What Is Growth Hormone Deficiency?

What Is Growth Hormone Deficiency?

If the Pituitary Gland does not produce enough Growth Hormone then Growth Hormone deficiency
occurs. The Pituitary Gland is often referred to as the, “Master Gland” because it controls the balance of hormones.

The function of Growth Hormone is to help a person grow, balance the metabolism and enhance social well-being.

Some people are born with a Growth hormone deficiency. Whereas, a medical condition or traumatic brain injury may cause Growth Hormone deficiency in others. Children with Growth Hormone deficiency will be much shorter and usually look younger than their peers. Growth Hormone deficient children have normal body proportions but may be overweight.  As children with Growth Hormone deficiency mature the onset of puberty may come late or may not come at all.  Growth Hormone deficiency symptoms in adults can vary, and many adults who have Growth Hormone deficiency may experience a combination of the symptoms listed below;

  • Baldness (in men) (Thinning/ Receding hairline women)
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Decrease in libido
  • Decreased muscle mass and muscle weakness
  • Difficult to concentration and lack of memory
  • Dry, thin skin
  • Elevated triglyceride levels
  • Fatigue and/or tiredness
  • Forgetfulness/ Fibro Fog
  • Heart problems
  • High levels of LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol
  • Insulin resistance
  • Lower tolerance to exercise, especially aerobic exercise
  • Reduced bone density
  • Sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Very low energy levels and exhaust easily
  • Weight gain, especially around the waistline

A doctor that suspects their patient has a Growth Hormone Deficiency may order the following tests;Growth Hormone Stimulation Test (the test takes several hours to complete and measures the Insulin-like growth factor (IGF1) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 (IGFBP3)).

An MRI of the Hypothalamus and the Pituitary Gland.

Lab tests to measure other hormone levels.

On a personal note my IGF 1 was always within normal range but I failed the Growth Hormone Stimulation Test. To mimic the Growth Hormone my body should produce naturally, I inject Humatrope (Growth Hormone) daily. My energy level has improved with Humatrope, Growth Hormone (by Eli Lilly and Company) but Growth Hormone has not been my magic in a bottle. However, women in an online Sheehan’s Syndrome Support Group I belong to have experienced the magic in the bottle from Growth Hormone.

If test results conclude a person has a Growth Hormone deficiency then the doctor usually will prescribe Growth Hormone. Prescription Growth Hormone used to treat Growth Hormone deficiency is delivered through injections (shots).  Growth Hormone injections are usually injected into the upper thigh or stomach region daily.

Depending on the cause of the Growth Hormone deficiency  the treatment plan may last several years or a lifetime. During Growth Hormone treatment the patient needs to be monitored by their doctor.

Serious side effects to Growth Hormone growth  are rare. Some common side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Fluid retention
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Slippage of the hip bones

If a person has a Growth Hormone deficiency they may also have deficiencies of other hormones:

  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH)
  • Growth Hormone
  • Anti-diuretic Hormone (ADH)
  • Oxytocin
  • Prolactin
  • Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
  • Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
  • Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH)

Hopefully, I  have helped brought some clarity to: What Is Growth Hormone?

You can read more about the different types of hormones the Pituitary Gland releases, HERE.

You can read more about HypoGal at HypoGal.com

P.S. Thank you to my readers that have guided me with my grammar and typos. I am certainly not a grammar gal 🙂

 

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