What is Growth Hormone Deficiency?
What is growth hormone deficiency? Growth hormone (GH) deficiency is a medical condition that occurs when the somatotropic cells (somatotrophs) in the anterior pituitary gland do not produce enough somatotropin (GH) for the body’s daily needs. This can happen at any time in an individual’s life and is most commonly known as creating short stature in children. Scientific research is shedding new light on how this can also create havoc in the life of an adult. There are a number of different signals received by the pituitary gland that signal the release of this vital chemical that is also commonly referred to as the “master hormone” due to all the functions that it affects.
Due to the fact that there are many different reasons why a person residing in California or anywhere else might ask what is growth hormone deficiency, the responses will be centrally focused on the reason behind the question. A parent who is wondering why his or her child is lagging behind others in physical development will need a different set of answers than an adult who is dealing with problems that can affect him or her on a physical, physiological, psychological, or emotional level. The causes of this condition will also vary depending upon the age at which one is diagnosed. This website is devoted to adults over the age of thirty who are witnessing specific changes taking place that may be attributed to changing chemical levels in their bodies. This page deals with the effects of low levels of somatotropin, and how blood testing is used to determine if this condition is present.
What Causes Growth Hormone Deficiency in Adults?
What causes growth hormone deficiency in adults? Many different factors can attribute to a decrease in the amount of somatotropin that is produced each day. It may help to understand the actual production cycle as we explore this subject. The somatotrophs secrete GH in pulsatile bursts throughout both daytime and nighttime hours. During the day, this can occur on a cycle ranging from every 3 to 5 hours. When a person engages in high-intensity exercise, this can trigger a powerful release of this chemical. Food and stress can also factor into this equation. At night, approximately half of the production of growth hormone occurs during deep wave sleep. If less than eight hours are received during the course of the night, the pituitary gland will not have enough time to release all the somatotropin that is required by the body. This will result in a person have less energy during the course of the day. In many instances, this decrease will result in fatigue which can lessen the ability to engage in the crucial exercise that is required for the daytime release of GH.
Now we are ready to explore what causes growth hormone deficiency in adults. Obviously, a decrease in exercise and sleep figure into this scenario. Improper dietary habits and high levels of stress also have a role in this process. In some cases, genetics may be a factor especially if a person has parents who appeared to age early in life. Environmental concerns including smoking, workplace toxins, alcohol, drugs, pollution (as some California cities are dealing with), and genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are still being discussed, in the scientific community, as possible contributing areas to take into consideration. In some cases, a head injury, illness, or pituitary tumor could be the cause, and if so, would require a special endocrinologist to engage in consultation. Those who were diagnosed and treated for short stature as children will often need to work with an endocrinologist throughout their lifetime to ensure that their production of growth hormone is maintained at the proper level. There are times when no one factor can be determined for why a decrease in production has occurred. What is important is receiving the proper type of treatment to restore the necessary balance needed for optimum functioning.
What are the Symptoms of HGH Deficiency in Adults?
What are the symptoms of HGH deficiency in adults? The many functions of somatotropin in the body can then equate to a wide range of problems that can begin to show up when the actual level of this chemical is lower than what is needed for proper functions to take place. This can be seen in a wide range of areas, stemming from physiological in nature to psychological and emotional. Anyone who has ever been sick, or in pain for a long period of time, knows that it can take a toll on emotional health, as well. It is easy to become depressed or frustrated when the body or mind does not perform in the manner in which it is accustomed or expected to perform. Occasional aches or pains due to overexertion, injury, or illness are considered to be fairly normal and acceptable. Long term pain or discomfort, however, can take quite a toll on one’s overall well-being. Unfortunately, this is something that can occur with low GH production.
As we look closely at what are the symptoms of HGH deficiency in adults, there will be a clear trend in how this hormone affects the body. Part of that is due to one very specific function of somatotropin – the signaling provided to the liver to secrete another vital substance that is called Insulin Growth Factor 1. If the level of GH in the body is low, the liver will receive a reduced supply to which it will respond by reducing the level of IGF-1 that it produces. This will have a detrimental effect on overall cell reproduction. IGF-1 and growth hormone provide the stimulus for this regenerative process to take place. New cells are required by the nerves, bones, skin, muscles, hair, nails, and internal organs on a daily basis. If the supply of these crucial building blocks is decreased, many different problems can occur, as will be seen in the next section.
Signs and Symptoms of Growth Hormone Deficiency
There are many signs and symptoms of growth hormone deficiency that can be present in the body when this decrease in somatotropin production occurs. Some of these effects are physically focused whereas others can have a detrimental effect on a person’s emotional well-being. It is crucial to point out that most people will find themselves dealing with a number of these signs, but not necessarily all of them at once.
- Energy Decline – this can show up in many ways. Some people may start the day out tired the minute they awake. Others begin to feel fatigued after lunchtime. Lack of endurance and stamina can also take a toll on productivity and the ability to exercise.
