Doctor's Notes on Growth Hormone Deficiency
Growth hormone (GH) deficiency is a disorder that occurs when the pituitary gland (a small gland located at the base of the brain) does not produce enough growth hormone. If there is not enough growth hormone produced, a child’s growth will be slower than normal. In adults, low or absent growth hormone can also cause emotional symptoms, such as tiredness and lack of motivation.
Symptoms of growth hormone deficiency in children include short stature, low growth 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, and delayed onset of puberty. Symptoms of growth hormone deficiency in adults include low energy, decreased strength and exercise tolerance, decreased muscle mass, weight gain (especially around the waist), anxiety, depression, sadness, changes in social behavior, and thin and dry skin.
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Growth Failure in ChildrenGrowth failure in children may be caused by a number of factors, whether genetic or hormonal. Growth delay that results in short stature is seldom a result of a medical condition that requires treatment, however, hormone replacement therapy is indicated when the child has hypothyroidism or growth hormone deficiency.
Growth Hormone Deficiency FAQsWhen the pituitary gland at the base of the brain fails to produce enough human growth hormone, it causes all sorts of symptoms in children with the deficiency. They include: Short height for child's age, Increased fat around the waist and in the face, Feeling upset about his or her height, The child may look younger than other children his or her age, Delayed onset of puberty, and Delayed tooth development. Treatments include hormone replacement therapy.
Growth Hormone Deficiency in ChildrenGrowth hormone deficiency is a disorder of the pituitary gland in the brain which produces growth hormone. A lack of growth hormone in children causes abnormally slow growth; and the deficiency may be caused by a birth defect or any number of acquired conditions like brain cancer or infection. Depending on the cause of the deficiency, children may have to receive growth hormone injections or other therapy as the underlying condition warrants.
Growth Hormone Deficiency MedicationsGrowth hormone deficiency is a condition in which the pituitary gland or hypothalamus fails to produce enough of the hormones that stimulate growth. Whether acquired or congenital, children with growth hormone deficiency may experience: low blood sugar, heart disease, increased body fat and weakened bones. These problems can be treated by replacing the hormones.
Hypopituitarism in ChildrenHypopituitaryism is a condition in which the pituitary gland at the base of the brain does not produce as much of one or more hormones as it is supposed to. These hormones include growth hormone (GH), prolactin, and others. Hypopituitaryism in children can cause jaundice, short stature, fatigue, mental development delay, mental and nervous system problems, and other serious symptoms. Drugs are used to replace the missing hormones to treat hypopituitaryism.
HypopituitaryHypopituitaryism is a condition in which the small gland at the base of the brain doesn't produce enough hormones to signal production in the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, gonads, and others. The pituitary gland is essential in controlling the endocrine system. Symptoms of hypopituitaryism are varied, depending on the deficient hormone. Treatment includes hormone replacement therapy.
Short Stature in ChildrenShort stature describes a person who is not as tall as the average for his or her sex, ethnic group, and family. Often, short stature does not indicate a medical condition (growth failure) and may just be a normal variation. Short stature can be caused by malnutrition, chronic disease, or genetics.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.