What is growth hormone therapy?

What is human growth hormone?

Human growth hormone is a chemical messenger that is crucial for normal growth and development. As its name implies, growth hormone is responsible for making us grow. However, it also contributes to many other important functions in the body such as:

  • Growing strong and healthy bones
  • Regulating the body’s metabolism, specifically the balance between lean muscle and fat
  • Developing and maintaining the bodies organs
  • General well-being and energy levels

In our bodies, growth hormone is produced naturally. It is a type of protein made by the pituitary gland - a very small gland at the base of the brain. Growth hormone works by causing other hormones and factors (chemical signals) to be released in the body. These then travel through the bloodstream and cause growth to occur. Specifically, they work on a part of the bones called "growth plates". Growth hormones and growth factors cause the cells in these growth plates to multiply, thus adding to the length of the bones. This increase in length, especially in the leg bones, causes a child to grow taller.

 

What is growth hormone therapy?

Human growth hormone (hGH) or growth hormone therapy (GHT) is a biosynthetic hormone replacement therapy. It is identical to the natural growth hormone produced by the body. As it is a protein, it needs to be injected in order to work properly.

GHT is normally used to treat children who are not growing due to an underlying medical condition. Different types of GHT are used in different situations, and you should speak to your health care provider about which GHT is best for you.

Some of the conditions that could be affecting a child's growth include the following:

 

Childhood Growth Hormone Deficiency

Small for Gestational Age (SGA)

Turner syndrome

Noonan syndrome

Skeletal dysplasia

Chronic Renal Disease

Prader-Willi syndrome

Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency


Important Note: The content of this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Do not disregard your doctor's advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this website.

HQMMA/NT/0815/0140(1)   September 2018