How Does Growth Hormone Work?
What is Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD)?
Growth Hormone Deficiency Types
Growth Hormone Deficiency Symptoms in Infants
Growth Hormone Deficiency Symptoms in Toddlers and Children
Growth Hormone Deficiency Symptoms in Adults
Growth Hormone Deficiency Complications if Untreated
Growth Hormone Deficiency Causes in Children
Growth Hormone Deficiency Causes in Adults
Growth Hormone Deficiency Diagnosis
Growth Hormone Deficiency Diagnosis - Auxological Data
Growth Hormone Deficiency Diagnosis - Imaging or X-Ray Tests
Growth Hormone Deficiency Diagnosis - Blood Tests
How To Grow Taller through Treatments
Growth Hormone Deficiency Treatments for Children
Growth Hormone Deficiency Treatments for Adults
Growth Hormone Therapy Side Effects
Growth Hormone Therapy Prognosis for Children
Growth Hormone Therapy Prognosis for Adults
Growth Hormone Therapy Case Study on Kids Without Deficiency
How To Grow Taller Naturally
History of Growth Hormone Deficiency and Treatment
Growth Hormone (GH) (synonyms: Human Growth Hormone (HGH), somatropin, somatotropin) is a hormone produced and secreted by pituitary gland. GH plays a vital role in controlling several important bodily processes, such as metabolism, growth and cell reproduction. Hormone is a chemical substance produced and released in the body to control and regulate other cells or organs.
Pituitary Gland (synonym: hypophysis) is a pea-sized structure located at the base of the skull between the optic nerves. Pituitary gland secretes pituitary hormones according to instructions sent by hypothalamus.
Hypothalamus is an almond-sized region in the midbrain below the thalamus and just above the brain stem, and it secretes growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH), a neurohormone (synonym: hypothalamic-releasing hormones) that tells the pituitary gland the amount of GH to be secreted.
GH is not solely and directly responsible for bone, muscle, and other tissue growth in the body. Human growth is a complex process that involves coordinated effects of several glands and hormones.
Once hypothalamus releases GHRH and thus pituitary gland releases GH into the bloodstream, GH then triggers the liver to produce insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), another hormone that actually plays the major role in the development of muscle, bone, and other tissues in the body.
Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) is a medical condition where insufficient or nonexistent amount of Growth Hormone (GH) is produced in the body. Growth Hormone Deficiency occurs more commonly in children than adults, hindering overall physical growth, including height, heart strength, lung capacity, bone density, and immune system functions. This condition is curable through various Growth Hormone Deficiency Treatments, and early detection increases the result.
• Idiopathic Growth Hormone Deficiency: Growth Hormone Deficiency of unknown cause
• Congenital Growth Hormone Deficiency (synonym: Prenatal Growth Hormone Deficiency) - Growth Hormone Deficiency that exists during pregnancy and, therefore, at birth
• Acquired Growth Hormone Deficiency - Growth Hormone Deficiency that starts after birth due to traumas, infections, pituitary tumors, radiation to the brain, brain cancer, or other diseases or events
• Partial Growth Hormone Deficiency (PGHD) (synonym: Mild Growth Hormone Deficiency): Some but not enough Growth Hormone is produced. Symptoms may not be apparent.
• Total Growth Hormone Deficiency (TGHD) (synonyms: Complete Growth Hormone Deficiency, Severe Growth Hormone Deficiency): No growth hormone is produced, apparently showing symptoms of growth and developmental decline.
• Isolated Growth Hormone Deficiency (IGHD): deficiency of only the Growth Hormone
• Hypopituitarism: deficiency of one or more pituitary hormones, either with or without Growth Hormone Deficiency. It can be partial or complete.
