Preparing For The First Visit
Working with a medical team to find a diagnosis can be a long process that will require more than one appointment. Make better health decisions by being prepared for the first visit with each member of the medical team.
Make informed decisions about health care:
- Prepare a list of questions and concerns before the appointment
- List the most important questions first, not all questions may be answered in the first visit
- Ask questions about symptoms, possible diagnoses, tests, and treatment options
For future appointments:
- Discuss what was not addressed at the last visit
- Discuss changes in the quality of life for the patient, family, and caregivers
- Discuss health goals and other issues in the patientâs and familyâs life that may affect the health care decisions
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Growth Hormone Deficiency
Doctors check kids’ height during regular checkups. Over time, doctors can see how fast kids grow. If a child is growing much slower than most other kids the same age, this is called growth failure.
One of the most visible signs of growth failure is a height that is much shorter than most other kids the same age. This is called short stature. But some kids can have growth failure even if they don’t have short stature.
Other signs and symptoms of GH deficiency include:
- delayed puberty
- teeth that come in late
- muscle weakness
- in boys, a small penis at birth
- low blood sugars
Medications For Growth Hormone Deficiency
While there are currently no approved medicines for treating growth hormone deficiency, one is being investigated. Long-acting growth hormone molecules are being developed by a number of pharmaceutical companies. This medication could be administered less frequently than HGH injections on a daily basis.
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Long-acting growth hormones might be given once a week, twice a week, or even once a month. This could help patients achieve better results by making treatment more comfortable and regular. The long-term efficacy and safety of the drug are still being investigated. Discuss any new therapy options with your doctor, as well as the possibility of enrolling your kid in a research study.
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Besides medications, the treatment for hair loss can also include a hair transplant. In this procedure, small pieces of the scalp containing hair follicles are transferred to the bald areas. The surgery can be risky because it involves the usual risks of surgery, including shock and pain. Furthermore, it is expensive and is often not covered by insurance. But if you dont want to live with a bald area thats affecting your confidence and your appearance, hair transplant surgery may be the right option.
If the baldness is caused by a fungal infection, you can consider undergoing a hair transplant. In this procedure, tiny pieces of scalp are removed and moved to the bald spots. Despite the risks, this procedure is highly effective and is often covered by health insurance plans. A hair transplant can cost thousands of dollars, and you will most likely need to pay a large part of it out of pocket. The only downside to hair transplant surgery is the high cost.
Although alopecia is an embarrassing problem for many people, it can also be caused by trauma. People who undergo painful procedures on their hair may be at risk for traumatizing alopecia. This condition often results in thinning or falling hair. In some cases, the scalp becomes red and the scalp can even become inflamed. Antibiotics and antimalarial drugs may also be prescribed to help treat this disorder.
What Else Should I Know
Growth hormone can increase the speed of growth in a child with growth hormone deficiency. Kids who start this treatment early often can catch up more than kids who begin treatment later.
As adults, our bodies produce a much smaller amount of GH. So, many kids with GH deficiency and no other medical problems who get GH shots won’t need them as adults.
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Ghd And Gonadal Functioning
2.3.1. GHD and testicular functioning
In males, the effects of GH on testis seem to be different according to the species and the age of the individual. This is the case of rats and mice. Dwarf rats have small testis and normal spermatogenic function, suggesting that GH does not play a role in spermatogenesis during puberty and adult life, although the small testicular size may indicate that these animals have a small number of Sertoli cells, which in turn would indicate that GH may be important for the development of prepubertal testis . However, homozygous GH-deficient mouse mutants present infantile seminal vesicles, and spermatogenesis appears later in life . From this study, the authors concluded that GHD only partially affects the reproductive axis, and this affectation occurs at an early age.
Despite the fact that, in this regard, the testis seem to behave like a small hypothalamic-pituitary gland, endocrine GH promotes testicular growth and development and stimulates gametogenesis and steroidogenesis in the adult testis. These actions seem to be mediated by IGF-I, since it can recover testicular differentiation in fetal mice treated with GH antibodies and testicular growth in children with Laron syndrome .
It is also important to reflect that the GH variant GHV, seems to be the most abundant GH mRNA isoform in the human testis , while in chicken the GH 17 kDa variant is predominant .
2.3.2. GHD and ovarian functioning
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If youre experiencing memory loss, you should go to a doctor. Your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms. He or she will also ask you about your medication and any stress youre experiencing. After the exam, he or she will likely ask you to make an appointment with a neuropsychologist. If youre unable to recall the details of your doctor, you may want to consult another healthcare provider.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Growth Hormone Deficiency
The signs and symptoms of growth hormone deficiency vary based on what age you are at the onset of the condition.
Symptoms of growth hormone deficiency in infants and children
Growth hormone deficiency in infants and children results in poor growth. The main sign of GHD in children is slow height growth each year after a child’s third birthday. This means they grow less than about 1.4 inches in height a year.
Other symptoms of GHD in children and infants include:
- A younger-looking face than whats expected for their age.
- Impaired hair and nail growth.
- Delayed tooth development.
