When human growth hormone therapy was first used in the 1980s, it was only for patients dealing with growth issues as a result of human growth hormone deficiency and other medical conditions like HIV and short bowel syndrome. But in 2003, the FDA approved the use of human growth hormone therapy for children who weren’t deficient in growth hormone but were diagnosed with idiopathic short stature.
Because of this, hundreds of thousands of children suddenly qualified for HGH shots. Parents of children with inexplicably short stature or stunted growth had hope that their kids would someday achieve normal height.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the pros and cons of growth hormones as well as the possible growth hormone therapy side effects in children.
Pros of human growth hormone therapy for children
In some children, the body does not produce and/or release enough human growth hormone for proper growth and development. These children are often much shorter and look much younger than their peers, have pudgier bodies, have impaired hair growth, and experience delayed puberty. These children can benefit from human growth hormone therapy.
HGH therapy also benefits children with idiopathic short stature, which means that someone is extremely short for no apparent reason. It also works for those whose human growth hormone deficiency is a result of a medical issue like Turner syndrome or Prader-Willi syndrome.
These are some of the benefits of HGH therapy:
- Achieving normal or near-normal adult height
- The social advantages associated with being tall, including higher salaries and being more attractive to the opposite sex
- Better performance at school
- More energy
- Decreased levels of body fat
- Improved bone density
- Better mood and cognitive function
Cons of human growth hormone therapy for children
Unfortunately, human growth hormone therapy for children with height conditions also has some disadvantages. Here are some you may want to consider:
- Human growth hormone therapy is a serious, time-consuming commitment
Children who receive HGH treatment get a daily HGH injection. That’s seven shots a week for what may last as long as several years.
Many children who undergo human growth hormone therapy do so for two or three years. In some cases, the treatment can last as long as ten years.
The duration of human growth hormone therapy depends on how long it takes your child to reach the average height for his age. In addition to the daily injections, children who stay in HGH therapy also have to do regular visits with a pediatric endocrinologist and take routine blood tests, x-rays, and other tests to ensure that the treatment is working.
- There are ethical considerations
Being short is not in itself a disease. When you have your child undergo human growth hormone therapy to ensure that he reaches standard height, you’re essentially telling him that there is something wrong or undesirable about being short.
- There are potential side effects
As with any medical treatment, there are side effects, which range from headaches to, possibly, increased risk of stroke.
- Human growth hormone therapy is expensive and not always covered by insurance.
Side effects of human growth hormone therapy for children
These are some of the possible side effects of growth hormone for height issues:
- Pain and swelling at the injection site
- Tingling sensations
- Changes in vision
- Skin rash
- Ear infections
- Abdominal pain
- Chest pain
- Blurred vision
- Hip pain
Growth hormone therapy side effects in children are more likely in those who don’t need human growth hormone treatment. These effects include high blood pressure, abnormal growth of bones and organs, diabetes, and hardening of the arteries.
Because human growth hormone therapy can be expensive, counterfeit HGH shots are being peddled on the internet and elsewhere. Get your human growth hormone injections only from reliable brands and licensed physicians.
Want to know more about human growth hormones pros and cons? Find more information here.