Children are vulnerable to a number of health issues when compared to adults because of their lower immunity and many other reasons. One of the common health issues that some children are diagnosed with is the growth hormone deficiency disease or GHD. In fact, one out of every 7000 children born is reported to be affected by GHD. As the name indicates, this condition occurs when the pituitary gland of the affected child fails to produce an adequate amount of growth hormones.

It is the pituitary gland that secretes around eight types of hormones and is located at the base of the brain. This gland is only about the size of a pea and secrets some important hormones that control body temperature as well as the thyroid activities. Many studies claim that the children affected by GHD are likely to develop a number of genetic diseases including Prader-Willi syndrome and Turner syndrome.

Obviously, the parents might stress over a number of questions if their child is diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency disease. Some of those common doubts include, will their child suffer for a lifetime, what is the next step that they must take, is the health condition dangerous, etc. In order to help you clear all such doubts, you may refer to the detailed guide to GHD given below.

What Exactly is GHD?

As mentioned earlier, the health condition is caused when the pituitary gland fails to produce enough growth hormones. This gland that is located at the base of the brain is attached to the hypothalamus. If there is any damage in the hypothalamus, it will instantly affect the pituitary gland and prevent it from secreting an adequate amount of growth hormones, causing GHD. In case the pituitary gland of a person fails to secrete multiple types of hormones, the condition is known as hypopituitarism.

Fortunately, growth hormone deficiency is treatable, if the health condition is diagnosed earlier. However, if you failed to detect the health issue on time or if you delayed the treatment, it can result in complications like delayed puberty and the height of the person will be shorter than normal. People who reached puberty or adulthood can also experience GHD. After all, growth hormones are important for your body to maintain its structure and metabolism. Nevertheless, developing GHD in adults is not as common as in kids.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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