Anyone know the appropriate age to adopt this treatment. How far below size for age level merits beginning the discussion on whether the treatment might be considered. What are the arguments on each side?

Well, the good news is that the risk of human prion disease is no longer a concern since HGH is no longer refined from human corpses.

As for the “appropriate age to adopt this treatment” - that all depends. First, has the person been examined by a doctor, perhaps a specialist like an endocrinologist? Short stature can be caused by an HGH deficiency, but people can be short without having a deficiency. If HGH levels are normal (or even high) and the person is short then adding more HGH is unlikely to help. It’s only useful when there is a lack of the natural stuff.

If there is a deficiency in HGH that can occur in childhood (leading to short stature) or later in adulthood (which has other effects).

Too much HGH can result in overgrowth of some tissues, which can result in joint problems, carpal tunnel problems, and an increased risk of diabetes. Too much can result in changes in facial appearance resulting in the person starting resemble Fred Gwynne, Ron Perlman, both the men who played Lurch in the Addams Family shows, and Richard Kiel who played “Jaws” in the Bond franchise. For a really extreme case see Andre the Giant. Nice guys, all of them, but check out how many of them died early. (Fred Gwynne 66, Ron Perlman still with us, Ted Cassidy 46, Carel Struyken still alive, Richard Kiel made it to 74, but Renee the Giant died at 46). Most of them also had severe back problems, sometimes crippling. While some of them were/are “giants”, not all of them have excessive height - Perlman, for example, is “only” 6 foot 1, well within normal height limits. Use of HGH in someone who has ceased growing taller can result in the heavy jaw and brow ridges characteristic of acromegaly, which is caused by too much HGH, regardless of how tall or short the person is.

Bottom line, HGH should only be used where there is an actual deficiency, and then only under the supervision of a doctor. It is appropriate to use in children, but when exactly would need to be discussed with a real-life doctor in conjunction with proper diagnostic tests.

I think my nephew was 7 or 8 when he got started on it. He was in something like the 96% percentile for height in his age group when they started. I believe they took x-rays of his hand to see something. Anyway, he’s about 30 now and he’s 5’5" or so, which isn’t a bad height to be. And no extreme jaw or brow stuff.

That sounds like a completely appropriate and well-managed use of HGH. Which is fantastic.

Note that he’s a bit on the short side - they used to discontinue therapy when the boys reached 5 feet in height (it used to be incredibly expensive) but these days they usually let them grow a few more inches. Legitimate use, though, won’t continue through these kids reaching six feet. They’re brought up to the bottom of the normal height range, that’s all (sometimes the kids will get a late growth spurt giving them a bit more, which is fine).

Used appropriately the side effects are minimal.

Thanks for the info.

96th percentile is very tall. You must mean something else, especially if his adult height is 5’5.

The people who said that getting a blood level of current HGH is necessary, and any doctor will do an x-ray to determine genetic predisposition for height are right.

I know a kid who had leukemia: good news was full remission after five years; bad news was the treatment destroyed his ability to make HGH, and when he should have been growing 2-3 inches a year, he was growing about 1/2 inch. HGH fixed things right up, although he had to be cancer-free, because HGH could accelerate the spread of cancer if he still had it, so he had to go through jr. high and his freshman year of high school being the height of a nine-year-old.

One thing that comes up in discussion I’ve heard of, which apparently some parents try, but which is generally frowned upon, and which sends some parents doctor-shopping for one who will do it, is administering Lupron to delay puberty in a boy to extend his period of growth (growth ends pretty much with the end of puberty-- some men might grow one more inch, but not four), and continuing to give HGH after puberty just causes the hands and feet to grow, and the face to lengthen, but the spine and long bones don’t grow.

The parents of one of my son’s friends just made the decision to start HGH for their middle son. His estimated adult height is 5’4, but every year, he dropped a little lower on the height/weight chart, from the 40th percentile at birth, to the 10th at age five, to finally being below the range of the chart, and shorter than his younger brother. He’s cheerful and bright, with a good attitude, neither of his parents are very tall, and his doctor says he still could be 5’4 without drugs, but since there’s a window for maximum effectiveness of the drug, his parents decided to go ahead.

You might see if there’s a forum somewhere for parents who have gone ahead with it, and relate their experiences.