What is Human Growth Hormone (HGH)?
The human growth hormone (HGH) is a natural hormone produced and released by the pituitary gland, which is a small gland located below the brain. This hormone stimulates growth in the bones during childhood. As the individual reaches adulthood, HGH helps maintain metabolism, keep the bones and organs in good health, and maintain healthy levels of blood sugar (glucose).
In 1985, synthetic human growth hormone was developed for medical use, and approved by the FDA for certain medical conditions. Today, it is primarily used to treat HGH deficiency.
What is HGH Deficiency?
Human growth hormone (HGH) deficiency is a condition whereby the patient has lower-than-normal levels of HGH. This is usually caused by hypopituitarism, a condition wherein the hormones secreted by the pituitary gland are deficient.
The body needs HGH for two main functions: growth and metabolism. Children with HGH deficiency may experience slow height growth and delayed puberty. In adults, HGH deficiency may lead to increased body fat, decreased muscle mass, and decreased bone strength.
What are the Symptoms of HGH Deficiency in Adults?
The symptoms of HGH deficiency vary depending on the patient’s age at the onset of the condition. Adults with HGH deficiency may experience one or more of these symptoms:
How to Diagnose HGH Deficiency
Diagnosing HGH deficiency among adults usually involves an insulin-like growth factor test (IGF-1). During this test, the doctor will take blood samples to measure the amount of HGH in the blood. Typically, this test is performed twice for greater accuracy as HGH levels may vary at different times of the day. Growth hormone levels that are lower than normal confirm HGH deficiency. Additional tests for other hormones, such as testosterone, may also be performed to assess if the pituitary gland is functioning properly.
What is the Treatment for Low HGH?
Low HGH levels can be treated with HGH injections. These are usually administered to the abdomen daily, following the dosage and frequency prescribed by the doctor. Using the correct dosage is crucial as excessive growth hormone can cause muscle or joint pain, pain or numbness in the hands, swelling, elevated cholesterol levels, or an increased risk of diabetes. Hence, patients taking HGH injections are advised to visit their doctor regularly for monitoring to determine if the dosage needs to be adjusted.
At Dr Tan Medical Center, we are experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of HGH deficiency. Schedule a consultation with us at 6513 0359 today or fill out the enquiry form below.
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