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GROWTH HORMONE DEFICIENCY

If your doctor finds that you have growth hormone deficiency (GHD), it simply means that your body cannot make enough growth hormone. Because of this, your height will be shorter than expected for children of your age. Growth hormone is also really important for many parts of your body, including building strong bones and healthy muscles.

Most children with GHD are otherwise healthy, with no related medical conditions. Your doctor will have undertaken a wide range of tests and examinations to rule out other reasons for being shorter than usual.

There are many possible causes of GHD. It is sometimes present from birth, or it may appear later in childhood.

The good news is that doctors can give you extra growth hormone if your body is not making enough by itself. This can help you to grow faster and reach an average adult height.

Some children might need to continue taking growth hormone when they are adults, but most children will only need growth hormone until they finish growing, or for a couple of years afterwards.

CHRONIC RENAL DISEASE

If your doctor says you have Chronic Renal Disease (CRD), it simply means you have a long-term problem with the way your kidneys work.

To help us understand the effects of CRD, let's first take a look at what healthy kidneys do:

The kidneys do a lot of important things, such as cleaning our blood and helping to keep the right balance of salt and water in our body. The kidneys also help the bones absorb the right amount of calcium from the blood, to help build strong, healthy bones. If your kidneys are not working as well as they should, this can prevent you from growing as tall as other children of your age.

The good news is that doctors can give a helping hand with growth hormone treatment. While growth hormone is a substance naturally made by the body, giving extra growth hormone can help you to grow faster and reach an average adult height.

SMALL FOR GESTATIONAL AGE

While it sounds complicated, being small for gestational age simply means you were much smaller than other babies when you were born. In most cases, doctors do not know the exact reason for this.

Children who were smaller than average at birth sometimes have catch-up growth, enabling them to reach the same size as others of their age within a few years. If this does not happen, doctors can give a helping hand with growth hormone treatment.

While growth hormone is a substance naturally made by the body, giving extra growth hormone can help you to grow faster and reach an average adult height.

TURNER SYNDROME

To understand what Turner Syndrome (TS) is, we first need to say a few words about genes. Genes are little packets of information that we carry inside the cells of our body. Genes tell our body how to develop, such as what colour hair and eyes we will have. Medical conditions linked to a person's genes are called genetic disorders. TS is a genetic disorder that only affects females.

Girls with TS are usually shorter than average and may have other problems too, which we will take a look at below. No one knows what causes TS, but effective treatments are available, helping girls and women with the condition lead normal, happy lives.

If you are found to have TS in childhood, growth hormone treatment can be given to help you grow taller. While growth hormone is a substance naturally made by the body, giving extra growth hormone can help you to grow faster and reach an average adult height.

You may have heard about a part of the female body called the ovaries. These produce the hormones that cause a girl's body to develop into a women as she gets older. This development is called puberty. In girls with TS, the ovaries don't develop as they should, so puberty cannot take place as normal. However, missing hormones can be replaced, enabling girls with TS to go through puberty as other girls do.

If you have TS, your height and hormone levels will be checked regularly. Your doctor will also keep a close eye on things like your heart and kidneys, to make sure they are working as they should.

Always tell your doctor, parent or caregiver if you feel less well than usual, due to a stomach upset for example. It is also important to keep a look out for things like ear infections and swollen feet, as these tend to occur more often than usual in girls with TS.

Date of preparation: September 2020 UK20GH00082 This page is intended for members of the UK public. Cookie Policy Contact us