Growth hormone therapy has become an increasingly popular treatment for children whose growth is stunted by a deficiency in growth hormone. But did you know that it has many other benefits, including improving heart health and boosting a child’s school performance?
The use of growth hormones for kids who don’t have growth hormone deficiency is still controversial, but doctors and scientists have found that it may benefit patients beyond just stimulating their growth and development. Studies have found that growth hormone therapy even helps patients with serious conditions like cystic fibrosis and chronic renal failure.
Who can benefit from growth hormone therapy?
Aside from helping children with growth hormone deficiency reach their full height potential, growth hormones can also benefit those who were born with Turner syndrome and Noonan syndrome. It can also help children who were born small for their gestational age and haven’t caught up by age 2.
According to this study, growth hormones can help treat symptoms in patients with severe burns, malnutrition after hemodialysis, Prader-Willi syndrome, juvenile arthritis, chronic renal failure, and cystic fibrosis.
What are the benefits of growth hormone therapy in children?
- Normal adult height
Children with growth hormone deficiency don’t develop at a normal rate because they lack the hormone that stimulates growth. Studies have found that growth hormone therapy can help these children reach normal adult height, especially if treatment is started at an early age. Children who don’t have growth hormone deficiency but are destined to be short in stature because of genetics can also benefit from this treatment.
- Normal body proportions
Children who were born small for gestational age can have abnormal body proportions. They tend to have broader shoulders and pelvis and bigger hands and feet. Growth hormone therapy can help these children achieve normal body proportions.
Children and teenagers who have growth hormone deficiency tend to be shy and have low self-esteem. As they grow older, the slow rate of maturing means that they don’t develop at the same pace as their peers. Girls form breasts later than their friends. Boys’ voices are still high while the voices of their friends have deepened.
This can result in children with growth hormone deficiency feeling isolated or in them being bullied. It can affect their performance at school and severely hinder their social skills.
When started early, growth hormone therapy can help improve children’s self-confidence and capacity for social interaction. Studies have also found that after they started growth hormone therapy, children with growth hormone deficiency experience an improvement in cognitive performance.
- Improved energy levels
Decreased muscle strength is a major symptom of growth hormone deficiency. Children with decreased muscle strength tend to lack energy and get tired easily. Parents with children who started growth hormone therapy at an early age say that their kids became more energetic and had better appetites after starting treatment.
- Normal body fat percentage
Children with growth hormone deficiency usually have rounder cheeks and rounder bellies. They generally have a higher body fat percentage than children without growth hormone deficiency. Because they tend to accumulate fat around the abdominal area, they are more prone to developing conditions like heart disease and diabetes in later life. Growth hormone therapy helps return their body fat percentage to normal levels.
- Stronger bones
Starting growth hormone therapy early can help improve bone mineral density, another common issue in children with growth hormone deficiency. Reduced bone mineral density can lead to fractures and osteoporosis. This severely affects the child’s quality of life, hindering his ability to play sports and perform other strenuous activities.
- Better heart health
Studies suggest that continued growth hormone therapy can lower a patient’s risk of developing heart disease in later life. This is due to the fact that growth hormone therapy reduces total body fat and abdominal fat in particular. There is evidence that high levels of LDL (the “bad cholesterol”) and triglycerides in early adulthood increases the risk of heart disease. If continued throughout adolescence and into early adulthood, growth hormone therapy may reduce this risk.
Research shows that children who receive growth hormone therapy earlier have a better chance of reaching a normal height. But for parents who don’t have insurance, growth hormone therapy can be very expensive. If you are considering growth hormone therapy for your child, you’ll find better options at HGH Vallarta. Check out their products and services here.