Growth Hormone Therapy for Short Children
Children who are short are usually associated with their parent’s body. But with growth hormone therapy, short children can follow the development of normal children. But is this hormone therapy safe?
Growth hormone deficiency usually affects only one person in a family. Growth hormone deficiency is caused by the damage to the pituitary gland in the brain hypothalamus. It can happen before or during birth or by an accident or trauma to a specific disease.
The existence of tumor near the pituitary gland, like craniopharyngioma can also damage the hypothalamus and pituitary gland which affects growth hormones.
If the pituitary gland does not function normally, the body will experience the effects of growth hormone deficiency. If that happens then the hormones is not sufficient to support normal growth of the body that makes a child’s body growth slows down or stops.
Growth hormone therapy for children and adolescents have been approved by U.S. FDA. This treatment can help improve the final height about 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.6 cm).
Children who are allowed to receive hormone therapy treatment according to FDA guidelines, are for children who have little hormone or have possibility of having height less than 162 cm for men or 150 cm for female when adult.
But the reality is that children who do not fit that profile also does hormone therapy because their parents can afford treatment costing U.S. $ 20,000-US $ 22,000.
Dr. Ron Rosenfeld, MD, of Stanford University in California says that only children with idiopathic short stature (ISS) which is an appropriate candidate for hormone therapy treatment.
“Because not all short children should be treated with growth hormone. Because there are medical issues, ethics and finance related to this treatment,” said Dr. Ron according to KidsHealth.
Although the side effects of this therapy is not yet found, Dr. Ron keeps remindes that there is still risks of side effects in every treatment.