There are several ways you can become deficient in GH, commonest one is after removal of pituitary tumour. Problem surrounding Pituitary gland, after radiotherapy, head injury, brain infection like meningitis, encephalitis you may become GH deficient.
Although rare, Pituitary gland can become underactive in adults for no apparent reason called Primary Empty Sella Syndrome.
How frequent is it?
One in 10,000 people are affected
Who should be tested?
Patients with hypothalamo-pituitary diseases, Childhood onset GH deficiency, previous cranial irradiation or for no reason quality of life is deteriorating.
How is it diagnosed?
Single GH values are not beneficial. We need to get dynamic test done when we check GH after stimulating the Pituitary gland for which you may need to be in Hospital for half a day.
What are the benefits?
The benefits of GH therapy if you are deficient are improve quality of life & psychological well-being, improve exercise capacity, improvement of bone density, reduction in cholesterol (about 15%), improvement in heart function including heart contraction, we tell improvement in ejection fraction.