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A study from the Netherlands shows that giving growth hormone before puberty to children who are short, but do not lack that hormone, makes them grow at least three inches taller.

When you take your child to a pediatrician, he measures the child and plots his height on special growth charts that indicate how his growth compares to other children his age. If your child is in the bottom ten percent for his height, the pediatrician usually orders several tests to look for a cause. Sometimes he finds a cause such as intestinal disease that prevents the child from absorbing nutrients or a lack of growth hormone, but most of the time he cannot find a cause. This study shows that giving growth hormone to children who are short and have normal levels of growth hormone can still cause them to grow taller. No serious side effects were reported.

GH dosage of 27 IU (9 Mg)/m(2).wk to prepubertal children with ISS leads to a mean FH gain of approximately 7 cm, whereas regimens starting on lower dosages are less efficacious. Final height gain by GH therapy in children with idiopathic short stature is dose dependent. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2002, Vol 87, Iss 2, pp 604-611. CM Wit, LTM RekersMombarg. Wit CM, Leiden Univ, Med Ctr, Dept Pediat, POB 9600, NL-2300 RC Leiden, NETHERLANDS

Checked 3/9/06

May 31st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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