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Symptoms and Signs of Growth Hormone Deficiency FAQs

Doctor's Notes on Growth Hormone Deficiency FAQs

Growth hormone (GH) deficiency 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, growth in children will be slower than normal. In adults, growth hormone is needed to maintain proper body fat, muscle, and bone, and low or absent growth hormone can cause emotional symptoms, such as tiredness and lack of motivation.

Symptoms of growth hormone deficiency in children include slowing growth to les than two inches per year, short stature for the child's age, increased amount of fat around the waist and in the face, looking younger than other children the same 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, anxiety, depression, and thin and dry skin.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/21/2019


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