Growth hormone deficiency is affecting thousands of people all over the world. While signs may vary according to age, a lot of characteristics have been seen uniformly in different cases.
So what is growth hormone deficiency? It is actually a condition where the body’s demand for the human growth hormone is greater than what it can actually produce. Usually, this is caused by a damage to the gland, most likely by a tumor or even an attempt to treat the tumor medically.
Produced by the pituitary gland (a gland located near the brain), human growth hormone is responsible for cell reproduction, growth, muscle and bone strength as well as system operation.
For children and teenagers, the pituitary gland’s performance in creating the growth hormone was viewed as having a direct correlation to the height of the person. It was only recently that it was discovered to have a more integrated function to the body.
While there are a lot of signs and symptoms that are associated with various growth hormone deficiencies, the negative effects of this disorder are generally grouped into five. Here are some of them:
The most obvious sign that you have growth hormone deficiency is a noticeable weight gain. While having this sign does not automatically mean that there are any problems with your growth hormone levels, however, it should concern you, especially if much of the excess weight is stored in your hips or waist.
An increase in your weight is likely caused by a dramatic decline in your health. As the low hgh production in your body is also affecting other bodily processes, your metabolism may also be slowed down.
Another explanation for this is stress eating. As growth hormone deficiency makes people who have the disorder stressed, some of them turn to food to feel better. Some go beyond the usual dietary requirement for each day and thus making them fat. Plus, since they are already stressed, people will not be inclined to exercise, which crashes out the best possibility of fending off the weight gain.
Depression, anxiety and overall low mood
Having a balanced level of growth hormones in the body has been found to have a crucial role in the emotional and mental stability of people. According to several studies, people who are deficient in growth hormone are more likely to have depression than those who do not. This is why hgh replacement therapy is one of the more alternative ways to treat this common mental health issue. While depression is more common among the growth hormone deficieny, some patients have also reported a wide range of anxiety disorders.
Some with growth hormone deficiency have also said that they suffered from sudden mood swings, difficulty in concentrating and random memory loss triggers.
Sensitive and unhealthy skin
The weight gain patients with growth hormone deficiency experience are not the only thing that beauty-conscious people will have to worry about. The relatively weak state of health of the body will be exhibited in the skin, which usually looks dry and thin.
Poor general health
Having growth hormone deficiency has a negative effect on your health. For one, your digestive system will have a diminished function. This is because the hormone plays a big role in the digestive and regulatory processes in the liver and pancreas. One of these is the fact that it promotes gluconeogenesis (generation of glucose) in the liver for the body’s use. It also helps in controlling the effects of insulin so that diabetes is managed easier.
Yes, the growth hormone has a hand in the human body’s physical growth, but it also helps in stimulating the growth of internal organs such as the brain and the stomach.
A few research studies have also established the possibility of a link between the hormone deficiency and heart problems. This is partly an effect of the increase in bad cholesterol in the body, which develops blockage in the arteries and making it difficult for blood to flow through the heart. Hypertension has been a recurring complaint among those that have the disorder as well.
The growth hormone’s role as a stimulant of the immune system also means that not having enough hgh in the body will lead to a weakened protection against common diseases. In fact, the body will also be increasingly sensitive to cold, heat and even sudden drops in temperature.
Fatigue and various muscle and bone issues
Fatigue is a main characteristic of hormone deficiency. While a big part of this is a by-product of the depressive mood caused by the low level of growth hormones, the loss of growth hormones for the bones and muscles also affect. You see, one of the responsibilities of the hgh is retaining calcium, for the strengthening of the bones and the muscles. Also, it builds muscle mass and promotes protein synthesis and lipolysis.
Once growth hormone is taken away, it will result in a weakened bone structure, which in extreme cases, will lead to osteoporosis. It also has a negative impact on muscle strength and mass, which means you need to say goodbye to your daily exercise routine as strain and sprain may last for a few more days than usual.
As of this moment, the most effective therapy available to suppress the negative side effects and symptoms of growth hormone deficiency is GH treatment. This is done by replacing the growth hormone lost from the inability of the pituitary gland to produce with injectables that are most often taken daily. Through these injectables, adults will be able to greatly reduce their total body fat and improve their heal. Children, on the other hand, will experience better muscle development as well as better skin appearance. However, the treatment is expensive as it may cost $10,000 to $40,000 annually.
Ultimately, how the growth hormone deficiency will be dealt with will depend on the doctor. So before taking any medication or if you are exhibiting any of the signs and symptoms above, then have a checkup in the hospital right away.