©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Symptoms and Signs of Growth Hormone Deficiency

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.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/12/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.