The most common treatment required to treat Growth Hormone Deficiency is Growth Hormone Therapy which involves inducing growth in children and restoring energy, body composition and metabolism. GHD may be a birth defect or may also begin during childhood. Poor growth in children may be due to several medical cause like Turner’s syndrome- a genetic syndrome affecting girl’s development, chronic kidney disease, Prader-Willi syndrome causing low levels of sex hormones, constant feeling of hunger and poor muscle tone and children born small for gestational age. Affected ones, mostly older adults, may also experience frequent fractures due to reduced bone strength. They feel a lack of stamina and fatigue more often and also are quite sensitive to changes in temperatures. The other symptoms include poor memory, lack of concentration, spells of anxiety and emotional distress and depression. They also have increased fat and cholesterol level in their blood due to low metabolism with an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes. Somatropin is prescribed by the doctors as shots several times a week, injecting it in the fatty tissues of the patient. Growth hormones are secreted from the Pituitary gland located in the brain. So, a surgery of such a tumour in the pituitary may also be required for the treatment. If the tumour removal is not accomplished safely, the patient may also require radiation therapy. There are cases where people cannot be treated with the therapy as it does not work for every affected person and may opt for support groups and counselling that help them cope with the deficiency and the self-esteem issue effectively. If left untreated, it causes other deficiencies like thyroid hormone production deficit, deficit in the production of sex hormones, water imbalance in the body and reduced DHEA and cortisol production from adrenal glands.
In the therapy for GHD, doctors prescribe injection of somatotropin (Genotropin, Humatrope) once a day, in the fatty tissues of the patient as in the thighs, buttocks or in the back of the arms by the patient him/herself or the parent having received appropriate training. It is needed to see the doctor every 4 to 8 weeks for proper monitoring of the condition. The progress is tested and blood tests are performed to determine the need for more growth hormone. The doctor also monitors the blood sugar level, cholesterol level and the bone density while administering of GH injections is on. Some children who have congenital form of this disease are treated for longer term, that is, until they reach puberty or even for their entire life as determined by the doctor. A prompt increase in growth may be visible in 3-4 months once the treatment starts which is quite faster than normal and normally declines over time. If there is deficiency of other hormones like sex hormones, cortisol and thyroid hormone, they can be replaced with appropriate medications. After the commencement of the treatment, the child’s appetite may go up and the body fat may start to reduce. In cases where a tumour has developed in the pituitary, a surgery for its removal is necessary and if surgery too is not sufficient for the removal of tumour, radiation therapy may be required for the treatment. Good nutrition along with proper rest are also key to normal growth.
.Children with abnormally short height than their peers or with physical defects like cleft palate or cleft lip may be affected with decreased growth hormone level. Children with short stature, slow and flat growth rate with normal body proportions but chubby looks appearing younger than other children of same age. Their puberty normally come late or even may not come at all. GHD in many teens cause a short stature and sluggish maturing rate. So, such young men have voices not as par their peers and young women may have underdeveloped breasts. Older adults who experience frequent fractures in their bones and also lack stamina are eligible for GHD treatments.Also adults who had pituitary gland damage like haemorrhage or tumour or even their treatment like surgery or radiation therapy may also cause Acquired GHD
There are people who suffer from GHD but cannot be treated for the disease because of their tumours or any type of cancer. Also, if they have breathing problems and multiple injuries due to a trauma, they should not get treated with growth hormone injections.
Despite being reasonably effective and safe, growth hormone injections do cause some side-effects, which are although not so serious. Side-effects like redness at the injection spot, muscle and joint pains, swelling and numbness, headaches, slippage of hip bones, curving of spine (scoliosis) and fluid retention are most common. The somatotropin Genotropin causes side-effects in GHD affected children like injecting site bleeding, reactions, scarring, rash or lumps, fat loss, blood in the urine, slight increase in the blood sugar level and low thyroid activity. Genotropin when induced in children born small for gestational age produced side-effects like abnormal jaw growth, increased number of moles, early puberty, increased pressure in brain etc. it also caused inflammation of nose and throat, mood changes aggressiveness and hair loss.
