Anti Aging Supplements
When an HGH deficiency or GHD is left untreated it can cause numerous problems such as poor memory, inability to effectively exercise, or decreased vitality.
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While we may be more aware of HGH as being a problem found in children, especially when associated with a number of conditions. The fact is HGH deficiency can and does occur in adults.
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HGH is naturally produced in your body by your pituitary gland.
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HGH Deficiency in Adults - Symptoms Measuring and Testing
While we may be more aware of HGH as being a problem found in children, especially when associated with a number of conditions. The fact is HGH deficiency can and does occur in adults. For many this may come as a surprise. HGH deficiency means the pituitary gland does not make enough growth hormone.
Although HGH deficiency is not common in adults, it does occur and the main causes are:
- Tumors that involve the hypothalamus or pituitary gland
- Severe head injury
- Radiation to treat brain cancer
Let us take a moment to take a look at some of the most common symptoms that can occur, and that can indicate an adult has an HGH deficiency.
- Anxiety or depression
- A decrease in one’s libido or sexual function
- An increase in body fat, particularly fat around the waist area
- Less body mass (muscle)
- A reduction in strength
- A reduction in energy
- Baldness in men
- A greater sensitivity to heat and/or cold
- Feelings of isolation
- A reduction in stamina
- An inability to exercise without periods of rest throughout the workout
- Changes in the makeup of your blood cholesterol
- Abnormalities with lipids especially an increase in LDL
- Cardiac dysfunction
- Increased levels of fibrinogen
- Higher triglyceride levels
- A reduction in bone density
- An increase in the occurrence of osteoporosis
- A higher incidence of bone fractures typically as a person ages
- Impaired concentration
- A higher incidence of memory loss
- An increase in weight gain
- Dry skin
- Changes in behavior
Measuring and Testing for Adult HGH Deficiency
The physicians that specialize in diagnosing and treating HGH deficiency in adults are called internal endocrinologists. There are a number of tests that can be used to assess whether there is an adult HGH deficiency. However, there is still a debate over the accuracy of some of these tests along with an ongoing discussion about which of these tests are the most appropriate. The fact that there are several tests, shows just how complex it can be to make an accurate diagnosis, and that there are individualized tests for different clinical circumstances. The perfect test will clearly separate normal and deficient patients.
IGF-1 Hormone Test
To confirm a person is suffering from an HGH deficiency, there is a need for an IGF-1 (Insulin like growth factor -1) hormone test. This test is often ordered in combination with the GH test, which can be the GH stimulation or suppression test.
GH Stimulation Test
This test will help diagnose both hypopituitarism and a GH deficiency. A blood sample is drawn after a person has fasted for 10 to 12 hours. Then you are given intravenous insulin or arginine under medical supervision. Blood samples will then be taken at set intervals. Theses samples are tests for GH levels to see if the pituitary glands stimulated by the insulin or arginine to produce the levels of HGH that are expected.
If the HGH level is not stimulated significantly during the test and the individual has deficiency symptoms and a low IGF-1 level, then it is highly likely that a deficiency exists, and the doctor may treat. If the person has a low TSH level, then this should be addressed first as thyroid deficiencies can have symptoms that are similar to HGH deficiencies. If an individual vigorously exercises, and there is no HGH increase then it is likely they have an HGH deficiency.
24 Hour GH Secretion Test
This test shows significant overlap between healthy and HGH deficiency, when polyclonal radioimmunoassay is used to measure GH. This method of testing requires numerous samples over 24 hours, which is time consuming. The test has 90 percent sensitivity but the specificity ranges from 79 percent for patients under 40 years to 36 percent for those over 60 years
GH Secretion Dynamic Test
This test measures the HGH reserve, by inducing hypoglycemia with an intravenous insulin bolus. Then for two hours, HGH levels are measured every 15 to 30 minutes. Following an adequate venous blood glucose nadir of 2.2 mmol/L, a peak GH response of less than 5 ng/mL using a polyclonal radioimmunoassay suggests GHD while a peak of less than 3 ng/mL indicates severe GHD. The latter cutoff provides adequate separation of normal and hypo-pituitary subjects, and it even allows for conditions that result in reduced HGH secretion that include age and obesity. It is an indicator for thinking about HGH replacement in adults.
While this test is thought to be the ‘gold standard,’ the test is certainly not perfect. Experienced centers are able to safely conduct this test. It can be unpleasant if the patient requires hospital admission and adequate hypoglycemia is not achieved. As a result, considerable health care resources are consumed. This intensive testing can last three to four hours due to delayed action of glucagon.
GHRH + Arginine Test
This combined test with arginine and GHRH is a powerful stimulus HGH production, which has gained increasing acceptance as a method of diagnosing HGH deficiencies. An intravenous bolus of arginine (0.5 g/kg of body weight) and GHRC (1 mcg/kg of body weight) is given. For a two-hour period, serum samples are collected every 15 to 30 minutes. The biggest problem with this test is that there is a great deal of controversy over what the deficiency cutoff is. Some say the optimal cutoff is 9 ng/mL while others say it is 4.1 ng/mL. This is a safe test - many do experience flushing. However, there are rarely more serious side effects. Those who have chronic renal failure should not have this test.
The Arginine test can be used to assess HGH reserves. However, it is a less lively stimulant for HGH secretion than GST or ITT. Generally, the GH response to the Arginine test are not robust, and there are very few side effects; however, dry mouth is fairly common. Patients prefer this test over others.
GH Suppression Test
While we are looking at deficiencies it pays to mention the GH suppression test to, which measures excessive levels of HGH. This test will be used along with other imaging scans and blood tests to help to identify pituitary tumors. A blood sample is drawn after fasting for 10 to 12 hours. Then a glucose solution is given. Blood samples are then drawn at intervals, and the HGH levels tested to see if the pituitary gland is suppressed by sufficiently after the glucose dose.
If an individual’s level is not suppressed significantly during the test and the individual has symptoms of Acromegaly or gigantism, and there is a high IGF-1 level, it is likely the person is producing too much HGH. If there is a mass that shows on an MRI, CT scan, or X-ray, then a pituitary tumor is likely present and most of these are benign.
When are the Tests Ordered?
If you have one or more symptoms that indicate you may have an HGH deficiency, your doctor may order one or more of the HGH deficiency tests. However, prior to that they will run other tests such as cortisol, T4, FSH, LH, TSH, and testosterone. That is because other conditions can mimic an HGH deficiency. Once these tests confirm there is not another reason for these symptoms then the HGH deficiency tests are run.
Some of the tests discussed may not be common practice. Some of these tests are
more commonly seen in use during research and studies, but they are valid tests
that can be chosen by your doctor to. In fact, your doctor will decide which
test or tests they wish to run to confirm their suspicion of an
An HGH deficiency is no laughing matter. If you suspect that you may have an HGH
deficiency, see your doctor.
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