumor but if there is no cancer it is fine because HGH doesn't CREATE CANCER, it just makes it GROW FASTER.

Annie - posted on 07/16/2012

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Hi Heather, I read a post of yours from 2009 on Circle of Moms. You mention that both you and your girls were on HGH. We are making decisions and researching this option for my son right now.... Can you share some updates and opinions on dealing with the meds, potentials growth and health benefits, and any regrets with those offs making those choices now? Thanks! Annie

Jamie - posted on 10/30/2010

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I defininately agrre that you need to see an endocrinologist. They can run the blood to check for deficiencies and also do an xray to judge bone age. From what I understand, growth hormone will not help unless you are deficient. If you're husband and you are both small, he may also be destined small also. I think if all else fails, some counseling may do him some good. He needs to be comfortable with who he is, especially at the beginning of his teen years.

Lisa - posted on 10/21/2010

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My daughter has panhypopituitarism. She was put on growth hormone at 2 months. She was a pound less than her birth weight for 5 weeks. GH is the best thing we have done. You may want to look into THE MAGIC FOUNDATION. They are a foundation that deals with many diagnoses surrounding growth disorders. They have an annual convention in July of every year in the Chicago area. I went this past July and it was the best thing I could have done as a parent to educate myself. Plus you meet families and other children who are going through the same issues.

Nargis - posted on 07/29/2010

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my son is 6yrs old and has idiopathic growth hormone deficiency disorder and he was also a premiture baby he was born at 28 weeks and weighed just 1.5bls just as big as a suger bag and know we are told that he has to have injections every day untill he is a teenager and will be reveiwed every 6 months to see how he is progressing so if their is anyone who is going through the same problem with their child please advise me how to help him cope with his problem because he is getting very low on his self confidence.

Emili - posted on 03/07/2010

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i dont mean that they automatically get it but they are at a greater risk for it. at least thats what my daughters endo told me. there is a lot of cancer on both sides of my family so im just not willing to take that risk for a couple extra inches.

Emili - posted on 02/28/2010

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i dont know about steroids, but i am terrified of the thought of having to give my daughter growth hormones. it seems to me that the cons outweigh the pros by a lot! i cant see giving her gh for an extra couple of inches if she may end up with some of the nasty sideffects such as leukemia. but the choice is definitely up to you. i would try to get an appointment with an endocrinologist to see if gh therapy would even work.

Jessica - posted on 09/14/2009

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Thank you for that information. We have been talking about getting his thyroid checked and we may go ahead and get him checked for short stature syndrome.

Vicki - posted on 09/14/2009

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my son is 10 and he's just now 50 pounds he's been on Human Growth Hormone replacement therapy since november of 08..when they start him he was 32 pounds and 3 foot 2..little man travis found out he has tyroid pomblems..my son arm are no bigger then a golf ball..travis wore 24 monthes clothes in kindergarden..when he broke his arm in 2 grade it took a year to heal..that's when doctore starte testing him for short stures sysdom...good lucky

Jessica - posted on 05/24/2009

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My son will be 13 June 3 and is 65 lbs. 52 in. tall. When he was born he weighed 8 lbs. 11 ozs. and was 21 in. long but at checkups he was never on the growth chart, they had to chart below it. He is self conscious as well especially when his little sister is 3 to 4 in. taller than him and people treat him according to his size and not his age. I have been told he will eventually grow, my husband was little for his age until his senior year in high school. I am only 5'4" and my husband is 5'8". My oldest daughter is only 5'2" with her growth plates having fused together at the age of 13 rather than around 18 the age she is now. We found that out when she broke her elbow. My oldest son is as tall as his dad at 15 so we are not sure if we should be tested again or just wait. I am glad to see we aren't the only ones dealing with this issue.

Jessica - posted on 05/24/2009

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My son will be 13 the 3rd of June and he weighs about 65 lbs. and is 52 in. tall. He was a big baby at 8 lbs. 11 ozs. and 21 in. long but as we took him in for checkups he never measured on the growth chart. He has been checked and we have been told he will eventually have a growth spurt one day. I am only 5'4" and my husband is 5'8" with my husband being little for his age until his senior year in high school Do we wait for the 'growth spurt' or should we take him in again to be tested? He sometimes gets treated differently by his size rather than his age. His little sister who is 11 is about 3 to 4 inches taller than him. I know he gets frustrated especially when referred to as a midget. I am glad to see we aren't the only ones dealing with this issue.

[deleted account]

Growth hormone is not a steroid, it's a hormone. Big difference. It is a synthetic form of what he would naturally produce on his own, thus not dangerous if prescribed/monitored by an endocrinologist. If he is off the growth chart (bottom) and barely on there with weight...I'd say you have a VERY good case for seeing an endocrinologist and having him evaluated for growth hormone deficiency or another possible cause for his stunted growth...which they will do tests (none are painful) to find out. If anything, you are being a great mom by recognizing that there is a problem and wanting to deal with it instead of burying your head in the sand and hoping it gets better on its own. Short stature seems to be harder on males in general, not only because of society but because it's something built in to them that they should be bigger...to take care of those they love, to protect and provide. At his age, there is a small window of time to start growth hormone therapy (if he needs it...and there's a good chance he does). At his age, puberty is imminent and the growth plates close quickly during this time. If he is to reach his full adult height, you will want to see an endo SOON. I speak from experience, as I too started on growth hormone at the age of 13. I also have two daughters on it for the past seven years and a third that may need it as well (she'll be seen this Wednesday to see if she needs tested, since she too has fallen off the growth chart.) Make sure you see an endocrinologist that specifically treats for growth disorders. And don't worry about how your son will take it. If anything, he will be thankful that there may be help for him. If he in fact gets prescribed growth hormone (after testing), it will boost his self esteem by leaps and bounds...especially after he sees the results over the months on it.

Tamara - posted on 05/17/2009

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The biggest question is has your son been evaluated by an endocrinologist to see if growth hormone is actually necessary? If so you need to weigh the options, all the options. My son has been on HGH therapy (Human Growth Hormone replacement therapy) since the age of 7 years, he is now 17 years old. What we've discovered in our many visits to his endocrinologist is many children are getting on growth hormone later like your sons age of 12. He is near puberty and you need to ask if there is the chance he will suddenly start growing or not. If my son didn't start as young I know he wouldn't be the height he is today.



When my son started he was 7 years old but the size of a 3 year old toddler wearing a 3T in clothing. Bone age he was measuring 3-4 years of age. After months of testing they started him on the HGH therapy. It is 10 years later and we didn't think we would see him reach 5'3. My son is now 6'2 and we are told what my son has achieved in height is very rarely seen. Mind you, I am 5'4 and his father is 5'10 however all my brothers are 5'11 and taller with the tallest being 6'4.



You ask are they dangerous. They are NOT the illegal ones you hear about with athletes. They are legal medications like anything else your son could be prescribed. I would honestly get him to an endocrinologist and have him fully evaluated if you haven't already.



Best of luck.

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