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Treatment Endocrinology

Growth Hormone Deficiency

Synthetic growth hormone, administered as daily injections, has proven to be an effective treatment of growth hormone deficiency. Treatment should be considered in the context of current symptoms, lifestyle and risks.

In children, growth hormone replacement is critical for growth and development.

In adults, replacement therapy was controversial in the past but is now widely accepted.

Successful treatment with hormone replacement may depend on the patient's level of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which plays an important role in childhood growth. Its production is stimulated by growth hormone.

For patients with low levels of IGF-1, growth hormone levels can be adjusted to bring IGF-1 levels within a normal range. Benefits usually are noted in six to 18 months.

For patients with normal levels of IGF-1, there may be no benefit from growth hormone therapy.

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.

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