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Growth Hormone Deficiency

Growth hormone deficiency is a condition that typically causes abnormally short height in children, although the symptoms vary depending on age. The hormone, also called somatotropinin, is produced by the pituitary gland, located at the base of the brain.

The cause of the deficiency could be due to a number of reasons. It may exist at birth or develop after a head injury or medical condition that cause abnormal levels of hormones related to the endocrine glands. Cells in the pituitary gland that produce growth hormone are very sensitive to radiation and trauma. The condition can develop after radiation treatment for brain cancer or hormonal problems involving the pituitary gland or hypothalamus. Often, no cause is identified.

Our Approach to Growth Hormone Deficiency

UCSF offers highly specialized, world-class care for pituitary disorders, such as growth hormone deficiency. Our team includes experts in neuroendocrinology, neurosurgery and radiation therapy, among other specialties. We work together to help patients understand all aspects of their condition, so they can actively participate in decisions on their own care.

This condition is treated with growth hormone replacement therapy. Our goal is to improve our patients' overall sense of well-being and reverse symptoms, such as weight gain and poor bone density.

Awards & recognition

  • usnews-neurology

    Among the top hospitals in the nation

  • usnews-diabetes-and-endocrinology

    Best in Northern California for diabetes care & endocrinology

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.