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Growth Hormone Deficiency: What You Need to Know
Monday, February 1st, 2016

Growth hormone is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland to stimulate growth and cell reproduction. Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) takes place when the pituitary gland cannot supply the amount of growth hormone required by the body. This medical condition is more prevalent in children and occurs in 1 in 7,000 births, but adults can also be affected by it. GHD is treatable and children often recover very well from it, especially if the disease is detected and addressed early on.

Growth Hormone Deficiency in Children and Adults

In newborns, GHD may manifest in the form of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar and micropenis. Children born with cleft palates and other physical defects on the face and skull often have decreased growth hormone levels, so they are also more likely to have GHD. Later infancy and early childhood are usually marked with insufficient weight gain or inappropriate weight loss. Children with GHD typically have rounder, younger faces and are shorter than their peers. Should the condition remain untreated, they may experience delayed puberty or halted sexual development.
Symptoms of growth hormone deficiency in adults include diminished lean body mass and reduced bone strength. Some people with GHD also suffer from tiredness, lack of stamina, and sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. Not only that, they can also experience various psychological manifestations of the condition, such as depression, lack of concentration, poor memory, and episodes of emotional distress or anxiety.

What Causes Growth Hormone Deficiency?

GHD present at birth has no identifiable cause. Acquired GHD, on the other hand, can be traced back to pituitary tumors, serious head injuries, infections, and radiation treatments. The condition may also be a symptom of several genetic diseases such as Turner syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome.

Living With Growth Hormone Deficiency

GHD requires long-term treatment. Children born with the condition are given daily injections of growth hormone, the amount of which is adjusted every 3 to 6 months by the child’s pediatrician. Most children with GHD begin to produce growth hormones naturally once they hit puberty, while some need to remain in treatment for the rest of their lives.
Adults have a number of options to help them accommodate the changes brought about by GHD. Lifestyle changes such as sleeping better, exercising regularly, and eating healthy can help balance the body’s hormone levels. They can also take supplements that encourage growth hormone production. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can also do wonders in alleviating the symptoms of GHD. Among the benefits of the therapy are improved energy levels, increased muscle tone, mass, and strength, better mood and memory, and lessened risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.

How Genemedics Health Institute Can Help

The tests we offer at Genemedics assess all hormone levels, including the growth hormone. Once the patient is diagnosed with GHD, our bioidentical hormone replacement therapy doctor will customize a therapy regiment to addresses the hormonal problem. To help our patients maintain long term hormonal balance, we also included a supplement regimen and personalized exercise and food programs in our treatment.
For more information about how you can achieve balanced hormones, please call 800-277-4041 or email info@genemedics.com.

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