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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Adult and Senior Health GHD (Growth hormone deficiency)

GHD (Growth hormone deficiency)

Growth hormone deficiency is a medical condition in which the body does not produce enough growth hormone. It is a disorder that involves pituitary gland which produces growth hormone. It affects all ages. It is treated by growth hormone therapy.

Growth hormone is needed for normal growth in children.In adults, growth hormone is needed to maintain the proper amounts of body fat, muscle and bone.It also maintain cholesterol levels. GH deficiency can occur at any age.

It can be caused by low or decreased secretion of growth hormone from the pituitary gland.This can be caused by congenital or acquired.

Congenital causes

Pituitary disorders

Acquired causes

  • Brain tumors.
  • Brain injury.
  • Surgery.
  • Radiation.

Symptoms of Growth hormone deficiency in children

  •    Short stature
  •    Low growth velocity (speed) for age and pubertal stage
  •    Increased amount of fat around the waist
  •    The child may look younger than other children his or her age
  •    Delayed tooth development
  •    Delayed onset of puberty.

Symptoms of GH deficiency in adults include the following

  •     Low energy
  •     Reduced strength and exercise tolerance
  •    Reduced muscle mass
  •    Weight gain, especially around the waist
  •    Mental changes like anxiety, depression, or sadness causing a change in social behavior
  •    Thin and dry skin


  • Growth hormone stimulation test: In This test insulin (hormone that regulates blood sugar levels) through an IV to produce a low plasma glucose (a sugar) level. The peak growth hormone level is measured 20-30 minutes later.hormone stimulation test. If the peak growth hormone level is less than 10 mcg/mL in children or less than 3 mcg/mL in adults, growth hormone deficiency is diagnosed.
  • CT scan or MRI brain to see if there is any brain tumors.
  • Bone density scan to see reduced bone density.
  • Lipid profile.


Persons with growth hormone deficiency may have increased total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, and triglyceride levels.


Growth hormone therapy. The goals of treatment are to increase growth in children and restore energy, metabolism, and body composition.

Complications of Growth hormone deficiency

  • Premature cardiovascular disease
  • Osteoporosis (a condition involving decreased bone mass and density)
  • Mental and emotional problems
  • Insulin resistance
  • Obesity and its complications