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Growth Hormone Deficiency in kids? - Page 2

post #21 of 50
My brother was tested when young and his growth plates radiographed. I can't give specifics as my mother doesn't recall all if the details. However, the doctors wanted to start him on growth hormone but my mother refused. He was a late bloomer I suppose because despite his small stature as a fourteen year old, he grew into a man of 5'10.

I am reading 'Vital Touch' by Sharon Heller and it's fascinating. She has a bit on growth hormone in the chapter titled 'Newborn Harmony'. Here are various excerpts:
Quote:
Growth hormone emanates from the hypothalamus (located in the limbic system and part of our old mammalian brain). Touch sends a message to the pituitary gland to release growth hormone. Conversely, separation and touch deprivation block it. Saul Schanberg of Duke University discovered that in infant rats it only takes 45 minutes of separation before growth hormones start to suppress.

........Preemies , isolated most of the day in an incubator, traditionally receive little touch. Would stroking also make them grow more quickly? Tiffany Field, a developmental psychologist and colleague Frank Scafidi had a hunch it would.....For three fifteen minute periods a day for ten consecutive days, they massaged and stretched the limbs of preterm infants. The findings? A whopping 47 percent increase in weight.

....In India, babies are massaged daily, from one to six months of age. In Malpe, India, where babies start out underweight by 500 grams, as compared to American newborns, 65 doubled their birth weight by three months. In the United States, where few babies are routinely massaged, babies tend to double their weight much later, at five months.

.....Massage affects the immune system as well. Premature infants gently stroked had higher levels of secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA), which protects against respiratory tract infections, than those not stroked.
I am not implying that all you need to do is touch more or do massage but it really was a facinating bit of info and I just wanted to share.
post #22 of 50
I'm watching this thread closely. It was actually painful to click on the growth chart for me to check my DD1's height. She is a HORRIBLE sleeper - always has been. I'm convinced it has to do with sleep. I think in her entire 6 years of life, she's STTN a handful of times (of course now, instead of waking up crying for nursing, it's just waking up from nightmares or to come on our bed).

Has melatonin ever been used for kids with growth issues?

I'm 5'5" and DH is 5'9", so not huge by any means. DH's niece is 7 and definately below the growth chart for her height (she's smaller than my DD1, who apparently is just below 25% - which I find hard to believe as she's definately the smallest in her Gr 1 class, and smaller than even some Kindergardeners).

Thank you for the great research and info. Subbing.
post #23 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by out#edbyJs View Post
He ran some blood tests just to verify what he said and we found out that her thyroid levels are abnormal and suggest possible hypothyroidism. Unfortunately her numbers are so close to borderline he is unsure whether or not to treat her for it. We are still waiting to hear back from him as to our next move.
Putting my pharmacist hat back on...
I'd say, if they're only testing TSH and it's borderline, they would be wise to do a "Free T3" test to actually look at how much of the active form (T3) she has.
more T4 or T3 = lower TSH (good)
less T4 or T3 = higher TSH (likely hypothyroid)
The inactive form contributes to the feedback cycle to a greater degree than the active form does, so in some people who don't convert well from the inactive to the active (which can be related to vitamin deficiencies and hormone imbalances too), they might have normal or near-normal TSH, but still have low *active* thyroid hormone and therefore be functionally hypothyroid. And if TSH is near normal but free T3 is low, she would likely need the active form (Cytomel is one brand, I think there may be others), or even a combination (usually in the form of dessicated porcine thyroid gland, like Armour Thyroid) which is a little trickier to dose because it only comes in certain strengths. A good compounding pharmacy can make capsules of custom strength if needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneS View Post
Fish eggs like salmon roe are the best source of K2 but I know hard for kids to take! My DS loves salmon roe with cream cheese on mini pancakes but he is weird.
Actually, I like to think that roe is a perfect kid-food: it's fluorescent orange, salty, and it goes POP in your mouth! My DS is very fond of masago... the little tiny roe they put on some sushi rolls. I'm glad to hear that this is a good source of such stuff for my extensively-food-allergic kid.

Thanks so much for all your info... my DS doesn't have growth issues, but his limited diet is something I worry about... knowing about bone broths makes me more likely to make broths homemade even though he can tolerate the Tetra-pak low-sodium stuff. It's such a PITA to make that I had thought I'd just give up on it... now I won't!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cascadian View Post
... now, instead of waking up crying for nursing, it's just waking up from nightmares ...

