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Growth Hormone Deficiency

It is possible to have either total or partial growth hormone deficiency, which can affect physical development.

The pituitary gland (hypophysis), a gland situated on the lower part of the brain creates growth hormone.

The secretion of growth hormone is under the control of other hormones produced in a separate area of the brain. Upon entering the bloodstream, the growth hormone causes the liver to produce another hormone called ‘insulin-like growth factor’, or mainly IGF-1.

In older individuals, hormone production is naturally lower.

What are the factors that lead to insufficient growth hormone levels?

Growth hormone deficiencies can be caused by many things:

  • The hypothalamus not releasing enough stimulatory hormone.
  • Inadequate manufacture of growth hormone in the pituitary gland.
  • Lower amount of IGF-1 hormones.
  • The problem may also be due to problems of reception from the cells that ‘receive’ the hormones.

A number of issues may cause a deficiency in growth hormone, such as:

  • a rare genetic defect, which can sometimes be hereditary.
  • oxygen deprivation at the time of birth.
  • pituitary disorders, or pathology involving the brain or liver.
  • the hormone receptors contain unusual factors.
  • autoimmunity issues.
  • quite frequently, though, the exact cause is unclear or there are multiple factors.

When the pituitary gland is not working properly, other conditions may arise as a result of levels of other types of pituitary hormones declining.

How does a growth hormone deficiency manifest itself?

Cases of complete growth hormone insufficiency are frequently found when the patient is a baby. When the child is born, his stature and size are not abnormal. Although, there will be a reduction in the growth rate of the child, or growth disturbance between the age of three to nine months. Later, they have difficulty gaining weight, there is a delay in tooth development, and a thick layer of fat may appear under the skin. This side effect is not necessarily apparent when growth hormone deficiency is incomplete.

What is the solution?

All parents are capable of taking measurements of their youngster’s growth. But health practitioners should regularly conduct a growth examination that follows certain guidelines, because home measurements may not be accurate, and it can be difficult to correctly interpret the ‘growth curves’, or the tables utilized to accurately measure growth.

In case your youngster’s development seems to be problematic, talk to your doctor.

In what manner is a diagnosis of abnormal growth conducted?

The youngster’s height and weight are recorded and compared with development curves. The growth of all family member’s will be taken into account including the parents’ weight and height as infants, at puberty, and as adults.

The physician will inquire as to the eating and exercising habits of the child, as well as the child’s bowel functions and social interactions.

Next, the youngster is assessed to detect any ailment, along with progress in puberty and teeth formation.

The child’s left hand may be X-rayed to evaluate bone growth. The youngster’s ‘bone age’ might not match their chronological age.

If a physcian believes there is a deficiency in growth hormone production then further appointments with a pediatric specialist must be consulted. IGF-1 levels are measured in pediatric units and then more blood tests are given to find other probable diseases. A test of growth-hormone stimulation will be carried out, and it is normally necessary to have two such tests before a growth hormone deficiency can be diagnosed.

What is the prognosis for the future?

As the result of a low level of growth hormone that goes without treatment, the child will experience severely stunted growth. The youngster’s potential to achieve greater stature is dependent upon the severity of this condition. When treatment is begun early, most likely the child will gain a few extra centimeters, helping him attain the normal range for height.

What is the treatment for insufficient growth hormone levels?

Treatment is available at special pediatric units. A child must receive an injection of a synthetic growth hormone daily until he or she stops growing. Parents are instructed in how to give these shots. It is essential to calculate the precise amount of growth hormone required, and the child will require careful supervision in case of side effects, although side effects are highly unlikely. Upon completion of this treatment, the child must be re-evaluated to determine if further treatment is necessary during adulthood.

What drugs are prescribed in this therapy?

Artificial HGH which is also referred to as somatropin.