- Low blood sugar levels in infants and toddlers.
- A very small penis in newborns assigned male at birth.
Symptoms of adult-onset growth hormone deficiency
Symptoms of adult-onset GHD can be more difficult to detect. Symptoms include:
- Reduced sense of wellbeing.
- Insulin resistance, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes.
- Increase in LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which increases your risk of heart disease.
What Is The Treatment For Growth Hormone Deficiency
Children and some adults with growth hormone deficiency will benefit from growth hormone therapy. The goals of treatment are to increase growth in children and restore energy, metabolism, and body composition.
- Medication: The doctor may prescribe growth hormone, also called somatropin . The drug is given as shots a few times a week that is injected underneath the fat of the patients skin.
- Surgery: Pituitary tumors may require surgery.
- Radiation therapy: When the tumor cannot be safely removed by surgery, radiation therapy to the pituitary gland may be required.
- Follow-up care with an endocrinologist is recommended.
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Who Gets Growth Hormone Deficiency
Incidence: Growth hormone deficiency is relatively rare. About one in 4,000 to 6,000 children have GHD, and it affects about 50,000 U.S. adults.
Sex: GHD, except for one inherited subtype, affects boys and girls equally, though data shows boys are more likely to be diagnosed and treated.
Race/ethnicity: Scientists are not aware of differences across racial or ethnic groups, though data suggests that white people are more likely to be diagnosed and treated.
Risk factors: A family history of GHD or having had brain surgery or radiation therapy to the head can increase risk of GHD.
How Is Hypopituitarism Treated
Treatment for hypopituitarism depends on which pituitary hormone are deficient and the cause of the hypopituitarism. For that reason, treatment is very individualized. Your healthcare team will determine what the best treatment plan is for you. Common treatment options for hypopituitarism include:
- Hormone replacement therapy: Hormone replacement therapy aims to restore the deficient pituitary hormone to normal levels.
- Surgery: Pituitary adenomas can cause hypopituitarism. People who have pituitary adenomas may undergo surgery to remove the adenoma.
- Radiation therapy: Some pituitary adenomas can be treated using radiation therapy.
Is there a cure for hypopituitarism?
Currently, theres no known cure for hypopituitarism, but it is treatable.
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Treatment Of Growth Hormone Deficiency In Children
Recombinant GH supplements
Sometimes other pituitary hormone replacement
Recombinant GH is indicated for all children with short stature who have documented growth hormone deficiency. Dosing is usually from 0.03 to 0.05 mg/kg subcutaneously once a day. With therapy, height velocity often increases to 10 to 12 cm/year in the first year and, although it increases more slowly thereafter, remains above pretreatment rates. Therapy is continued until an acceptable height is reached or growth rate falls below 2.5 cm/year.
) should be replaced throughout childhood, adolescence, and adulthood when circulating levels of these hormones are low. Diabetes insipidus typically requires lifelong treatment with desmopressin in tablet or intranasal form due to a hypothalamic-pituitary disorder or from resistance of the kidneys… read more ). When puberty fails to occur normally, treatment with gonadal sex steroids is indicated , luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating… read more ).
GH therapy in children with short stature due to therapeutic radiation of the pituitary gland for cancer carries a theoretic risk of causing cancer recurrence. However, studies have not shown a greater-than-expected incidence of new cancers or a greater recurrence rate. GH replacement can probably be safely instituted at least 1 year after the successful completion of anticancer therapy.
Cut Down On Sugar Intake
Low HGH levels are naturally associated with an increase in insulin. Studies show that the production of growth hormone is three to four times higher in healthy people than that found in diabetic patients. This suggests a link between HGH production and blood insulin levels. HGH production is reported to be maximum at night when the blood insulin level is at its lowest. Hence, to optimize growth hormone levels, it is necessary to reduce consumption of refined carbohydrates and high sugar products, especially around nighttime
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Side Effects And Risks And Long
The most common side effects of GH treatment in GHD adults result from fluid retention, with peripheral edema, arthralgias, carpal tunnel syndrome, paresthesias, and worsening of glucose tolerance. These hormonal side effects generally respond to dose reduction. Older and more obese patients are more susceptible to side effects from GH treatment. In studies using higher than recommended doses of GH, more frequent adverse outcomes have been observed .
Benign intracranial hypertension has been linked to GH treatment in children but is rare in adults, with only one case reported . Gynecomastia has been reported in normal elderly individuals receiving GH in high doses .
Another rare but reported complication of GH therapy is macular edema in non-diabetic patients. Koller et al. reported two non-diabetic patients: one a non-obese 11-year-old girl receiving GHRT for Turners syndrome presenting with neovascularization, and an obese 31-year-old male who had traumatic hypothalamic injury and was started on GHRT 14 months prior to presenting with decreased visual acuity. Of note, both cases had their GH dose increased just prior to the onset of this complication.
