Human Growth Hormone


Human Growth Hormone Deficiency

Human growth hormone deficiency can be a partial or both conditions that may result in impaired physical development. Growth hormone is produced by a small pituitary gland situated at the bottom of the brain. Different parts of brain release other types of hormones that control the secretion of human growth hormone. When the growth hormone makes an entry in the stream of blood it stimulates the liver to secret another hormone - insulin like growth factor (IFG-1).

Human growth hormone deficiency occurs because of the disruption in the release of GH from the pituitary gland or a disruption in other hormones from the hypothalamus, which signals growth hormone release.

Causes of Human Growth Hormones Deficiency:

Following are the possible mechanisms that cause human growth hormone deficiency:

  • Insufficient production of human growth hormone by the pituitary.
  • Insufficient release of stimulatory hormone from the hypothalamus.
  • Defects in the receptors that receive the hormone in the cells of body.
  • Decrease in IGF-1 hormones.
Following are the several possible causes that produce deficiency of growth hormone:
  • A lack of oxygen at birth.
  • Sometimes it may happen because of a genetic defect, which in some instances may also be hereditary.
  • Abnormalities in the hormone receptors.
  • Diseases in the pituitary gland, the brain or the liver.
  • An autoimmune attack.
If the function of pituitary gland is not normal, then there is a reduction in the production of several other types of pituitary hormone that may lead to other conditions.

Symptoms of Human Growth Hormone Deficiency:

A noticeable slow growth (less than two inches per year) is the primary symptom of human growth hormone deficiency, although the body has normal proportion.

The child with human growth hormone deficiency may have:

  • The standing height standard deviation score is usually below -2.
  • An immature face, meaning he/she looks much younger than his/her peers.
  • Growth velocity is below the 10-25th percentile, which reflects growth deceleration.
  • Dentition is delayed.
  • The average age of pubertal onset is delayed in both boys and girls.
  • Excessive thirst with excessive urination
  • In males, the phallus may be small.
  • Absent or delayed sexual development in an adolescent
  • Increased urine volume
  • Headaches
An adult with human growth hormone deficiency may have:
  • Reduced lean body mass and increased weight, especially around trunk
  • Cool peripheries
  • Thin and dry skin
  • Poor venous access
  • Depressed affect
  • Reduced muscle mass and strength and reduced exercise performance
  • Labile emotions
Every child experience deficiency symptoms differently and may resemble other problems and medical conditions. Also it is most important that growth deficiency does not affect the intelligence of the child.

Medical Treatment for Growth Hormone Deficiency:

Synthetic growth hormone can be used for children having human growth deficiency. The assistance of a pediatric endocrinologist is necessary for this treatment. This treatment is generally considered as a safe treatment with rare side effects.

Synthetic growth hormone is given when the deficiency is an isolated growth hormone deficiency. If it is not isolated other hormone replacement may also be required.

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