GP Promotes the growth of muscle and bones, while the shift of lipid metabolism tends to be in the opposite direction. So, although a child’s appetite often increases, body fat may decrease with GH treatment. This is because GH contributes to the breakdown of fat at the same time the child is using more calories for growth of bone, muscle and other supporting tissues.
A small percentage of children receiving GH develop a low level of weak antibodies to the medication. This means that the body recognizes the GH as a foreign protein. These antibodies are rarely of any significance, although a high level of strong antibodies can block the action of GH. if this occurs, treatment is stopped temporarily and restarted with a different brand of GH.
In some children, the need for GH therapy results from treatment they received for leukemia or a brain tumor. Based on information collected from around the world, it does not appear that GH treatment increases the risk of relapse or recurrence in these children; relapse rates are similar in children who have received GH and those who have not GH has not been associated with an increased risk of cancer in childhood.
Several cases of benign intracranial hypertension (IC) have been reported in children starting GH starting treatment. IC results from increased pressure in the brain and can produce symptoms such as headaches, visual changes, nausea and vomiting. Most reported cases have occurred within the first 8 weeks of treatment and resolved after stopping GH or reducing the does.
The overall psychological effects of GH therapy are positive; an increased growth rate, more mature appearance and the hope for an adult height within the normal range are viewed as positive by both parents and children. Even seemingly trivial milestones, such as being able to reach a light switch, give beneficial reinforcement.
Some children expect too much from GH - they think they will grow overnight or become the tallest in their class. When these expectations are not met, the child may feel dissapointed, depressed, or even guilty. The response to GH is individualized and depends on many factors.
Although self-esteem and body image may improve as the child begins to catch up to peers in size, GH does not cure behavior problems or remove all the child’s stress.
It’s not unusual for young children to regress temporarily after starting on GH (bed-wetting, thumb-sucking, irritability); older children may complain of headaches, stomachaches, or fatigue.
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