If your child has been diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency or hgh deficiency, you will probably have a million and one questions. You will want to know how dangerous it is, how it will affect your child in their life and what you should do next. It is likely that your child will now be under consultation with a medical specialist who will provide growth hormone deficiency treatment if needed, and whom you can ask any question you may want. However, below is some general information that may be beneficial on growth hormone deficiency.
What Is HGH?
Growth hormone deficiency is a serious but highly complex problem. Each individual patient is affected in different ways. The growth hormone is essentially a protein that our body creates in one of its glands. The brain is a very complicated organ, but this gland is found at the base or bottom of the brain and is attached to the part of the brain that regulates it – the hypothalamus. If either the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland is damaged or malformed, the gland may not be able to produce any growth hormone. It is also possible for multiple pituitary hormones to be missing, in which case the condition is known as hypopituitarism.
What Is Normal Growth?
Growth rates are not consistent between different children. However, there are averages that describe normal growth and children that fall significantly below this could be tested for growth hormone deficiency.
The average growth rates are:
• 10 inches in the first year
• 5 inches in the second year
• 3 ½ inches in the third year
• 2 ½ inches for every subsequent year until growth stops
Growth rates are marked in percentiles and those children who are below the 3rd percentile could be children with growth hormone deficiency.
Complications of Growth Hormone Deficiency
It has now been proven that growth hormone deficiency can lead to a number of other problems. These include:
• A decrease in the density of the bone mineral
• An increased risk of cardiovascular diseases
• Lower levels of energy
HGH Deficiency Causes
It isn’t entirely clear what the causes of growth hormone deficiency in children are. Generally, it is either due to congenital reasons, meaning it happens in the womb, possibly due to faulty genes from one or both of the parents, or after birth, in which case it is acquired. The congenital form of the condition is generally caused when factors that develop the pituitary gland are present. However, the gene mutations can also be in the receptors of the brain or in the pathway of the growth hormone itself. Unfortunately, the exact genes that cause this congenital defect are not yet known.
If hgh deficiency in children is acquired, the causes usually include:
• A tumor in the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus
• Trauma to the head
• Radiotherapy for cancer, particularly if it is directed at the hypothalamus or pituitary gland
• Autoimmune diseases such as lymphocytic hypophysitis
Growth Hormone Deficiency Symptoms and Growth Hormone Deficiency Signs
So how does this present itself? Growth takes years and children all grow at different rates, with growth spurts and periods of almost no growth. Because of this, it can be difficult to identify growth hormone deficiency or even measure levels of hgh. At some point, however, the slow growth becomes noticeable and many also grow in a disproportionate way. Often, the appearance of children with growth hormone deficiency is far less mature. Their body is generally quite chubby and they have a highly prominent forehead. The bridge of their nose is also usually underdeveloped. It is important to note that this condition does not have any effect on intelligence. However, most children and teens suffering from this condition will look for ways to grow taller. Do note that hgh shots or pills can be taken only if recommended and under the strict surveillance of doctors.
Adult Onset Growth Hormone Deficiency
The chance of developing hgh deficiency in adults is said to be a chance of 1 in 10 million. However, it is possible and most of these patients have a reduction in the SHBG and an increase in their reductase. Men often develop baldness and it is common for patients to develop osteoporosis. A lack of energy is very common. Most patients have decreased memory and start to put on weight, particularly around the midriff.
If you suffer from growth hormone deficiency you might want to follow Lionel Messi’s example. He’s probably one of the most important celebrities, that suffered from hgh deficiency during childhood. This condition did not stop him from becoming the best soccer player on the planet.