Even world-class athletes can have a growth disorder. In the world’s most-viewed sporting event, soccer, most armchair experts agree that Lionel Messi is the world’s premier player. At only 5′ 7″, Lionel Messi can accelerate faster, cut quicker, and jump higher than almost any other professional player. He can pass or shoot from anywhere at any time. Messi is routinely double-teamed and still the biggest scoring threat in the game.
But what if Lionel Messi was almost a half foot shorter?
At age 9, it was discovered that young Lionel had stopped growing. He was diagnosed with a growth disorder and was prescribed growth hormones. The future world’s best player injected himself daily, often bringing the medicine in a cooler so he would not miss any doses. He continued therapy through age 13 and he eventually grew to 5′ 7″. Messi’s fantastic success story didn’t happen just because of human growth hormone (HGH), but it helped him get to the point where he could succeed.
Growth disorders affect thousands of people each year, many of them children. There are different types of growth disorders. Most are caused by imbalances in different types of hormones. HGH treatments can help children reach their full height potential, especially if HGH therapy is started as soon as the diagnosis is made, and continued through adolescence.
Unfortunately, we often hear about the horror stories of HGH and steroid abuse, including distorted baseball records. It is rewarding to read about one of the hidden “good stories” about HGH. The renown KIGS (Pfizer International Growth Database) studies have shown that children with growth deficiencies often can grow several inches taller if they fit the criteria for HGH and are on therapy during the growth stage years.
In a sport where the average height is 5′ 11 – 6 feet, Messi is still at the short end of the range. Despite the beating Messi takes during practice and games, he is quite resilient, which seems to demonstrate that his growth did not seem to be adversely affected by treatment.
It’s nice to see the undersized dog win!