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Growth hormone facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Growth hormone (GH or HGH), also known as somatotropin or somatropin, is a hormone responsible for growth, cell reproduction and regeneration in humans and other animals. It is specific only to certain kinds of cells.

Human growth hormone

Growth hormone is used as a prescription drug in medicine to treat children's and adults growth disorders. In the United States, it is only available legally by prescription from a doctor. HGH is a very complex hormone, and many of its functions are still unknown.

Synthetic human growth hormone was developed in 1985 and approved by the FDA for specific uses in children and adults. In children, HGH injections are approved for treating short stature of unknown cause as well as poor growth due to a number of medical causes, including:

  • Turner's syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects a girl's development
  • Prader-Willi syndrome, an uncommon genetic disorder causing poor muscle tone, low levels of sex hormones, and a constant feeling of hunger
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • HGH deficiency or insufficiency
  • Children born small for gestational age
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Growth hormone Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.