Growth Hormone Deficiency

HGH Treatment for Growth Hormone Deficiency

Found in both pediatric and adult patients, growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is a condition in which a person's body does not produce the amount of growth hormone necessary for normal bone and muscle growth. There are several causes for this condition; the most common being either mutated genes or a malformed pituitary gland. However, many cases of GHD are idiopathic, meaning that the cause of the deficiency is unknown.

In children, GHD causes improper bone growth and muscle development. This leads to short stature and underdeveloped muscles. GHD does not begin to affect a child who is born with the condition until after the first few months of life. The condition extends into adulthood, and it is often responsible for delayed puberty.

Some common signs of GHD are poor growth, an immature face, and a chubby stature. Children with GHD may also experience hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or seizures.

In adults, GHD causes decreased muscle and bone density and reduced energy. It can also be responsible for obesity. Most adults with GHD went untreated in their childhood because of high costs or the unavailability of treatment.

GHD is diagnosed in several different ways. In children, a doctor may monitor that child's growth over a period of time in order to determine if their growth rate is abnormal. They also may obtain information about the mother's pregnancy, labor, and delivery. For both children and adults, a doctor may test for the presence of IGF-1 in the body -- IGF-1 production is caused by GH secretion. They may scan the pituitary gland in order to check for abnormalities. Additionally, they may keep the patient overnight in order to monitor their levels of GH secretion.

HGH treatment is widely used for both pediatric and adult GHD. It works to return growth hormone levels to those of a non-growth-hormone-deficient individual. In children, HGH can increase growth rate and promote the development of muscle. In adults, it can build muscle, increase energy, and reduce body fat. However, HGH cannot promote growth in post-pubescent individuals. After puberty, the ends of long bones fuse and quit growing.