Has melatonin ever been used for kids with growth issues?
I'd say melatonin is likely a good idea. They use it all the time at the children's hospital here, not specifically for growth issues, but because the kids have trouble sleeping in such an environment. And if your DD is getting nightmares, I'm guessing you probably have some sort of night-light? (Don't feel bad - my DS has one too, plus sometimes Daddy's LED MagLite flashlight, which is almost as bright as day!!!) Which could potentially contribute to lower melatonin levels, and maybe that's all part of a whole vicious cycle.
post #24 of 50
Hmmm...we have a nightlight in the hallway, and there's a clock radio with a display in her room...interesting. I might close their door at night to block light (their door is next to the stairwell, hence the nightlight). Thanks for the tip!

Are there any studies about longterm use of melatonin in kids, and for what dosage?
post #25 of 50
Subbing: There is a lot of info here that I think can help us with our DD 2.5 who is way below the 3% for both height and weight. She has been waking everynight too for the last couple of months. She is developmental on target though, just her height and weight is low. Saw this post and can't process it all before bed, so I wanted to sub to read tomorrow!
post #26 of 50
Thread Starter 
WOW! So much info after nobody posting on this thread the first few days.

Thank you so much to everyone who has weighed in. It's a lot to read, and go through, and it will be challenging to convince DH of any of this. He's a major follower of western medicine, and generally only believes things if told to him by an MD of some sort I think I'll have a challenge on my hands as if the kids rebuke CLO type supplements and/or broth, etc, he will just let them eat anything, and call me crazy.

It is tricky with the dairy allergy, but thankfully they will generally eat meat, especially DS. I'm thinking that the easiest thing would be to move in with my mom for a year - who is a firm believer in broth, fish, CLO, veggies, fruits, etc!

I think I'll cut way down on the soy, including trying to switch to rice milk/coconut milk. They actually drink coconut water straight out of young coconuts that my mom brings over, which is apparently really good for you. If that were available all the time, they would go for it, but it's a bit of a pain to have to hack through all the outer layer to get to the part you can poke and hole through and drain. I can probably convince them to drink mostly water and some juice, but would have to do rice or coconut milk to put onto oatmeal, etc or cereal. I will cut down on the tofu intake, but it is something they both love.

I can do the broth, but will have to hide it in something. They always eat the potatoes, etc out of soups and not the actual liquid, but I could cook rice with it. Do you use your slow cooker do you can leave it on while you're out?

I will check out the D, A and K supplements and hope they are available and tolerable to the kids.

JaneS - wow, no suncreen in the middle of the day in the summer? I assume you haven't had problems with sun burns? Is that all fear mongering, or ?? I do know people who burn even in our temperate, far from the equator climate, including my DH, who is 'white' (I'm asian Canadian). I'm not a big sunscreen wearer myself, and just tend to avoid 11-3pm and stay in the shade, but I do have to remind myself that my kids are 1/2 white and will therefore burn more easily than I will. DH"s dad had skin cancer from constantly being out in the yard shirtless in the summer in Toronto, but I think that was pretty extreme.

DS reacted to a piece of salmon with miso on it the last time I tried, and I'm really not sure what happened, as he eats salmon a lot. I've been avoiding miso since then. Nato is a joke around here, as SIL is Japanese and DH and his brother make fun of her for eating it. I tried a piece and found it tolerable, but I'll eat pretty much anything, and the kids are opposite.

It makes me wonder, though, with so many people around here on a standard N American diet, that not all the kids are super short? They're all having grocery store milk, take mainstream supplements, few veggies, etc?
post #27 of 50
Thread Starter 
I knew I would forget at least a few things. . .

Interesting about the infant massage - will look more into that. My kids are touched and hugged a lot, but not actual massage ever.

And I'll look into salmon roe!! DS especially, might get a huge kick out of that!
post #28 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alison's Mom View Post
JaneS - wow, no suncreen in the middle of the day in the summer? I assume you haven't had problems with sun burns? Is that all fear mongering, or ?? I do know people who burn even in our temperate, far from the equator climate, including my DH, who is 'white' (I'm asian Canadian). I'm not a big sunscreen wearer myself, and just tend to avoid 11-3pm and stay in the shade, but I do have to remind myself that my kids are 1/2 white and will therefore burn more easily than I will. DH"s dad had skin cancer from constantly being out in the yard shirtless in the summer in Toronto, but I think that was pretty extreme.

