Sunday, December 9, 2012
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A person's height is determined by how our genes interact with the
environment. If you live in a healthy way, you will achieve your
greatest potential height. The most important things you can do are to
get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, eat a well-balanced diet, and
avoid alcohol and drugs.
Your body will continue to get taller until the growth plates on your
bones close. People stop growing at different ages. You might stop
growing in your mid teens. Or you might continue growing into your
twenties. How tall you get is mainly determined by how long your long
If you believe you are not as tall as you should be, you might have
have an absence of a growth hormone. Your doctor can run tests to find
out if you lack this hormone. It's quite possible! I've found that
some symptoms of this loss of growth hormone include arthritis and a
severe changing of your facial features.
An article written by Oregon State University researchers states, "For
persons with a documented absence of growth hormone, administration of
this hormone can help them to acheive 'normal' stature, but this is
indicated only for persons clearly way below normal growth curves and
a documented (by lab tests) deficiency. Growth hormone given after
bones have stopped growing (for example at 22) would be more likely to
induce acromegaly. This is a disease seen in persons that secrete too
much growth hormone. The symptoms are significant corsening of facial
features, hyperplasia of joints and severe arthritis."
If your doctor finds that your bones are abnormally short, this can be
corrected through a process called articial stretching. Your bones
will be broken and the bone parts will be attached piece by piece to
steel rods that can increase the length of your bones, and thus, make
you taller. This is said to have a high success rate but is painful.
Some doctors are against limb lengthening. This web site sponsored by
Georgetown University, writes, "WHY SOME DOCTORS ARE AGAINST LIMB
LENGTHENING: There are many reasons for this. One is prejudice against
medical procedures from other countries. I'm not kidding. One doctor
told me "they" didn't believe in anything from "foreign countries". To
make things worse limb lengthening came from the former Soviet Union,
remember the cold war thing? Add to this the arrogance that American
medicine is superior because it's American. When the Ilizarov Method
was first discovered there was some excitement and doctors quickly
began trying the procedure in the 1960's without extensive training in
the method. When they didn't get the results they wanted, American
doctors seemed to give up on the technique and decided it didn't work.
Limb lengthening is a difficult and complicated procedure and when
done by an unskilled doctor or untrained in the procedure or in how to
deal with the complications, the results can be disastrous. Some
doctors are too arrogant, full of pride, or jealous to admit that
another doctor can help their patient and they can't.
Doctors are human after all but, unfortunately, a few tend to
think they are more superior than the average human. Some doctors may
be prejudiced against the procedure. Another reason is they may
believe that you or the child's particular case may have complications
that the doctor can't surgically repair and if he can't fix it then it
can't be fixed, right? They may also be too skeptical or unsure of the
limb lengthening procedure that they won't refer the patient to a
doctor experienced in limb lengthening. One important reason may be
you as a parent or the patient. Many doctors will follow your lead in
how you are dealing with the situation. It can depend on you. If you
are demanding to know all of your options they will give you that,
some will do so reluctantly. If you seem upset and can't deal with the
situation, they will offer you the quickest and easiest solution
possible. For example, in an unrelated situation, a doctor was giving
a young boy who had very severe mental retardation a stronger dosage
of seizure medication than was needed in order to keep him heavily
sedated. The boys' mother was complaining to the doctor that she could
never keep him awake. He finally told her that he was giving the child
more medication than was necessary to keep him sedated because some
parents wanted their child kept quiet and asleep. He assumed it would
be easier on her if her child was kept sedated and that she would want
it that way as well. By the way, judging by her raised voice, he
assumed wrong. Doctors not only consider the patients needs, they,
also, consider the family's needs as well and they sometimes make
assumptions. The point is they could be following your lead on
deciding what treatment they will offer.
Not all doctors are bad, like not all mechanics are bad. Some do
wonderful work, care about the job and try to do what's best for the
individual. Some try to get as much money as they can from you and fix
it where you have to return again and again. Some simply do mediocre
work because they don't really care about the job or you, and yes,
some are bad and shouldn't be in business."
