Can Growth Hormone be used to boost your child’s growth?

Can Growth Hormone be used to boost your child’s growth?

Are you one of those moms who constantly have this worry in your mind about your child’s growth?  Your child’s diet is filled with protein shakes, dry fruit laddoos, parathas topped with dollops of ghee under the pretext of “Ma ka Pyar” and still something doesn’t seem right about his/her growth. 

Growth spurts are times when gross differences are noticeable in the child’s physical development. That’s when growth occurs exponentially. And the spurts are seen in newborn to toddler stage. After that, the next growth spurt occurs in puberty. 

Growth isn’t always about the scale where the weight increases every month and cms are added to the height too. 

So keep doing whatever you are, for your child’s growth and development even though you can’t see it translated in the form of visible changes in the child’s health. Absence of disease is also a sign of health. 

Causes of short stature 

  • Genetics. The parents and the grandparent’s height is what plays an important role in the height of the child. This is called familial short stature.
  • Genetic conditions. many genetic conditions can lead to short stature, including Prader-Willi syndrome, Turner syndrome and Noonan syndrome.
  • Chronic diseases. Growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland, located in the middle of the brain. Therefore, chronic medical problems that affect the pituitary gland may also affect growth. 
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  • Growth hormone deficiency. Some children simply don’t produce enough growth hormone, including those born with a poorly developed pituitary gland.
  • Malnutrition. It could be because of a low socio-economic status that leads to scarcity of food. Or the child might be suffering from an eating disorder, a nutritional deficiency or a period of illness that leads to a lack of appetite in the child. All of these can cause a delay in growth if not identified well in time.
  • Psychosocial stress.  A nurturing home environment filled with happiness and cheer si most important. Constant parental fights, emotional abuse can lead to stunting and this pattern of growth is seen in homes stricken with famine, ear, or low socioeconomic background. 

Puberty plays an essential role in giving the final boost to your child’s height via hormones. But it is really important for puberty to hit on time. Or else growth starts early but ceases prematurely leaving your child with short stature. Keeping an eye on signs of puberty is one important way of getting this tackled. It is easy for your paediatrician to predict how tall your child can get just using a few measurements and an x-ray. this helps determine his final predicted adult height that you can work upon.

If at all your child’s growth velocity is slow either because he’d been sick or wasn’t eating well, and his growth hormone levels are normal still he can be a candidate for Growth hormone to help boost his height and reach his full genetic potential. 

Idiopathic short stature, that is even with normal levels of growth hormone your child can be short due to a slow growth velocity. This is an indication for Growth hormone therapy (where the child grows at a normal velocity but still fails to reach its target height in final height predictions). Note that the final/target height predictions are mere estimates. 

Growth Hormone should not be looked at as a tool for enhancing height for a few extra centimetres. It is only to be used by children who are short or will have short final heights. It is safe but only under specialized medical supervision 

If your worried about your child’s growth then visit a “Growth Clinic”. Here your child will be assessed for proper growth and development using a few measurements and xrays like that of the wrist. Then after a few calculations, your child’s predicted height can be determined. Now this number will also take into consideration, your height.

If at all, it is found that your child’s height is developing slow or he might end up with a short stature then growth hormone therapy might be an option your paediatrician would consider for you. 

Here’s what happens when you go to a growth clinic. 

  • Detailed history including birth history 
  • Anthropometry (measurements like height, weight, MAC,) 
  • Mid parental height  
  • Plotting all of this on Growth charts
  • Analysis of the growth parameters w.r.t centiles 
  • A thorough head to toe examination followed by systemic examination Investigations with a few tests 
  • Diagnosis 
  • Categorization of short stature 
  • Discussion on Treatment options based on the need and cause 
  • Regular follow up

Next time you visit your pediatrician, do ensure you track your child’s growth and make sure it is either within the same centiles or crossing lines above. Maintaining a growth curve on a growth chart is of utmost importance to track your child growth and nutritional status. Here is a growth tracking app available on Playstore to help you keep an eye on your child’s growth pattern.

RESOURCES

You can connect with Dr. Alok Sardesai on his social media

Connect with Dr. Alok below

If you wish to get a consultation with dr. Alok then he runs Clinics which deal with hormonal problems in children and adolescents in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane.

  • T2T Hormone Clinics India Private Limited, Andheri 
  • Apollo Hospital Navi Mumbai 
  • Sparsh Children’s Hospital, Parel 
  • Colours Children’s Hospital, Navi Mumbai 
  • Mala Children’s Hospital, Thane 

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Happy Parenting

This Post Has 40 Comments

  1. Dr. Surbhi Prapanna

    Though my both girls are taller than their age so height or growth had never been a concern for me and but yes I agree this is one of the common parental anxiety for many parents. the growth hormone therapy sounds like a perfect option and can benefit many kids. thanks a lot dear for sharing all details about Dr. Alok. will keep your suggestion in mind, and will share with those who needed that kind of help.

  2. ujjwal mishra

    I was not aware about how growth hormones can be used in boosting kids growth, this post is informative. the reseach work Dr.sardesai is doing for kids growth is commendable.