There are studies on omega-3 supplementation and it increasing the amount of time it takes to burn in the sun. The amount of time it take me (white, living in Texas) increased quite a bit last year after I changed the types of fats we eat--a lot more saturated fat now, a lot less fats high in omega -6s (nuts, seeds, legumes, safflower/corn/soy type oils, conventional eggs are high in omega-6s).

I also use a supplement for myself and the kids, testing is helpful to know where you're starting from.


It makes me wonder, though, with so many people around here on a standard N American diet, that not all the kids are super short? They're all having grocery store milk, take mainstream supplements, few veggies, etc?
IME, the health problems we are prone to is indicative of the our basic susceptibilities combined with environmental/life stresses we've had. I mentioned zinc earlier. My kids have been low on zinc, since conception since *I'm* low, but while they've had other symptoms, growth has not been affected. Something about how their bodies work means that even being quite zinc deficient, other aspects of their health are affected first, and I guess it would've had to get a lot worse before their growth was impaired.
post #29 of 50
subbing. my dd weighs 14lbs10oz at 15 months (corrected)
she's petite
post #30 of 50
I live in Vancouver and my son has been on GH for 2 years. He is 3.5. He is prescribed GH due to Prader-Willi Syndrome so obviously that is not the case for your child but I will add my personal experience.

As you already know, you will need a referral to the endo clinic at Children's. There is at least a 6 month waiting list to see one. The endos here are quite reluctant to give GH. They would start with a GH deficiency test but generally your child must have fallen off the growth chart for some time before they will entertain that idea (esp. if the situation is simply short stature for no known reason). I get the feeling that GH for short stature is more common in the states than it is here in Canada. IF your child is proven to be GH deficient then BC Medical will pay from what I understand. Or perhaps your extended health will, but they will be kicking and screaming as it is very $$$$. In our case, the cost is around $900 a month and at the highest dose (as he gets older, he needs more) it will be around 30k per year. But the dosage for Prader-Willi is fairly high from my understanding.

The reason it is seen as a "fountain of youth" is because GH builds lean muscles mass. As you age, you produce less GH and your muscle mass declines. This is a reason why it is so popular with athletes and body builders. I believe it is undetectable in a drug test since your body naturally produces it.

We do a nightly injection and although it doesnt hurt very much his tolerance for it is declining. I have to hold him firmly and when he struggles, it hurts more and is harder to do. I hope this gets easier as time goes on, but I just want to say that compliance with the injections can be an issue.

The side effects are fairly minimal and uncommon from what I hear. With close monitoring from doctors I think most tolerate it well. In our case, it helped tremendously in the area of growth and low muscle tone.

My son also takes synthroid at the lowest dose due to hypothyroidism.
post #31 of 50
Thread Starter 
Thanks Tanya, for the insights - makes sense!

half-pint - great to have a local's view on the system. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I'm glad to hear that it is helping your son!

I talked to DH about it last night, and so far so good - he's on board. I will be purchasing some Blue Ice CLO, and have told the kids 'no more soy milk'. DS has had a couple of servings of 'vanilla rice milk' tonight and like it. I will not be too picky about small amounts of soy lecithin in foods, and will cut down the tofu intake to maybe once a month. I went to my butcher and they gave me some mostly grass fed, all natural local beef bones (and for free!), so they are in a pot now, simmering away.

I'm really hoping that this is the cause and while I don't expect them to be even average height, as DH and I certainly aren't, if they catch up to 3 or 5%and stay with that curve, I'll be happy!
post #32 of 50
I'm so jealous on the bones, that's awesome! I wouldn't worry about soy lecithin either, I believe that is hormone free. Make sure you get a regular daily source of K2 as well.

And yes re: no sunscreen in middle of day! Now we do use hats and shirts but believe me I'm as surprised as you as we are very fair skinned. As Tanya said, apparently eating the standard American diet of high omega 6 fatty acids vs. eating traditionally balanced omega 6 and 3's are a factor. I used to be sunscreen queen and it has noticably changed.

Re: why are there tall kids on a standard American Diet?

