no-cart
Open in App
Open in App
logo
BOOK HOME COLLECTION
iconHealth Checkups
iconLab Tests
iconSample Tracking
iconDownload Report
logo

Growth Hormone Tests: Process,Cost & symptoms

image

Growth hormone (GH) tests are a critical tool in diagnosing and monitoring GH disorders. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the purpose of growth hormone tests, their uses, the testing process, and what the results mean. Whether you are a healthcare professional or an individual seeking information about GH disorders, this article will provide valuable insights.

Understanding Growth Hormone Tests

Growth hormone tests are blood tests that determine if the body is producing an appropriate amount of GH. GH, also known as human growth hormone, plays a crucial role in controlling growth and metabolism. It is produced in the pituitary gland, a small organ located at the base of the brain.

In children, GH is essential for bone growth, muscle development, and height. In adults, it affects bone and muscle health. Imbalances in GH levels can lead to various health problems. However, since GH levels fluctuate throughout the day, standard blood tests are often insufficient. Instead, GH levels are measured indirectly through tests that assess related substances such as hormones and proteins.

Growth hormone tests are used to diagnose and monitor GH disorders, including GH deficiency, gigantism, and acromegaly. These tests may also be employed when other tests indicate dysfunction in the pituitary gland.

Cost of Growth Hormone Test

₹490 ₹800

TAT : Next Day

Unisex : ALL

Age Group : ALL

Symptoms and Signs of GH Disorders

GH disorders can manifest differently in children and adults. Identifying the symptoms and signs associated with these disorders is crucial for accurate diagnosis and timely intervention.

GH Deficiency

In children, GH deficiency can result in slower growth, shorter stature compared to peers, lower weight, and delayed puberty. In adults, symptoms may include fatigue, decreased bone density, and reduced muscle mass. However, GH testing is less common in adults, as other conditions are more likely to cause these symptoms.

Gigantism

Gigantism is a rare childhood disorder characterized by excessive GH production. Children with gigantism experience rapid growth, significantly surpassing their peers in height. They may also exhibit larger-than-normal hands and feet and mild to moderate obesity.

Acromegaly

Acromegaly is a disorder that primarily affects adults, causing excessive GH secretion. Individuals with acromegaly may have thicker bones, enlarged facial features (such as lips, nose, and tongue), excessive sweating, coarse skin, irregular menstrual cycles in women, and erectile dysfunction in men.

The Process of Growth Hormone Testing

The process of growth hormone testing involves two main methods: GH stimulation tests and GH suppression tests. The choice between these tests depends on whether there is suspected deficiency or excess of GH.

GH Stimulation Test

  • A healthcare provider will collect a blood sample from a vein in the arm.
  • The individual will receive medication intravenously to stimulate the pituitary gland for GH production.
  • Additional blood samples will be taken over a two-hour period.
  • Each blood sample will be analyzed to check for increased GH levels.

GH Suppression Test

  • A healthcare provider will draw a blood sample from a vein in the arm.
  • The individual will drink a solution containing water and glucose.
  • Within one to two hours after drinking the solution, two more blood samples will be collected.
  • These blood samples will be examined to see if GH levels have decreased.

Preparing for a Growth Hormone Test

To ensure accurate results, some preparations may be necessary before undergoing a growth hormone test. Depending on the specific test, fasting (not consuming food or beverages) for several hours prior to the test may be required. It is essential to follow any instructions provided by the healthcare provider to ensure optimal testing conditions.

Risks and Limitations

Growth hormone testing is generally safe, with minimal risks involved. The procedure involves drawing blood, which may result in slight pain or bruising at the needle insertion site. However, these symptoms typically subside quickly. Consuming the glucose solution during a GH suppression test poses no risks. It is important to note that growth hormone testing has its limitations. Since GH levels fluctuate throughout the day, a single blood test may not provide a comprehensive picture of GH production. Therefore, healthcare providers often rely on multiple tests and consider clinical symptoms when diagnosing GH disorders.

Interpreting the Results

The interpretation of growth hormone test results depends on whether GH levels increase or decrease during the stimulation or suppression test.

GH Stimulation Test Results

If GH levels fail to increase to a certain level during a stimulation test, it may indicate GH deficiency. Individuals diagnosed with GH deficiency may benefit from GH supplementation, which involves injecting manufactured human growth hormone. Early diagnosis and treatment of GH deficiency can lead to significant growth improvements in children.

GH Suppression Test Results

If GH levels do not decrease to a specific level during a suppression test, it may indicate gigantism in children or acromegaly in adults. These conditions are often caused by tumors in the pituitary gland. Treatment options for pituitary tumors may include radiation therapy, surgery, or medication. If the disorders are not tumor-related, further tests may be necessary to determine the underlying cause.

Additional Blood Tests for GH Disorders

In addition to growth hormone tests, healthcare providers may order other blood tests to aid in the diagnosis of GH disorders. These tests include:

  • IGF-1 Test: Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) is a hormone that helps regulate GH in the body. Unlike GH, IGF-1 levels remain stable throughout the day, providing valuable information about GH production.
  • IGFBP-3 Test: Insulin-like Growth Factor Binding Protein-3 (IGFBP-3) is a protein that serves as the primary carrier of IGF-1. Testing IGFBP-3 levels can assist in diagnosing GH deficiency or excess.

Conclusion

Growth hormone tests play a crucial role in diagnosing and monitoring GH disorders. These tests help healthcare providers assess GH production and identify imbalances that can lead to various health problems. By understanding the purpose, process, and interpretation of growth hormone testing, individuals and healthcare professionals can work together to ensure accurate diagnoses and appropriate treatment plans. If you suspect a GH disorder, consult with a healthcare provider who can guide you through the testing process and help you understand the results.

Blog Posts