Human Growth Hormone (HGH), also known as Growth Hormone (GH), is a hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. Measurement of GH is primarily of interest in the diagnosis and treatment of various forms of inappropriate growth hormone secretion.
This blood test is often used to evaluate a growth hormone deficiency that is causing slowed growth. It is also used to measure overall pituitary function as well as measuring replacement therapy. It can also be prescribed as an anti-aging treatment in some cases.
Follow any instructions you are given, such as too fast, in order to prepare for this test.
The level of Human Growth Hormone changes rapidly during the day, hence, it is imperative to collect several blood samples during different days at different times, to actually measure the maximum and minimum level of HGH production.
The HGH production differs for different people. For adult males, it ranges from 0-5 nanogram per milliliter (ng/ml), while in women in ranges from 0-10 ng/ml. It is highest among children and ranges between 0-16 ng/ml.
With the different samples collected, an analysis chart is prepared, which attempts to evaluate the maximum and minimum amount of Growth Hormone produced in the body. In athletes who dope, these levels could be higher than usual, while lower levels of HGH in children may result in conditions like - growth retardation and dwarfism.
A hormone suppression test is an alternative to access the level of Growth Hormone, especially, among children. This is based on the philosophy that hyperglycemia (i.e. high level of glucose in the blood) is associated with an increase in the level of HGH production. In this test, the sugar levels of the patient are tested along with HGH levels. While fasting (i.e. with low levels of sugar), HGH level in the blood is also low, while after consumption of the huge amount of sugar, the HGH level rise. This is also used to assess if the child suffers from any hormone deficiency.