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Human Growth Hormone Deficiency Symptoms

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What is human growth hormone deficiency and can it be treated in children?

Side-effects from growth hormone therapy are infrequent and tend to occur when the dose is too high. Fluid retention and discomfort in the joints are reported, but decreasing the dose temporarily can relieve these symptoms. Growth hormone treatment can also increase blood sugar levels. A small number of people can have increased pressure in the brain that can cause headaches and blurred vision. Stopping treatment will resolve this problem.

Taking growth hormone will not cause any increase in height in adults.

How Is Gh Deficiency Treated In A Child

Your child’s healthcare provider will consider his or her age, overall health, and other factors when advising treatment. Your child may need to see a pediatric endocrinologist. This is a doctor with extra training in treating children with hormone problems. This specialist will also have the best equipment to accurately measure your child’s growth from month to month.

Treatment is done with daily injections of synthetic growth hormone. Results are often seen as soon as 3 to 4 months after treatment starts. The treatment lasts several years, usually until late puberty when growing is finished. The earlier the treatment is started, the better the chances that a child will have a normal or near-normal adult height that matches his or her family pattern.

Not all children respond well to growth hormone treatment. GH therapy does not make a person taller than his or her parents.

How We Treat Growth Hormone Deficiency

Our physicians are focused on child-centered care, and we’re known for our science-driven approach. Our experienced doctors know that growth hormone deficiencies are complex problems that can take different forms from patient to patient. Such an individualized illness may demand several thorough diagnostic tests and treatment specifically tailored to your child.

Typically, treatment of growth hormone deficiency involves receiving regular injections of synthetic human growth hormone, and children receive daily injections. Treatment usually lasts several years, although results are often seen as soon as three to four months after the injections are started.

The earlier treatment for growth hormone deficiency is started, the better chance the child will have of attaining her normal or near-normal adult height. However, not all children respond well to growth hormone treatment.

Children who have mutations that make their cells unresponsive to the growth hormone may be treated with injections of synthetic human IGF-1 instead.

  • These injections are reserved for patients who are extremely short and have very low IGF-1 levels, but who passed their growth hormone stimulation testing.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that therapy with growth hormone is medically and ethically acceptable for children:

  • with classic growth hormone deficiency
  • awaiting who have chronic renal insufficiency

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Causes Of Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency

Causes of adult growth hormone deficiency can be divided into three categories, which include:

  • Congenital causes of adult growth hormone deficiency include genetic defects or brain structure defects, such as:
  • Agenesis of the corpus callosum
  • Empty Sella syndrome
  • Acquired causes of growth hormone deficiency include:
  • Tumor in the pituitary gland or hypothalamus
  • Adult growth hormone deficiency can occur due to unknown reasons .
  • What Are The Risk Factors For Growth Hormone Deficiency

    What Are the Symptoms Low Growth Hormone?

    Unfortunately, most cases of growth hormone deficiency arent preventable. Certain risk factors can increase you or your childs likelihood of developing acquired GHD, including:

    • Cancer treatment before reaching adult height.
    • Radiation to your head or brain.
    • Total body irradiation.
    • Surgery to your brain, especially the central region of your brain where your pituitary gland is located.

    If any of these risk factors apply to you or your child, its important to talk to your healthcare provider about the signs and symptoms of GHD to look out for.

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    Diagnosis Tests For Ghd

    Genetic testing, blood levels, and pituitary stimulating tests work well for diagnosing GHD in children. These along with the obvious growth concerns tend to make the more obvious and sometimes severe symptoms easier to interpret. There also exists the concept of partial GHD in children, meaning the symptoms are less severe, but are often still treated with rHGH.

    Adult GHD however, is a multifactorial disorder usually resulting from pituitary adenomas or some other pituitary gland treatment. Some discussion has arisen regarding partial GHD in adults, but it is harder to diagnosis when in combination with obesity, increasing age, and without other additional pituitary hormone deficits. Also, since the adult is already at full height and maturity, the obvious growth-impairment symptoms are lacking. Some tests to help with diagnosis include:

    • Comprehensive biochemical testing to check for lipid imbalance, increased LDL cholesterol, atherosclerosis, reduced insulin sensitivity, and metabolic syndrome
    • MRI scans to reveal any structural abnormalities or tumor in the brain
    • Pulmonary function tests to check lung muscle capacity
    • Medical history to determine any history of head trauma
    • Insulin tolerance test

    Benefits Of Human Growth Hormone Including More Muscle & Less Fat

    By Annie Price, CHHC

    If youre a sports fan, youve probably heard of human growth hormone more commonly known as HGH and associate it with cheating and steroid use.

    However, did you know that HGH is a natural testosterone booster thats produced on its own and provides many important benefits? Its true.

    Is human growth hormone good for you?

    Natural HGH benefits are major. Its actually vital to cellular growth and regeneration throughout our entire lives.