- Partial Hypopituitarism (synonym: progressive pituitary hormone deficiency)
Partial Hypopituitarism, less common than Complete Hypopituitarism, usually follows a predictable order of hormone loss. Generally, Growth Hormone is lost first, then luteinizing hormone deficiency follows. The loss of follicle-stimulating hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone, and adrenocorticotopic hormones follows much later. The progressive loss of pituitary hormone secretion is usually a slow process, which can occur over a period of months or years.
- Complete Hypopituitarism (synonyms: panhypopituitarism, complete pituitary failure)
Complete Hypopituitarism represents the loss of all hormones released by the anterior pituitary gland. In compete hypopituitarism, loss of hormones can start suddenly with rapid onset of symptoms.
For every 3800 births, 1 newborn baby is affected by Idiopathic, Prenatal/Congenital Growth Hormone Deficiency, and the rates in older children are rising as radiotherapy treatment enables more of them to survive childhood cancers, although the exact rates are undetermined as of winter 2011.
• Common symptoms in infants with Total Growth Hormone Deficiency include:
- growth disturbance: The infant's height and weight may look normal at first. However, growth disturbance will begin after three to nine months and the baby's growth rate will be noticeably reduced.
- delayed weight gain, with thick layer of fat forming under the baby's skin, especially around the waist
- delayed teeth development
• Other symptoms in infants, while uncommon, with Partial Growth Hormone Deficiency include:
- hypoglycemia: a condition that occurs with low levels of blood sugar (synonym: glucose), such as double/blurry vision, fast heartbeat, hunger, sweating, tiredness, fainting, seizure and coma
- undescended testes/testicles (synonym: cryptorchidism): testicles of an infant boy didn't move down (descend) into the scrotum shortly before birth
- micropenis (synonym: microphallus): an unusually small penis for an infant boy
While severe Prenatal Growth Hormone Deficiency, or congenital hypopituitarism, has little other effects on fetal growth, it can result in an abnormally small male penis size, especially when gonadotropins (sexual function and fertility hormones) are also deficient.
- exaggerated jaundice (yellow skin), both by direct and indirect hyperbilirubinemia (high amounts of unexcreted billirubin, the dissolved red blood cell).
A child with Growth Hormone Deficiency will show poor growth from late in the first year until mid teens. A child grows about 2 inches in height per year. However, Growth Hormone Deficiency limits this pattern to less than 2 inches per year. Often the child grows normally until he/she is about 2 or 3 years old, then growth deficiency starts to show. Other than the shorter height and the possible tendency for chubby build, the overall body proportions (and intelligence) would be normal, making the child look younger than the other kids of the same age and gender, especially regarding the face.
Growth Hormone Deficiency is accompanied by delayed bone maturation and puberty by several years. Severe Growth Hormone Deficiency in early childhood also results in slower muscular development, so that gross motor milestones such as standing, walking, and jumping may be delayed. Severe Growth Hormone Deficiency in children also breaks relative amounts of bone, muscle and fat, commonly resulting in mild to moderate chubbiness (although Growth Hormone Deficiency alone rarely causes severe obesity).
Some severely GH-deficient children have recognizable, cherubic facial features characterized by maxillary hypoplasia and forehead prominence (said to resemble a kewpie doll). Some have sparse hair growth and frontal recession (disappearing front hairs), and pili torti (twisted hairs) and trichorrhexis nodosa (hair breakage) are also sometimes present.
For every 100k adults, 1 suffers from Adulthood Growth Hormone Deficiency (synonym: Adult-Onset Growth Hormone Deficiency).
The most prominent growtho hormone deficiency symptom in adults is short height. When Severe Growth Hormone Deficiency is present from birth and never treated, adult heights can be as short as 48-58 inches (122-147 cm). This is about half the full potential height. note: Untreated hypothyroidism (thyroid hormone deficiency) results in even worse growth performance than Severe Growth Hormone Deficiency.
