Human Growth Hormone – or HGH is a peptide hormone found in the pituitary gland of the brain, its main function is to take care of cells for growth . This includes increasing height, muscle mass, controlling insulin release, taking care of calcium retention – for bone strength, and raising the immunity level in the body. The fact most people find interesting is that this hormone also reduces body fat and reduces the process of aging. The secretion is highest during puberty, when adolescents experience a growth surge. The secretion slows after the age of thirty.
Though this appears simple, it is in fact a matter of how you judge whether your child will grow later, or will he remain short till it actually becomes too late to take proper care and action. At times there may be some obvious reason why the growth in your child is inhibited examples include - a severe infection, a brain tumor, a surgery or may be radiation given for a condition like leukemia. There are some hormonal conditions that may also work against the growth potential of your child and the significant symptoms that may point towards these disorders include - a delayed onset of puberty; delay in falling of milk teeth and appearance of permanent teeth , the child may appear younger for his age group and at times may put on weight around the waist. This is when you need to take immediate action to see your general physician, monitor your child’s diet, exercise and sleep.
When you take care to implement a proper diet complemented with exercise and the required hours of sleep – there will definitely be a good amount of gradual growth with all over health improvement. These three factors are all important for the growth of your child.
What is a proper diet?
Adolescents are at an age when they enjoy their independence – either by going away to join the high school or going away to college and independently deciding what they would rather eat - which is usually high fat snacks or junk food. What their body needs to accelerate growth is diet rich in vegetables like, spinach, carrots, broccoli, green pepper, beans and cucumbers. Fruits like oranges, lemons, apricots, apples, papayas, peaches, grapes and pomegranate eaten in sizable portions will help. Milk and its products like yogurt and cheese should be part of daily meal plans.
The food needs to have enough fibre, so, instead of refined flours - whole wheat flours are better with generous amount of wheat and oat bran. Lean meat and steamed fish are better options. Eating 6 – 7 smaller meals is ideal as heavy meals tend to store fat and decrease the amount of hormone released into the blood stream. Adding a multi-vitamin pill for a few months though somewhat controversial may also help in some cases.
One of the best ways to induce the body to produce more HGH for is the right type of exercise. This does not necessarily mean pumping of weights or excessive workouts at a gym – rather - exercise which will work on the spinal column and the knee and leg will be excellent to lengthen the legs. These will include – kicking, jumping, cycling, pull-ups, gymnastics, swimming, and jumping rope.
This aspect is usually overlooked as a very unimportant part of stimulating growth – it is very important that the body rests enough for the increase of height. Studies prove that HGH is produced during the later stages of sleep so when a person does not sleep enough, the HGH production will suffer a setback. A minimum of eight hours is the minimum requirement. Although excess sleep will be a disadvantage since it slows the metabolism. Avoid large meals before bedtime as digesting a heavy meal will repress the production of the growth hormone. A glass of milk before bedtime may help. Nutritionally balanced small meals will be best.
There are many artificial growth hormones like Glutamine, agrinine, ornithine niacin etc. which are generally drugs used by body builders. Some of them are used to boost immunity or fight cancer or to treat tissues after a surgery. These drugs are not meant to be taken by normal adolescents especially without consulting a specialist as they have many harmful side effects – like low toxicity, muscle spasms, hair loss, high blood pressure, dizziness and many more.
What do you feel - is it true that children of short stature parents can grow tall with proper diet and exercise? Do you think it is right to use artificial drugs?
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