Growth hormone deficiency is a condition in which the pituitary gland does not produce enough growth hormone. This can lead to short stature in children and adults.
The cause of growth hormone deficiency can vary. In children, it is often congenital, meaning it is present at birth. In adults, it can be caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland, radiation therapy, or surgery.
The symptoms of growth hormone deficiency can vary depending on the age of the person. In children, the most common symptom is short stature. Other symptoms may include delayed puberty, obesity, and fatigue. In adults, symptoms may include muscle weakness, fatigue, and decreased bone density.
The diagnosis of growth hormone deficiency is made through a combination of blood tests and imaging scans. Blood tests can measure the levels of growth hormone in the blood. Imaging scans can help to rule out other causes of short stature or growth problems.
The treatment for growth hormone deficiency is synthetic growth hormone injections. These injections are typically given daily or weekly. Treatment with growth hormone can help children to reach their full height potential. In adults, treatment can help to improve muscle strength, bone density, and energy levels.
If you are concerned that you or your child may have growth hormone deficiency, talk to your doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to improve the outcome of this condition.