Things to Know about Growth Hormone Deficiency

Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is a condition that the pituitary gland can’t produce the adequate levels of growth hormone. As growth hormone functions are related to several processes – especially, the body growth – thus, the lack of growth hormone may cause various symptoms, such as growth retardation.

GHD is more common in children than adults, and usually results in shorter-than-normal height or delayed puberty if left untreated. 

Causes of growth hormone deficiency

Growth hormone deficiency can either be congenital or late-onset, and usually occurs as a result of several causes, including:

  • Poor development of pituitary glands (often found in children with cleft lips and palates)
  • Brain tumor
  • Brain infection
  • Severe head injury
  • Radiation treatment
  • Malnutrition
  • A symptom of Prader-Willi syndrome or Turner syndrome

Signs and symptoms of growth hormone deficiency

In children

The symptoms of GHD in children can vary from person to person, some common noticeable signs include:

  • Being shorter than the average
  • Growth retardation (growing less than 2 inches/year) 
  • Being chubby, or having increased fat around the face and stomach
  • Younger facial appearance compared to kids at the same age
  • Slow development in teeth and facial bone
  • Slow hair growth
  • Delayed puberty or halted sexual development

In adults

The signs and symptoms of GHD in adults aren’t as specific as those in children. Most adolescents and adults having GHD may experience a combination of symptoms, including:

  • Decreased muscle mass and strength
  • Decreased bone density
  • Increased fat mass, and triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels
  • Gained weight
  • Insulin resistance
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Lack of concentration
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Dry skin and hair loss

Treatments for growth hormone deficiency

The recent treatment for GHD in both children and adults involves the injection of synthetic recombinant HGH or rHGH under the skin. There are number of FDA-approved products that have widely been used as the treatment of GHD and other related diseases, such as Prader-Willi syndrome or Turner syndrome.

However, rHGH supplement can be associated with some adverse effects, including muscle pain, scoliosis, headache, and the development of diabetes.

GENOTROPIN (Pfizer)

GENOTROPIN is a prescription synthetic rHGH used for the replacement of growth hormone in both children and adults. Also, GENOTROPIN has been approved by FDA for its safety and effects of GHD therapy for decades.

One of the portable options from Pfizer, GENOTROPIN 36 IU GoQuick Pen, is an easy-to-use product in the disposable pre-filled pen form that is very convenient for you and your family.

Growth hormone is a treatable condition. With early recognition, most patients often recover very well. If you or your kids experience any symptoms of GHD, then go seeing a doctor for the proper treatment. 


Reference
  • Tsai, S. L., & Laffan, E. (2013). Congenital Growth Hormone Deficiency – A Review with a Focus on Neuroimaging. European endocrinology9(2), 136–140. doi:10.17925/EE.2013.09.02.136
  • Joann Jovinelly, Growth Hormone Deficiency (https://www.healthline.com/health/growth-hormone-deficiency), December 2015
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