GROUP THERAPY
GROMMET
allowed to fall out on their own as the
hole
in
the
eardrum
closes,
6-12
months after insertion.
group therapy
Any treatment of psy-
chological problems in which a group of
patients meets regularly with a therapist.
Interaction among group members is
considered therapeutic. Group therapy
may be useful for people with personal-
ity problems and for sufferers from
alcohol dependence, drug dependence,
anxiety disorders,
and
eating disorders.
growing pains
Vague aches and pains
that occur in the limbs of children. The
pains are usually felt at night and most
often affect the calves of children aged
between 6-12. The cause of growing
pains is unknown, but they do not seem
to be related to the process of growth
itself. Growing pains are of no medical
significance and require no treatment.
Limb pain that occurs in the morning,
causes a limp, or prevents normal use
of the limb is not due to growing pains
and should be assessed by a doctor.
growth
Abnormal proliferation of cells
in a localized area (see
tumour
)
.
Also,
an increase in size, usually as a result of
increasing age (see
growth, childhood).
growth,
childhood
The increase in
height and weight as a child develops.
The period of most rapid growth occurs
before birth. After birth, although growth
is still rapid in the first few years of life,
especially in the first year, the rate of
growth steadily decreases.
Puberty
marks
another major period of growth, which
continues until adult height and weight
are reached, usually at about age 16-17
in girls and 19-21 in boys.
Body shape changes during childhood
because different areas grow at different
rates. For example, at birth, the head is
already about three quarters of its adult
size; it grows to almost full size during
the first year. Thereafter, it becomes
proportionately smaller because the
body grows at a much faster rate.
Growth can be influenced by
heredity
and by environmental factors such as
nutrition and general health.
Hormones
also play an important role, particularly
growth hormone, thyroid hormones,
and,
at puberty, the
sex hormones
.
A chronic illness, such as
cystic fibro-
sis,
may retard growth. Even a minor
illness can slow growth briefly, although
the growth rate usually catches up when
the child recovers. In some cases, slow
growth may be the only sign that a child
is ill or malnourished, in which case it
is known as
failure to thrive.
However,
short stature
does not necessarily indi-
cate poor health. Abnormally rapid
growth is rare. Usually, it is a familial
trait, but it may occasionally indicate an
underlying disorder, such as a pituitary
gland tumour causing
gigantism.
(See
also
age; child development.)
growth factor
Any of various chemicals
involved in stimulating new cell growth
and maintenance. Some growth factors,
such as vascular endothelial growth fac-
tor, which stimulates the formation of
new blood vessels, are important in the
growth and spread of cancers.
growth hormone
A substance that is
produced by the
pituitary gland
and
which stimulates normal body growth
and
development.
Growth
hormone
stimulates the production of protein in
muscle cells and the release of energy
from the breakdown of fats. Oversecre-
tion of growth hormone results in
gigantism
if it occurs before puberty or
acromegaly
if it occurs after.
Synthetic growth hormone given by
injection may be used to treat
short
stature
when the cause is a pituitary dis-
order or a genetic disorder.
GROWTH HORMONE
G
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