- Weight Gain – growth hormone is a direct stimulator of how the metabolism processes proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. In the case of GH deficiency, the metabolic functions will slow down, and food consumed will often be stored as fat rather than converted to fuel, adding to the weight gain and energy decrease that are present. Increased risk of diabetes is also another factor of concern.
- Cognitive Impairment – somatotropin has receptor cells located throughout the brain, but they are especially dense in the areas associated with memory and learning. If these receptors do not receive an adequate supply of this chemical, functions in these areas will be decreased. That can make it difficult for the brain to process new information. It will also have a harder time recalling that which was previously stored. Focus and concentration levels will also decrease. The ability to complete simple tasks may suffer, as well.
- Structural Integrity – both the bones and muscles rely upon a steady supply of new cells to maintain their support and strength. Loss of lean muscle mass along with a decrease in bone density can contribute to overall weakness of the body, stiffness, loss of mobility, aches and pains, and an increased risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
- Physical Appearance – it has already been shown how the hair, nails, and skin require new cells. The hair may turn grey, begin to fall out, or become thin and brittle over time. The skin will lose its collagen and start to sag, show signs of wrinkling, and become thinner. The nails may become brittle and start to chip and peel. Cellulite is another issue that may be present.
- Eyesight Changes – many people begin to see a decline in their eyesight, especially night vision.
- Sexual Relations – a change in libido is one more area that has a correlation with low levels of growth hormone. Women may notice vaginal dryness, loss of desire, and a decrease in pleasure. Men may lose their morning erection, find it increasingly difficult to become aroused, have trouble maintaining an erection, and suffer from a loss of endurance and pleasure sensations.
- Immune System – somatotropin plays a role in how well the immune system functions. A decline could also extend the amount of time it takes to recuperate from illness and injury.
- Cardiac Functions – high cholesterol, decreased cardiac output, and poor exercise capabilities can increase the risk of heart disease or failure.
As if these signs and symptoms of growth hormone deficiency were not enough, there are still some other issues many people find present in their lives at this time:
- Emotional Changes – depression, stress, feelings of unease, anxiety, frustration, and a poor outlook on the future and life in general are reported by many people dealing with adult GH deficiency.
- Temperature Variations – increased sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures are often seen.
- Sleep Issues – insomnia, difficulty staying asleep, inability to get eight hours of restful sleep each night may be present. This can be of serious concern since somatotropin relies upon this for half of the day’s production.
It is clear that the wide range of issues that could arise when secretion of this crucial chemical becomes too low can have serious detrimental effect on the quality of life a person experiences. Those living in California may find themselves missing out on all the great activities offered throughout the Golden State.
Is Growth Hormone Deficiency Hereditary?
Is growth hormone deficiency hereditary? This question requires a bit of explanation in its answer. At this time, low GH secretion is not necessarily viewed as a condition that is passed on from person to person. As mentioned earlier, however, if one’s parents seemed to age at an early time in their life, the same tendency may be passed on to their offspring. Whether this tendency is related to this is as yet unclear. There is still a great deal of research currently being performed in regards to this topic. The relationship between aging and somatotropin is subject to quite a bit of discussion. Many of the symptoms associated with this condition mimic those of the natural aging process. That is why blood analysis is used to determine if there is a medical basis to the changes being experienced.
When asking is growth hormone deficiency hereditary, there are a number of other issues to examine, as well. It has also been shown that genetic abnormalities or abnormal development of the pituitary gland during the fetal stage could be at fault. Again, research is continuing to look into whether or not this is a familial situation or more random in nature. It is usually best to catch the cases that are due to these types of genetic occurrences during childhood when they can still be treated at a time that would allow the individual the opportunity to reach their ideal adult height.
How to Know if You Have Growth Hormone Deficiency
It’s time to find out how to know if you have growth hormone deficiency. The first step at this point is to take out a writing implement and paper. This is to make a list of all the symptoms that may be present that would point to a decrease in the amount of somatotropin being produced. By using the signs and symptoms section above, it will be easy to keep track of what is occurring at this time. Looking in the mirror can help determine if there have been changes to the skin, hair, or waistline. Think about the amount of exercise that has been accomplished (or not accomplished) this week. If the answer is none, or if there has been a significant decrease over time, is the reason due to a lack of energy? If time is the issue, is it because ordinary tasks are taking longer to complete? This could be caused by an inability to concentrate or stamina decline. Has heading out to the Southern California beaches come to an abrupt end? How about hiking in the Northern California Mountains? What lifestyle changes have taken place due to current symptoms?
The best way of determining how to know if you have growth hormone deficiency is by taking stock of overall healthfulness. Has there been a diagnosis of heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, high cholesterol, or obesity? All of these could signal low GH levels. Are past activities difficult to enjoy these days due to stiffness or joint pains? Have cell phones, keys, glasses, or other items gone missing lately? Does entering a room bring confusion as to why the move was made? These areas of decreased cognitive functions might be a sign that somatotropin production has slowed down to the point where problems are becoming noticeable. If at least a few of the symptoms of this condition are present, it may be time to seek testing and guidance.
