Endocrine Disorders is a collection of conditions affecting the function and influence of the body's endocrine system.
A growth hormone (GH) test measures the amount of human growth hormone (GH) in the blood. GH is made by the pituitary gland and is needed for growth. It plays an important role in how the body uses food for energy (metabolism). The amount of GH in the blood changes during the day and is affected by exercise, sleep, emotional stress, and diet.
Too much GH during childhood can cause a child to grow taller than normal (gigantism). Too little GH during childhood can cause a child to grow less than normal (dwarfism). Both conditions can be treated if found early.
Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is a rare disorder characterized by the inadequate secretion of growth hormone (GH) from the anterior pituitary gland, a small gland located at the base of the brain that is responsible for the production of several hormones. GHD can be present from birth (congenital), resulting from genetic mutations or from structural defects in the brain. It can also be acquired later in life as a result of trauma, infection, radiation therapy, or tumor growth within the brain. A third category has no known or diagnosable cause (idiopathic).
Synthetic human growth hormone was developed in 1985 and approved by the FDA for specific uses in children and adults. In children, HGH injections are approved for treating short stature of unknown cause as well as poor growth due to a number of medical causes.
High GH values may mean gigantism or acromegaly is present. These conditions are caused by a noncancerous tumor in the pituitary gland (adenoma). Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels should also be high.
High GH levels may also be caused by diabetes, kidney disease, or starvation. These conditions do not cause high IGF-1 levels.
Growth Hormone Deficiency and Acromegaly should be diagnosed and treated by an endocrinologist specializing in these areas.