    Growth hormone makes sure that our muscles, bones and fat tissues stay in a healthy balance.

    The study of human growth hormone is a little more than 100 years old, and synthetic human growth hormone was first developed in the 1980s and approved by the FDA for specific uses in adults and children.

    Lets find out why.

    Also Check: How To Start Taking Hormones

    What Are The Complications Of Growth Hormone Deficiency

    Left untreated, growth hormone deficiency in children may lead to short stature and delayed puberty.

    Despite proper treatment, people with adult-onset growth hormone deficiency have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Healthy living, such as eating a balanced diet and participating in routine exercise, can help reduce this risk.

    People with adult-onset GHD also have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Because of this, they have a higher risk of developing bone fractures from minor injuries or falls. To decrease these risks, its important to have a diet thats rich in calcium and to take vitamin D supplements, as recommended by your healthcare provider.

    What Is The Prognosis For Growth Hormone Deficiency

    Signs of Growth hormone Deficiency

    For children with growth hormone deficiency , the earlier the condition is treated, the better the chance that a child will grow to near-normal adult height. Many children gain four or more inches during the first year of treatment and three or more inches during the next two years of treatment. The rate of growth then slowly decreases.

    People with adult-onset GHD generally have a good prognosis and can lead a healthy life if GHD is treated properly.

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    Growth Hormone For Children

    Some children lack sufficient natural growth hormone to grow to their full height. Taking synthesised growth hormone can help them reach their full height. For example, children may be prescribed human growth hormone in cases of poor growth due to growth hormone deficiency, Turners syndrome, and kidney failure.However, research suggests that a child with normal levels of growth hormone, who takes the synthesised version, will not grow any taller than they would have naturally, unless they take very large amounts.Children who are experiencing stunted or slowed growth should have their natural growth hormone levels checked by medical professionals before they are prescribed any medication for their condition.

    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.

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    Which Children Are At Risk For Gh Deficiency

    A child is more at risk for GH deficiency if he or she has any of these:

    • Delayed puberty

    It is important to note that GH deficiency does not affect the child’s intelligence.

    The symptoms of GH deficiency can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

    Symptoms And Signs Of Growth Hormone Deficiency

    Human Growth Hormone Deficiency in Adults: My Diagnosis Story · The ...

    Manifestations of growth hormone deficiency depend on the patient’s age, the underlying etiology, and the specific hormone deficiencies.

    Growth hormone deficiency itself typically manifests as growth failure, sometimes along with delay in tooth development. Height is below the 3rd percentile, and growth velocity is < 6 cm/year before age 4 years, < 5 cm/year from age 4 to 8 years, and < 4 cm/year before puberty. Although of small stature, a child with hypopituitarism retains normal proportionality between upper and lower body segments. Skeletal maturation, assessed by bone age determination, is > 2 years behind chronologic age.

    Other abnormalities may be present, depending on the underlying defect, and the child may have delayed or absent pubertal development. Weight gain may be out of proportion to growth, resulting in relative obesity. Neonates who have congenital defects of the pituitary or hypothalamus may have hypoglycemia , hyperbilirubinemia, midline defects , or micropenis, as well as manifestations of other endocrine deficiencies.

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    Deficiency Symptoms Causes And Risk

    Signs and symptoms of growth hormone deficiency vary with age, and children can have different symptoms than an adult. Children being significantly shorter than other children their age and growing less than two inches per year are common symptoms of growth hormone deficiency.

    Children with normal growth hormone levels typically grow about 2.5 inches a year from age 1 until they hit puberty, when they can grow up to four inches a year. However, a decline in human growth hormone does not have any impact on a childs intelligence.

    Other symptoms of growth hormone deficiency in children include:

    • Facial features may appear younger than children who are the same age
    • Delayed puberty, sometimes will not go through puberty
    • Increased fat around the stomach and face
    • Prominent forehead

    Adults may experience a combination of symptoms from human growth hormone deficiency, including:

    • Increased weight, especially around the waist

    Causes and Risk Factors

    A deficiency can be caused by damage to the pituitary gland or hypothalamus that occurred before a child was born. This congenital cause is due to genetic error, so the risk of this occurring is increased if one or both parents also have a deficiency.

    It can also be caused by something that occurred during or after birth . There are also several possible acquired causes.

    A child is generally more at risk for growth hormone deficiency if he or she has a brain tumor, brain injury or radiation treatment to the head.

