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February 25, 2006

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Question from Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa:

I am 25 years old and was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 11. I take insulin injections twice a day. I am only 1.68 meters (5 feet, 5 inches) tall and would like to use a product like growth booster/enhancer to grow a bit taller. Both my parents are taller than 1.85 meters (6 feet) and I have a 15 year old non-diabetic brother who is already taller than me. I am not sure what impact this might have on my sugar levels. Is it better to go for hormone injections?

Answer:

It is common to be shorter than predicted height with diabetes onset prior to puberty. Whether you would respond to growth hormone or not depends on whether you have fused your growth plates. That can be determined by a plain x-ray of your hand. If the growth plates are fused, there is no benefit in receiving growth hormone. Based on your age, you probably have fused your growth plates. I would recommend you follow this up with a conversation with your physician.

JTL