Growth Hormone Tests

Growth Hormone Tests

Growth hormone tests measure the amount of human growth hormone (HGH) in the blood. HGH helps regulate body composition, body fluids, muscle and bone growth, sugar and fat metabolism, and possibly heart function. These tests are useful in diagnosing various types of hormone issues, such as growth hormone deficiency and exaggerated levels.

Preparation for the Test

Prior to testing, your doctor may deliver several instructions, advises or reminders about the test. He or she may ask you to fast (no food or drinks except water) for 8 to 12 hours before the test, or drugs that you take should be avoided as it may interfere with the result. Also, advise your doctor if you are pregnant, or may be pregnant, or are taking any herbal supplements, as it may affect the test.

Procedure for the Test

A trained healthcare provider takes a small sample of blood from a vein in your arm or the back of your hand. This is typically done with a needle and syringe.

Types of Growth Hormone Tests

  • Growth Hormone Stimulation Test
  • ARGININE Growth Hormone Stimulation Test
  • Growth Hormone-releasing hormone Test
  • IGF-1 Test

Risks Involved for the Test

The possible risks associated with taking the growth hormone test are slight. The risks involved in taking this test are rare, include pain and bleeding from the puncture site, and possibly a risk of infection or nerve injury. The growth hormone test is an easy and safe medical procedure.

Why Growth Hormone Test?

Growth hormone tests are used to detect and diagnose disorders of the pituitary gland. These tests determine if an individual has a deficiency or an overabundance of the hormone. Doctors can utilize the results of the test to formulate a treatment plan to help re-stabilize the levels of the hormone.

When Growth Hormone Test is Recommended?

Growth hormone tests are recommended when a doctor suspects an underlying disorder of the pituitary gland or hypothalamus. It is also conducted during a physical for a child or a teenager who is not growing at an expected rate, or for an adult who develops signs of an endocrine disorder. In addition, a growth hormone test may be recommended for athletes suspected of using HGH for performance enhancement.