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The importance of growth hormones and how growth hormone deficiency could affect your child’s future.

One of the causes of growth failure is growth hormone deficiency. Growth hormone is secreted by the pituitary and is one of a number of hormones affecting a child's growth.

A growth hormone deficient child usually shows a growth pattern of less than 2 inches a year. In many cases the child will grow normally until the age of 2 or 3 and then begin to show signs of delayed growth. Other children will experience growth failure earlier or later than this age range. Though much smaller, these children have normal body proportions and often tend to look younger than their peers. Some may appear to be on the higher percentile in weight, though cases of Growth Hormone Deficiency have been diagnosed for children of low weight.

Testing for Growth Hormone Deficiency will occur when other possibilities of short stature have been ruled out. Once diagnosed with Growth Hormone Deficiency, treatment is with human growth hormone, now available in unlimited quantities. Though every child may not react similarly to growth hormone treatment, the majority of children under therapy today reach a normal adult height or nearly their full growth potential. Growth hormone therapy is given by injection, either daily or several times per week. Parents are trained to give these injections and children, once they are comfortable with it, continue on their own.

Early diagnosis is extremely important for a growth hormone deficient child. To obtain the best results, a child must be diagnosed and treated at a relatively young age. Accurate annual measurements and plotting of a child's growth chart allows for identification of growth failure and treatment before the child's bones fuse. Once fusing has taken place, no additional growth is possible.

Apart from growth hormone supplements, there are natural ways to boost growth hormones.

1. Sleep

Get your shut-eye. It's simple math really. Add eight hours to the time you went to bed, then look at your alarm clock before peeling yourself from the sheets. Not getting enough sleep regularly can lower the amount of growth hormone your body produces daily.

Even though excess sleep won't necessarily increase the amount of growth hormone your body secretes, constantly burning your midnight oil could be suppressing how efficiently your body distributes growth hormone during the course of the day. Keeping normal sleeping habits may let you tap into a certain percentage of growth hormone that your bones never get a chance to utilize when sleep-deprived.

2. Eat Smarter

Focus on eating six or seven smaller meals during your day instead of three or four larger ones. Consuming large meals with a high glycemic index forces the body to release a high amount of insulin into the system to aid with digestion. This reaction not only forces your body to store fat, it may also inhibit the flow of the growth hormone being released throughout your bloodstream. Instead, make a point of consuming other low-sugar foods that will prevent the release of insulin.

3. Pre-workout Nosh

Toss back a small chicken salad sandwich a couple of hours before you exercise. Food Researchers have discovered that consuming a protein-carbohydrate meal two hours prior to working out and another meal immediately afterward elicited a significant increase in both growth hormone and testosterone within the bloodstream.

Even if you're not hungry a few hours before you exercise, you may want to consider having a snack to prevent being hungry within the two-hour window before you work out.

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