Use of HGH for short children (idiopathic causes)

Published on April 12, 2010

We know that HGH is used to help children who have abnormal growth, but is it ethical for use in very short children who do not have a GH deficiency?

If the use of recombinant growth hormone can be safe, and produce minimal, or safe side effects, then I would promote its use for children who are abnormally short.
The anterior pituitary gland produces Somatotropin, or naturally produced growth hormone. ‘Somatropin’ or HGH is the name used for a synthetically produced growth hormone made using recombinant DNA therapy in E.coli. (It has the same amino acid sequence as growth hormone)

It is important to note that HGH therapy is limited to those with either 1. Proven growth hormone deficiency, 2. Turner syndrome. 3. chronic renal failure, or 4. Prader-Willi syndrome. Therefore, just being short due to idiopathic (unknown) reasons, does not qualify you for HGH therapy.

Although it is rare to have side effects from HGH when taken properly, abuse of the hormone can lead to Acromeglia, extedned belly, hypoglycemia, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and joint pain.

In our society, being abnormally short can lead to many socio-psychological issues, such as depression or a feeling of inadequacy. With the close supervison of a doctor, HGH therapy can significantly change the future outlook for a child.

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