Treatment Of Ghd Benefits Of Ghrt
There is a general consensus that many of the metabolic and psychological abnormalities associated with GHD can be reversed with GH replacement. Lower doses of GH may decrease the incidence of side effects from GHRT, while still achieving a clinical response to therapy . Treatment with GH results in profound changes in body composition, especially in reduced fat mass, and an increase in LBM. The decline in fat mass is most significant in visceral and trunk locations , suggesting that GHRT may reverse the central adiposity associated with GHD and potentially reduce the increased cardiovascular risk that this body composition carries . The increase in LBM is smaller than the reduction in fat mass, but appears to be more sustained .
An overall beneficial effect on serum lipid profile has been noted with GHRT in some studies, but data are inconsistent . When GHRT is added to lipid management therapy with HMG CoA reductase inhibitors , it may promote a synergistic effect . The reduction in atherosclerosis with use of GHRT has been assessed by several studies evaluating carotid IMT . In addition, GHRT has demonstrated improvement in pro-inflammatory and other cardiovascular risk markers, including C-reactive protein, apolipoprotein B, and homocysteine levels .
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Try An Arginine Supplement
According to researches, the consumption of 15-20 mg of Arginine per day has a proven history of showing increased night-time HGH production, which goes up to about 60%. This amino acid speeds up the synthesis of HGH and can naturally be found in red meat, nuts, chicken, brown rice, soybeans, and seeds. To reduce exhaustion during workout sessions, protein shakes are recommended, which provide the required Arginine supply to boost HGH levels.
Growth Hormone Deficiency Symptoms
Growth hormone deficiency is more noticeable in children because of the quick rate at which they normally grow. Children grow 2.5 inches each year on average.
Children with growth hormone deficiency grow more slowly. They usually grow less than 1.4 inches each year once they’re over three years old.
They also tend to look like children longer. They retain traits like a “baby face” and chubby build for much longer than their friends. Their hair also grows slower, and their puberty can be delayed.
A child living with growth hormone deficiency may have problems affecting their self-esteem and mental health. If left untreated, growth hormone deficiency can prevent your child from reaching their adult height, and they may develop even worse symptoms as an adult.
Adults with growth hormone deficiency have a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Lower bone density
Typically, symptoms of growth hormone deficiency mimic other conditions, especially in adulthood. You will need a thorough examination by your doctor to properly diagnose growth hormone deficiency.
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Growth Hormone Deficiency Memory Loss
While there is no perfect memory loss remedy, there are several things that you can do to prevent it. First of all, exercising regularly can help keep your lungs in good shape. People who get regular exercise have better memories, and a regular exercise program can reduce stress. Additionally, exercising can help prevent memory loss by keeping your mind active. Here are some of the best ways to make your brain healthier and keep your mind sharp. Read on to learn more. Growth Hormone Deficiency Memory Loss
Growth Hormone Deficiency Diagnosis
There are several steps involved in diagnosing growth hormone deficiency, and several other factors to consider.
Family traits. If your child isn’t growing as much each year, it might be because your whole family is shorter than average. Your child may also retain more of their “baby fat” simply because your family carries more weight naturally.
Other health conditions. Other health conditions mimic the low production of growth hormones. Thyroid hormone deficiencies and kidney disease may be the cause of your symptoms. Exploring the possibility of these other conditions may help your doctor make a proper diagnosis.
Health history. Looking at your symptoms, health history, and family health history will paint a more detailed picture. If certain conditions or traits run in your family, it can guide your doctor toward a diagnosis.
Prior surgeries, injuries, or a history of pituitary conditions can prompt your doctor to check your pituitary gland as the source of a deficiency.
Blood tests. A blood test can check your hormone levels, including your growth hormones. Blood tests are usually repeated to monitor hormone levels throughout the course of treatment.
Blood tests for adults are less accurate because your body absorbs growth hormone quickly as it circulates in the blood. A healthy person may show low growth hormone because of this.
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When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About A Hormonal Imbalance
If youre experiencing new, persistent symptoms, its important to talk to your healthcare provider. They can order tests to help determine the cause of your symptoms.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hormones are complex and powerful chemicals. If one or more of them goes out of whack, it can cause certain symptoms that make you feel like youre not in control of your body. If you have new and persistent symptoms, its important to talk to your healthcare provider. They can order some tests to see if a hormonal imbalance or another condition is the cause. The sooner you reach out for help and treatment, the sooner youll be able to feel like yourself again.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/04/2022.
Other Treatments For Growth Hormone Deficiency
In addition to growth hormone therapy, you may need other treatments for growth hormone deficiency.
For example, being very short can affect a childs self-esteem: Classmates can tease a child to the point of tears. Thats why mental and emotional therapy is often an important part of treatment. A mental health counselor or psychologist can talk you through your feelings and teach you how to cope with growth hormone deficiency.
Getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and regularly exercising are also important parts of an overall growth hormone deficiency treatment plan. Your doctor can teach you how to incorporate growth hormone injections into a healthy lifestyle.
Adult growth hormone deficiency. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Web site. . Accessed May 16, 2011.
Growth hormone deficiency. Health Guide. New York Times Web site. . Published September 13, 2009. Accessed May 16, 2011.
Growth hormone deficiency – children. MedlinePlus Web site. . Update July 26, 2010. Accessed May 16, 2011.
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