HGH Deficiency Causes in Adults
Diagnosing HGH deficiency causes in adults is not always an easy task. There are times when the doctor cannot identify the reason for low human growth hormone levels. Many times, it may just be time and aging as the primary factor.
HGH production occurs in the pituitary gland in response to the secretion of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) by the hypothalamus. At any of the many steps along the way, the stimulus to the hypothalamus or pituitary gland can interfere with proper hormone production.
Identifying growth hormone deficiency causes in adults is sometimes like searching for a needle in a haystack. You can keep looking, but the answer may never appear. Other times, a person may have additional symptoms such as frequent headaches or a known injury that could lead to an accurate determination. Blood test results can also shed light on certain causes of HGH deficiency.
What Are the Most Common HGH Deficiency Causes?
Our aging population is a result of medical advancements that have extended the average lifespan. Adults back in the early 1900s did not suffer as much from HGH deficiency because they only lived roughly fifty years. That is no longer the case, which points to aging as the most common of all growth hormone deficiency causes in adults.
By nature, HGH production peaks during puberty and then levels off in the early twenties. The body knows that it is done growing, so it would likely seem that HGH is no longer necessary.
That is not the case. Human growth hormone also impacts metabolism, cell production, immunity, libido, and brain functions. For these reasons, it is imperative to ensure that HGH production continues at a sufficient level.
Unfortunately, of all HGH deficiency causes, aging is the most likely culprit. While a decline in growth hormone production is natural, a significant decrease that leads to unpleasant symptoms is not. Your body should adjust to changing hormone levels. However, that does not always occur.
Many of the habits you have can impact how quickly your HGH levels decline. In other words, your daily actions can be the cause of your premature aging. We mention premature aging because that is one of the primary signs of decreased human growth hormone levels. Hair loss, weight gain, low libido, lack of energy, aging skin, forgetfulness, and many other age-related symptoms often signify HGH deficiency.
These habits can lead to a faster decline in HGH production:
- Too much stress – it is often said that people with much stress get sick more frequently than those with low levels of stress. That is in part due to stress increasing the level of cortisol in the blood, which is a hormone that inhibits HGH production. Cortisol also boosts ghrelin secretion which causes you to overeat and gain weight. Too much stress means lower HGH levels.
- Not enough sleep – not only does cortisol impede HGH secretion directly, but it does so indirectly, as well. Cortisol keeps you on edge in the evening, making it harder to fall asleep. HGH production occurs during periods of deep, slow-wave sleep. So, getting proper sleep is crucial to improving HGH levels.
- Lack of exercise – as important as sleep is at night, exercise is during the day. Exercise can stimulate the daytime pulsatile bursts of HGH.
- Poor dietary choices – constant eating throughout the day can prevent HGH secretion. That is why doctors recommend intermittent fasting to help boost growth hormone production. Also, greasy, fried foods and those laden with chemicals are not as good for your hormones as lean protein, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables.
- Alcohol or drug abuse and smoking – these unhealthy habits can interfere with hormone production. Moderate alcohol intake – one drink a day – is not an issue.
Are There Other HGH Deficiency Causes in Adults?
Some growth hormone deficiency causes may lead to serious medical concerns, such as in the case of a pituitary or hypothalamic tumor. If either of these issues is present, you will likely meet with a neurologist or neurosurgeon to discuss your treatment options. An oncologist may also be necessary if the tumor is malignant rather than benign.
The incidence of a tumor being the cause of adult HGH deficiency is not extremely common, so do not worry if you think you have growth hormone decline.
Other HGH deficiency causes include:
- Underactive pituitary gland functions
- Childhood growth hormone deficiency
- Problems with the hypothalamus
- Brain injury that could influence hormone production
- Opiate abuse
- Radiation or surgery to the brain
- Sheehan’s syndrome or another disease that inhibits blood supply to the pituitary gland
- Genetic abnormalities such as Turner syndrome or Prader-Willi syndrome
- Unknown causes
The hormone specialist will run diagnostic blood tests that determine growth hormone deficiency. These tests, along with the required physical examination, can rule out some of the more serious issues listed above. Contact our hormone clinic for a complimentary consultation to learn more about adult GHG deficiency.