    Key Points About Gh Deficiency In Children

    • Growth hormone deficiency is when the pituitary gland doesn’t make enough growth hormone. GH is needed to stimulate growth of bone and other tissues.
    • GH deficiency does not affect a child’s intelligence.
    • The main sign of GH deficiency is slow height growth each year after a child’s 3rd birthday. A child with GH deficiency may also have a younger-looking face and a chubby body build.
    • Treatment is done with daily injections of synthetic growth hormone. Results are often seen as soon as 3 to 4 months after treatment starts. The treatment lasts several years, usually until late puberty when growing is finished.
    • The earlier the treatment is started, the better the chances that a child will have a normal or near-normal adult height that matches his or her family pattern.
    • If untreated, GH deficiency can cause a child to not reach his or her normal adult height.

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    Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    You and your family are key players in your childs medical care. Its important that you share your observations and ideas with your childs health care provider and that you understand your providers recommendations.

    If your child is experiencing symptoms of growth hormone deficiency and youve set up an appointment, you probably already have some ideas and questions on your mind. But at the appointment, it can be easy to forget the questions you wanted to ask. Its often helpful to jot them down ahead of time so that you can leave the appointment feeling like you have the information you need.

    If your child is old enough, you may want to suggest that she write down what she wants to ask her health care provider, too.

    Some of the questions you may want to ask include:

    • Whats causing my childs growth hormone deficiency?
    • Will you be prescribing growth hormone replacement therapy?
    • Are there any side effects or potentially dangerous risks to treatment?
    • How long will my child have to remain on medication?
    • How much can I expect my child to grow?

    When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Growth Hormone Deficiency

    Growth Hormone Deficiency – Definition, Causes, Symptoms, Testing

    There are many reasons for slow growth and below-average height in children. At times, slow growth is normal and temporary, such as right before puberty starts. If youre concerned about your childs rate of growth, see a pediatric endocrinologist or healthcare provider. They can help find out if your childs rate of growth is cause for concern.

    If youre an adult and are experiencing symptoms of growth hormone deficiency , talk to your healthcare provider.

    If you or your child have been diagnosed with GHD, youll need to see your healthcare provider regularly to make sure your treatment is working properly.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    If youre noticing a lack of growth in your child, its important to talk to their healthcare provider as soon as possible. While it may be unlikely that growth hormone deficiency is the cause, any concerning changes are worth evaluating. People with GHD who are diagnosed early have the best outlook and usually lead healthy lives. If you have any questions about what to expect with your childs growth, dont be afraid to reach out to their provider. Theyre there to help.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/21/2022.


    Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy

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    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
    • low blood sugars

    D Lipid And Lipoprotein Metabolism

    1. Plasma lipid and lipoprotein profile in adult GH deficiency. The findings from studies comparing plasma lipids and lipoproteins in GH-deficient adults with those in age-matched healthy controls are summarized in . Elevated concentrations of total cholesterol , low density lipoprotein cholesterol , and apolipoprotein B have been observed in a substantial proportion of patients compared with those in age- and sex-matched controls or with the predicted range . HDL-C levels tend to be low and TG levels high compared with those in healthy controls . Thus, GH deficiency appears to be associated with a lipid profile known to be related to premature atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.

    GH replacement resulted in a decrease in the TC concentration in six of the seven studies and was accompanied by significant decreases in LDL-C and ApoB . In addition, GH therapy was associated with an increase in HDL-C, which reached significance in two of these trials . Similar findings were reported from a small open study . The plasma concentrations of TG and ApoA did not change significantly after GH treatment however, there was a tendency for reduced TG with GH treatment in those patients with elevated TG concentrations at baseline . In patients with CO GH deficiency, TC did not significantly change, although there was a tendency for decreased levels after 6 months of GH treatment .

    ii. Open trials lasting more than 12 months

    iii. Lipoprotein

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    Best Ways To Increase Hgh Naturally

    Youre probably wondering, how can I naturally increase HGH? Here are some of the top ways:

    1. High-Intensity Exercise

    Research suggests that the exercise-induced growth hormone plus endurance exercise associated with load, intensity, duration and frequency are the determining factors in the regulation of HGH secretion.

    What triggers HGH?

    An exercise intensity above lactate threshold and for a minimum of 10 minutes elicits the greatest stimulus to the secretion of HGH. HIIT workouts are effective in promoting beneficial well-being, health and positive training outcomes, while stimulating HGH.

    2. L-glutamine

    Supplementing with L-glutamine is known for enhancing exercise performance, maintaining acid-base balance and increasing the storage of glycogen in muscle.

    In an Iranian study, 30 healthy non-athlete males were randomly divided into placebo and glutamine supplementation groups and put through the same three days a week eight-week resistance training program.

    Both groups increased in performance, but the glutamine groups showed greater increases in lower- and upper-body strength, explosive muscle power, blood testosterone, IGF-1, and HGH compared to the placebo group.

    3. L-arginine

    Most studies have shown when administering oral L-arginine to participants, arginine alone increases the resting growth hormone levels at least 100 percent, while exercise can increase growth hormone levels by 300 percent to 500 percent.

    4. A-GPC

    What is the best HGH supplement?

    5. Laughter

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