Untreated Growth Hormone Deficiency: What Can One ExpectWhen a person lives with a growth hormone deficiency without treatment there are a few things that he or she can expect:
- If the GH deficiency does not create unbearable symptoms, a person may choose not to begin any treatment. He or she can make the decision to live with the issues that are caused by their low growth hormone levels.
- If a person is having symptoms from their GH deficiency, but decides not to seek treatment, they can expect the symptoms to most likely worsen. He or she will then live with the consequences.
- A person can decide that they want to increase their growth hormone levels before symptoms from a GH deficiency get too much to bear. He or she can begin hormone replacement therapy (HRT) right away. They may also wait until their symptoms become unmanageable and then decide to start treatment to relieve the problems, decrease them or to completely eliminate them.
Every person is different and will have their own unique experience when their growth hormones begin to decrease within their bodies. Some people can live their entire lives with a HGH deficiency without treatment, but other people cannot due to the overwhelming symptoms that greatly diminish their quality of life (QOL).
An Untreated Growth Hormone Deficiency: What Are The Expected Symptoms
When a growth hormone deficiency goes untreated, a number of symptoms can occur. What ailments will bother a person are usually based on their own specific genetic make-up. No people are alike and therefore, symptoms will vary. They can include:
- Weight gain
- Difficulty maintaining a healthy weight
- Loss of lean muscle mass
- Sexual dysfunction
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss of sexual desire
- A low sexual libido
- Inability to have an orgasm
- Vaginal dryness
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Hair loss or balding
- Thinning hair
- Loss of strong skin elasticity
- Crow’s feet around the eyes
- Sagging skin
- Nails that do not grow
- A weaker immune system
- Slower healing
- Bruising more easily from injury
- Greater chance of developing weak bone density
- Higher LDL cholesterol levels
- Heart issues such as stroke or heart attack
- Higher triglyceride levels
- Mood swings
- Difficulty controlling anger
- A foggy mental feeling
- Loss of short term memory
- Difficulty with concentrating and focusing
- Lack of organ growth
- Weaker vision
- Difficulty with sleep
- Sleep disturbances
Once again, not all people will experience all of these symptoms above if they have a growth hormone deficiency without treatment. On the other hand, these are the most common problems for this issue.
Growth Hormone Deficiency: With Treatment Versus Without Treatment
In many studies, those with an untreated growth hormone deficiency suffered more in all aspects of their health than those who had the same issue, but were treated. The treatment was doctor supervised hormone replacement therapy.
Below are some studies that demonstrate how treatment can help those with a growth hormone deficiency versus how people feel when they live with a growth hormone deficiency without treatment:
- 1. An article that was published in Clinical Endocrinology studied subjects who had growth hormone deficiencies. These participants all had a decrease in their quality of life, according to questionnaires that they were given to complete. These were the Nottingham Health Profile and the Psychological General Well-Being Schedule which are both self rating questionnaires.
Subjects who had the HGH deficiency without treatment throughout the study had no increase in their quality of life. In fact, it was reported that their health declined. The subjects who were treated with hormone replacement therapy did have an increase in the way that they felt. They mostly had an increase in energy levels, happiness and overall quality of life.
- 2. An article published in Clinical Endocrinology shared that those with a growth hormone deficiency without treatment suffered much more than those who were treated for their symptoms. The article shared that there was no evidence of cardiovascular risk or cancer risk from HRT during short term or long term treatment.
- 3. Another article published in Clinical Endocrinology shared that subjects who had a growth hormone deficiency that was left untreated had a great deterioration of their quality of life. They had approximately double the chance of decreased QOL that of those who either got treatment or were not suffering with any growth hormone deficiency symptoms at all.
The conclusion that can be drawn from the above studies (and many more) is that GH deficiencies without treatment can lead to a loss of quality of life in many people as opposed to those who reach out for treatment. Hormone replacement therapy has its place in the medical field for helping to reduce, subside or eliminate symptoms of a growth hormone deficiency as proven in study after study.