Growth Hormone Excess and Deficiency

It is always said that growth hormone production is in excess during youth and later becomes deficient as we grow older.  This is probably because we require more growth hormones during our growing years for the overall growth and development of our bodies.  Most of the time, we are only familiar with growth hormone deficiency, particularly in children as being smaller in height than average.  Aside from that, what really does happen when growth hormone is in excess or is deficient.

Growth Hormone Excess

When a person’s growth hormone is in excess, there is a likelihood that that person will acquire a pituitary tumor made of somatotroph cells.  This benign epithelial tumor is not cancerous and is slow to grow, but will produce more and more growth hormones.  The epithelial tumor will eventually become larger enough which can be the result of headaches, impaired vision through pressure on optic nerves, and the deficiency of other hormones secreted by the pituitary gland.

If excess in growth hormone occurs for a long period of time, these persons will have thickened jaw bones, resulting in a heavy jaw and is referred to as acromegaly.  In addition, thickened bones of digits are also commonly seen which may cause carpal tunnel syndrome or shooting pain the wrist.  Associated problems with this condition can be muscle weakness, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, nerve pains on certain pressure points, and impotence.

Growth hormone tumors normally occur during 50 years of age, but very rarely during childhood.  However, should the excessive GH hormone occur during youth, chances are, the child will have excessive growth, a condition commonly called pituitary gigantism.

Surgery is often the solution when it comes to the removal of GH-producing tumors.  On the other hand, radiation and GH antagonist are also known for treating this disorder.  They do this by blocking the secretion of GH as well as its release.

Growth Hormone Deficiency

The deficiency in growth hormone becomes normal as one gets older.  However, if this condition occur in children, it is highly likely that these children will become short in height and that the growth and development is also much slower.  Aside from height, other manifestations of growth hormone deficiency will include congenital malformations and late sexual maturity.  If an adult suffers from a true growth hormone deficiency, it is likely that this condition is just a continuation from his childhood disorder.

Adults that suffer from growth hormone deficiency tend to suffer from issues like obesity, decreased muscle mass, low energy, and maybe poor quality of life.  However, when given supplements to help increase their growth hormonal levels, studies revealed an increase in both energy and stamina, as well as significant increase in bone and muscle mass.  There are some who even note overall facial and skin improvement, thereby proving to the claims of HGH supplements to be an anti-aging miracle drug.  While this issue still remains an act of debate, the increase in growth hormone for people with GH deficiencies creates a lot of benefits for them.