HGH Deficiency is Often Misdiagnosed by General Practitioners

Written by Dr. Jonathan Peterson, Updated on May 23rd, 2024, Published on September 22nd, 2023

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Is it possible that many cases of weakness, lethargy, and sexual dysfunction are misdiagnosed by general practitioners and are really cases of adult-onset HGH deficiency?

It is possible that some cases of weakness, lethargy, and sexual dysfunction may be attributed to adult-onset growth hormone deficiency (AGHD). These symptoms can have a wide range of potential causes, and while AGHD is not common, that in itself may lead many general practitioners to be unfamiliar with it and make them less likely to administer the proper tests to check for it. The best practice would be for a patient who is experiencing these symptoms to come directly to our clinic, where a quick and simple test will reveal whether or not AGHD is the cause.

AGHD occurs when the pituitary gland does not produce enough growth hormone in adults. This condition is often associated with a number of symptoms, including fatigue, reduced muscle mass, decreased exercise capacity, and changes in body composition. Sexual dysfunction can also be a symptom of AGHD.

Diagnosis of AGHD should be made carefully, as it at our clinic, utilizing comprehensive evaluation, including blood tests to measure growth hormone levels and other relevant hormonal markers. The physicians at our clinic are board certified, meaning that they are at the highest level of training and expertise in the very latest techniques in this emerging field – something that cannot be said of general practitioners.

If you suspect that you or someone you know may have AGHD or are experiencing these symptoms, it is advisable to consult with the healthcare professionals at our clinic. They can conduct a thorough assessment, consider the entire clinical picture, and order appropriate tests to determine the underlying cause of the symptoms and provide the most suitable treatment and management plan.

What exactly are the tests to determine potential HGH deficiency in adults over 30? Are these tests expensive or painful?

Diagnosing adult-onset growth hormone deficiency (AGHD) typically involves a series of tests conducted by our healthcare professional team. The specific tests used may vary depending on your health profile and history, but the common ones include:

  1. Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) Test: This blood test measures the level of IGF-1 in the blood, which is a hormone produced in response to growth hormone stimulation. Low IGF-1 levels may suggest AGHD.
  2. Growth Hormone Stimulation Test: This is the primary diagnostic test for AGHD. It involves administering a medication that should normally stimulate the release of growth hormone. Blood samples are then taken at specific intervals to measure the response of the pituitary gland. The medications used can include insulin, arginine, glucagon, or GHRH (growth hormone-releasing hormone).
  3. Growth Hormone Suppression Test: In some cases, a healthcare provider may use this test to confirm AGHD. It involves administering a substance that should normally suppress the release of growth hormone. Blood samples are taken before and after the administration to measure growth hormone levels.

These tests are generally not considered painful, but they may involve some discomfort associated with blood drawing, and the duration of the stimulation or suppression test can vary. However, discomfort is usually minimal. It's important to discuss any concerns or fears with the doctors who are testing you so they can address them and make you as comfortable as possible during the testing process.

As for cost, the expense of these tests can vary widely depending on factors like your insurance coverage, and the specific tests performed. Much of the time they will be fully covered by your health insurance, so you will pay little or nothing, but depending on your insurance company, they may be subject to deductibles and copayments. It's advisable to check with your insurance company to get a better understanding of the potential costs involved and whether they are covered by your insurance plan.

Keep in mind that diagnosing AGHD can be complex, and we typically consider the results of multiple tests, along with the patient's clinical symptoms and history, to make an accurate diagnosis. If you suspect AGHD or have concerns about growth hormone deficiency, it's best to consult with the doctors at our clinic, who can guide you through the diagnostic process and discuss the potential costs and benefits of testing. Despite the complexity, we make the process very quick, and you get the results fast, and there is no significant pain at all.

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