Wondering About Growth Hormone Therapy

Updated on January 29, 2008
K.S. asks from Mulkeytown, IL
8 answers

I've got a 7 year old son who will be 8 in june. I took him to the Dr. last week because he is very small. They did some testing and they think that he has a growth hormone deficiency. They did an x-ray of his wrist and said he is the size of a 4 year old. His little sister is 5 and she stands about 7inches taller then him. My question is have any of you went through this and what should i expect?

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so much for your help on this and words of encouragement. His Dr. said my insurance will cover the expenses. We won't find out forsure until the 25th of this month after they do the other test on him. His endocrinologist is also my daughters diabetic doctor. They go to Cardinal Glennon in St. Louis. I really trust Dr. Myers. She has been great with Kenzie. Hopefully she'll be as good with Kota. As soon as I know something i'll be sure to let everyone know. Again Thank you and God bless!!!

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answers from Oklahoma City on

My cousin used growth hormones with her son. I can't speak to the treatment or side effects, but they were pleased with the outcome. He was so much smaller than kids his age. He was wearing 3T clothing in 1st grade. Hard to find anything appropriate. Hard to fit in with classmates. He had treatment a couple years ago. He is now 10 years old and last year was excited to find that he was NOT the shortest kid in his class for the first time ever (only one other shorter, but he was thrilled). His self esteem has improved dramatically. He is still mistaken for being younger than ten, but at least people don't think he is 4 or 5 years old anymore. PS He is small, but strong - he excels at gymnastics and wrestling - which also helps his self esteem and makes him feel accepted by peers.

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answers from Joplin on

Yes, we have been in your shoes. My son started growth hormone therapy in 2000 or 2001. He is now almost 17 years old and just about through with the therapy. The first thing that will happen is what they call a stim test. He had his done at Children's Mercy in Kansas City. He was in a hospital type room, they put an IV in and every so often would draw blood (from the IV catheter) to check the levels of growth hormone in his body. They must have given him something to make him kind of sleepy, because I remember he slept most of the day. It was about a 5 hour proceedure. It's not hard on the child, as there is a TV in the room and the nurses were great. Bring a good book though. In my son's case, the test determined that he needed Growth hormone. It is a small shot that he gets 6 days a week. It is given with a small insulin syringe, so the needle is very, very small. At first, we used a gadget that hid the needle. It was much easier that way. But for the past few years, he has been giving himself his own shot. It was tough at first, but it has become a way of life. Without the shots, he would not have reached 5 foot. With the shots, we are hoping for 5 ft. 8 inches. I am only 5'2" and hubby is 5'9". He is now about 5'7" I think. I lose track after awhile. At first during the therapy, there will be frequent height/weight checks and then every 6 months thereafter. Also, he had the wrist x-rays every year. At first, yes, it was hard on us all at shot time, but we kept explaining that this would help his body grow so that he could be as tall as his friends someday. He was frequently teased at school about being so short. I think the labwork was probably the worst. It's amazing how strong a little kid can be. Before labwork, ask for a prescription for Emla Cream. You put it on the arm where they will draw the blood and it numbs the area. You have to put it on about an hour and 1/2 before the lab draw. The therapy isn't cheap, but we have been blessed over the years that insurance has covered every bit of it. If yours doesn't, check with the manufacturer of the medicine about scholarships. I've probably overwhelmed you, but if you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to email me. If I had to do it all over again, I would do it in a heart beat! Good luck and God Bless.

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answers from St. Louis on

I am anxious to hear what responses you get. My daughter was 1 pound and 15 oz when she was born. She still hasn't caught up. She is almost 4 and weighs 23 pounds, what a normal 1 year old weighs. She is also very short.
Good luck.



answers from Kansas City on

I do not have personal experience however one of my dear friends is doing this with her daughter. She is going to Children's Mercy in Overland Park and has nothing but great things to say about them. Her daughter has done great with the whole thing and is really growing. Good luck and take care.



answers from St. Louis on

Hi: My name is L.. My youngest son went through the test. His bones were 2years behind. We have him on growth hormone shots. They are working great. He gets a shot once a day. He is growing. He is 13years old.



answers from Wichita on

Make sure your endocrinologist does all the tests he needs to before you start your child on GH therapy, My daughter was perscribed hormone therapy shots for 1 1/2 years (different kids probably take them for different lengths of time)she grew enough to be over 5 ft. tall started at kids size 7. If your son has other problems say weakened immume system for instance he may have other glands that dont work properly. We found out that my daughters cortisol gland didn't work she now takes daily meds to keep her cortisol level where it should be. Dont be scared of giving shots they are not hard to do-ask for an inject-ease(simple device to hold syringe in just the right place to give injection correctly)it will make it all much easier. You will get proper training form a nurse and he/she can answer lots more questions for you.
Ask your doctor more questions and think about a second opinion if possible. It may at least ease your mind a little. My daughter is 27 now and doing great! you can do some research of your own too just look it up on the computer.



answers from Topeka on

My daycare provider's daughter is on growth hormone injections. She has a tumor on her pituitary gland that decreases the amount of growth hormone her gland secretes. She gives her daughter an injection (shot) every night. I don't think she had experienced any really bad side effects. I know her appetite has improved and she is growing and a faster rate and is almost on the growth chart now. The biggest obstacle is probably insurance coverage and there is no guarantee they will work. If my child was in the same situation, I would go for it.



answers from St. Louis on

I know the struggle you are going through it is a tough decision to make. My son in now 16 and he has been on growth hormone injections since he was 12. I was told that maybe he would be 5 feet at adult age at the rate he was growing. We found out that his pituitary gland was not producing the natural hormone that he needed to grow properly. He was 4 feet 3 inches when he started the growth hormone injections and now he is 5 feet 8 inches. I did alot of research before I desided to go ahead with treatment. Here are some links that I found very helpful. I hope this helps. http://www.magicfoundation.org/www/docs/105


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