  3. Rakhi Jayashankar

    Without the right knowledge about these factors we tend to fall in the wrong hands. Some ads show that your child would grow to certain level.if you take this and that but you, through your post has clearly called out the bogus notions.

  4. Outset Books

    My mother had a cousin who used to take growth hormone without expert advice. She used it uncontrollably and had the effects then. But the unscrupulous use resulted in side effects and she succumbed to it. Your post would hopefully save many people from tg doomsday.

  5. The Champa Tree

    It is important to know the normal level of height and growth. I would say that parents should be educated on this topic and I should be made compulsory..thanks for the helpful and eye-opening post

  6. Dr. Surbhi Prapanna

    I am hearing a lot about growth tracking app all across the web, will check out it for sure. yes, growth hormone therapy sounds like a perfect option for those kids who had short stature and need serious medical intervention, thanks a lot doctor Rahat for providing all details regarding treatment protocol, will help a lot to parents to make a right decision for their kids.

  7. Ruchie

    Thanks for such detailed and valuable post, growth clinic is something new to me. Yes, I agree that puberty plays an important role!!

  8. Sweetannu

    I was so unaware of the various factors that are involved in growth of a child. I will definitely reccomend Dr Alok to my friends and family . Thank you

  9. Varsh

    I’ve seen mothers worry endlessly about how their kids aren’t gaining weight or look malnourished. However, my kids’ paediatrician said its different for everyone. Growth clinics are a good choice for serious growth issues though.

  10. Neha

    Dr. Alok has detailed the topic well. I didnt know about the growth clinic or the kind of expensive analysis that happens there. This is definitely helpful.

  11. myworldwitheira

    As you said, it’s not a measure in cms that need to be checked every month to know growth. In my experience I have seen kids who when entering teenage have turned out to be taller than many in their families and their parents used to be worried for their low stature. This is a great topic that you shared Dr. Rahat.

  12. Metamorphosis

    There are so many factors involved in child growth which frankly I wasn’t aware of. Child’s health and height is of utmost concern for every parent. This post will help them to understand things better instead of panicking.

    1. Dr. Rahat Sayyad

      Yes theres a lack of information around topics like these

  13. Neha Sharma

    I was not aware about the growth clinics, thanks for writing on this topic. This is quite an insightful & informative post and will help a lot of people in understanding how to go about the growth related problems & take the right course of action.

  14. That’s such a detailed analysis of child’s growth which most of the moms remain worried about. My sister is also looking for some remedies. Let me share your post to her. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Harjeet Kaur

    Learnt something new today-Growth Clinic. I wish i could have had access to it while growing up. I am very short and always teased about it.I will surely share this with kids who need it.

    1. Dr. Rahat Sayyad

      Ya short kids are often teased like i said, its because of a social contruct that tall is pretty

  16. jhilmildsaha

    As a mother of a 5 yr old even I am also quite concerned about my daughter’s growth. I will surely download the app to track her growth

    1. Dr. Rahat Sayyad

      Hope you found it useful. You can dm me if you still have concerns

  17. Height is a major concern of the parents and growth hormone therapy is new to me. Shall share this post to a mother who is very concerned about the child short stature.

  18. TheMomSagas

    Interesting. I wasn’t much aware about growth hormones and that they can be used for kids with short stature. I will surely read more about this.

    1. Dr. Rahat Sayyad

      You can head to the podcast where we have discussed this in detail.

  19. Amritha Srinath

    What an insightful post on children’s growth and growth hormones. I am sure this post and the podcast will be so useful in the parenting community, especially for moms who have short kids. Thank you for sharing the details of the doctor and the hospital he visits in Mumbai.

  20. mummatalks

    Yes a childs growth is based on many factors and the family genes also plays a role in that. But there are cases where I have even seen that the parents are short or average height and the child is 6 feet tall.

    1. Dr. Rahat Sayyad

      The childs genetic makeup is the result of a permutation and combination of genes that has its own individual structure. Thats what explains features that are absent in the parents but new in children

  21. preetjyotkaur

    I didn’t know about growth clinics. This is such a week explained post. Thanks for sharing such informative points.

    1. Dr. Rahat Sayyad

      Glad you found it useful. Its any clinic where you find a Pediatric Endocrinologist

  22. Judy Morris

    Great to know about this aspect of increasing growth in kids. Genes certainly play a major role in the growth pattern of a child. I will ask the same to my son’s doctor.

    1. Dr. Rahat Sayyad

      Thats great. A little alertness and knowledge about it will help us track our kids health better look out for shortcomings if any

  23. Ishieta

    this is something that we dont really know much about. helpful article with correct information and clarity on facts.

    1. Dr. Rahat Sayyad

      Precisely the reason why I decided to speak on this topic

  24. Sandy N Vyjay

    There is not much factual information available when it comes to Growth Hormone and its use. There is a lot of grey area. So your post comes as a boon as it lays thread bare the various issues and challenges involved.

  25. mahekg

    Right growrh is a concern for all the parents. Growth clinic is a new concept for me this article really helped me to know more about it.

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