About 1 in 6,000 children and nearly 50,000 total adults in the United States suffer from a growth hormone deficiency.
Have you ever wondered: "am I growth hormone-deficient?"
A growth hormone deficiency can be a dangerous medical condition if not diagnosed and treated correctly. If you're not sure if you have one, you should get a growth hormone test right away to be sure!
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about growth hormone tests.
What Is the Growth Hormone Deficiency?
A growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is when your pituitary gland is not producing enough of the growth hormone the body needs.
Most commonly found in children, a growth hormone deficiency is almost always congenital. This means that you would be born with it. It is possible that it could be due to trauma, called Acquired GHD, or Idiopathic GHD, which is when a patient's GHD has no apparent cause.
Growth hormone lab tests are the only way to be certain that GHD is what is happening within the body.
Risk Factors and Causes of Growth Hormone Deficiency
Most of the time, the cause of a growth hormone deficiency is due to a genetic disorder for GHD. Deficiency in children is more common than in adults, as most are born with it. Idiopathic GHD most likely has been present from birth and has gone unnoticed.
However, if it is developed later in life, it may be the result of trauma, infection, radiation therapy, or tumor growth within the brain. Usually, this tumor growth is near the pituitary gland.
Signs & Symptoms of Growth Hormone Deficiency
In infants, the first sign a pediatrician will look for is delayed growth. Low blood sugar and abnormally sized genitals can also be one of the first signs. Delayed bone growth, facial structure growth abnormalities, and other signs are also common in infants and children.
An essential period is during the first 6-12 months of life. Your pediatrician will make sure that the growth rates are normal and haven't decreased more than 10 percent.
In adults, GHD will present itself as increased fat in the abdomen with decreased muscle mass. Depression, anxiety, low energy levels, poor concentration, and abnormal LDL Cholesterol levels can also be signs of GHD.
Get a Diagnosis: Growth Hormone Tests
A phlebotomist will draw blood for a growth hormone stimulation test. The blood samples will provide a biomarker level in the test results that will read normal, low, or high.
The phlebotomist will collect a blood sample for your growth hormone blood panel. The lab will test GH levels and an insulin-like growth factor, and a Z Score in females.
Abnormal levels in these tests will indicate a growth hormone deficiency or normal levels of the hormone.
Treatment & Prognosis
Treatment for anyone with GHD is going through hormone replacement therapy. The hormone replacement is injected into a fatty area of the body. The GH levels will continue to be monitored via blood tests and medication adjusted accordingly.
In children, their hormones will be increased around puberty and will taper off once the body can make enough of its own growth hormone. Treatment could last for their entire life, as everyone's body is different. Adults will likely have hormone replacement for the entirety of their lives.
People with GHD can live a normal lifestyle as long as their hormones are monitored and replacement therapy is adjusted as needed.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Growth Hormone Deficiency
As with any medical condition, GHD comes with a lot of questions. These are the most commonly asked questions about growth hormone deficiencies.
What Causes Growth Hormone Deficiencies?
Growth Hormone Deficiencies are usually congenital, but they can also be caused by trauma or a tumor growth on the pituitary gland. There are also instances where a cause is not found.
Am I Growth Hormone-Deficient?
If you are experiencing symptoms of adult-onset GHD, including increased belly fat, abnormalities in cholesterol levels, decreased muscle strength, or another symptom, then it is worth talking to your doctor or ordering the tests yourself through Ulta Lab Tests.
If you believe your child has a growth hormone deficiency, you should get them a test right away to help monitor their symptoms.
Where Can I Get a GH Test?
You can search for a patient service center on our website. We have locations in every state in the US, with the exception of New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
How Is GHD treated?
GHD is treated by hormone replacement therapy. This is a shot usually given daily.
Can You Cure GHD?
GHD isn't considered curable. It is treated until the body can make appropriate levels of its own growth hormone.
How Common Are Growth Hormone Deficiencies?
Growth hormone deficiencies are found in about 1 in every 6000 babies. About 50,000 adults in the United States have a growth hormone deficiency.
What Are the Side Effects of Grown Hormone Replacement?
Side effects of growth hormone replacement therapy can include high cholesterol, low blood sugar, enlarged heart, muscle and nerve pain, swelling of the arms and legs, and more. Know that if your doctor has decided that growth hormone replacement therapy is right for you, they have decided that the risks outweigh the damage that may be done without the therapy.
What Does the Growth Hormone Do in Adults?
In adults, the growth hormone helps regulate body fat, muscle mass, and cholesterol levels. It is also necessary for proper brain function.
Benefits of Growth Hormone Deficiency Lab Testing with Ulta Lab Tests
If you think you or your child may have a growth hormone deficiency, contact your doctor! You can also take matters into your own hands and order tests through Ulta Lab Tests right now!
Ulta Lab Tests offers highly accurate and reliable tests, so you can make informed decisions about your health. Here are a few great things to love about Ulta Lab Tests:
- You'll get secure and confidential results
- You don't need health insurance
- You don't need a physician's referral
- You'll get affordable pricing
- We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee
Order your growth hormone tests today, and your results will be provided to you securely and confidentially online in 24 to 48 hours for most tests.
Take control with Ulta Lab Tests today!