In addition to short height, other Growth Hormone Deficiency symptoms in adults are:
• thin and dry skin
• baldness in men
• reduced lean body mass
• reduced bone mass and osteoporosis
• weight gain, especially around the waist
• reduced libido, decreasing sexual desires
• impaired concentration and loss of memory
• reduced sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG)
• increased body fat, particularly around the waistline
• lipid (fat) abnormalities, particularly raised LDL cholesterol
• cardiac dysfunction, including a thickened intima media (artery walls)
• insulin resistance, increasing the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes
• reduced physical performance such as strength, stamina, endurance and general energy levels
• impaired psychological health such as anxiety, poor memory, depression, sadness and social withdrawal
• Increased 5-alpha-reductase (synonym: 3-oxo-5a-steroid 4-dehydrogenases): steroid metabolism enzyme
• increased levels of fibrinogen and plasminogen activator inhibitor, increasing the risk for heart attack (synonym: myocardial infarction (MI))
Untreated Growth Hormone Deficiency sustains or worsens the symptoms listed above, some of which are the most prominent complications worthy of mentioning here once again:
• short stature
• delayed puberty
• abdominal obesity
• high blood pressure
• cardiovascular disease
• premature mortality
• brain injury
• brain tumor
• malnutrition before or after birth
• short stature homeobox-containing gene (SHOX) deficiency is a problem with long bone growth genes at the end of X and Y chromosomes, resulting in growth impairment.
• some heredity: Although Growth Hormone Deficiency is rarely a direct hereditary result, children with other hereditary physical defects of the face and skull, such as cleft lip or cleft palate, are more likely to have Growth Hormone Deficiency.
• posterior pituitary ectopia, an absent normal posterior pituitary bright spot within the sella turcica with ectopic bright signal at another site (such as the median eminence) on a weighted magnetic resonance
• Prader-Willi syndrome causes obesity, reduced muscle tone, reduced mental abilities, and sex glands that produce little or no hormones.
• Turner syndrome (synonyms: Turner's syndrome, Ullrich-Turner syndrome, Gonadal dysgenesis) is a female does not have the usual complete pair of two X chromosomes, resulting in height, ovarian and fertility problems.
• septo-optic dysplasia (synonym: de Morsier syndrome) is a hypoplasia/underdevelopment of the optic nerve and absence of the septum pellucidum (synonym: septum lucidum), the midline separator of the anterior horns of the left and right lateral ventricles of the brain.
• brain injury
• severe head injury
• pituitary tumors and their treatments
• autoimmune inflammation (hypophysitis)
• mutations of specific genes (e.g., GHRHR, GH1)
• hormonal problems in the brain involving the pituitary gland or hypothalamus
• the pituitary gland itself failing to secrete a sufficient amount of Growth Hormone
• normal aging process involving decreased amount of Growth Hormone secreted each day
• intracranial (inside skull) tumors (especially craniopharyngioma) in or near the sella turcica
• defective receptors not effectively receiving the sufficient hormonal triggers in the body cells
• prophylactic cranial irradiation (X-ray treatment of the brain for preventing brain metastasis/spread)
• insufficient amount of IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) hormone produced in the liver and other tissues
• the hypothalamus not producing a sufficient amount of the hormone needed to stimulate the pituitary gland
• ischemic or hemorrhagic infarction from low blood pressure (Sheehan syndrome) or hemorrhage pituitary apoplexy
• chronic renal insufficiency (CRI) (synonyms: progressive renal insufficiency, chronic kidney disease (CKD), chronic renal failure (CRF))
• head traumas resulting in transection (division) of pituitary stalk (synonyms: infundibular stalk, infundibulum), connector of hypothalamus and posterior pituitary.
