A growth hormone deficiency is classified as a medical condition.
Most of these conditions are caused by some faulty mechanism or function of the pituitary gland.
In order to understand some of the medical conditions that may result from malfunctioning of the pituitary gland found in the brain, a few anatomy basics need to be covered.
Despite its diminutive size (roughly the size of a pea or a raisin) the pituitary gland is often called the “master gland” of the body because of its regulating functions.
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The pituitary gland is located deep in the brain.
It’s responsible for regulating the functions of other hormone glands in the body’s endocrine system that include:
The pituitary gland itself produces a number of hormones as well that include:
A deficiency in any of these functions can lead to what is called growth hormone deficiency.
Because of the many functions and hormones it regulates, a number of medical issues, conditions, and diseases can be caused by a malfunctioning pituitary gland, including deficiencies.
Deficiencies often lead to either low or excessive levels, or a complete blockage of hormone production.
In some cases, a nonfunctioning hormone may also lead to HGH deficiency.
A HGH deficiency in children may lead to stunted growth.
This basically means that the pituitary gland is not producing adequate amounts for optimal function.
A deficiency may show up when a child is two to three years old and rates below average on a chart for boys or girls. Such deficiencies result in either a flat rate of growth or a slow rate.
Such children are smaller than others of the same gender and age. In older children, puberty may be delayed.
Before considering treatment for children, be informed.
A commentary written by Ph.D. David Sandberg in 2007 for the University of Michigan Health System did raise a number of issues when it came to HGH treatments for adolescents.
In the commentary, the doctor noted that HGH can increase size from roughly 1.6 inches to 2.4 inches after five years of treatment.
It should be noted that it does increase concentrations above and beyond normal levels.
Over ten years ago, the average that the cost of HGH per inch in height increase averaged $52,000, and the therapy involved daily injections!
Due to aging processes and decline in HGH, adult deficiency also occurs. According to the National Institutes of Health, such deficiencies have been linked to premature mortality.
An article written in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism specifies that a tumor in the pituitary gland is the most common cause for adult deficiency.
Such deficiencies have also been linked to other abnormalities in the cardiovascular, the cognitive, neuromuscular, skeletal, and metabolic systems.
Adult deficiency symptoms are often treated with daily injections of HGHs, much like a diabetic injects insulin on a daily basis.
According to Cedars-Sinai, the patient will be carefully monitored and undergo routine blood tests every four to eight weeks to monitor progress and determine if less or more hormone is required.
When it comes to adults, doctors will carefully consider other factors such as age, health status, and potential dangers caused by the deficiency, HGH side effects and potential before and after results before suggesting HGH therapy.
While the psychological and psychosocial ramifications of a growth hormone deficiency may affect adolescents, the cost of treatments is often counterintuitive.