HGH, or human growth hormone, is produced by the pituitary gland during childhood. The release of this hormone is responsible for the growth of a child from birth until the end of puberty. Once puberty has ended, the growth plates of the bones close. When this happens, growth stops and permanent height is reached.
If the growth plates have not closed, HGH can be given to encourage growth. This is often a course of treatment for children who are growing slowly. Often, slow growth or lack of growth is directly related to low levels of HGH produced by the body. In these cases, HGH therapy can be very effective. New growth often takes place quickly, and in a few months, positive and measurable results are seen.
HGH Therapy In Adults
HGH therapy will not work for adults. Once the growth plates are closed, human growth hormone has no impact on the body. The age when the growth plates close is different for everyone, but on average a boys will stop growing between 18 and 21 years old. Girls stop growing by the time they are 18 years old.
Determining Growth Plate Status
The easiest way to determine whether growth plates are opened or closed is by having an xray done. A doctor can tell whether the plates have fused, which indicates that full height has been reached. If so, HGH therapy will not help the person grow taller. If the plates are still open, HGH therapy will help.