• damage to the pituitary from radiation therapy to the head (e.g. for leukemia or brain tumors), from surgery, from trauma, or from intracranial disease (e.g. hydrocephalus)
Growth Hormone Deficiency Diagnosis involves various tests because many other rare diseases resemble Growth Hormone Deficiency, including the childhood growth failure, delayed bone growth, thyroid hormone deficiency (hypothyroidism), and low IGF (insulin-like growth factor) levels. However, if Growth Hormone testing reveals normal or high levels of GH in the blood, the problem is not due to Growth Hormone Deficiency but rather to a reduced sensitivity to its action. Laron dwarfism had been the traditional term for insensitivity to GH, but many more various types of GH resistance have been identified in recent decades, most of which involve mutations of GH binding protein or receptors.
If there is a question of Growth Hormone Deficiency, consultation with a pediatric or adult endocrinologist (synonym: internist endocrinologist), as appropriate, is recommended. Testing for Growth Hormone Deficiency will start after other possibilities of short stature have been ruled out. In both childhood and adulthood, an endocrinologist would look for Growth Hormone Deficiency features accompanied by corroboratory evidence of hypopituitarism such as deficiency of other pituitary hormones, a structurally abnormal pituitary, or a history of damage to the pituitary.
Auxological Data (synonym: Auxologic Data) refers to physical measurements. A physical examination including weight, height, and body dimensions will reveal any signs of slower growth rate in a child. A child with Growth Hormone Deficiency will have a body structure that is proportionally normal but well below that expected for family heights, although this characteristic may not be present in the case of Familial-Linked (Genetic/Hereditary) Growth Hormone Deficiency. A child with Growth Hormone Deficiency will not follow the normal speed of growth and physical maturation. Previous growth measurements, when available, should also be evaluated and compared to. Also, once GH treatment begins, increased growth velocity further reaffirms existence of Growth Hormone Deficiency.
• Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA/DXA) scans can determine bone density and age.
• X-rays of the head can be used to check for any problems with the bone growth of your skull.
• Computed Tomography (CT) Scan or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the head can be used to check for abnormalities/tumors in hypothalamus and pituitary glands.
• Hand and wrist x-ray (usually the left hand) also can determine bone age. As a person grows, his/her bones usually follow a predictable pattern of changes in size and shape. These changes can be seen on an x-ray.
Measuring GH and binding protein levels (IGF-1 and IGFBP-3, IGF: insulin-like growth factor) of blood will show whether the growth problem is caused by a problem with the pituitary gland. However, testing for Growth Hormone Deficiency is constrained by the fact that GH levels are nearly undetectable for most of the day, which makes it nearly impossible determine Growth Hormone Deficiency in a single blood sample. Physicians therefore use a combination of indirect and direct criteria in assessing Growth Hormone Deficiency.
• Indirect hormonal criteria is the measurement of IGF (insulin-like growth factor) levels from a single blood sample.
• Direct hormonal criteria is the measurement of GH in multiple blood samples to determine secretory patterns or responses to provocative testing (see below), in particular:
- frequency and peak amount of GH secretion are less than normal when sampled over several hours (maximum observed GH level is still below normal)
- amount of GH secretion is less than normal in response to at least two provocative stimuli
- IGF-1 levels increase after a few days of GH treatment
• Provocative Test (synonym: Growth Hormone stimulation test):
Provocative test is giving a dose of an agent (arginine, levodopa, clonidine, epinephrine (synonym: adrenaline), propranolol (synonym: Inderal), glucagon, or insulin) that will provoke pituitary gland to release a burst of GH. An intravenous line is established, the agent is given, and small amounts of blood are drawn at 15 minute intervals over the next hours to determine if a rise of GH was provoked.
- Insulin tolerance test (ITT) is the most recommended provocative test to diagnose adults, as it has been shown to be reproducible, age-independent, and able to distinguish between Growth Hormone Deficiency and normal GH level. Insulin (hormone that regulates blood sugar levels) is given through an IV to produce a low plasma glucose (a sugar) level, the role of insulin. Then GH is released as a part of the stress mechanism. The peak Growth Hormone level is measured 20-30 minutes later. If the peak GH level is less than 10 mcg/mL in children or less than 3 mcg/mL in adults, Growth Hormone Deficiency is diagnosed.
