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Growth Hormone Deficiency in Adults

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

What is growth hormone deficiency (GHD)?

GHD is a condition that prevents your pituitary from making enough growth hormone. The pituitary is a gland in your brain. Growth hormone makes children and adolescents grow taller. Throughout life, it helps increase muscle mass and strengthens bones. Growth hormone also helps the liver and pancreas work correctly and stimulates the immune system.

What causes or increases my risk for GHD?

GHD usually starts in childhood and continues into adulthood. Any of the following may increase your risk for GHD that did not start in childhood:

What are the signs and symptoms of GHD?

How is GHD diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about health conditions or injuries you have had. Tell him or her about any physical changes you have noticed, such as less muscle or more fat than before. Tell him or her if you are having trouble exercising for more than a few minutes at a time. He or she may also ask if you have a family history of hypopituitarism or GHD. He or she will ask about your symptoms and how long you have had them. You may need any of the following:

How is GHD treated?

Treatment depends on the cause of your GHD, and when it started.

What can I do to manage GHD?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

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