Growth hormone plays an important part in the complex system of the body. Hormones are chemical "messengers" produced in one part of the body that travel to another part of the body to create some sort of change. Special cells in the glands and other organs produce hormones and release them into the body at specific times for specific reasons, depending upon the type of hormone. The hormones' job is to tell parts of the body to do certain things. They travel through the bloodstream to their "target organ" or tissue, where they exert their effect by giving their instructions.
What is growth hormone? Growth hormone is made in the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain. It does a lot more than just make a child grow taller, it's responsible for the growth of the body, including organs and bones, and it helps the body's metabolic processes. When growth hormone is released from the pituitary gland, it "tells" the liver to release a second hormone, called insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Together growth hormone and IGF-1 tell the bones, muscles, and other organs and tissues to grow by adding more cells.
Growth hormone is used to treat growth failure due to growth hormone deficiency in children. It is used to help children with short stature due to Turner syndrome, children born small for gestational age and chronic renal insufficiency to grow taller. Adults who do not make enough growth hormone also use growth hormone.
For more information please discuss with your Healthcare Professional and/or visit the Australian Paediatric Endocrine Group website, Hormones and Me Booklet series Click here
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