Role of the Growth Hormone in human body is to contribute to an all-round growth. The hormone stimulates cell multiplication, cell growth and regeneration, so that the overall growth of the body with age occurs naturally. This hormone is called Somatotropin. When there is a deficiency of the human growth hormone in body, multiple problems arise. The growth of the individual with age is barred, and the symptoms in children and adult vary.
Physical tests for detecting growth hormone deficiency
The tests for detecting deficiency in growth hormone levels are the same in case of children and adults. The doctor will make a full body exam, to find out at a glance for signs of slower growth. A child who has the deficiency would immediately show signs to the doctor, when the growth chart which shows the anticipated weight to height to body proportions, will not match in the child’s case. This comprises of the physical exams.
Blood tests to diagnose growth hormone deficiencies
To find out if the GH deficiency is due to the pituitary gland, a bonding protein level test (IGF-1 and IGFBP-3) is done
Simple blood test which shows the amount of GH in the blood is done
Other hormones produced by the pituitary gland are also analyzed through blood tests
The GHRH-Arginine test is done
A stimulation test of the GH is done
A tolerance test of insulin is done
Other tests that can detect growth hormone deficiency
The following tests help understand the possibilities of growth hormone deficiency better. And they can also be performed along with the blood tests.
Bone density is measured using a dual energy x-ray absorptiometry scan.
Brain MRI scan to evaluate the hypothalamus and pituitary glands.
If the left hand is x-rayed then bone abnormalities due to the deficiency can be analyzed if any.
When the skull is x-rayed, the deformities or abnormalities in bone due to slowed growth and hormone deficiencies can be detected.
Growth hormone deficiency symptoms in children and adults
Growth Hormone deficiencies in children lead to slower growth rate while body proportions are maintained. The child may have chubby face, youthful looking skin, may get a late puberty or no puberty at times, and may have layers of fat around abdomen and face.
In adults, complications like baldness, anxiety, depression, low energy, low libido, low strength, fatigue, insulin resistance, low bone density, weight gain around waist, heat and cold sensitivity, dry skin, heart problems etc are some of the symptoms.
If you sense one or more of these problem are affecting a close one, then you must put the person to test immediately, and see if there is really a growth hormone deficiency. There are treatments to the deficiency, which can be started to eliminate the symptoms.
The sooner you get medical help, and get your body checkup and tests done for detecting growth hormone deficiencies, the faster you may start a treatment. Some deformities and anomalies formed in the body are not reversible. But many other upcoming problems can be stopped from occurring on starting treatment earliest.