- GnRH-arginine test (GnRH: gonadotropin-releasing hormone) is another provocative test to measure induced GH level. Gonadotropin is a pituitary hormone that affects the function of the male or female gonads (ovaries/testes). Arginine (AR, R) is an amino acid that plays an important role in cell division, healing of wounds, removing ammonia from the body, immune function, and release of hormones. The same peak GH levels as ITT determines Growth Hormone Deficiency.
• Other blood tests: Persons with Growth Hormone Deficiency may have increased total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, and triglyceride levels.
Every child with Growth Hormone Deficiency invariably asks "How can I grow taller?". Fortunately, there is Growth Hormone Therapy, an effective childhood Growth Hormone Deficiency treatment. Growth Hormone Therapy is best achieved by means of daily injections of prescription synthetic Human Growth Hormone called somatropin (examples: Humatrope, Genotropin), now available in unlimited quantities. Shots of somatropin are injected a few times a week, underneath the fat of the child's skin, usually on biceps, thighs, buttocks and stomach. Nearly painless insulin syringes, pen injectors, or a needle-free delivery system minimize the discomfort. Injection sites should be rotated daily to avoid lipoatrophy (local fat loss).
Over-the-counter (OTC) GH supplementation pills, powders and sprays are available (examples: Secretagogue One, GenF20, Sytropin) but they are less effective than the prescription injections)
Early detection and treatment are crucial before the child's bones fuse; once fusing has taken place, no additional growth is possible. Although not every child may react similarly to Growth Hormone Treatment, the majority of children under the therapy today reach a normal adult height or nearly their full growth potential. Many children gain 4 or more inches over the first year, and 3 or more inches during the next 2 years. Then the growth rate slowly decreases. Parents are trained to give these injections, and older children, once they are comfortable with it, continue on their own.
Most pediatric endocrinologists monitor growth (often with blood tests and x-rays) and adjust dosage every 3-6 months. Treatment is usually extended as long as the child is growing, and lifelong continuation may be recommended for those most severely deficient.
In both children and adults, costs of this treatment are substantial, as much as US $10,000 to $40,000 a year in the USA and UKP 3000-4000 in the UK, as of the year 2011.
By the way (and needless to say), GH treatment is not recommended for children who are not growing despite having normal levels of Growth Hormone. In fact, GH treatment is not licensed for use in this case in UK. (note: Still, there was a case experiment on this scenario detailed in the below section named Growth Hormone Therapy Case Study on Kids Without Deficiency)
Aside from treatment, many children much shorter than their peers experience both physical and emotional problems, and so it is important for them to get enough emotional support from their families to help combat any self-esteem issues that usually arise from this condition, especially since these children may even be teased by their classmates and playmates. Short stature can be difficult for a child and their family. The best scenario would be for the family, friends and teachers altogether to consistently emphasize the child's other skills and strengths. Communicate with your child and offer assistance when necessary. It is emphasized that the parent acts towards the child according to his/her age and emotional maturity, not according to the body size.
Surgery may be required for pituitary tumors if they damage the hormone releasing cells, causing hypopituitarism.
Radiation therapy to the pituitary gland may be required if pituitary tumor cannot be surgically removed safely.
GH supplementation may be given to those diagnosed with adult-onset deficiency, where a smaller portion is given compared to children's dosage (about 25% of children's dosage).
Lower GH supplementation doses again are called for in cases of elderly persons to maintain age-dependent normal levels of IGF-1 while keeping side effects to minimum. However, GH supplementation is not recommended medically for the physiologic age-related decline in GH/IGF secretion.
In many countries including the UK, the majority view among endocrinologists is that the failure of treatment to provide any demonstrable, measurable benefits in terms of outcomes means treatment is not recommended for all adults with Severe Growth Hormone Deficiency, and national guidelines in the UK as set out by National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) suggest three criteria all of which need to be met for treatment to be indicated:
1. Severe Growth Hormone Deficiency, defined as a peak GH response of less than 9mU/litre during an insulin tolerance test
2. Impaired quality of life, as assessed by questionnaire
3. The patient has been already treated for other pituitary hormone disorders.
Where treatment is indicated, duration is dependent upon indication.
