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Growth Hormone Deficiency in Children

Intro

If you are concerned about your child’s growth or height, talk to your doctor or health care practitioner. Your child’s height and weight can be compared to normals for age and sex. In addition, if your child has had regular exams, the rate of growth can be easily evaluated. If there is an unusual pattern of growth and development, a consultation with a pediatric endocrinologist should be considered.

Follow-up

Most children with growth hormone deficiency will see a pediatric endocrinologist (a doctor who specializes in studying hormones). Follow-up care is needed to monitor the child’s growth and to adjust the dose of growth hormone therapy.

Outlook

Most children who are treated with hormone replacement therapy reach a normal adult height. With therapy, the child’s growth usually increases most during the first year, with an average increase of 8-10 cm (3-4 inches) per year. The growth rate slows down over the next several years.

Early diagnosis is important. Therapy should begin as early as possible and should continue through adolescence for the best chance of the child reaching a normal adult height.

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