Growth hormone is a polypeptide hormone that is responsible for stimulating several important processes which occur in our bodies such as growth and cell reproduction. This hormone is also called human growth hormone or somatotropin. It is secreted by the pituitary gland which is located at the base of our brains. When the pituitary gland stops secreting enough growth hormone, it causes what is called growth hormone deficiency. Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is a medical condition that affects both children and adults, but it is more common among children. Many factors are responsible for causing GHD such as pituitary and parasellar tumors which are considered to be the most common. Other factors include infections, diseases, surgeries, serious head injuries, radiation treatments, birth defects and aging.
What about the problems that are caused by growth hormone deficiency? Growth hormone deficiency causes many physical and psychological problems and disorders depending on the age. Hypoglycemia in newborn infants, growth failure in childhood, lean body mass, poor memory, depression, social withdrawal, poor stamina, weakness, poor bone density or osteoporosis, decrease in sexual desire and energy, increase in fat, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, high LDL cholesterol, diabetes and hormonal disorders in adults are among the problems that are caused by growth hormone deficiency. Still want to learn more? Take a look at the following 10 growth hormone deficiency symptoms in both children and adults.
1 Growth failure
There are many factors that may cause growth failure in childhood such as malnutrition, psychological dwarfism, constitutional growth delay or delayed puberty, familial short stature and growth hormone deficiency. Children with growth hormone deficiency do not meet child growth standards because of the slow growth rate. They are shorter than other normal children of the same age. Their faces tend to be young and round and baby fat may appear around the abdomen to have a chubby body.
In addition, growth hormone deficiency may result in hypoglycemia and slow muscular development. It also reduces the size of males’ penis causing what is called micropenis especially in newborn infants. Intelligence and body proportions stay normal and are not affected by growth hormone deficiency in childhood.
2 Delayed puberty
Puberty refers to the physical changes that happen to the bodies of children to mature and become adults. Because hormonal signals from the brain are responsible for starting this process, puberty may be delayed for years in children with growth hormone deficiency. Teenagers with growth hormone deficiency suffer from depression and low self-esteem because of the slow sexual development. Developing breasts is delayed in young women and the voice of young men does not change. Growth hormone treatment or replacement may be needed using certified products which are safe for health and body without causing any side effects, find here.
3 Increased 5α-reductases
Growth hormone in our bodies continues to play an important role in optimizing our health even after childhood and puberty. For this reason, growth hormone deficiency can also affect adults and cause many physical and psychological problems. 5α-reductases are responsible for steroid metabolism, take part in bile acid biosynthesis, androgen and estrogen metabolism and they are also the enzymes that convert testosterone into 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT). These enzymes increase in the body as a result of growth hormone deficiency in adults.
Many reasons can result in baldness or hair loss in men such as drugs, chemotherapy, infections, traumas, and hormone imbalance. Growth hormone deficiency in adults also affects the growth of hair making baldness one of the most common symptoms that can be found in men with AGHD.
5 Decrease in muscle mass & strength
Adults with growth hormone deficiency quickly feel tired and do not have the ability to work for long hours, exercise or carry heavy things. This is because the hormone that is responsible for stimulating growth and cell reproduction and increasing muscle mass is low and needs to be increased to help adults get rid of weakness, poor stamina and low energy.
6 Decrease in sex hormone binding globulin
Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) is a glycoprotein that is produced by liver and brain to be released in blood. It binds tightly to two sex hormones which are estrogen and androgen. Growth hormone deficiency in adults leads to reducing sex hormone binding globulin in both men and women which may affect the sexual desire.
7 Poor bone density or osteoporosis
Growth hormone deficiency in adults may cause poor bone density. Poor bone density which is also known as osteopenia or reduced bone mass refers to bone mineral density which becomes lower in the body than normal. When the decrease in bone strength increases, it encourages the bones to break causing what is called osteoporosis.
8 Lack of concentration, memory loss & depression
Several studies show that growth hormone plays a vital role in improving and maintaining both mental and emotional health. It also improves cognitive function including memory, concentration and learning. This may explain why adults with growth hormone deficiency suffer from many problems such as lack of concentration, memory loss, emotional distress and depression as well.
9 Increase in body fat
Eating too much food, ignoring protein, performing too much cardio, suffering from stress, lack of sleep, not exercising, and ignoring drinking enough water are all important factors that can lead to gaining more weight and increasing body fat. Hormonal imbalance, high cholesterol, disorders and changes in metabolism that are caused by growth hormone deficiency can also result in increasing body fat especially around the waistline.
10 Cardiac dysfunction
Several heart problems may occur as a result of growth hormone deficiency in adults. Adults with growth hormone deficiency may suffer from low heart rate, poor cardiac performance, left ventricular systolic dysfunction, intimal medial thickness, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), and heart failure.
Growth hormone deficiency treatment in both children and adults is highly important. The earlier you start, the better your chances will be and the faster you will be able to solve your problems and save your life. Treatment of growth hormone deficiency increases growth especially in children, boosts energy, improves metabolism and restores body composition.