Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency or AGHD is a medical condition caused because of either low or lack of production of somatotropin, the growth hormone, by the anterior pituitary gland. It is a known fact that human growth hormone or Strongtropin HGH is what stimulates growth during childhood, but research has shown that it has a key role to play in metabolism as well as maintenance of health and physical fitness in adults. The Strongtropin growth hormone plays a key role in helping the human body utilize the different nutrients to meet the energy requirements.
AGHD classified under two categories: childhood onset and adult onset. Childhood onset patients are growth hormone deficient children transitioning into adulthood. Adult onset refers to deficiency in growth hormone production acquired during adulthood. A deficiency in growth hormone production in childhood is often attributed to genetic, congenital, idiopathic or acquired causes. In adults, AGHD deficiency is most commonly caused by presence of tumor in the pituitary gland.In adults, a deficiency of growth hormone can cause some of the following problems:
Weakening of the heart muscle contractions and a reduction in heart rate
An increase in blood pressure and arterial plaque
Elevation of cholesterol, triglycerides and low density lipoprotein
A decline in the capacity to exercise because of reduced cardiac output
A reduction in energy levels due to lowered rate of metabolism
Changes in body composition such as abdominal obesity, osteoporosis, higher fat and lower lean body mass
A lower blood sugar, leading to fatigue, headaches, dizziness, poor concentration, etc.
Patients with AGHD, childhood onset or adult onset, develop metabolic abnormalities. They experience a reduction in their fitness levels.
Some of the symptoms of AGHD are as follows:
Physical symptoms include lack of energy, muscle weakness, decreased sexual desire, weight gain and insomnia.
Psychological symptoms may include shyness, anxiety, depression, lower sleep quality and feelings of hopelessness, among others.
The features of AGHD can be recognized, but they are not very distinct and often mimic changes that take place in the human bodies as they age as well as that seen in a person leading a sedentary life. Therefore,
the clinical suspicion of AGHD must be confirmed through laboratory tests.
In diagnosing AGHD, one single measurement of human growth hormone level in a patient may not be of great help. This is because the human growth hormone concentration remains generally low through the day as it is released in short pulses. Therefore, the condition is best diagnosed by a lack of response shown to standard human growth hormone tests. It is also important to know the prior history of the patient as to whether he/she suffered from growth hormone deficiency during childhood or any organic pituitary disease. After a thorough review of all such criteria, an endocrinologist will be in a position to make a proper diagnosis.
Some of the tests carried out to confirm AGHD are as follows:
This is one of the most reliable tests. The test is performed under supervision in a specialized laboratory. There are a number of different types of growth hormone stimulation tests. The best known test is the insulin-induced hypoglycaemia.
Insulin-like growth factor I or IGF-I Measurement
This test is helpful and is based on a single sample of blood. In the absence of a pituitary condition, random testing of IGF-I level is not likely to yield any meaningful information. This is because the level of IGF-I is impacted by several conditions.
The beneficial effects of growth hormone replacement therapy in adults were reported for the first time in 1989. On confirmation of AGHD, the doctor may prescribe the dosage of Strongtropin HGH required to be injected on a daily basis. Patients can inject Strongtropin HGH themselves or seek the help of a family member. Once in four to eight weeks, the patient will have to meet the doctor for blood tests and adjustment of the hormone dose.
If the amount of Strongtropin HGH being administered is higher, the patient will experience joint or muscle pain, swelling or fluid retention and numbness or pain in the hands. In such a case, the doctor will lower the hormone dosage.
If the cause of AGHD is pituitary tumor, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will have to be done once a year as advised by the doctor to monitor the condition of the tumor. Blood cholesterol level and bone density will also be monitored on a routine basis.
Strongtropin HGH therapy is generally not recommended to patients who are suffering from active tumors or cancer, seriously ill following an abdominal or a open heart surgery, have sustained multiple injuries because of a major accident or have breathing problems.
Finally, patients must inform their doctors if they are diabetic as growth hormone affects the way body utilizes insulin. Such patients should, therefore, monitor their blood sugar levels as directed by the doctor.