Friday, September 23, 2011

The Beginning of our Growth Hormone Journey

I recall being told back in the NICU that there are two times a preemie has a chance to catch up in growth.  Before the age of three and at puberty and that about 10% of preemies may need growth hormones.

Well here we are, no where near puberty but well past age of three. My son is off the charts. He is 10 years old and his bone age around 3 years behind, and size of a six or seven year old.

So, we are now entering an entirely different journey, the human growth hormone journey.

 I'm told that bone age behind is good, it he has more catchup growth time. 

We have had blood work to check hormone levels,thyroid etc.. had an MRI of pituitary gland, even saw genetics for any metabolic disorders. All normal. We have even seen genetics.  Their finding was a partial chromosome 18 where there aren't much studies done on that so inconclusive.

At this point it looks like my sons growth delays have more to do with his prematurity, the fact that he was IUGR, he had respiratory problems, he was on prednisolone (systemic steroid) for two years and of course I'm no giant so a genetics play a part in all this. This all leads to " Small for Gestational Age".

What have I learned so far about Growth Hormones so far?  Its a daily injection. There are several different injection type injection Options. I believe we will start on the Miniquick.

Our endocrinologist told us that Preemies were IUGR at birth apparently respond well in the first year.

The side effects we were told about consist of; severe headaches that will require hospitalization, bone slips (where the bone dislocated from joint requiring surgery) are rare about 1 in 700 for both, scoliosis (curving of the spine), and two new studies that haven't been confirmed cancer risks and cardiovascular risk.

We were also told, since my son had severe respiratory issues that we needed clearance his pulmonologist, apparently some children who have had previous breathing problems can have a set back. Nice.

Well....doesn't sound inviting does it? We are still in the "deciding" part of this process....stay tuned for updates...

Update: 2/13/17...We had 3 endocrinology doctor changes since this post.  We came off growth hormones over a year ago.  At 4"10 he was we were told he was at the end of his growth.  He went through puberty very quick.  His bone age which was one behind was advance two years.  We are told he probably won't grow much bigger then he is now.  I'm hoping thats not true.  Docs have been wrong before.  Time will tell..see updated post here...


  1. I never even knew about this stuff before reading your article.

  2. yes, Jennifer. Its well known for preemies who have a hard time catching up in growth. Its also used for various growth conditions and more...