Growth Hormone Deficiency
A growth hormone deficiency is a medical condition in which the pituitary gland does not produce enough growth hormone to facilitate normal growth and development.
In infants, this can cause serious long-term health problems. For toddlers and young children, a deficiency may result in slower learning development and smaller size. For pre-teens and teenagers, growth hormone deficiencies can lead to smaller stature, low weight, and delayed puberty and maturity.
A growth hormone deficiency is not very common in adults, but can lead to poor bone density and psychological problems. Some adults seek treatment for low secretion levels of growth hormone in order to gain certain anti-aging and athletic benefits.
It is unknown what exactly causes a growth hormone deficiency, but there are numerous things that are believed to affect the likelihood of a growth hormone deficiency. These risk factors include Turner Syndrome, mutations of genes, brain tumors, autoimmune inflammations, chronic renal insufficiency, and a damaged pituitary gland due to trauma or radiation.
Growth hormone deficiency should not be confused with small size, especially in young children, and can only be properly diagnosed and treated by a doctor. A deficiency is a medical problem requiring treatment; many adults who do not suffer from a deficiency seek the positive benefits that human growth hormone levels can provide in healthy adults.