Another typical treatment is the prescription of a growth hormone.
According to WebMD, a respected medical web site, a hormone "is a
substance released by an organ or tissue that controls the activity of
organs or cells in another part of the body."
Further, WebMD, writes, "Test Overview. Human growth hormone (GH) is
produced by the pituitary gland. It is essential for growth and plays
an important role in how the body uses food for energy (a process
called metabolism). The amount of GH in the blood changes throughout
the day and is affected by exercise, sleep, emotional stress, and
Too much GH during childhood can result in excessive growth
(gigantism). Too little GH during childhood can inhibit growth
(dwarfism). However, gigantism and dwarfism can be treated if
In adults, excess GH is usually caused by a noncancerous tumor of the
pituitary gland called an adenoma. Excess GH can lead to an abnormal
bony enlargement of the face, jaw, hands, and feet (acromegaly).
Growth hormone can cause the release of other substances (factors)
that affect growth. One of these is insulin-like growth factor 1
(IGF-1). When the GH level is abnormally high, the IGF-1 level is
usually high as well. A test for IGF-1 may be done to confirm high GH
See an illustration of the pituitary gland.
This test is done on a blood sample taken from a vein. Two blood
samples (taken 1 day apart) may be collected.
Why It Is Done
A test for growth hormone (GH) is done to:
Determine whether a child whose growth is abnormal has dwarfism or
Help determine whether an adult has acromegaly, a condition usually
caused by a GH-secreting tumor of the pituitary gland (called an
Monitor treatment that involves use of GH.
How to Prepare
Fast and limit your physical activity for 12 hours prior to a test for
growth hormone (GH). Since physical activity can interfere with GH
test results, you may be asked to lie down and relax in a quiet room
for 30 minutes before your blood is drawn.
Certain medications can interfere with GH test results, such as
corticosteroids and estrogen (including birth control pills). Your
doctor may instruct you to stop taking these medications prior to this
test. Talk to your doctor about whether these medications need to be
stopped prior to the test.
Recent diagnostic imaging procedures using a radioactive tracer (such
as a thyroid scan or bone scan) can interfere with GH test results.
Inform your doctor if you have recently undergone any test that used a
How It Is Done
Because the blood levels of growth hormone (GH) can change quickly,
more than one blood sample may be taken on different days.
The person drawing blood will wrap an elastic band around your upper
arm to temporarily stop the flow of blood through the veins of your
arm. This makes it easier to put the needle into a vein properly
because the veins below the band get larger and do not collapse
The site where the needle will be inserted is cleaned with alcohol,
and then the needle is inserted into the vein. More than one needle
stick may be needed if the needle does not get placed correctly or if
the vein cannot supply enough blood.
When the needle is properly placed in the vein, a collection tube will
be attached to the needle. Blood will flow into the collection tube.
Sometimes more than one tube of blood is collected.
When enough blood has been collected, the band around your arm will be
removed. A gauze pad or cotton ball is placed over the puncture site
as the needle is withdrawn. Pressure is applied to the puncture site
for several minutes and then a small bandage is often placed over it.
How It Feels
You may feel nothing at all from the needle puncture, or you may feel
a brief sting or pinch as the needle goes through the skin. Some
people feel a stinging pain while the needle is in the vein. However,
many people do not feel any pain (or have only minor discomfort) once
the needle is positioned in the vein. The amount of pain you feel
depends on the skill of the person drawing the blood, the condition of
your veins, and your sensitivity to pain.
There is very little risk of complications from having blood drawn
from a vein. You may develop a small bruise at the puncture site. You
can reduce the risk of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for
several minutes after the needle is withdrawn.
Rarely, the vein may become inflamed (phlebitis) after the blood
sample is taken. Phlebitis is usually treated with a warm compress
applied several times daily.
Continued bleeding can be a problem for people with bleeding
disorders. Aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), and other blood-thinning
medications can also make bleeding more likely. If you have bleeding
or clotting problems, or if you take blood-thinning medication, tell
the person before your blood is drawn.