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    Is growth hormone injection advisable for a teenager?

Posted on Sat, 20 May 2017 in Thyroid Problem and Hormonal Problems
Question: Is it time to inject growth hormone for my daughter?

Dear Doctor! My daughter is 13 years now. She is 2.8kg in weight and 48cm in height when she was born and got breast fed. She is healthy and hardly get ill. She was a picky eater before 12 and didn’t like eggs and milk. Now she eats more which reach to the average level of Chinese children. She had her first period in Feb this year, and began to develop the secondary sex character. Now she was 138cm in height and 33kg in weight. As her mother, I am 148cm and her father is 162cm (we’re both Chinese). I am worried about her height. I want to ask, for the ordinary case, in which age will she stop growing tall. Is it time to inject growth hormone to help her?

Thanks very much!
Answered by Dr. Mirjeta Guni 36 minutes later
Brief Answer:
She needs a pediatric endocrinologist evaluation;

Detailed Answer:
I can understand your concern regarding to your daughter's health.
For the age the height is not normal (is under 2 standart deviations). Normally, the growth epyphisis close at 18 year old, but the growth should be continuous.
A hand x Ray will show if the growth is ended.
If the height is under 2 standart deviations for the age, growth hormone insufficiency and other causes that inhibit the growth should be excluded.

So, i would to consult a pediatric endocrinologist to determine if the growth has ended and to find a cause for the low height.
If growth hormone deficiency is verified, growth hormone treatment will be recommended.
Hope the information will help.
Kind regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Remy Koshy
Follow up: Dr. Mirjeta Guni 51 minutes later
Thanks for your kind reply. I don't quite understand since you said 'If the height is under 2 standart deviations for the age, growth hormone insufficiency and other causes that inhibit the growth should be excluded.' (which matches my daughter's case). Although, based your following words, there is a possibility that the growth hormone is deficient.

Sorry I am not good at English. Can you clarify this?

Answered by Dr. Mirjeta Guni 31 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Regarding short stature:

Detailed Answer:
Welcome back,
If you see the chart growth, the actual height is -3.5 standard deviations or is under 5th percentile and is considered short stature for the age (below average compared to the height of her peers).
We consider a child to be of short stature if their height falls within the lowest two percentiles of their peer group.
Your doctor will measure your child’s height, weight, and limb length he will also ask about your family’s and child’s medical history.
The three major reasons for short stature are constitutional growth delay, genetics, and disease.
If one or both parents are short (like in your case) there’s a strong possibility that their child will also be short. If there are no underlying medical reasons why either parent is short, your child’s short stature may be perfectly healthy.
But before considering her healthy (genetic short stature), some common pathologies should be excluded.
So, i would recommend to see a pediatric endocrinologist as her stature actually is 3.5 standard deviations.
Kind regards,

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
Answered by
Dr. Mirjeta Guni


Practicing since :2006

Answered : 2304 Questions


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