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Approach to Growth Hormone Treatment in Patients with Kidney Disease

Growth hormone or human growth hormone (HGH) is secreted by the anterior pituitary to regulate body growth, and muscle and bone metabolism. In adults, HGH also has crucial effects on body composition, macronutrient metabolism, as well as cardiovascular function.

HGH exerts various benefits on tissue growth, injury repair and, moreover, the improvement of morbidity and mortality in chronic kidney disease patients.

About chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the gradual loss of kidney filtrating function, making the increased levels of fluid and waste build up in the body. CKD is associated with high mortality, especially in patients in advanced stages. 

Generally, the effects of HGH are exerted via insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2 (IGF1 and 2). But in CKD patients, the HGH-IGF axis is altered due to complications of the disease, such as inflammation. The inflammatory state caused by poor clearance of toxic substances has many consequences, including nausea, anorexia, malnutrition, and relative growth hormone deficiency, which result in severe growth retardation.

The effects of HGH treatment in CKD patients

The use of recombinant HGH (rHGH) therapy has been found to improve malnutrition and inflammation, and even help maintain normal growth in both children and adults who have CKD.

According to several clinical studies in CKD patients, rHGH treatment has been effective to:

  • Increase the levels of IGF1, which is the mediator for cell and tissue growth
  • Increase protein synthesis 
  • Improve insulin sensitivity
  • Improve lipoprotein metabolism, and decrease LDL cholesterol levels
  • Improve endothelial function via increasing nitric oxide (NO) production
  • Decrease anorexic hormones (leptin and ghrelin), resulting in better nutritional status

Therefore, recombinant HGH therapy is expected to help in catch-up growth and development in children with CKD; meanwhile, improve the morbidity and mortality in all CKD patients.

How to get recombinant HGH

There are many under-prescription rHGH products that are eligible for you and your child.

GENOTROPIN is a synthesized copy of natural HGH administered by injection under the skin, which has been used for the treatment of several disorders related to growth hormone deficiency for decades.

The portable option, Pfizer GENOTROPIN 36 IU GoQuick Pen, is a product in the disposable multidose pre-filled pen form that is now available in Thailand:

  • The product is approved by FDA for the treatment of growth hormone deficiency (GHD) in children and adults.
  • It also benefits for children with Prader-Willi syndrome, Turner syndrome, Small for gestational age, and idiopathic short stature
  • You can only buy genuine Pfizer GENOTROPIN 36 IU GoQuick Pen at pharmacies. 

Safety and concerns:

The concerns for using GENOTROPIN include skeletal abnormalities, glucose intolerance, hypertension, and hypothyroidism. So, if you have any health issues, please inform your doctor before using the product.

  • Gupta, D., Gardner, M., & Whaley-Connell, A. (2011). Role of Growth Hormone Deficiency and Treatment in Chronic Kidney Disease. Cardiorenal medicine1(3), 174–182. doi:10.1159/000329930
  • Gupta, V., & Lee, M. (2012). Growth hormone in chronic renal disease. Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism16(2), 195–203. doi:10.4103/2230-8210.93736
  • Mahesh, S., & Kaskel, F. (2008). Growth hormone axis in chronic kidney disease. Pediatric nephrology (Berlin, Germany)23(1), 41–48. doi:10.1007/s00467-007-0527-x
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