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Growth Hormones: Have you considered or been prescribed them for your children?

(7 Posts)
Issymum Mon 18-Jul-05 13:28:25

I have two DDs - DD1 is 4.5 and is adopted from Vietnam and DD2 is nearly 3 and adopted from Cambodia. They are both tiny or as the medical phrase goes 'short normal' i.e. there are no underlying medical conditions that are causing their shortness. Clearly SE Asian women are smaller than their caucasian counter-parts, but I'm certain that both DDs were afflicted with pre-natal malnutrition and I know that DD2 was malnourished until we adopted her at 12 months. This malnutrition will have permanently affected their growth. Being small is really really cute now, but if they don't make it to the 5' mark as adults, life will be quite functionally difficult. We've talked to some doctor friends who have told us that we should consider taking the DDs to a paediatric endocrinologist with a view to getting them growth hormones. I have all sorts of reservations about this (daily injections, unknown long term health risks, uncertain outcomes) and I just wondered whether anyone else had looked into this.

titchy Mon 18-Jul-05 14:33:15

I think it's work getting a professional opinion from an endocrinologist, but to be honest ( and I may be way wrong here) I thought that growth hormone had no effect unless there was an actual defficiency, in which case assuming your dds' short stature is entirely due to their poor starts in life daily injections aren't going to work. However there might be othe rreasons - my ds is short but his bone age in very delayed, which measn that he will catch up much later on - i.e. keep growing into his 20s. I dont know much about Asian rates of growth but it could well be that they are slower that Caucasian ones anyway and your dds will catch up.

As I say worth a professional opinion, but as someone who is only just 5' tall don't get all hung up on it. Being tall ain't the be all and end all - I'm happy being a short arse! Just give them the ability to be happy and proud of themselves however tall or short they are.

On the other hand don't do what we have made the mistake of doing with ds and encourage them to stick up for themselves so much that they happily beat up (well physically assert shall we say) year 6 kids before they've even started school! LOL

Issymum Mon 18-Jul-05 19:56:03

Thank you Titch. Everything that you've said has confirmed what I already think, that is we need to find out a lot more about growth hormones, the predicted height of the girls and social effects, before we even take the next step towards this.

Issymum Mon 18-Jul-05 19:56:21

Sorry - titchy!

MrsGordonRamsay Mon 18-Jul-05 20:02:21

My brother had them 20 years ago and he is fine, apart from the man boobs and the long eyelashes and the pouting lips

No, seriously, he grew a bit more but not a tremendous amount, he is about 5' 8" now, not massive but he doesn't look out of place IYKWIM.

If he hadn't had them he would have been seriously short.

yoyo Mon 18-Jul-05 20:07:50

My daughter has precocious puberty and one of the things we have discussed at length with our GP is the possible effect this might have on her height. We were referred to a paediatrician initially who carried out numerous blood tests but also x-rayed her hand to determine how her bone growth compared with her actual age. We were susequently referred to an endocrinologist to discuss growth hormone. She was fantastic and actually told us to leave well alone as although DD may not be especially tall she should attain a reasonable height. In her case this will depend on how much she grows before her periods start.

I would see your GP and ask for a referral. There is a lot of information on the internet but the studies are quite specific (my GP accessed some papers for us to read through but they were of little use as DD did not match the sample criteria). My GP does have a very young patient with precocious puberty who has been prescribed growth hormone and has done very well on it. She was an exceptional case however.

Hope you find some answers - do not delay in seeing your GP as the waiting list to see an endocrinologist is usually very long.

morningpaper Mon 18-Jul-05 20:32:50

I was recommended them as a child!

It's hard to know what's right without knowing their parents' sizes, average height for their families etc...

Personally I don't really agree that women under 5' have many functional difficulties ... I am now exactly 5' and have smaller friends - can't reach the pedals in some cars without a cushion but that's the only downside. And I get to look helpless in supermarkets and ask attractive men to help me reach stuff.

(OK I'm being flippant but I would worry more on that front if they were boys IYKWIM.)

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