Once the treatments have started, doctors determine whether the treatment for an individual has to be a short-term or a long one. Depending upon these determinations the doctor decides by regular monitoring of hormone levels in the blood whether the person needs the injections anymore or not. Regular monitoring of growth hormones, blood sugar level, cholesterol level, thyroid hormone level, sex hormones level and bone density are required even after the treatment or when the treatment is on. In order to incorporate growth hormones naturally into ones lifestyle, counsellors also help patients deal with self-esteem, how to cope with growth hormone deficits, help them get enough sleep, regular exercises and a proper balanced diet.
In some, the results are visible within a few months or days. Patients with decreased eyesight feel vast improvement after six months of treatment with gradual progress from the second month of the treatment; stamina is seen increasing every month with the commencement of the treatment, an increased optimism and a better sense of humour is also noticed every month, by the end of the third month there is an improvement in the bone density, muscle mass starts showing improvement from the second month itself, better skin tone and texture are also noticeable from the second month of the treatment.
The cost of treatment for growth hormones deficit can differ depending upon the type of skin, its scheme, volume and depth along with other facilities like height, body muscle mass etc. The cost of injections vary from about Rs. 1,500 to about Rs. 15,000 with consultation fees ranging from Rs. 400 to Rs. 2000 depending upon location in India, the physician himself and his experience and the number and type of services required.
Yes, the results of the treatment are usually permanent, although some individual do require treatment all through their life.
Alternative to the treatment is mental and emotional therapy that helps children affected with GHD tackle children teasing them. A psychologist talks through one’s feelings and helps how to cope with the deficit. They also help them get enough sleep, the importance of regular work outs and eating a balance diet.
Rs. 500 to Rs. 15,000
The pituitary gland, a small gland located at the base of the brain, is responsible for producing growth hormones. When the growth hormones are not produced sufficiently by this gland, then the rate of growth is slower. In children, the hormone needs to be adequate to ensure the right amount of growth. To maintain the right amount of fats in the body, adults need this hormone. The hormone is also required to maintain muscles and bones in the body. Lack of the growth hormones can cause an emotional disturbance, tiredness, and motivation issues in adults. When the pituitary tumors are treated, cholesterol levels, too, are affected because of insufficient hormonal production. This deficiency can occur at any age in children and adults.
Symptoms in children and adults: When one is affected by slow growth hormone production, a number of symptoms may manifest. The most important symptom is the short stature. Growth velocity for the corresponding age is also lower, and puberty is also delayed. One can also see the mid-area accumulating more fat in the body. In children, this deficiency can make them look much younger for their age. The tooth development is much delayed and they do not stick to their developmental milestones. Adults find it difficult to do exercises or they have low endurance when the growth hormones are insufficient. The skin becomes thick and dry, and they are also prone to anxiety, depression, and other emotional disorders.
Diagnosis: A hypoglycemia test is conducted to confirm the diagnosis. The individual is administered insulin through an intravenous line. The growth of hormone level is measured after 30 minutes. If the result is less than 10 mcg per mL in children, then it is considered that there is growth hormone deficiency. An adult is considered deficient in growth hormones when the level is less than 3 mcg per mL.
Treatment methods: As low growth hormones can lead to stress and fatigue, it is important for the people who are affected by this condition to get enough sleep. They should also concentrate on taking healthy foods. The cholesterol and triglyceride levels are already increased in people who have low growth hormone levels. So, avoiding fatty and oily foods is necessary. Doing physical exercises every day is also recommended.