Self-Care at Home: Because Growth Hormone Deficiency can cause a lack of energy and strength, patients should eat a balanced diet, get regular exercise, and get plenty of sleep.
Because GH is a protein naturally produced in human body, side effects of Growth Hormone Therapy are rare and rarely severe. If side effects occur, they can be minimized by reducing the length of time the hormone is used. Also you can reduce the number and severity of side effects by lowering the GH dosage.
The Two Most Common Severe Side Effects of Growth Hormone Therapy
• fluid retention
• muscle and joint aches
Other Common Side Effects of Growth Hormone Therapy
• nausea and vomiting
• severe allergic reactions
• reactions at the injection site
• emotional stress and fluctuations
• visual problems, such as blurred vision
• excessive growth of connective tissues
• mild hypertension (high blood pressure)
• very rarely, benign intracranial hypertension (IH) (high fluid tension in skull)
• antibody formation (in response primary antigen Helix Pomatia hemocyanin)
• lipoatrophy (local fat loss), due to repeated injections in one particular body part
• paresthesia, the symptoms of pinched nerve (synonym: nerve compression), that include pain, tingling, burning, pricking, or numbness of skin and body parts
Side Effect of Cadaver Growth Hormone Therapy
One of the surveys of adults who had undergone the Cadaver (from corpse) Growth Hormone Replacement (prior to invention of Synthetic Human Growth Hormone in 1985) during childhood indicated a mildly increased colon cancer incidence, although direct link was not verified.
Side Effects from Excessive GH Usage
• liver damage
• thyroid damage
• premature death
• heart enlargement
• excessive water retention
• hypoglycemia (low blood sugar/glucose)
• low blood sugar with risk of going into a diabetic coma
• hypoglycemia (increased insulin resulting low glucose level)
• acromegaly (synonym: acromeglia)
Acromegaly is a chronic metabolic disorder that results in enlarged body tissues beyond their full potential sizes when excess GH is produced in the body. Although GH cannot directly cause acromeglia, it can speed up the progression of acromeglia. A person who suffers from Acromeglia has abnormal/disproportionate growth of bones.
In addition to abnormal bone growth, here are other effects of acromegaly:
- body odor
- weight gain
- enlarged tongue
- excessive height
- excessive fatigue
- excessive sweating
- widening spaces between teeth
- abnormal growth of feet and hands
- enlarged sebaceous glands in the skin
- hoarseness (abnormal deep, harsh voice)
- joint swelling, pain and limited movements
- increased hair growth on entire body (usually women)
- thickening of the skin and acrochordon (skin tags/growths)
- skin overgrowth around fingers or toes involving swelling, redness and pain
- sleep apnea (synonym: sleep apnea), abnormal pauses in breathing or abnormally low breathing during sleep
- carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), a disabling progressive pain felt in the hands, wrists and arms caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist
- changing facial features due to protruding eyebrow bones and protruding jaw (synonyms: prognathism, enlarged jaw, Habsburg jaw)
Although Growth Hormone Replacement Therapy does not work equally for all children, a severely deficient child on Growth hormone therapy will usually begin to grow faster within months. In the first year of GH treatment, the rate of growth may increase from half to twice as fast as other children (from 1 to 4 inches or from 2.5 to 10 cm a year).
The growth typically slows in the subsequent years, but usually remains above normal so that over several years a child who had fallen far behind in his/her height may grow into the normal height range. Excess adipose (fat storage) tissue may be reduced. The earlier the condition is treated, the better the chance that a child will grow up to near-normal adult height.
