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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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late teenage height growth
Posted by: Will
Date: October 18, 2004 6:35 AM

I am 18 years old. Will the use human growth hormone therapy or any other medication will increase my height? I am currently 5' 7". Both my mom's sisters and brother and dad's sisters and brothers are in the 6 foot range as is my father. He says that he grew 2 inches when he went to college.

RE: late teenage height growth
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: October 18, 2004 3:53 PM

As long as the epiphyses in your long bones (femur, tibia, and fibula in the legs) are still "open," that is not calcified, supplemental growth hormone would have a chance of increasing your height. The epiphyses are the growth plates of long bones; long bone formation occurs at these structures and determines ultimate height and they close, on average, around 18, but remain open longer in a few people. It is encouraging that your father continued growing after he went to college as he may have been one of those people which gives you a better chance of also being one of those people. However, don't assume anything. You need to find a doctor willing to deal with the problem (and many are close-minded and not willing to deal with it). A simple x-ray of the long bones could determine if the epiphyses are closed. If they are, forget it because your height has been determined. If not, you would need to have a measurement of your growth hormone level and unless it is in the upper range of normal for your age, it would be safe to supplement HGH until your level is brought to the upper range of normal. It should be maintained at that level until your epiphyses close. (If your level of HGH is actually low, then you may need supplementation with HGH for life to be in best health.) One should not overlook the other hormones. The sex steroids, especially testosterone and thyroid hormones also influence height and if low can easily be supplemented. This can not only be done safely but can actually improve your overall health if your levels of any of these hormone systems are low. If you are going to move on this matter, you should do so immediately as you are at that age when epiphyses close in most people. But, you have to find a doc who is open minded and really understands how all this works. If you can't find a doctor to help you locally, hop on a plane and come see me here in California. Good luck.



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