Growth Hormone Deficiency Symptoms
Symptoms of growth hormone deficiency can depend on your age. An adult with growth hormone deficiency can have different symptoms than a child with growth hormone deficiency.
This article walks you through growth hormone deficiency symptoms in both children and adults.
Growth Hormone Deficiency Symptoms in Children
The most common symptom of growth hormone deficiency in children is that a child is significantly shorter than children his or her age. However, a child with this condition can have normal body proportions.
Children with growth hormone deficiency typically grow less than 2 inches per year. (Children with normal levels of growth hormone grow about 2 ½ inches a year from age 1 until they hit puberty—when they can grow up to 4 inches a year.)
Here are some other growth hormone deficiency symptoms in children:
- Child's face may appear younger than children who are the same age
- Delayed puberty—but sometimes a child won't go through puberty
- Increased fat around the face and stomach
- Mild to moderate chubbiness
- Slow tooth development
- Sluggish hair growth
Growth Hormone Deficiency Symptoms in Adults
Symptoms of growth hormone deficiency in adults can vary, and many adults who have this condition can experience a combination of the symptoms below.
- Anxiety and/or depression
- Baldness (in men)
- Decrease in sexual function and interest
- Decreased muscle mass and strength
- Difficult to concentration and lack of memory
- Dry, thin skin
- Elevated triglyceride levels
- Fatigue and/or tiredness
- Heart problems
- High levels of LDL (the "bad") cholesterol
- Insulin resistance
- Lower tolerance to exercise
- Reduced bone density, making you more susceptible to developing osteoporosis
- Sensitivity to heat and cold
- Very low energy levels
- Weight gain, especially around the waist
Understanding Growth Hormone Deficiency
It's important to understand that not everyone with growth hormone deficiency will have the same symptoms. Some people will only have 1 or 2 symptoms, while others can have multiple symptoms.
Fortunately, certain tests and exams can help your doctor diagnose you with growth hormone deficiency. Find out what tests you need for your doctor to make an accurate growth hormone deficiency diagnosis.
Talk to your doctor (or your child's doctor) right away if you or your child is experiencing any of the growth hormone deficiency symptoms listed above.
- Adult growth hormone deficiency. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Web site. http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Health-Conditions/Adult-Growth-Hormone-Deficiency.aspx. Accessed May 13, 2011.
- Growth hormone deficiency. Health Guide. New York Times Web site. http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/growth-hormone-deficiency/overview.html. Published September 13, 2009. Accessed May 13, 2011.
- Growth hormone deficiency - children. MedlinePlus Web site. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001176.htm. Update July 26, 2010. Accessed May 13, 2011.