GH treatment can confer a number of measurable benefits to severely GH-deficient adults, such as enhanced energy and strength, and improved bone density. Muscle mass may increase at the expense of adipose (fat, lipid) tissue, a beneficial side effect.
Although adults with hypopituitarism have been shown to have a reduced life expectancy and an increased cardiovascular mortality rate by more than double, GH treatment has not been shown to improve these mortality rates, although blood lipid (fat, adipose) levels do improve.
Similarly, although measurements of bone density improve with treatment, no rates of fractures have been shown to improve.
Effects on quality of life are unproven, with a number of studies finding that adults with Growth Hormone Deficiency already had near-normal indicators of QoL (Quality of Life) at baseline (start), giving little scope for improvement. However, it may be that those adults with poor QoL at the start of treatment do benefit.
A team of Swedish researchers studied children for 20 years. The study involved 151 children. The average height gain for those who were given two doses of the Growth Hormone was 3 inches. It has been known for years that giving Human Growth Hormone can help children who are deficient in this. This hormone is naturally secreted by the pituitary gland. It was not known, however, whether or not it is effective for children with short stature even if they do not have any deficiency in this hormone.
The children involved in the Swedish study were short due to other factors like Idiopathic Short Stature (ISS). In this condition, levels of Growth Hormone were normal and the cause for the short height could not be determined.
The head of the study was Kerstin Albertsson-Wikland, MD, PHD. She is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Gothenburg. The 151 children were divided into two. The first group was not given any treatment. The second group was given two different doses (high and low dosages) of the Growth Hormone every six years. The study started in 1988 and went on for 20 years until the children reached their final height.
Results were positive for children born from parents with normal height. High dosage was more effective for them than low dosage. The low dosage contained 33 micrograms of Human Growth Hormone per kilogram of body weight a day. The high dose was twice the amount of the low dose.
The average final height of the boys who belonged in the no-treatment group was 5 feet 5 inches. Those who belonged in the higher-dose group grew about 5 feet 7 inches tall. The girls in the no-treatment group averaged at 4 feet 11 inches while those in the higher averaged 5 feet 2 inches.
This study proves that the Growth Hormone Therapy can significantly benefit children who are not deficient in the Growth Hormone. The was supported by various organizations including Pharmacia/Pfizer, The Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Foundation for Pediatric GH Research, and the Foundation Vaxthuset for Children.
There are natural ways to help you get tall, apart from growth hormone therapy, and in the cases of no or mild growth hormone deficiency. For children, maintaining good health and sleeping habit is the secret. For kids and adults alike, the secret is in your spine which consists of 33 separate bones (vertebras) and accounts for 35% of your total height. Each separate vertebrae (spinal bone) is connected and cushioned by a tough, elastic and fibrous cartilage called intervertebral disc. You can get tall by adding 2 to surprising 5 inches by keeping these intervertebral disks elastic, strong and stretched... (read the full story at: how to grow taller naturally before, during and after puberty)
Until 1985, Human Growth Hormone for treatment used to be obtained by extraction from human pituitary glands collected at autopsy. Since 1985, Recombinant Human Growth Hormone (rHGH), a synthetic human GH produced by genetically engineered bacteria, has been manufactured by recombinant DNA technology.
"Midget" had been the term for someone with severely short stature, but it is no longer used in a medical context. Among those with untreated Congenital Growth Hormone Deficiency, the most famous person in the old days was Charles Sherwood Stratton (1838-1883), who was exhibited as General Tom Thumb by Phineas Taylor Barnum, an American show businessman who founded the circus that later became the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Despite the severe shortness, his limbs and trunk were proportional.
Today, the most well known person to have suffered from Growth Hormone Deficiency is probably F.C. Barcelona striker Lionel Andrés "Leo" Messi. He was diagnosed with Growth Hormone Deficiency at age eleven but his family couldn't afford the treatment. F.C. Barcelona picked up the cost in exchange for Messi joining the soccer team's youth department.