Growth hormone is a hormone (a chemical messenger in the blood stream) that is usually produced by the pituitary gland. It is made and released into the blood stream in a series of pulses, rather than continuously. Most of these pulses happen at night, during sleep.
Growth hormone plays an important part in:
Children with GHD can be treated with injections of man-made GH, which has the same effects as GH naturally made by the body. This approach, called growth hormone therapy, enables many children with GHD to achieve a normal adult height. However, children must adhere to their injection schedule exactly as prescribed by their doctor, as this significantly affects treatment outcomes.
Adults may be offered growth hormone replacement therapy to improve fracture rates and their risk of heart disease. They will administer this themselves through daily injections into the lower abdomen or thighs. They will be monitored in an outpatient department where they undertake regular blood tests. Their dose will then be adjusted depending on the results of these blood tests and their response to the growth hormone. Adults will also be provided with education and support.