Growth Hormone Deficiency in Children: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment
May 24th, 2020 by David Martin
Do you know growth hormone deficiency happens in roughly 1 in every 7,000 births?
Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is a condition when your child is unable to meet the standard height and weight. It is caused because of the inefficiency of the pituitary gland—a gland of the size of a pea— to produce the growth hormones.
GHD mostly affects kids than adults.
If the diagnosis of a Child with GHD is made early, the recovery happens very well. If overlooked, the condition over time can lead to delayed puberty and shorter than average height.
What Are the Common Symptoms of GHD?
Children with growth hormone deficiency have a younger, rounder face and height shorter than their peers. They are usually chubby and have excessive body fat, especially around the abdomen region—even when the body proportions are normal.
If the growth hormone deficiency is developed later in the child’s life, maybe because of a brain injury or tumor, puberty is affected, and even sexual development is thwarted.
The teens with GHD have to deal with low self-esteem because of their short stature and slow puberty. For instance, girls may not develop breasts or voices in boys are not matured in line with their peers.
Low bone strength is another prevalent symptom of GHD, and they may experience frequent fractures. They also feel tired and lack stamina. Besides, they experience sensitivity to cold or hot temperature.
A Few Physiological Signs of GHD Are:
- poor memory,
- emotional distress,
- depression, and
- lack of concentration.
Diagnosis of Growth Hormone Deficiency
The diagnosis of growth hormone deficiency is challenging since there are no visible signs and symptoms during the stages; it is when you discover your child’s height is shorter than their peers.
Diagnosis of GHD typically starts with a physical examination, and the doctor will check your kid’s height, weight, and body proportions to check for slow growth. Children with growth hormone deficiency don’t adhere to the growth charts.
After physical evaluation, your doctor may order blood tests online to determine the amounts of growth hormones in the blood. Alternatively, they may recommend an HSH Elisa kit test for quantitative measurement of growth hormone protein.
What Are the Causes of Growth Hormone Deficiency?
Damage to the pituitary gland or abnormal formation which usually occurs before your child’s birth or during birth. If growth hormone deficiency isn’t present at the birth, it is developed later because of any injury to the brain or tumor.
The cancerous growth that affects the overall body development is near the pituitary gland or around the hypothalamus region of the brain. Additionally, infection and radiation treatments can contribute to growth hormone deficiency.
Here Are Some Causes of Acquired GHD:
- Brain surgery;
- Reduced blood supply to the pituitary gland;
- Hormonal problems; and
- Brain radiation treatments.
Although in most cases, the cause of growth hormone deficiency is unknown, early treatment increases the chances your child attains an average adult height.
What Is the Best Treatment for GHD in Kids?
The most prevalent treatment in kids is growth hormone therapy. In this therapy, growth hormones are externally injected into the body. These hormones increase the growth and cell production in the body.
Once your doctor has prescribed GHT for your child, then they may require a daily dosage of growth hormones—It’s totally based on the severity of the condition. Usually, you need to take your child to the doctor once every six to eight weeks so that they can monitor the body’s progress.
Frequent blood samples are taken to determine how much more growth hormones needed to be injected into the body. For regular tests, you don’t need to take your child to the hospital, instead, opt for an online blood test. A person from the medical staff will arrive at your place at your convenience and take the blood sample. The blood report is typically delivered within the next 24 hours via email, which you can forward to your doctor for evaluation.
The doctor will also keep a tab on your child’s blood glucose levels and bone density, so make sure they’re on health levels, while your kid is on GHD injections.
The growth hormone therapy is safe and effective, but there are certain side effects, which includes:
- Muscles aches
- Slight pain
If your kid is exhibiting signs of slowed growth, talk to your specialist immediately, otherwise, GHD with time can lead to a drastic impact on your child’s overall physical growth.
Share your opinion in the comments section below: