What is growth hormone?
At the base of the brain, there is an endocrine gland called the pituitary gland, which protrudes below the cerebrum. Though the pituitary gland is relatively small (weighing only 0.5 grams), it has many important functions. It especially produces growth hormone (GH for short).
Growth hormone (GH) is also called somatotropic hormone (SH) or somatotropin. Growth hormone (GH) is a single-chain protein of 191 amino acids with a molecular size of 22,005. Growth hormone is the main hormone that controls all organs and functions in the body. Growth hormone promotes the conversion of foods into energy, enhances protein synthesis, stimulates cell division, increases cell size, and stimulates bone growth.
Growth hormone is the main hormone that controls all organs and functions in the body
In children, if growth hormone is secreted less than normal, it will affect cell division, reduce the number and size of cells, make children grow slowly, and become stunted. Suffering from the growth hormone deficiency, children often have obvious signs, such as less hair, fatigue, chubbiness, delayed puberty, short stature, in comparison with their peers, etc. On the contrary, if growth hormone is secreted too much, children will be taller and susceptible to gigantism. However, to obtain precise results, medical tests need to be performed at the request of the physician.
Should growth hormone drugs be used to increase height in children?
Nowadays, with the advancement of science, growth hormone drugs have been produced by recombinant DNA technology. They are only used to treat "growth deficiency" in certain cases and are prescribed by the doctor on a daily and weekly basis depending on the severity of the deficiency.
Although the price is not cheap, many parents have bought growth hormone drugs to inject their children in the hope that their children will have outstanding height. However, what they have done brings about not only unexpected results but also many severe consequences. (human growth hormone (hGH) is an easily broken down protein so it is only suitable for use in direct injection into the blood vessel. If it is taken by mouth, it will be broken down by digestive enzymes. Therefore, the oral administration is ineffective).
Using the human growth hormone to increase height without a doctor's prescription will cause many serious consequences
The use of high-dose hGH by injection in a short time without instructions can cause fluid retention, swollen fingers, headache, flatulence, and swollen joints. Long-term use of hGH will lead to severe headaches, neurodegeneration, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. Moreover, long-term use of hGH can cause acromegaly and many other dangerous complications, such as gastrointestinal malignancy, pseudotumor cerebri, and even death.
Methods to strengthen growth hormone levels naturally
After many years doing research, scientists have discovered that growth hormone levels in the blood change throughout the day and primarily depend on some factors, such as diets, rest and sleep, mental status, and exercise. To promote the production of growth hormones and height growth naturally, here are some tips for parents.
Healthy diets will help increase growth hormone secretion naturally
A balanced diet rich in essential nutrients is the bedrock upon which growth is built. Proteins, the building blocks of life, lay the foundation for tissue development. Encouraging the consumption of lean meats, fish, eggs, and plant-based protein sources, like legumes and nuts, supports robust growth.
Processed foods laden with excessive sugars and unhealthy fats can stunt growth. By limiting the intake of these growth-inhibiting culprits, we provide our bodies with the opportunity to thrive.
Adequate hydration is often overlooked but is critical for various bodily functions, including growth. Water facilitates nutrient transport and cellular activities essential for growth. Ensuring proper hydration is paramount for maximizing growth potential.
Diligently doing exercises and playing sports
Exercising daily is the simplest way to increase the growth hormone secretion. However, high-intensity exercises for height growth will be better than gentle exercises. Some sports that help children get outstanding height are swimming, volleyball, badminton, and rope jumping. These exercises and sports should be done every day. While doing exercises and playing sports, children should drink plenty of water because the risk of dehydration will cause reactions to growth hormones.
While physical activity is essential, overtraining can have adverse effects on growth. Striking a balance between activity and rest periods is critical. Listen to the body's cues and avoid excessive strain that can impede growth.
Good mental health
Stress not only causes fatigue and irritability but also affects the growth hormone production of the pituitary gland. To grow taller, children should have good mental health and avoid stress.
Getting good sleep
70% to 80% of growth hormone will be produced during sleep if you sleep well and 8 hours per day continuously. Therefore, children should not stay up late. They should go to bed before 10:00 PM because the growth hormone levels are secreted most from 11:00 PM to 01:00 AM. The sleeping space should also be comfortable, quiet, and clean and should not have strong light.
An optimal sleep environment promotes growth-friendly slumber. A comfortable mattress, appropriate bedding, and a dark, quiet room create the ideal setting for uninterrupted sleep.
The role of parents
Parents are the first line of defense in advocating for their child's growth. Regular pediatric check-ups provide a platform for monitoring growth parameters. This proactive approach allows parents to identify and address any growth-related concerns promptly.
When growth issues persist or become a cause for concern, it is essential to seek the expertise of pediatric endocrinologists or specialists well-versed in growth-related conditions. These medical professionals can provide valuable insights and guidance on the best course of action.
Knowledge is a potent tool for advocacy. Parents who familiarize themselves with growth milestones and potential growth-related conditions are better equipped to advocate for their child's needs. Staying informed empowers parents to engage effectively with healthcare providers and make informed decisions.
Navigating the complexities of growth-related challenges can be emotionally taxing. Building a support network is essential. Connect with other parents who have faced similar challenges or join support groups dedicated to growth-related issues. Sharing experiences, advice, and emotional support can make a significant difference in your journey.
In understanding the significance of growth hormones, we empower parents, caregivers, and healthcare professionals to advocate for children's growth potential. By recognizing the signs of growth hormone deficiency and seeking timely intervention, we open doors to transformative therapies that can redefine a child's trajectory.
As we marvel at the wonders of science and medicine, we must also remember that growth is not solely measured in inches but in the smiles of children who stand taller, the dreams they reach for, and the confidence they gain. Growth hormone, in its remarkable way, contributes to the canvas of life, allowing children to paint their own unique stories of growth, resilience, and hope.