One of the pleasures of having children is watching them grow. Since they’re in the womb, we’re excited about each week’s accomplishment and see how they develop little by little. Realizing that they are reaching all of their developmental milestones is a huge satisfaction as parents and priceless peace of mind.
Medical science manages to cover all the stages of growth and development of the human being, studying the milestones that we must reach according to our age and condition. From gestation to the moment of birth, for example, the obstetrician is the healthcare professional responsible for ensuring that the pregnancy proceeds normally for both the mother and the fetus and it is therefore logical that the latter should pass by its stages of egg, trophoblast, embryo and fetus fertilization according to certain parameters.
Likewise, from birth, other clinical disciplines come into action, such as paediatrics, which up to 10-12 years of age is responsible for following the evolution of the baby, boy or girl, for healthy development and to be the guarantor of an optimal adult life. But, there are other sciences and specialties that intervene at this stage, one of them is endocrinology, which plays a very important role in favor of the child’s growth, physical development and hormonal status. boys and girls.
We thus know that it is of general competence and of interest to all parents, which is why, based on the need to treat developmental disorders in a timely manner, different treatments have been developed which seek to stimulate the growth hormone. In this article we explain what is its function in the body, the factors that affect it and the treatment to apply in case of deficiency.
What is growth hormone?
Hormones are considered the “chemical messengers of the body”. They are part of the endocrine system and are responsible for controlling most of our body’s functions, including growth. Growth hormone performs the function of regulating the formation of cells, tissues and bones in our body, in addition to other metabolic responsibilities. This hormone is also known as “somatropin” and is produced in the lower part of the brain, a place identified by the name of the adenohypophysis, which is part of the endocrine system.
How does growth hormone work?
Growth hormone is sent from the anterior pituitary throughout our body, it uses the bloodstream as a vehicle to reach every organ. This hormone is one of several types that our body uses to perform its functions, but we don’t secrete it all the time. If so, our children could become giant Guinness record breakers. Like everything in nature, our body finds its balance through the secretion of the hormone called “somatostatin”, responsible for slowing down and inhibiting growth. The knowledge and investigation of these processes is the responsibility of the endocrinologist and, for our children, the attending physician is, more precisely, the pediatric endocrinologist.
Factors Affecting Growth Hormone
We already know that growth hormone is released by our brain and sent throughout the body to increase your child’s body size, increase muscle mass percentage, regulate metabolism, help retain calcium and produce calcium. other proteins. Therefore, this hormone has a critical impact on the formation and growth of our children. It’s true that all people develop at different times and genetics has a lot to do with how tall your little one will grow to be, but science has managed to standardize to know for sure when a child falls within the range. normal. When your child is below average height, it can be a red flag that makes us suspect growth hormone deficiency exists.
Factors that can affect the growth of children can be both endogenous and exogenous, some of them are:
- Genetic background: family size pattern.
- Systemic diseases: those in which different organs of the body are affected.
- Malnutrition and sleep disorders: Not having a balanced diet and good rest affects the production of growth hormone.
- Intrauterine growth retardation: This means that the growth of the baby since it is in the mother’s womb is slowed down, this can occur especially when the pregnant woman smokes, takes or consumes psychotropic drugs during pregnancy, although the Growth retardation can also occur as a result of maternal preeclampsia, a delicate condition during pregnancy that is caused by limited blood supply through the placenta and high blood pressure.
- Genetic and Hormonal Disorders: Refers to specific conditions such as Turner Syndrome, Down Syndrome or an imbalance in general hormone production.
Growth hormone treatment
Scientific development has made it possible to provide an answer to each type of anomaly resulting from the investigation of the human body. Currently there is already a growth hormone treatment that can treat these different disorders. It consists of the application of daily injections containing a synthetic version of growth hormone, that is to say a version manufactured in a high level laboratory which has passed all the security filters. To find out if your child is a candidate for treatment, you should consult a pediatric endocrinologist, who will perform a series of tests, the most common of which are: bone age, insulin levels, somatotropin production or tolerance to insulin.
For personalized advice, we recommend that you visit the Sequoia Center, a team of medical experts specializing in child growth and highly regarded in Mexico. Visit their website to learn more and schedule your appointment.