Ways to Support Those with Pediatric Growth Hormone Deficiency

Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) influences patients both physically and mentally. The condition means patients’ bodies don’t produce enough growth hormone. As a result, they don’t develop the same way as other children.

This can be extremely difficult growing up and places youth at a higher risk for low self-esteem was well as bullying.

VeryWell has laid out some of the ways to cope with growth hormone deficiency both mentally and physically. It is possible to lead a happy and rewarding life with this condition. It simply requires a good network around you to lend support.

Forms of Support

Emotional

Emotional support is an extremely important way to help children navigate this condition. While growth hormone injections can lead to improved physical and mental outcomes for patients, the strain of taking these injections each day can also be taxing for children.

As the children begin to see improvements in their growth, they tend to report being more satisfied and more happy. This leads to an improved quality of life over time.

However, as children go through this journey, support from a psychologist to learn different forms of coping skills can be very helpful.

Additionally, many children find it helpful to talk to other young people who are experiencing the same condition. The same type of relationship can be helpful for parents who are working to support their children. These types of relationships can come through official support groups, or simply by talking to peers. The Human Growth Foundation provides resources for patients and their families, and is another great resource.

Siblings can also benefit from emotional support, and it’s important to not overlook that all members of the family can be impacted.

Physical

Thankfully, this condition does not tend to impact the affected person’s ability to complete everyday tasks. However, the daily injections can be burdensome leading to issues with adherence, and as a result, effectiveness.

The treatment is not effective unless it is taken consistently over many years.

Current estimates say that 82% of all patients miss some of their daily doses.

One way that injections can be made easier is through a device like the easypod. This device is automated which makes injections faster and easier for patients.

Other Needs

There are a few other tangible ways those with growth hormone deficiency can be supported. First, they can be supported financially. Hormone injections can be expensive and because they have to be used long-term, the cost can really add up for families.

One organization that could help is the Magic Foundation which provides a list of many patient assistance programs specifically for this condition.

More research is still needed on this condition as is more awareness among the public. Currently, boys are diagnosed sooner than girls and white people are diagnosed earlier than Black people on average. This is likely due to a lack of understanding and awareness of how this condition may present.

You can read more about forms of support for these patients here.

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