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Signs and Symptoms of Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency

Major Symptoms of Adult-Onset Growth Hormone deficiency

You may be wondering if the unusual symptoms you are feeling lately may be due to growth hormone deficiency. Growth hormone is now widely recognized as an important factor in the maintenance of health and well-being. However, research shows that most people won’t experience the debilitating effects of growth hormone deficiency during their lifetime as the condition is not a cause of aging but rather serious illness or injury. If you want to learn about growth hormone deficiency signs and symptoms and what clinics like the Nexel Medical can do about this problem, keep reading.

About growth hormone deficiency in children

Growth hormone deficiency manifests differently in childhood than it does in adulthood. For normal development, there needs to be an adequate amount of circulating growth hormones in the body. The main symptom of growth hormone deficiency in children is stunted growth and developmental problems. This is a result of insufficient amounts of this important hormone in the body that is normally secreted by the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is a small gland located at the bottom of the hypothalamus, at the base of the brain. Any damage to the pituitary gland will cause a drop in growth hormone levels that could be dangerous for children.

Growth hormone deficiency in adults

Although it would be natural to assume that there is no need for a growth hormone in the body once the growth process is over and we’ve reached adult height and weight, this is simply not the case. The human growth hormone plays a vital role in overall health up until old age. Damage to the pituitary gland from tumors is the most common cause of growth hormone deficiency in adults. People also tend to experience a decline in growth hormone levels that naturally come with age, but researchers agree that this decline is insignificant and shouldn’t cause any problems. However, damage to the pituitary gland will definitely cause major symptoms that require immediate treatment from clinics such as the Nexel Medical. According to an article published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, growth hormone deficiency has been associated with abnormalities of:

  • Neuropsychiatric and cognitive functioning

  • Cardiovascular functioning

  • The neuromuscular system

  • The skeletal system

Metabolic functioning

All these problems can be significantly reversed with growth hormone therapy. Growth hormone is now widely recognized as a hormone playing a role in the regulation of body composition, energy levels, and normal mental functioning.

Causes and symptoms of growth hormone deficiency

According to current research, 65% of all cases of growth hormone deficiency are caused by pituitary tumors. Other common causes are infections of the pituitary gland, pituitary hemorrhage, and idiopathic growth hormone deficiency. Traumatic brain injury may also lead to growth hormone deficiency in some cases. The clinical features or signs and symptoms of growth hormone deficiency are many and may seem unspecific at first. Those suspecting problems with the pituitary gland and growth hormone deficiency should look out for the following:

  • Cognitive changes (memory, processing, speed, attention)

  • Mood changes (depression, anxiety)

  • Social withdrawal

  • Fatigue and lack of strength

  • Neuromuscular dysfunction

  • Decreased bone mineral density

  • Decreased sweating

  • Weight gain and muscle loss

  • Metabolic changes (insulin resistance, dyslipidemia)

  • Treatment of growth hormone deficiency

Growth hormone deficiency in adults is usually treated with growth hormone replacement therapy. The hormone is in such cases administered intravenously or through dermal implants. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that administering growth hormone to patients with growth hormone deficiency resulted in a reduction of visceral body fat by 30%. The researchers also noticed an improvement in bone metabolism and a decline in psychiatric complaints in these patients.

Why growth hormone pills don’t work?

Taking oral supplements claiming to contain the human growth hormone won’t work simply because the majority of it will be digested by your gastrointestinal tract before it gets the chance to reach your bloodstream. This is mainly because the human growth hormone is a protein and all proteins are broken down by the digestive tract. This was confirmed by studies as stated in an FDA-published article explaining how growth hormone administered to dairy cows cannot affect humans.

Conclusion

The human growth hormone is an important hormone for the maintenance of health, metabolism, and mental functioning. Studies on growth hormone deficiency show that most people have adequate levels of this hormone in their bodies. Although a decline in growth hormone levels comes with age, this decline is not enough to cause major changes in a person’s health and well-being. On the other hand, structural damage to the pituitary gland will cause some of the major conditions and symptoms of growth hormone deficiency. In such cases, growth hormone replacement therapy is highly advised. Clinics such as Nexel Medical are among many that offer different hormone replacement therapies including for growth hormone deficiencies.

References

Hormone Replacement Therapy Clinic

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23435439

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3183535/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19001512

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8432773

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ProductSafetyInformation/ucm130321.htm



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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]