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What are the Mental and Psychological Effects of Adult-Onset HGH Deficiency?


Written by Professor Anna Gray, Updated on October 17th, 2023
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Adult-onset growth hormone deficiency (AGHD) can have various mental and psychological effects due to its impact on the endocrine system. It's important to note that these effects can vary from person to person, and the severity of symptoms can also differ. Some potential mental and psychological effects of AGHD may include:

  1. Cognitive Changes: AGHD can lead to difficulties with memory, concentration, and cognitive function. This can manifest as forgetfulness, decreased mental sharpness, and reduced ability to process information.
  2. Depression and Mood Changes: Individuals with AGHD may experience mood swings, irritability, and an increased risk of depression. Low growth hormone levels have been linked to alterations in brain chemistry that can affect mood regulation.
  3. Fatigue and Lack of Energy: AGHD can cause persistent fatigue and a general lack of energy. This can lead to decreased motivation, reduced interest in activities (including sex), and a feeling of lethargy.
  4. Anxiety: Some people with AGHD may experience heightened anxiety, which can manifest as excessive worry, restlessness, and nervousness.
  5. Social Isolation: The cognitive and emotional symptoms of AGHD can contribute to social withdrawal and decreased social engagement, leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
  6. Reduced Quality of Life: Overall, AGHD can negatively impact an individual's quality of life due to its influence on mood, cognition, and energy levels. This can affect personal relationships, work, and daily functioning.
  7. Sleep Disturbances: AGHD can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to difficulties falling asleep, maintaining restful sleep, and experiencing frequent awakenings during the night. Poor sleep can exacerbate other psychological symptoms.
  8. Decreased Motivation: People with AGHD may struggle with reduced motivation, making it challenging to set and achieve goals.

It's important to emphasize that the mental and psychological effects of AGHD can overlap with symptoms of other medical or psychological conditions. Diagnosing and managing AGHD is the purpose of our clinic, including hormone testing and an assessment of an individual's overall health and well-being.

Treatment for AGHD often includes hormone replacement therapy with synthetic growth hormone (bioidentical, meaning the same as the natural growth hormone produced in your body) (GH). If you suspect you may have AGHD and are experiencing mental and psychological symptoms, it's essential to contact our clinic for a proper diagnosis and guidance on potential treatment options. The test is the first step, and it’s quick and easy.

Is the test for AGHD invasive, painful, or frightening?

The test for Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency (AGHD) typically involves blood tests to measure the levels of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in your bloodstream. These tests are not invasive, painful, or frightening in themselves. Here's what you can generally expect:

  1. Blood Test: A blood test, also known as a serum GH and IGF-1 test, is the primary diagnostic tool for AGHD. It involves drawing a blood sample from a vein in your arm using a needle, similar to routine blood tests. While some people may experience mild discomfort or a pinching sensation during the blood draw, it is not typically painful or frightening.
  2. Fasting: In some cases, your healthcare provider may ask you to fast for a specific period (usually overnight) before the blood test. Fasting helps obtain accurate baseline hormone levels.
  3. Stimulation Test (if necessary): In some situations, if the initial blood test results are inconclusive, your healthcare provider may recommend a stimulation test. This test involves administering a medication, such as arginine or insulin, to stimulate the release of GH. Blood samples are then collected at specific intervals to measure GH levels. The stimulation test may take several hours, but it is not typically painful or frightening.

It's essential to communicate any concerns or anxieties you may have about the testing process with our clinic. We can provide information and support to help you feel more comfortable during the testing procedure.

Overall, while the blood tests for AGHD may involve some minor discomfort associated with the needle prick and fasting, they are not typically invasive, painful, or frightening procedures. These tests are crucial for diagnosing AGHD and determining the appropriate course of treatment if it is indeed present.

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