Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is a disorder characterized by an absent or insufficient secretion of growth hormone from the pituitary gland, resulting in slower growth and development.  Both children and adults can be diagnosed with GHD, and the exams and tests used are the same for all age groups. Diagnosing GHD typically starts with a physical exam to assess signs and symptoms of slowed growth. The doctor will check the patient’s weight, height, and body proportions as individuals with GHD are much shorter than normal persons. Other than a physical exam, there are a wide range of tests and exams required in order to come up with a GHD diagnosis.
Blood tests for GHD include the following:
In addition to blood tests, the doctor can also perform additional exams and tests such as X-rays and MRI to help diagnose GHD.
It is normal for the pituitary gland to produce lesser amounts of GH, sex hormones, and other essential hormones in the body as a person ages. Physicians therefore distinguish between age-related GHD and those with identifiable causes which can be present at birth (congenital), or acquired at some point in life.
Congenital causes of GHD are:
Acquired causes of GHD include the following:
In children, symptoms of GHD include the following: 
In adults, the symptoms can vary, and most of them can experience the following: 
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