Growth hormone therapy is one of the ways to improve the growth hormone levels in the affected individuals. The treatment not only aims at improving this hormone levels but it also ensures that the metabolism is maintained in a healthy way. The drugs for this condition are injected under the layers of fat in the skin. The drug is given via injection once in a week throughout the treatment duration. If the disorder is because of tumors in the pituitary gland, then it can be treated only with a surgery. For the same condition, radiation therapy is also given, if the tumor is not removed successfully with the surgery. People with low levels of growth hormones are advised to lose fat and avoid eating a heavy meal before bedtime. Intermittent fasting is also recommended.
Growth hormone is one of the many hormones secreted by master endocrine gland i.e. pituitary gland. As its name suggests, growth hormone has a central role in the overall growth of human being. It plays a much more important role during childhood than adulthood. Growth hormone also controls our metabolism. Deficiency of growth hormone results in poor growth (short height) during childhood and also disorders of metabolism.
Growth hormone deficiency can be caused by abnormal development of pituitary gland, head injury, intra cranial tumors etc. or it can be idiopathic (reason not known). It is very important to identify the problem as early as possible because results are very good when treatment is started early. And also, because growth hormone deficiency can be caused by serious underlying disorders, for example - intracranial tumors. Following are few hints to possible diagnosis of growth hormone deficiency.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Out of the many things a parent can be worried about their child, physical growth and development are the major ones. Height development is indeed a very crucial part of the overall development of a child's body. But how will you know whether your child is short and should you worry if he or she is short?
When is a child categorised as being short?
A child is said to be of short stature when the height is two standard deviations less than the mean height for the specific age and sex. However, it does not signify that your child is sick or has some deformity.
What are the causes of being short?
The most common reasons that need not be worried about are:
What are the medical Conditions behind the short stature?
For children who show an excessive delay in growth, doctors can find out whether they are going through any serious medical condition that needs attention or not. Some of the medical conditions which can cause short height are:
For every 100 children of a particular age, 3 tend to be shorter. However, unless your child suffers from a medical problem, short stature is not to be worried, and it is recommended that they have a proper and balanced nutrition to ensure a proper height development. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Growth is the most important aspect of childhood, one that distinguishes children from adults. Growth is affected by a number of diseases and growth failure is often the first sign of a serious disease. Unfortunately children with growth failure present very late when no help is possible.
Why to worry?
Growth is the best marker of health and growth failure may be caused by a seious disease. Moreover children with short stature have lower self esteem.
When to worry?
Plot the height of your child in the growth chart and if it is below the lower limit visit a doctor. Alternatively if your child's height is less than the formula (Height = Age in years x 6 + 77 cm) it may be a cause of concern. Growth stops at the age of 14 years in girls and 16 years in boys. Hence the child should be reviewed latest by 10 years for girls and 12 years for boys.
What causes growth failure?
Growth failure can be due to a number of causes including poor nutrition, lack of physical activities and low genetic potential with parents being short. Short stature can also be caused by a number of diseases like thyroid problems, growth hormone deifiency and celiac disease (wheat allergy).
How can I improve my child's growth?
Please encourage your child to play for atleast 1 hour a day. It is important to restrict screen time including television, computer, tablets and mobiles to less than an hour. Increased protein and calcium intake with more milk, pulses and vegetables also helps in improving growth. Growth hormone is produced during sleep. Sleeping for at least eight hours a day is therefore essential for a child to achieve good growth.
What can be done if my child is very short?
Please consut a doctor to identify the cause of short stature. Most conditions are readily treatable. Children with growth hormone deficiency respond dramatically to growth hormone. Growth hormone is also being used now in children with turner syndrome, familial short staure, small size at birth and kidney disease.
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Endocrinologist.
Growth hormone or somatropin is responsible for cell growth as well as reproduction. But insufficient somatropin production by the pituitary gland may result in lack in height. It is mostly caused by a serious brain injury, any prevalent medical condition or might occur as a birth defect.
GHD is mostly permanent, but can also be transient. Read on to know how to detect whether you or your child is suffering from growth hormone deficiency(GHD).
Tests to determine GHD: