Growth Hormone Deficiency


What is growth hormone deficiency?

Growth hormone deficiency can be described as reduced secretion of growth hormone (GH) from the anterior pituitary gland located in the brain. The pituitary gland is responsible for producing several hormones that control proper metabolism, growth and many other important physical processes. Growth hormone deficiency in children can lead to short stature and a delay in the lengthening of bones, which will result in bone size that does not match the child’s age.

At CompreCare, we provide a variety of specialty growth hormone deficiency therapies. Please feel free to contact us at 1-888-644-8326 or email us at info@comprecarehealth.com to learn how we can help you.

What are the causes of growth hormone deficiency?

Growth hormone deficiency can be classified into three main subgroups and their respective causes:

  • Congenital growth hormone deficiency
    • Growth hormone deficiency that is present from birth and is likely due to genetic mutations or structural abnormalities in the brain.
  • Acquired growth hormone deficiency
    • This can be due to problems that may occur later in life as an adult. This may include causes such as trauma, infections, radiation therapy or tumors within the brain.
  • Idiopathic growth hormone deficiency
    • This subgroup has no known cause or the cause has not been determined.
What are the signs and symptoms of growth hormone deficiency?

GHD may present in many different ways. Typically, children with GHD will be of normal size at birth. Symptoms in childhood may include:

  • Delayed lengthening of long bones (arm and leg bones)
  • Fine hair
  • Reduced nail growth
  • Delayed development of facial bones
  • Slow tooth growth

Acquired GHD symptoms that occur later in life (adults) may include:

  • Decreased energy
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Increased fat mass or weight gain
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Increased cholesterol levels
How is growth hormone deficiency diagnosed?

GHD is diagnosed using laboratory tests, physical examinations and other diagnostic tests. Height and weight measurements are taken and plotted on a growth chart that corresponds with your child’s age. Certain tests may be used to stimulate the pituitary gland to produce growth hormone. This allows your physician to measure blood levels of growth hormone at certain timed intervals.

Your child’s physician may also test for other hormone deficiencies such as thyroid hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone, cortisol and celiac antibodies. These tests may rule out other causes of short stature. Imaging studies may also be utilized in order to exclude the presence of a tumor on the pituitary gland in the brain (the gland that produces growth hormone).

How is growth hormone deficiency treated?

Growth hormone replacement is the key treatment for GHD. Human growth hormone may also be referred to as somatotropin. Human growth hormone replacement is used to accelerate growth velocity and promote normal growth and stature. There are several formulations of somatotropin available that typically involve daily subcutaneous injections. The period of treatment for growth hormone therapy will depend on your child’s specific needs and diagnosis.

CompreCare Health specializes in providing you with the specialty medications that may be required for your child’s condition.

Other growth disorders:

There are other growth disorders and conditions that require human growth hormone replacement.

This includes:

  • Growth failure due to chronic renal insufficiency
    • Growth failure can be a complication of chronic kidney disease in children. Normal kidney function helps to control the body’s ability to use growth hormone and balance of nutrients and minerals.
  • Growth failure in children born small for gestational age
    • This involves a low birth weight and/or height that is well below the mean size for neonates of the same gestational age. As these babies grow, they may be of short stature during childhood and adulthood. This may warrant treated with human growth hormone replacement.
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome
    • Prader-Willi syndrome is a genetic disorder that involves decreased muscle tone, short stature, slow metabolism and reduced sexual development. Excessive eating and a chronic feeling of hunger that can lead to morbid obesity may also characterize this disorder. Learning, social and motor problems may also be present.
  • Turner’s Syndrome
    • Turner’s syndrome is a chromosomal (genetic) disorder that affects females. Symptoms include short stature, lack of sexual development at puberty, kidney problems, heart defects and an increased predisposition to autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and celiac syndrome.
  • Noonan Syndrome
    • Noonan syndrome is a genetic disorder that has several symptoms and physical characteristics. This may include abnormalities in the development of certain bones, widely set eyes, heart defects, issues with sexual development and problems with blood clotting.
  • Idiopathic short stature
    • This disorder is described as having height that is significantly shorter than the average population. There is no known cause for this short stature and growth hormone therapy may be used for this disorder.
References:

https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/6552/growth-hormone-deficiency
https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/923688-clinical?pa=JfwKSbvIoNpFoOPdqUUc2kIpY7dJgzl16cQauirE8FpfhJTiIpIb4U9r%2Ff8umBVvJyGvMX%2Fu%2BWdIXoARf%2FT0zw%3D%3D
https://www.pedsendo.org/education_training/healthcare_providers/consensus_statements/assets/FINAL_GH_CGL.pdf
https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/children/caring-child-kidney-disease/growth-failure-chronic-kidney-disease
https://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/clinical_charts.htm

How to place an order?

CompreCare can accept electronic prescriptions as well as original prescriptions through the mail. Faxed prescriptions must come from your physician’s office only. CompreCare will verify all new controlled substance prescriptions with your physician’s office for validity.

We look forward to servicing all of your prescription medication needs in a fast and friendly way! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 1-888-644-8326.

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