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How to Check HGH Levels

Written by Author - Authors Medical experts of the National HRT Clinic - January 5, 2016

How to Check Levels of HGHIt is easy to get confused about how to check HGH levels when researching this topic online. You will likely see information about home testing kits, two-hour long blood tests, MRIs, conflicting reference ranges, and even simple quizzes that would make you believe you can self-diagnose this condition. While taking stock of your symptoms is a vital part of the assessment process, you can only determine adult growth hormone deficiency (AGHD) with a blood test.

To check human growth hormone levels, you will engage in a multi-step process that includes:

  • Medical consultation with a hormone specialist
  • Blood analysis
  • Physical examination
  • Medical history review
  • Follow-up consultation to discuss results

Checking HGH levels requires a multi-step process to determine an accurate diagnosis of adult growth hormone deficiency.

Can I Check My HGH Levels with a Home Kit?

You cannot accurately check HGH levels at home. A finger prick blood test, hair, or saliva sample will not provide the answers needed by a hormone specialist to prescribe HGH therapy. Be wary of websites that charge you under $100 for a human growth hormone blood test. You will be throwing your money away because the hormone doctor will need to run a battery of blood panels at the same time to get an accurate reading. Also, it is best to assess these blood levels first thing in the morning while you are fasting. Any website that tells you otherwise is misleading you.

Yes, you can find information online for how to check HGH levels, including a complete listing of all necessary blood tests. However, you still need a doctor to review the results and determine a diagnosis of AGHD.

You cannot check HGH levels with an at-home blood test kit.

Is There a Test to Check My HGH Levels?

We are commonly asked what blood test is used to check HGH hormone levels because this can be a confusing topic. The following blood tests measure HGH levels in various ways:

  • GH Serum Test
  • The GH serum test measures the amount of growth hormone in your bloodstream at the time of the specimen collection. To get an accurate reading, you would need to time the collection immediately following a growth hormone release from the pituitary gland. These secretions happen at 3 to 5-hour intervals throughout the day and night. The problem with this test is that once GH enters the bloodstream, it rapidly leaves it after delivering its signals to the waiting growth hormone receptors. Hormone specialists dealing with adult patients do not use this test to determine growth hormone deficiency.

  • GH Stimulation Test
  • The GH stimulation test is the one most commonly utilized for diagnosing childhood growth hormone deficiency. It allows the doctor to see how much GH the pituitary gland releases with each pulsatile burst. Over two hours, the healthcare professional will collect multiple blood samples before and after receiving medication such as arginine, clonidine, or glucagon via injection, or macimorelin that you drink that promotes growth hormone secretion. The blood samples will be reviewed by a lab to determine if your pituitary gland is secreting adequate GH.

  • GH Suppression Test
  • The GH suppression test is the reverse of the stimulation test. In this scenario, we look to determine if the pituitary gland is secreting too much growth hormone. Again, expect to spend two hours or more in a doctor’s office or laboratory hooked up to an IV. After an initial blood draw, you will drink a sugar (glucose) solution that will lower your growth hormone levels.

  • IGF-1 Test
  • The IGF-1 test measures how much insulin growth factor 1 is in the bloodstream. If you are wondering how to check HGH levels with the IGF-1 tests, let us explain. Once the pituitary gland secretes GH into the bloodstream, some of it travels to the liver to promote IGF-1 production. Unlike growth hormone that disappears from the bloodstream, insulin growth factor 1 levels remain relatively constant throughout the day. If you have low GH levels, your IGF-1 levels will likely be so, as well.

    In addition to the IGF-1 test, which is the most common method of diagnosing AGHD, hormone specialist will also run other blood panels, including but not limited to CBC, CMP, Lipid Panel, Testosterone, and other hormones.

A hormone specialist will check IGF-1 and other blood and hormone levels when diagnosing adult growth hormone deficiency.

What Else Do I Need to Do Besides Getting a Blood Test to Check HGH Levels?

To accurately check human growth hormone levels, the doctor will also require you to undergo a physical examination. The purpose for this is to ensure you have no other medical issues, including those that are contraindicated for HGH therapy, such as cancer.

Information gathered from the exam will help the hormone specialist determine how much HGH you need if you are diagnosed with AGHD.

Aside from the medical consultation, when asking how to check HGH levels, you will also complete a health history questionnaire. It is vital that you are honest on this form as the doctor needs to know the medications and over-the-counter supplements you take, as well as any prior medical issues.

An examination and completion of a medical history form are the other requirements for diagnosing AGHD.

What Does the Blood Test Tell About My HGH Levels?

Following the completion of the various steps for how to check HGH levels, the blood test and exam results will let the doctor know if your symptoms are due to decreased growth hormone production.

If you have low HGH levels as per the IGF-1 blood test, and no other significant issues are seen, the doctor will likely put you on a medication to increase your growth hormone levels.

When you check HGH levels and find out they are low, the doctor will assess the level of deficiency. Adults who are just beginning to see the signs of AGHD may do well with sermorelin therapy. Sermorelin acts as a stimulant to the pituitary gland, prompting increased growth hormone secretion. When GH levels are so low that you have numerous symptoms, then HGH therapy may be the better choice. Bioidentical HGH injections immediate boost the amount of growth hormone available to the receptor cells.

The HGH blood tests let the doctor know the severity of the deficiency and what treatment to prescribe.

How Do I Get an HGH Blood Test?

The easiest and least expensive way to proceed is to check HGH levels online by calling a national hormone clinic. Here at National HRT, we bypass the need for office visits and conduct consultations by phone. That means you could feasibly get your blood tests as soon as tomorrow morning.

Following your free and confidential consultation, we will send you to a local lab for the blood test. You will also meet with a local doctor for your examination. The required health forms are accessible through this website.

If you have further questions about how to check HGH levels or treatment options, please contact us today.

Medically reviewed by   Reviewers National HRT Staff - Updated on November 21, 2023

Please note that the information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.