For those who are not aware, the human body contains numerous hormones that allow it to function optimally, including human growth hormones (HGH). And these hormones play a critical role in several functions that take place in the body, including cell regeneration, stimulating growth, and cell reproduction. While some might argue that HGH is more important during childhood as it helps stimulate the production of IGF-1(Insulin-like Growth Factor 1), which, in turn, facilitates growth, it is still very much needed in adulthood as well.
The signs of low HGH in children are quite noticeable insofar as many will develop dwarfism. However, things are slightly different for adults in that the condition can trigger numerous symptoms that mimic various diseases. And in some cases, low growth hormone levels might even be the cause of some of them, including mental health disorders. In fact, some studies have suggested a possible link between low human growth hormone levels among older adults and depression.
What You Should Know About Low Growth Hormone Levels Among Older Adults
To better understand how a decline in human growth hormones can lead to depression among older adults, let’s first take a look at what is considered normal human growth hormone levels. Human growth hormone levels of 0.4 to 10 nanograms per milliliter for men, and 1 to 14 nanograms per milliliter for women, is considered normal and healthy, according to study data published by medlineplus.gov, an online health information resource made available by the United States National Library of Medicine. That said, when it comes to low levels of HGH in men and women, the primary culprit is age.
Several studies have shown that HGH levels peak during puberty and gradually starts to decline at age 30 before becoming nearly nonexistent by middle age. That said, it is not too surprising to find that many adults are severely HGH deficient by the time they reach the age of 60.
To substantiate this claim, we need only take a look at a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study revealed that upwards of 7 percent of adults in America age 65 and over are struggling with depression. And HGH deficiency is believed to be a contributing factor in many cases. It is worth noting that these feelings of depression are likely to be exacerbated if these same individuals are also battling other stressful events in their lives.
Additional Risk Factors for HGH-Based Deficiencies in Older Adults
While aging is the primary cause of low human growth hormone levels, it is by no means the only one. According to data published by Cedars-Sinai, one of the largest nonprofit academic medical centers in America, low human growth hormone levels can sometimes be a byproduct of damage to the pituitary gland.
It is also worth noting that damage to the hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for regulating the function of the pituitary gland, can also be a factor, according to the same study data. That being said, damage to either the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland can stem from any of the following:
- Insufficient blood flow to the pituitary gland
- Pituitary tumors
- Complications stemming from surgery to treat the pituitary gland
- Radiation treatments to treat pituitary tumors
Recognizing the Early Signs of a Human Growth Hormone-based deficiency
Along with depression, there are a few other tell-tale signs of low HGH levels that should prompt older adults to schedule an appointment with a physician as soon as possible. Growth hormones are essential when it comes to carrying out numerous functions in the body.
To further put this into perspective, these peptide hormones are instrumental when it comes to muscle growth and also how we collect and store fat. They also play a role in our cholesterol levels, bone density, and brain function. That said, older adults with an HGH-based deficiency will often experience the following:
- Weight gain
- Feelings of anxiety and isolation
- A decrease in lean muscle mass
- Loss of strength
- Low bone density
- High cholesterol
How Are Low Human Growth Hormone Levels Diagnosed?
If you suspect that you have a growth hormone deficiency and want to know what to expect when being seen by a physician, this section of the article might be of some interest to you. Growth hormone deficiencies are often treated by an endocrinologist, a physician that specializes in treating health problems involving the hormone-secreting glands.
After going over the symptoms that a patient is experiencing and gaining insights into their medical history, a physician will likely order an MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) scan. In addition, some physicians will also perform a growth hormone stimulation test. These particular tests measures how well the pituitary gland can produce growth hormones after arginine, an amino acid, is injected into the patient’s veins.
Collectively, these tests will confirm if a patient is deficient when it comes to these essential peptide hormones. If a deficiency is confirmed, most physicians will recommend hormone replacement treatments to their patients.
In summary, multiple studies have shown a definitive correlation between getting older and developing a growth hormone-based deficiency. And for many older adults, these deficiencies trigger numerous health problems and can significantly affect their overall quality of life. That said, if you’re an older adult and you’re experiencing any of the symptoms detailed in this article, you should schedule an appointment with a physician as soon as possible. Fill out the contact form for a free consultation at https://hghtherapydoc.com.