As a parent, it can be quite disheartening to discover that your child’s growth is hindered and that he looks younger than his or her peers. This is not to say the emotional trauma which the child goes through when he realizes that he or she is different from his age mates. This deficiency does not only affect the child’s self-esteem but also limits his or her social skills and participation. Growth is an essential part of life which is controlled by hormones in the body. Once there is a deficiency in any of these hormones, there is bound to be a problem.
There are numerous glands in the human body which are responsible for producing hormones. The pituitary gland, in particular, is responsible for secreting the hormones that improve growth. This is added to its function of controlling the activities of all other glands. Now, once the growth hormones are not sufficiently secreted in a child, the child’s growth becomes deterred. This problem results in the administration of growth hormone injections for children.
Talking about the growth hormones, they largely influence the height; build the bones, and muscles of a child’s body. The extent of the influence of these hormones cannot be exaggerated in the normal human body growth and development. Growth hormone is released more during a child’s sleep, exercise, nutrition, and other hormones in the body.
The confusing part is that this deficiency in growth is not detected at a child’s birth. So, a parent does not get to observe until much later in the child’s life. However, there are symptoms that can guide you as a parent to discover early enough so as to get help for your child. These tell-tale signs include:
- Looking younger than their age-mates
- Impaired hair growth
- Short Stature
- Chubby body
- Delayed puberty
This is why it is important for parents to be sensitive in observing their children consistently. Doing this saves you loads of stress and unexpected occurrences. The earlier growth hormone deficiency is detected and treated in a child, the better the chance of the child’s growth to almost normal height for his age. So, you see why being observant saves you and your child from a lifetime challenge. This deficiency is worse as the cause is generally unknown while in some children, it could be due to genetic conditions.
Once your child has been diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency, the next important step to take is to seek the services of a doctor in administering growth hormone injections for children. The diagnosis is accompanied by some other tests such as stimulation tests, MRIs, and x-rays, which are aimed at confirming the growth hormone deficiency. This method has been established as the safest, most common and effective therapy for correcting growth deficiency.
Growth hormone injections for children have been manufactured in the laboratory to react similarly to the natural growth hormones secreted by the pituitary gland in the body. Hence, there is no need to fear as the injections are not entirely artificial. The injections could also be self-administered with regular reports to the doctor or done by the doctor himself. Fortunately, the injections have been structured to not hurt the child too much as they are small in size and shallow. The subcutaneous injection is inserted into the fatty tissue immediately beneath the skin surface. So your child does not get to experience excruciating pain in taking the injections.
The severity of the deficiency largely determines the dosage of the injections which could be daily or several times a week. Doctors also consider the age, general medical history, level of tolerance of the child in making prescriptions and dosage.
Here is the good news. Once treatment commences, your child is on the journey of growth. Of course, the height increase may not be noticeable until about 3 to 6 months. Your child’s journey to his normal height would begin with 1 to 2 inches in the first six months and increase gradually in years to come with consistent checkups.
Several changes occur at the commencement of growth hormone injections for children.
- You should, therefore, be prepared for the insatiable hunger of your child. This is further heightened in a child who had a poor appetite.
- Your child also tends to rapidly outgrow his or her shoes within 6 to 8 weeks. So, get ready to buy more shoes.
- You should not be scared when your child seems to look slimmer. It is necessary to burn excess fat that may hinder growth.
Usually, children do not experience side effects. However, you should take note of these possible side effects such as
- A headache
- Joint pain
- Swollen hands and feet
- A temporary increase in blood sugar level
Parenting is a conscious effort and this treatment is one thing that must be consciously done for your child when the need arises.