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My daughter is almost eight years old and is 42 inches tall and weighs 40 pounds. Since birth she has always been below the chart in the minus percentile range. She has made her own curve and it had been slowly going up but now seems to be leveling off. The average of this years growth is only 1/2 inch. I am worried about her short stature and the doctor is considering growth hormone. One of the blood tests for the hormone came back low and the other was borderline. What is the chance for success if she is given the hormone and how much can we expect her to grow from taking the hormone? Are there any negatives to putting her on the hormone or should we wait longer before putting her on the hormone? Thanks
    
Based on the information that you have provided, your daughter's height and weight fall well below the normal range on the growth chart, and of greatest concern, her growth rate of ½ inch a year is very low for a child 7-8 years of age. Your child could have growth hormone deficiency, but a variety of other conditions also need to be considered and your child should be evaluated by a pediatric endocrinologist who is a specialist in children's growth problems. Children who are growth hormone deficient respond rapidly when treated with growth hormone, often growing four or more inches in the first year of life. Most children "catchup" to their normal genetic channel within 1-2 years. There are some risks associated with growth hormone therapy, including dislocated hip, elevated pressure in the brain, elevated blood sugar, and leukemia in children who have had prior cancers or radiation treatment. These side effects are extremely rare.

 

As a reminder, this information should not be relied on as medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice of your child’s pediatrician. Please read our full disclaimer.

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