General Practice 2022

GH treatment: when é indicated and as é done

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GH treatment: when é indicated and as é done
GH treatment: when é indicated and as é done

Growth hormone treatment, also known as GH or somatotropin, is indicated for boys and girls who are deficient in this hormone, which causes growth retardation. This treatment should be indicated by the endocrinologist according to the characteristics of the child, and daily injections are usually indicated.

The growth hormone is naturally present in the body, being produced in the brain by the pituitary gland, located at the base of the skull, and is essential for the growth of the child, so that it reaches the usual height of an adult.

In addition, as this hormone is known to promote weight loss, reduce the aging process and increase lean mass, some adults have sought the use of this hormone for aesthetic reasons, however, this medication is contraindicated for these purposes, because it is not safe for he alth, and there is no scientific proof.

How it's done

Treatment with growth hormone is indicated by the endocrinologist and is done with injections, subcutaneously, in the fat layer of the skin of the arms, thighs, buttocks or abdomen, at night, or according to each case.

In most cases, the injection is recommended once a day until the adolescent reaches bone maturity, which is when the cartilages of the long bones close, because when this happens, there is no longer any possibility of growing., even taking GH.

However, some adults with deficiency of this hormone can continue taking it, according to the indication of the endocrinologist, as it has some benefits, such as improving physical capacity and improving the conditions of bones and muscles. Because of these benefits, some people misuse growth hormone to treat obesity, and GH is contraindicated for these purposes, because it can be associated with several side effects.

Furthermore, GH treatment should not be given to people who have malignant or brain tumors, decompensated diabetes, who have debilitating diseases or who have undergone major surgery, for example.

Possible side effects

When properly indicated by the doctor, growth hormone is usually well tolerated and rarely causes side effects. However, in some cases there may be a reaction at the application site and, very rarely, an intracranial hypertension syndrome, which leads to headache, convulsions, muscle pain and visual changes.

In adults, GH can cause fluid retention, causing swelling, pain in muscles and joints and carpal tunnel syndrome, which causes tingling.

When is indicated

Treatment with growth hormone is indicated in cases in which the pediatrician detects that the child is not growing adequately and is below what is considered normal, due to deficient production of the hormone.

In addition, treatment with this hormone may also be indicated in the case of genetic alterations such as Turner syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome, for example.

The first signs that the child is not growing enough are more easily identified from the age of two, it can be observed that the child is always the smallest in the class or that it takes longer to change the clothes and shoes, for example. Find out what it is and how to identify delayed growth.

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