Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency (Guidelines, Symptoms & Treatment)

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Adult growth hormone deficiency is classified as an endocrine issue.

It’s not unusual to find bodybuilders and athletes injecting doses of synthetic growth hormone for physical enhancement.

But doing so when the body produces adequate amounts already can produce some unexpected side effects and for some, adverse reactions.

Are you thinking of resorting to growth hormone substances combined with anabolic androgenic steroids to promote growth and development of lean muscle mass?

Be aware of what growth hormone is and why it’s recommended for those with an adult growth hormone deficiency, as well as the potential risks involved.

Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency

In the United States, approximately 6,000 adults are diagnosed with growth hormone deficiencies annually. [1]

Out of those individuals, approximately 18% were diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency during childhood.

Another common cause of an adult growth hormone deficiency is some damage or injury to the pituitary gland or other type of brain trauma.

The Pituitary Gland & Growth Hormone

The pituitary gland produces a number of hormones, in addition to its responsibility as the “master” gland of the body. The pituitary gland is a very small gland about the size of a raisin located in the brain.

When it receives an order from the hypothalamus – also in the brain and often called the body’s ‘thermostat’ – to either increase or decrease hormone production from a gland in the body, the pituitary kicks into action.

The pituitary gland is responsible for the production and secretion of growth hormone (GH). Growth hormone triggers growth of long bones as well as a number of organs during childhood and adolescence.

In an adult, growth hormone improves muscle growth and tone. It also has an influence on a number of other body functions including metabolism and digestion.

Growth hormone has an influence on sugar levels in the body, as well as the function of insulin. One powerful effect that may not be noticed is a negative influence on insulin levels.

In some cases, this negative impact can trigger insulin resistance and development of diabetes mellitus.

Growth hormone has an influence on dozens of activities in the body, including brain function.

When the pituitary fails to produce adequate levels of growth hormone for optimal health and wellness, a physician may suggest that an individual undergo growth hormone replacement therapy.

Signs & Symptoms Of Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency

An individual experiencing a deficiency of growth hormone (adult) may notice a number of signs and symptoms.

Not everyone will experience the same or regarding to its severity.

A number of factors can influence not only side effects, but the effect of exogenous (any form) growth hormone has on the body in regard to benefits. A few of those include:


Body composition (height versus weight)


Diet, exercise, and lifestyle

Current health status

The most prevalent indications of an adult growth hormone deficiency include:

A decrease in muscle mass

Reduced stamina in regard to exercise

Increase in visceral or belly fat

Often drastic changes in lipid levels (cholesterol)

Female hormone deficiency symptoms (low estrogen) include hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, water retention, breast swelling, fatigue, depression, among others.

Growth hormone deficiency symptoms in children may include tiredness or a lack of motivation.


If you are living with growth hormone deficiency, you will want to talk to your doctor about it.

In order to diagnose a true deficiency, a number of diagnostic tests, including blood tests, will be indicated.

If left untreated, an adult growth hormone deficiency can interfere with long-term health and wellness.

This also means increased risk of fractures, cardiovascular damage, and muscle loss.

In many cases, adult growth hormone deficiencies are a part of aging, caused by the decline in production of growth hormone as well as other hormones in the body, including testosterone.

Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency Treatment

Growth hormone deficiency in adults guidelines suggest treatment with injections of synthetic growth hormone. Growth hormone manufactured by the body is called somatotropin.

Synthetic growth hormone developed in a lab is called somatropin. Somatropin is also a generic term for dozens of brand-name manufacturers of growth hormone around the world.

Some of the most common brands include:






Each of these growth hormone products (somatropin) are carefully dosed and monitored by a physician to reduce the risk of side effects.

Legal Status of Growth Hormone

In the United States and some countries around the world, growth hormone is not listed as a controlled substance, although it is a prescription-only drug.

Note: Women considering use of growth hormone should know that risks of use during pregnancy have not yet been determined.

Use of growth hormone at this time may contribute to fetal developmental growth abnormalities. Its presence in breast milk may also trigger issues.

Taking growth hormone when the body doesn’t need it can interfere with and disrupt overall body functions. Some side effects are mild, but others can be life-threatening and reduce life expectancy.

Before considering use of growth hormone to increase muscle mass or athletic performance enhancement, extreme caution is advised.

Growth hormone, whether generic or brand name, is intended for use only on an individual diagnosed with an adult growth hormone deficiency.

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