Testing for Growth Hormone Deficiency in Adults
In order to receive testing for growth hormone deficiency in adults, a person should seek out the expertise of a doctor who specializes in HRT – hormone replacement therapy. These medical professionals have devoted their careers to working with adults as they get older to ensure that the body maintains a level of vitality and healthfulness that will propel it onward through life. The average life expectancy in no longer in the 50’s as it was 100 years ago. Today, a healthy adult can easily expect to make it into his or her 80’s. Since that is just the average, it is clear that reaching 90, 100, or beyond is not that much of an issue anymore. If growth hormone levels start to decline at some point after thirty, imagine how long it might be for an individual to live with this issue.
The type of testing for growth hormone deficiency in adults is specific blood analysis that will measure the IGF-1 level in the blood. Because this chemical is secreted in direct response to the level of somatotropin that the liver receives, it is an excellent marker to use for this purpose. Insulin Growth Factor 1 levels remain at a fairly constant state throughout the day. GH, on the other hand, is secreted in rapid pulsatile bursts that enter and exit the bloodstream at a rapid pace, making this a poor marker to use to check for this condition. Other than visiting a local lab for one’s blood to be drawn, the only other things to do are the completion of a simple questionnaire online that covers past and present medical concerns, as well as getting a short physical examination.
How Growth Hormone Deficiency can be Treated
Is it time to learn how growth hormone deficiency can be treated? That is the natural next step at this point. The level of somatotropin production at this moment will not be the same one year from now. This decline continues each year unless some form of action is taken. For those who notice that something is wrong early on in the process, making simple lifestyle changes may be all it takes to provide the pituitary gland with the stimulus it needs to boost production of this vital chemical naturally. This entails ensuring that a solid eight hours of sleep is achieved each night. Anything less limits the amount of GH that is released into the bloodstream. It is during the deep wave sleep phase that this secretion occurs.
In order to find out how growth hormone deficiency can be treated naturally during the day, one needs only look to the gym, health club, swimming pool, park, or anywhere else where some high-intensity exercise can occur. Simply lifting weights will not do the trick to stimulate the production and release of GH. Some form of cardio that will get the heart rate up is required to increase the signals to the pituitary gland to rev up production. In addition, maintaining a healthy diet of nutritious foods and limiting stress will aid in this process. Unfortunately, these steps will not always be enough to make a change. They usually work best for those whose decline is still in the early stages. Others will need to turn to bioidentical supplementation for help.
What is the Treatment for Growth Hormone Deficiency?
What is the treatment for growth hormone deficiency for those who need to go a step further than making lifestyle changes? This is the time when HGH human growth hormone injections are used. Doctors prescribe this treatment to those who have been diagnosed with low somatotropin production following the careful review of blood test and physical examination results. HGH is another name for somatropin, the biologically identical substance created by pharmaceutical companies to raise the amount of GH in the body back to its best level. For most people, the decade of time when they were in their twenties is when the level of growth hormone was ideal. Think about the energy that was present at that time of life. Most people would say that they felt as though they could do anything at that time.
That is why, when asking what is the treatment for growth hormone deficiency, the best answer is to use HGH therapy as a way of replenishing the lost supply of this vital chemical. Self-administration of this medication takes place each day. Most people choose first thing in the morning in order to jumpstart their body’s ability to get moving and functioning at peak performance. Taking the prescribed HGH dosage before bed can interfere with the pituitary gland’s natural secretion as sensing the excess human growth hormone in the blood stream might send signals that more is not necessary. Working with a doctor specializing in HRT is the best move a person can make to ensure that the proper dosage is prescribed to bring about the desired results.
Get the Best Treatment for Growth Hormone Deficiency
In order to get the best treatment for growth hormone deficiency in California, finding the right clinic is a crucial step. Kingsberg Medical is one of the nation’s foremost hormone replacement therapy centers. Our doctors have spent years helping thousands of people across the country find the power and vitality inside of themselves that they previously thought was long gone from their lives. Highly experienced medical advisors work closely with each individual as they embark upon this journey of rejuvenation. Many have said that they feel as though they have reversed years from their age, although they continue to get older with each passing year. The body has the innate power within itself to perform at its best. Sometimes it just needs a little help to get back to that point.
When the desire to get the best treatment for growth hormone deficiency is present, seeking out the help of experienced and knowledgeable professionals can make all the difference in the world. Knowing that the proper dosage of medication is being prescribed and that there are many options in regards to brand selection and type of injectable style can be extremely comforting. There is a product for almost everyone’s lifestyle and budgetary requirements, and our advisors work hard to ensure that each person has the treatment that will bring about extraordinary changes physically, physiologically, psychologically, and emotionally. In order to learn more and achieve these goals, simply contact our clinic today.