Growth Hormone Deficiency Diagnosis
It has been shown that children show signs of growth hormone deficiency by lagging behind their peers in height achievement, but adults have many different ways of exhibiting a decrease in this crucial substance since they are no longer in the growing stage of life. Doctors who are specialists in hormone replacement therapy – HRT – will have to base their decisions on a number of other identifying factors.
A growth hormone deficiency diagnosis for adults requires a physical examination, blood testing, and the completion of a comprehensive medical questionnaire outlining all current and past health concerns. The symptoms that a person is experiencing, as well as their severity, is what will lead the doctor to order blood analysis that will provide the definitive answer.
An initial consultation with an HRT specialist will uncover what physical changes have occurred. It is through an understanding of the symptoms that a person is dealing with that our medical experts can determine if blood analysis is required. The only way to make an HGH deficiency diagnosis is through detailed blood testing. This will show if any of the essential hormone levels in the body has decreased to a point where treatment is needed.
Exams and Tests to Diagnose Growth Hormone Deficiency
Blood testing is the most important tool in the diagnosis of growth hormone deficiency. There are times, however, when other diagnostic measures are required. For example:
- A person who has symptoms associated with GH decline and is also experiencing frequent headaches may be recommended for an MRI, to ensure that there are no tumors of the pituitary gland or problems with the hypothalamus.
- Severe joint pains or frequent falls or fractures may require a DXA – dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scan measuring bone density.
The need for these tests is rare, and the majority of people who contact an HRT specialist will not have to worry about being sent for these diagnostic measures.
Here is a listing of the standard blood tests used for a growth hormone deficiency diagnosis:
- CBC – checks for anemia, inflammation, leukemia, bleeding disorder, infection, blood cell count, platelets, blood volume, and hemoglobin
- CMP – evaluates organ function and checks for liver and kidney disease, and diabetes
- Lipid Panel – measures cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and is also an indicator of cardiac risk
- IGF-1 – evaluates pituitary function and growth hormone deficiency
- Testosterone Total – used for diagnosing testosterone deficiency, infertility, erectile dysfunction, hypothalamus or pituitary gland disorders, decreased sex drive, and testicular tumors
- Testosterone Free – measures the level of free testosterone circulating in the bloodstream
- Estradiol – aids in detecting estrogen-producing tumors, estrogen levels in menopausal women and men dealing with andropause, helps monitor anti-estrogen therapy during breast cancer treatment, ovarian function, menstrual abnormalities, and testosterone deficiency
- TSH – Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone – checks for thyroid disorder, pituitary gland function, female infertility
- Free T4 (Direct) – helps detect thyroid hormone levels, pituitary disorders, female infertility, and effectiveness of treatment for thyroid disorders
In addition, women may also require the following panels depending upon the symptoms that they are exhibiting:
- DHEA-S – evaluates adrenal gland function and helps diagnose polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Progesterone – most often used to detect infertility, but useful for determining hormone replacement, as well
Men will also have their PSA levels checked to screen for prostate cancer, and may require:
- FSH – aids in detecting infertility, testicular dysfunction, low sex drive, and pituitary or hypothalamus disorders
- LH – evaluates pituitary function and fertility issues
If it seems as though some of these tests are not direct indicators of GH decline, please be aware that the specialist must rule out other health problems while diagnosing hormonal imbalance in order to provide accurate and safe treatment. An HGH deficiency diagnosis will be made following the analysis of blood test and physical exam results, along with a careful screening of the health history questionnaire that the individual has completed.
The professional staff at National HRT® is available to answer any questions about these diagnostic procedures, as well as offer any other information that is desired. We provide testing and treatment for growth hormone and other deficiencies to adults throughout the US from our national hormone replacement therapy clinic.