Adult Onset Growth Hormone Deficiency

Adult Onset Growth Hormone Deficiency

Adult Onset Growth Hormone Deficiency (AOGHD) is a medical condition characterized by the deficiency of growth hormone (GH) production in adults. It is also referred to as adult growth hormone deficiency (AGHD). Adult-onset growth hormone deficiency can occur in individuals of any age, most commonly affecting adults between the ages of 30 and 50.

Growth hormone deficiency has a variety of symptoms, including loss of muscle mass, fatigue, and decreased bone density. In addition, AOGHD may be associated with metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity. In some cases, AOGHD can cause a decreased sex drive and other psychological changes.

Causes of Adult-Onset Growth Hormone Deficiency

Adult-onset growth hormone deficiency is caused by a variety of, as yet unchanged, factors. These can include radiation therapy, tumors, head injuries, and autoimmune conditions such as hypopituitarism, and acquired or congenital diseases.

Diagnosis of Adult-Onset Growth Hormone Deficiency

The diagnosis of adult-onset growth hormone deficiency usually begins with a physical exam and medical history. This is followed by laboratory and imaging tests to measure the levels of hormones and other substances in your blood, as well as in your cerebrospinal fluid.

A diagnosis of adult-onset growth hormone deficiency is confirmed when two or more of the following conditions are met, based on a combination of clinical and laboratory tests:

  • Low levels of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) on blood tests;
  • Symptoms of growth hormone deficiency, such as decreased muscle mass and fat gain;
  • Structural or biochemical changes in the pituitary gland;
  • Low levels of other pituitary hormones; and
  • A lack of response to growth hormone stimulatory tests.

Treatment of Adult-Onset Growth Hormone Deficiency

Treatment for AOGHD is based on the individual needs of the patient and may consist of medical, surgical, and lifestyle interventions. Treatment options include:

  • Growth hormone replacement therapy (GHRT): This is the most common treatment for AOGHD. It involves daily injections of synthetic growth hormone, which helps restore hormone levels. GHRT may improve body composition, muscle mass, and energy levels.
  • Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT): TRT may improve sex drive and energy levels, and reduce muscle fatigue in men.
  • Surgery: Surgery may be recommended to repair structural damage to the pituitary gland.
  • Diet and exercise: Improving your diet and increasing physical activity may help to improve overall health and well-being.