Psychology Department

Health Psychology Home Page

Papers written by students providing scientific reviews of topics related to health and well being

Search HomeWeight LossAlternative Therapy | Supplements | Eating Disorders | Fitness | Links | Self-Assessment | About this Page |

Human Growth Hormone for Children

Kelli Gunn

             

What are Human Growth Hormone injections?

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) injections were initially created for children whose growth was stunted because of the small amount of growth hormone produced by the pituitary gland. The only source for the hormone was to extract it from the pituitary gland of human cadavers. Each gland only contributed a few drops and so to obtain enough for just a single injection was very time consuming, and also very expensive (http://www.hmedicine.com/news/guide/hgh.php). At the time, many recipients of this medication were contaminated with human pathogens which caused the Creutzfeld-Jacob disease, a brain disorder that modifies the Mad Cow Disease. Eventually, research and development has now improved and the injections still increase growth by secreting an adequate amount of growth hormone but without many side effects.

How does Human Growth Hormone work in children?

The human growth hormone has two cycles which are direct cycle and indirect cycle. The direct cycle are the result of human growth hormones binding its receptors on target cells (http://www.hmedicine.com/news/guide/hgh.php). During the indirect cycle, human growth hormone is primarily released in pulses that take place during the beginning phases of sleep (http://www.hmedicine.com/news/guide/hgh.php). Growth hormone is rapidly converted in the liver to its powerful growth promoting metabolite, Insulin like Growth Factor - Type 1 (IGF-1), also referred to as Somatomedin C (http://www.hmedicine.com/news/guide/hgh.php). IGF-1 causes most of the effects associated with growth hormone (http://www.humangrowthhormone.nu/explain.html). It is measured in the blood to determine the level of growth hormone secretion (http://www.humangrowthhormone.nu/explain.html). Most of the beneficial effects of human growth hormone are directly attributable to IGF-1 (http://www.humangrowthhormone.nu/explain.html).

 

 

Indirect Effects are mediated primarily by Insulin like Growth Factor, a hormone that is secreted from the liver and other tissues in response to human growth hormones (http://www.humangrowthhormone.nu/explain.html). A majority of the effects of human growth hormones is actually due to IGF-1 acting on target cells (http://www.humangrowthhormone.nu/explain.html). The two feedback circuits, negative feedback circuit and positive feedback circuit, are the heart of the endocrine system. The negative feedback circuit uses two hypothalamic hormones, GHRH and SS, to control the secretion of growth hormone; meanwhile, positive feedback is seen when the output of a pathway stimulates inputs to the pathway

(http://www.growtaller.net/advancedexplanations.html). The only effective way to increase the secretion of growth hormone is to minimize the effect of the negative feedback circuit by creating a natural positive feedback circuit .
(http://www.growtaller.net/advancedexplanations.html).

       

The side effects of HGH injections

HGH injections are good for helping children to grow. However, side effects may include: ear infection, abdominal pain or bloating, changes in vision, headache, nausea and vomiting, skin rash or itching, carpal tunnel syndrome, enlargement of breasts, joint pain, muscle pain, fatigue and swelling of hands, feet or lower legs (http://www.msnbc.com/news/785625.asp?cp1=1#BODY). If HGH is given to children with normal growth, serious side effects may occur because levels in the body become too high (http://www.msnbc.com/news/785625.asp?cp1=1#BODY). They include development of diabetes; abnormal growth of bones and internal organs such as the heart, kidneys and liver; hardening of the arteries, and high blood pressure (http://www.msnbc.com/news/785625.asp?cp1=1#BODY). New research also suggests a link to colorectal cancer later in life (http://www.msnbc.com/news/785625.asp?cp1=1#BODY). Long-term over-dosage could result in symptoms of acromegaly, or excessive bone growth (http://www.msnbc.com/news/785625.asp?cp1=1#BODY). HGH injections should not be given to children with normal growth because they could get diabetes and develop malformed growth of bones and internal organs, hardening of the arteries, and high blood pressure (http://www.msnbc.com/news/785625.asp?cp1=1#BODY).

 

 

 

The effectiveness of Growth Hormone in children

Treatment lasts until children reach an acceptable height. Usually, the injections work timely where the child and his or her parents could see some growth in 3 to 4 months. (This rate slows down after time.) The injections also improve appetite and reduce body fat. HGH injections are effective. Past and current research has proven this.

Research Studies

Endocrinologist Maurice Raben injected HGH into a dwarf child. The child began to grow normally and over the next 30 years thousands of children were injected with cadaver derived HGH (http://www.nbizz.com/longevityclinic/listings/103.html).

In 1985, Keith Kelley, M.D., a research scientist demonstrated that injections of cells that secrete high amounts of growth hormone could cause the shriveled thymus glands in old rats to grow until they became as large and healthy as those of young rats (http://www.testosterone-hgh.net/).

A study of 31 children with short stature was initiated in 1982 (Albertsson-Wikland 1986). They received subcutaneous (sc) injections of pituitary hgh. A high growth response was seen in 29 of the 31 children.

Research proved that sc injections are very effective in growth hormone children (Kastrup, Christiansen, Andersen, Orskov 1983). Sixteen growth deficient children were given high injections daily for 2 years. Growth response increased during the first year. Absence of antibodies against HGH and local reactions at the injection site is evidence of the safety of the treatment which was very well accepted by the children.

Who presents information on HGH injections and why are they presenting this information?

Doctors, researchers, and others have come together to present information on HGH injections for children. Many of these professionals inform the public about these injections to let parents know the options available to their children. They want to let us Americans know the advantages as well as the disadvantages of HGH injections. According to Human Growth Hormone Guide, prescription HGH injections cost anywhere from $800 to $2200 a month (http://hgh-human-growth-hormone-guide.com/hgh-history.htm).

Personally, I feel HGH injections are effective. They have been tested and proven to work in growth deficient children. Even though HGH injections are expensive, parents should not stray from the idea of letting their children receive this type of medication to claim the idea of HGH supplements which do not work most of the time.

 

 

 

 

References:

Albertsson-Wikland K. (1986). Growth hormone treatment in short children. Acta Paediatr Scand Suppl. 325:64-70

Kastrup KW, Christiansen JS, Andersen JK, Orskov H. (1983). Increased growth rate following transfer to daily sc administration from three weekly im injections of hGH in growth hormone deficient children. Acta Endocrinol (Copenh). 104(2):148-52

 

 

Links:

http://www.hmedicine.com/news/guide/hgh.php

http://www.humangrowthhormone.nu/explain.html

http://www.growtaller.net/advancedexplanations.html

http://www.msnbc.com/news/785625.asp?cp1=1#BODY

http://www.nbizz.com/longevityclinic/listings/103.html

http://www.testosterone-hgh.net/

http://hgh-human-growth-hormone-guide.com/hgh-history.htm

 

 

 

 

Psychology Department

The Health Psychology Home Page is produced and maintained by David Schlundt, PhD.
  


Vanderbilt Homepage | Introduction to Vanderbilt | Admissions | Colleges & Schools | Research Centers | News & Media Information | People at Vanderbilt | Libraries | Administrative Departments | Medical 

  Return to the Health Psychology Home Page
  Send E-mail comments or questions to Dr. Schlundt

Search

Search: Vanderbilt University
the Internet
  Help  Advanced
Tip: You can refine your last query by searching only the results by clicking on the tab above the search box
Having Trouble Reading this Page?  Download Microsoft Internet Explorer.