HGH Deficiency is a rare disorder in which GH (growth hormone) is secreted in inadequate amounts from the anterior pituitary gland—a tiny gland found at the base of the brain that produces a number of hormones.
It’s possible that HGH deficiency may exist from birth due to structural defects within the brain or from genetic mutations.
However, one can acquire it later in life as well through, for example, tumour growth within the brain, radiation therapy, infection, and trauma. There’s another category of HGH deficiency, but it doesn’t have any diagnosable or known cause.
Childhood-onset HGH deficiency can be idiopathic, acquired, or congenital, resulting in maturation delays, short stature, and growth retardation. But how can one detect it? Simple; the bones of the affected individual don’t lengthen as fast.
Adult-onset HGH deficiency is either acquired from a trauma or a pituitary tumour to the brain. However, it can also be idiopathic.
A range of different symptoms characterises it, for example, reduced muscle strength, osteoporosis, altered body composition, reduced energy levels, lipid abnormalities like increased LDL cholesterol, impaired cardiac function, and insulin resistance.
However, HGH deficiency can be treated through injectable HGH. Individuals suffering from idiopathic HGH deficiency don’t have any known cause. While genetic tests may hint towards a congenital anomaly, this information is useless because it won’t affect the treatment.
However, retesting children for HGH deficiency is always advisable because there are chances that GH levels may become normal after they transition from paediatric to adult care.
Symptoms of HGH deficiency in adults
While adults don’t have to worry about growing taller, HGH deficiency still affects their health in several different ways. Here are some symptoms of HGH deficiency in adults:
- Decreased energy
- Decreased exercise performance
- Increased fat, especially around the belly
- Lower strength and muscle mass
- Mild bone loss
- Moodiness, mild depression, and decreased wellbeing
- Sleep-related problems
- Thinning skin
Causes of adult HGH deficiency
Adults having HGH deficiency fall in one of the following categories:
- Childhood-onset: HGH deficiency developed during childhood and has sustained.
- Adult-onset: HGH deficiency began after reaching adulthood.
If the HGH deficiency has been present since birth, this means that there may be a genetic syndrome, for example, defects in the gene responsible for creating growth hormone. This may also mean that the pituitary gland isn’t normal.
As mentioned before, causes of HGH deficiency can occur at any age, damaging the pituitary gland or hypothalamus (the part of the brain that controls the pituitary). This damage may be caused by a head injury, radiation treatment, surgery, or a tumor.
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