Low vitamin A could also be a factor:

Quote:
One aspect of vitamin A that deserves more emphasis is its role in protein utilization. Kwashiorkor is as much a disease of vitamin-A deficiency, leading to impaired protein absorption, as it is a result of absence of protein in the diet. High-protein, lowfat diets are especially dangerous because protein consumption rapidly depletes vitamin-A stores. Children brought up on high-protein, lowfat diets often experience rapid growth. The results—tall, myopic, lanky individuals with crowded teeth, and poor bone structure, a kind of Ichabod Crane syndrome—are a fixture in America.
http://www.westonaprice.org/Vitamin-A-Saga.html
I see a lot of adults who are tall with poor palate width, weak chins and crowded teeth. The body obviously has not gotten enough nutrients to support its genetic potential.
post #33 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneS View Post
Although personally in your situation I would be following the Weston Price protocol of 1/4-1/2 tsp. of high vitamin cod liver oil and a form of K2 three times per day (depending on type whether it is short acting MK-4 or long acting MK-7) with every meal to correct mineral deficiencies.
JaneS: Would you suggest additional K2 supplementation if you are taking fermented cod liver oil (I believe it has higher amounts of K2 than regular CLO). I ask because we stopped supplementing K2 when we went on fermented CLO, now I wonder if that was a mistake.

OP: I'll find the reference tomorrow, but I read somewhere that gluten intolerance and celiacs can be responsible for slow/no growth. Sometimes slow growth is the only symptom. If I remember the study correctly it said something like 25% of the children seen for no/slow growth actually started growing when gluten was removed from their diets. My dn stopped growing when he was 3 for several years, so I did a little internet research on the subject.
post #34 of 50
Not the actual study I read before, but here are a few abstracts:

http://www.springerlink.com/content/j021644p5l173514/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15273508
post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneS View Post
Re: why are there tall kids on a standard American Diet?

Low vitamin A could also be a factor:

I see a lot of adults who are tall with poor palate width, weak chins and crowded teeth. The body obviously has not gotten enough nutrients to support its genetic potential.
This is getting off-topic, but it's interesting that when I changed our diet (cut out gluten and dairy, added a lot more saturated fat, started the homemade stock and such, and somewhere in there started getting more regular with the CLO), both my kids got %-wise shorter. They were 1.5yo and just shy of 4yo--so quite the age gap, but they lost their height-weight gap at the same time (used to be higher % for height than weight, now they both match).

It makes me wonder about how common subclinical health issues really may be--not full-blown whatever, but more subtle stuff that's off.
post #36 of 50
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info JaneS and the links, isaoma. Yes, I can't remember if I mentioned Celiacs as a possibility to look into, but yes, since I'd read some people don't have any real symptoms, it has been on my radar. I've booked an appointment with our GP so we can go back to the ped to review what he actually tested for. I know he did cystic fibrosis, but apart from that, with a blood test and stool test, I'm not sure what he actually tested DD for. I'll see if he checked for Celiac and growth hormone. I'm tempted to use this home test for Celiac: http://celiachometest.com/
post #37 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaoma View Post
JaneS: Would you suggest additional K2 supplementation if you are taking fermented cod liver oil (I believe it has higher amounts of K2 than regular CLO). I ask because we stopped supplementing K2 when we went on fermented CLO, now I wonder if that was a mistake.
Depends, is it elsewhere in your diet?
post #38 of 50
Thread Starter 
So, we got in to see the ped this afternoon and he said my DD is still below 0%, but growing steadily. He still suspects there is nothing wrong, and she is just short due to genetics. Previously he had tested for CF, plus kidney function, proteins, iron, thyroid and a few others that I can't remember now, but is sending us to the lab for a Celiac test, other blood work including thyroid, a bone age xray and referring us to a ped endocrinologist who will review the chart and decide if a growth hormone test is warranted. He was also great with the kids - I love this Dr.

We have been doing Carlson's CLO, plus a multivitamin with A and D, no more soy milk, and some bone broths. I was at the grassfed beef store today and they happened to have a special on green pastures fermented CLO gummy fish, and I was about to buy a jar, but asked if I could try one first. I ate half (I thought it was not great, but OK) and gave half to DS (the more adventurous eater of my two) who promptly spit it out saying 'it tastes yucky', so I will be continuing with my current CLO, which they tolerate if washed down with orange juice.
post #39 of 50
Those gummy fish are nasty. Wish I could return the ones I bought.
post #40 of 50
Those tests sound good, I was just going to come back here and mention thyroid function in fact.

A multivitamin with vit. A is probably in chemical palmitate form and not natural retinol? Palmitate is useless at best and toxic at worst.

Vitamin D to keep blood levels up in Canada will need to be many times more than the RDA that's in a multi ... best to get tested and do high doses www.vitamindcouncil.org
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