Growth can be a huge issue in children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Physicians have long stressed the proper treatment of IBD to decrease the likelihood of these growth issues. Some have even suggested the use of growth hormone treat short stature.
Growth hormone still remains very controversial regarding its use in children with IBD. There are very few studies on the subject and the ones available do not contain enough participants to be applicable to the population as a whole. The medications can be very costly, inconvenient and have their own set of side effects or risks. Some of the side effects can include: headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, muscle pain or weakness, swelling, low blood sugar, blurred vision, dizziness, nervousness, numbness, or more serious allergic reactions.
Athos Bousvaros, MD, associate professor of pediatrics at Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, in Boston reviewed the current treatment strategies and reported to the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society. His findings indicated that the proper intervention and treatment with nutrition therapy, Remicade and appropriately timed surgical intervention provided the best results (1).
If your child has IBD it is imperative that you stay on top of their nutritional status and work to limit inflammation and flare ups by proper medical treatments. These interventions should be enough, in most cases, to eliminate the issue in children who are not genetically predisposed to short stature.