For your kid to grow, a special gland called the pituitary gland has to release a sufficient amount of growth hormone (GH). Human growth hormone is released during sleep. There are many factors that influence the secretion of GH, which include sleep, nutrition, medication, stress, sugar level as well as other natural hormones.
If your child’s body doesn’t secrete plentiful GH, you are likely to see many symptoms, with the most obvious being stunted growth or facial characteristics of a younger age that your child’s. While stunted growth doesn’t impact your child’s intelligence, he may suffer low self-esteem, which can interfere with the development of vital social skills.
As a result, a doctor may prescribe growth hormone injections to encourage your child to grow and reach his highest potential in terms of personal growth and height.
How Treatment Works
Once your child is diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency or any other condition that can be treated with growth hormone therapy, the doctor will inform you about potential side effects. The GH used in growth hormone injections for kids is synthetic but it serves the same function as that produced in the human body.
Usually, GH is administered through a subcutaneous injection meaning it goes straight to your fatty tissue right below the skin’s surface. Doctors use a device that resembles a pen. Since the injection is quite shallow, the needle is quite small, which doesn’t hurt that much.
What to Expect from Treatment
Obviously, growth is at the top of the list! It takes between 3 and 6 months to see a difference, but the most important thing is your kid will experience some growth, say between 1 and 2 inches within 6 months. You may notice other things like your child will need a large pair of shoes real soon because his feet will grow within 8 weeks.
Your child will develop a huge appetite, which is common particularly for kids who were poor feeders initially. In some cases, kids also grow skinny for some time as height begins to kick in. So, it will take some time before your child attains an adult height, so ensure you are prepared to provide treatment for as long as it will last, which is usually a long time.
Growth hormone injections for kids require routine checkup so that the doctor can assess his blood level and take x-rays to monitor growth. While the length of treatment varies, your child may have to receive growth hormone injections until he has attained adult height, full bone maturity or has grown not more than 2 cm in the previous year.
Getting or Giving treatment
Growth hormone injections for kids pain-free and quick, so a child who is 10 years or above can self-administer. However, you should always supervise the process to ensure your child gets the recommended dosage.
If you have a younger child, it’s probably best to do it yourself. Since natural GH is secreted during sleep, it’s preferable that you offer the injection just before bedtime.
Potential Side Effects
While they are not that frequent, there are some you should know about. They include swelling at injection area, knee or hip pain, headache, increase the curvature of the spin for kids suffering from scoliosis as well as an increase in blood glucose. In case your child complains of a persistent headache, consult your doctor immediately.
Growth hormones come in different brands, but they all work the same way. However, the brand you choose for your child, as well as the color and shape of the injecting pen, depends on your preferred medical cover.
GH is somewhat expensive, so some children’s hospitals prefer to work with an insurance specialist to figure out the best cover for your brand. An insurance agent will call or visit your home 2 weeks after GH prescription.
The prescription will be filled once the insurance specialist has met you. After that, your child will receive his prescription within 2 weeks after it has been approved. However, if there’s no word from your specialist within this period, consult your doctor. Also, if you are anticipating an insurance change in the near future, notify your doctor, otherwise your child’s treatment may stop.
Once your child’s treatment kit arrives, schedule an injection training conference for the whole family. Both guardians or parents should attend the session before treatment begins. At the session, you will be taught the potential side effects and how to look after the medication. The doctor will also show you how to administer a real injection.
Growth Hormone injections for kids help them grow and attain what is considered normal height. Children are quite sensitive, and issues such as stunted growth can really blow their self-esteem. A Growth Hormone injection can help kids gain some height and be as tall as other kids their age.