What is growth hormone?
Growth hormone is crucial for normal growth and development.
It determines how the body is built and how it functions.
In addition to causing children to grow taller, growth hormone plays a number of other vital roles, including:
- Ensuring strong, healthy bones
- Regulating the body’s metabolism, specifically the balance between muscle and fat
- Developing and maintening the body’s organs
- Promoting general well-being and energy levels
Growth hormone works by causing other hormones and growth factors to be produced in the body. These growth factors, along with growth hormone itself, travel through the bloodstream and cause growth and development to occur throughout the body.
In particular, they act on a part of the bones called the growth plates, which is where bone growth occurs. Growth hormone and growth factors cause the cells in these growth plates to multiply, thus adding to the length of the bone. And this increase in the length of the bones, particular the long bones in the legs, causes a child to grow taller.
What is growth hormone therapy?
Human growth hormone (hGH) is a biosynthetic hormone replacement therapy. It is identical to the natural growth hormone produced by the body and must be injected in order to work properly.
hGH has been developed by Novo Nordisk. It is approved in selected countries for the treatment of the following growth disorders:
- Growth hormone deficiency (GHD)
- Growth hormone deficiency in adults (GHDA)
- Small for gestational age (SGA)
- Turner syndrome
- Noonan syndrome
- Skeletal dysplasia
- Chronic renal disease
- Prader-Willi syndrome
For more specific information, please contact your health care provider.
APROM ID# 4423. December 2012.