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What About Growth Hormone Deficiency?

What is Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) or low Human Growth Hormone (HGH)?

Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is a disorder that results in insufficient production of human growth hormone (HGH).

HGH is a hormone that is responsible for many important aspects of growth and development. There are multiple types of growth hormone deficiency: acquired, congenital, and adult-onset growth hormone deficiency.

Acquired growth hormone deficiency may be caused by tumors, surgery, radiation therapy, or other medical conditions.

Congenital growth hormone deficiency is present at birth and may be caused by a genetic defect or an abnormality in the pituitary gland.

Growth hormone deficiency that occurs as you age is called adult-onset growth hormone deficiency and is the most common type of growth hormone deficiency. This is the subject we are referring to in this blog.

Where does HGH come from?

The pituitary gland is a small organ located at the base of the brain. The pituitary gland secrets many hormones that control different body functions. HGH (also called somatotropin) is secreted by the pituitary gland.

What are the symptoms of Growth Hormone Deficiency?

Symptoms of GHD can vary depending on the age at which it develops and the severity of the deficiency. Adults with GHD may have decreased muscle mass, increased body fat, reduced bone density/osteoporosis, increased risk for diabetes, and increased risk for cardiovascular disease. 

How do you treat Growth Hormone Deficiency?

Most providers replace the missing HGH with synthetic HGH injections. However, at Hormones by Design, we do not use HGH in any form.

We use a natural hormone replacement therapy that has been shown to be more effective and safer than HGH therapy. We prefer Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) due to its many benefits and lack of side effects.

For example, synthetic HGH injections can have the following side effects: insulin resistance, carpal tunnel, joint pain, increased risk of diabetes, and increased risk of heart problems.

Why DHEA instead of HGH?

DHEA is a hormone that is produced by the adrenal gland.


DHEA is converted to testosterone and estrogen in both men and women. DHEA replacement therapy has been shown to improve many of the symptoms associated with GHD including increased muscle mass, decreased body fat, improved bone density, improved blood sugar control in diabetes, and improved cholesterol levels.

Additionally, DHEA replacement therapy is considered safe and does not have the side effects associated with HGH therapy.

If you are concerned that you have any of the symptoms of Growth Hormone Deficiency, please contact us at Hormones by Design. We would be happy to help you find the best treatment option for you! Our New Braunfels office is now open! Call us at 830-627-7979 to schedule today.

*This blog is intended to provide general information about growth hormone deficiency (GHD) and hormone replacement therapy. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog. If you think you may have GHD, please contact us at Hormones by Design for evaluation and treatment.

This article has been reviewed by Dr. Melissa Miskell
Picture of  Dr. Melissa Miskell
Dr. Melissa Miskell

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