Pathology Laboratory (Medical)

Human Growth Hormone

Last updated on September 24th, 2022 at 09:01 am

Human Growth Hormone is the full-form of HGH. 

Growth Hormone Deficiency

Growth hormone deficiency is mainly caused by alterations in somatomedin. It can cause growth failure, short stature, and delayed sexual maturity in children. Although this deficiency is a rarity, it can cause weaker bones and osteoporosis.

The common growth hormone deficiency symptom is as follows;

  • Shorter stature and chubbier kids
  • Delayed puberty
  • Reduced bone strength

Some of the psychological symptoms of HGH deficiency are;

What is Growth Hormone?

Growth hormone is a peptide hormone that aids in stimulating growth, cell reproduction and cell regeneration in human. It is also called somatotropin and human growth hormone (HGH). The growth hormone is synthesized, stored, and secreted by the somatotropic cells of the pituitary gland. Growth hormone also serves as a stress hormone and raises the volume of glucose and free fatty acids.

Because of certain factors, the growth hormone levels get disturbed. The abnormal levels of human growth hormone (HGH) cause varied health conditions. 

Human Growth Hormone Test

It is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. This test measures the amount of Human Growth Hormone or Growth Hormone in the blood. The blood levels of Growth Hormone change quickly, so multiple blood samples are required to perform this test. The HGH test is done for adults and children. In adults, it is ordered for investigating dysfunction in pituitary glands and abnormal hormonal levels increased blood lipid levels. While, in children, if there are any abnormalities in the growth and development of patterns, this test is ordered by the doctor.

Why the Human Growth Hormone Test Advised?

If you notice your child is shorter or taller than his peers, this could be a sign of hormonal imbalance. Dwarfism or gigantism are developmental disorders and need to be diagnosed through testing. Softened bones, stunted growth, puffed skin, nutritional imbalance could point towards hypothyroidism. Growth retardation and disproportionate fetal growth can be diagnosed in pregnancy itself through ultrasounds.

Anti-depressants, steroids, insulin, birth control pills, vitamin supplements, are a few medications that can alter levels of Human Growth Hormone And hence should be avoided before testing for the same. Also, exercises and workouts can alter hormone levels and hence should be avoided the day before the test. Children should be fed nothing post-dinner. Consult with the doctor if medications of children need to be discontinued in the days before the test. The test goes on for up to 3 hours, so if you are undergoing this test, keep a book or music source with you or some way to keep the child engaged.

Hgh Lab Test

The growth hormone test is advised if the following factors are noticed;

  • Slow Growth
  • Short Stature
  • Delayed Development
  • Decreased bone density
  • Elevated blood lipid levels
  • Symptoms of excessive GH
  • Symptoms of HGH deficiency

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Human Growth Hormone Test for Children

If the Human Growth Hormone test is being conducted for a child, the first blood sample is collected, after which he/she is given a stimulant medicine for releasing growth hormone. Blood samples are again taken 2 times every half-an-hour after that. The same procedure is used with adults appearing for the HGH test. The medicine given to them for releasing growth hormone is different.

High levels of HGH mean pituitary tumours, gigantism, a disorder wherein there is over-production of the growth hormone. Low levels show poor growth patterns in children, hypopituitarism, etc. 

Human Growth Hormone Normal Range
  • The growth hormone normal range in a healthy man < 5 ng/mL or < 226 pmol/L 
  • For women, the growth hormone normal range is < 10 ng/mL or < 452 pmol/L
  • For children, the growth hormone normal range is 0-20 ng/mL or 0-904 pmol/L

What Is The Cause Of High Human Growth Hormone?

The primary cause of elevated growth hormone is the pituitary tumour composed of somatotropic cells. These tumours are benign and grow slowly and over time keep producing excess human growth hormone. Excess human growth hormone (HGH) can cause gigantism, acromegaly, headaches, impaired vision and can cause the deficiency of the pituitary hormone.

Growth Hormone Deficiency Treatment

Growth hormone deficiency treatment mainly involves synthetic growth hormone injections given directly into the fatty tissues. The long-term treatment involves being treated with growth hormone until the child reaches puberty.

The growth hormone injection cost ranges on the higher side and can be expensive looking at its need in a long-term treatment.

What Is the Growth Hormone Stimulation Test?

A Growth hormone stimulation test is done to assess whether the pituitary gland is producing optimum levels of growth hormone or not.

Growth Hormone Test Preparation
  • The growth hormone test requires fasting after midnight. That means no breakfast or fluids except for normal water.
  • This Human growth hormone test should not be carried out if the person is sick
  • Inform the doctor about any allergies
  • Also, inform the doctor about any medications being used as a certain medication can lead to false test results
Growth Hormone Blood Test

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Reference: MedlinePlus

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