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Growth hormone test is an effective method, used by doctors to measure the levels of GH hormone in a patient’s body. Why is it necessary to measure GH hormone levels, does it affect health? All are in the article below, explore the article now.
What is GH hormone?
GH (growth hormone) is produced by the anterior pituitary gland. The hormone GH helps promote bone growth in children during infancy to puberty, regulates the production of red blood cells, and muscle mass. It also helps regulate the rate of energy production from food.
There are many reasons why a child has a deficiency of the hormone GH, which can be congenital, brain injury or tumor. If there is a lack of GH hormone, children will be stunted, and can even affect their height. If the body produces too much of the hormone GH, the baby can develop giant syndrome.
For adults, the hormone GH helps metabolize glucose and lipids, regulate bone density, muscle mass, and affect heart and kidney function. If the body produces too much GH hormone, it will lead to acromegaly and cardiovascular diseases, arthritis.
The hormone GH is released into the bloodstream in bursts. This process takes place all day, but most at night. Therefore, the results of GH hormone levels will not be accurate if measured only once.
Currently, depending on the purpose, there are different methods of GH hormone testing such as GH stimulation test or GH suppression test.
What is a growth hormone test?
The growth hormone test is a specific type of blood test used to measure the levels of the hormone GH in the body. This test is used to diagnose a deficiency or excess of hormones in the body and to evaluate pituitary function:
- GH hormone stimulation test: Diagnosis of GH hormone deficiency and hypopituitarism.
- GH hormone suppression test: Diagnose excess GH hormone.
- IGF-1 test: Assess for deficiency or excess of GH hormone. This is a useful indicator of average GH levels.
When to test for growth hormone?
Parents should take their child to a medical facility to conduct a GH hormone test when the child has the following symptoms:
- Children are shorter than their peers.
- Children develop more slowly than usual.
- Bone growth retardation (detected on x-rays).
- Waking up late.
In addition, adults also need GH hormone testing to diagnose some conditions related to GH hormone deficiency or hypopituitarism such as:
- Fatigue, weakness
- Reduced exercise capacity
- High cholesterol
Notes on testing
Attention should be paid to choosing the right time to draw blood for testing and comparison, because GH hormone levels can change continuously due to a number of factors such as time, exercise, eating, stress… In addition, GH hormone test results can also be misleading due to the effects of certain active ingredients or drugs that increase or decrease GH levels.
Tell your doctor about any medications you are taking before having any blood tests, including a GH hormone test.
In the case of children with low birth weight, mainly due to genetic disorders or other diseases, very few cases are caused by GH hormone deficiency.
For children with prader syndrome, turner syndrome or chronic kidney disease , will be treated with GH hormone replacement.
For people with HIV/AIDS, GH is used to balance lost muscle mass and help maintain body weight.
In addition, GH is also used as a stimulant in sports , helping to improve the performance of athletes. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct GH or IGF-1’s growth hormone test before participating in competition to detect GH hormone abusers.
Above is the basic information about growth hormone (GH hormone) tests and their role. Please conduct a GH hormone test as soon as you detect abnormal symptoms to protect your health!
Source: hellobacsi medical consultation Dr. Pharmacy Truong Anh Thu
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