What Are the Symptoms of Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency?

Reviewed on 11/29/2021
Growth Hormone Deficiency
Symptoms of adult growth hormone can be classified into five types, including neuropsychiatric and cardiac problems, and metabolic, bone, and muscular abnormalities.

Symptoms of adult growth hormone deficiency are nonspecific. Some people may be asymptomatic.

Reported symptoms of adult growth hormone can be classified into five types, which include:

  • Neuropsychiatric problems:
    • People with growth hormone deficiency frequently complain of the following:
    • Growth hormone treatments for 6 to 12 months can significantly improve the following:
      • Energy levels
      • Self-esteem
      • Emotional reactions
  • Cardiac problems:
  • Metabolic abnormalities:
  • Bone abnormalities:
  • Muscular abnormalities:
    • Growth hormone deficiency is associated with reduced muscle mass and impaired muscle functions, which results in symptoms that include:
      • Decreased muscle mass
      • Decreased strength

In general, symptoms of adult growth hormone deficiency are as follows:

What is adult growth hormone deficiency?

Adult growth hormone deficiency is a growth hormone deficiency acquired during adulthood or can be a transition of childhood-onset growth hormone deficiency.

Growth hormone deficiency occurs due to reduced growth hormone secretion from the pituitary gland. Damage to the pituitary glands or hypothalamus (that controls the pituitary glands) leads to growth hormone deficiency.

3 causes of adult growth hormone deficiency

Causes of adult growth hormone deficiency can be divided into three categories, which include:

  1. Congenital causes of adult growth hormone deficiency include genetic defects or brain structure defects, such as:
  2. Acquired causes of growth hormone deficiency include:
  3. Adult growth hormone deficiency can occur due to unknown reasons (idiopathic).

How is adult growth hormone deficiency treated?

The most common way to treat adult growth hormone deficiency is to use growth hormone injections.

Growth hormone injections can have various beneficial effects on the symptoms of growth hormone deficiency including:

  • Effects on body composition and bone mineral content:
    • Growth hormone therapy, when given for a year, can
      • Decrease body fat with most reduction occurring in the abdomen.
      • Improve lean tissue or muscle mass.
      • Reduce the risk of diabetes.
    • Growth hormone, when given for 18 months, increases the bone mineral density and reduces the risk of fractures.
  • Effects on physical performance:
    • Growth hormone therapy has a direct effect on the heart and muscle cells, thus increasing the following:
      • Exercise performance
      • Oxygen consumption
      • Cardiac output
  • Effects on lipids:
    • Growth hormone therapy, when combined with a statin, shows a significant reduction in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.
  • Effects on psychological well-being:
    • Growth hormone therapy, when taken for 6 to 12 months, can improve the following:
      • Muscle strength
      • Energy levels
      • Emotional reactions
      • Thinking and reasoning ability
    • Growth hormone therapy is known to reduce pain associated with fibromyalgia.
  • Effect on muscles:
    • Growth hormone therapy improves muscle mass and neuromuscular function.

Side effects of growth hormone therapy

Growth hormone therapy can cause the following side effects:

Lowering the dose of growth hormone can alleviate the side effects.

People who are old and obese are more prone to the side effects of growth hormone therapy.

Other considerations for growth hormone therapy

A growth hormone therapy should be injected daily during bedtime and should be avoided in people who:

  • Have active cancer or tumor.
  • Are seriously ill.
  • Have multiple injuries from major accidents.
  • Have breathing problems.

People with diabetes should monitor their blood sugar levels while taking growth hormones.

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References
Image Source: iStock Images

https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/120767-treatment

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3183535/

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fendo.2013.00064/full#h8

https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/brain-and-nerves/adult-growth-hormone-deficiency/treatments.html

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