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Pituitary dwarfism, is basically a growth hormone deficiency in the body. Growth hormone deficiency occurs when the pituitary gland does not produce enough of growth hormone. Most often, the disease affects children.
A small gland, which is the pituitary gland, releases hormones that help our bodies to fulfill a number of functions such as maintaining adequate temperature, controlling of proper thyroid hormones and healthy growth.
Growth hormone deficiency appears average in 1 of 7,000 cases and its cause may be a genetic issue, including Turner syndrome or Prader-Willi syndrome. The anxiety can arouse issue of very low growth and weight, incompatible with age. Thankfully this disease is curable, and its early diagnosis can bring tangible results. When the condition is not treated, may result in exceedingly short stature and retarded maturation.
The body needs growth hormone even after the end of puberty. It allows maintaining proper body composition and metabolic enhancers. There are, therefore, also cases of the disease among the adults.
The causes of pituitary dwarfism
Growth hormone deficiency are common in children with cleft lip or cleft palate because they have underdeveloped pituitary glands.
Causes of the pituitary dwarfism may also result in the appearance of brain tumors, which located in the vicinity of the pituitary or hypothalamus of the brain, can inhibit the release of growth hormone.
The last of the reasons for the emergence of the disease, in both children and adults, are head injuries, infections, and surgery, as well as the treatment associated with radiation. These are the cases of acquired immunodeficiency somatotropin.
Children affected by pituitary dwarfism, are lower and have more infant, round faces, in comparison to their peers. They can also be thicker or have a greasy belly, despite the fact that their proportions are normal.
If the disease starts to develop in the later period of the child’s life – as in consequence of brain injury or tumor, the common symptom is delayed puberty. There are also cases in which sexual development is stopped.
Teenagers with growth hormone deficiency, very often have reduced self-esteem because of developmental delays, such as short stature or slow motion puberty.
Another symptom of the disease is reduced bone strength, which leads to frequent fractures, especially in the elderly. Low levels of growth hormone can also cause excessive fatigue, lack of strength and sensitivity to temperature variations. There are also some psychological problems as:
- lack of concentration
- memory impairment
- bouts of anxiety or emotional disorder.
Adults who suffer from pituitary dwarfism, tend to have high levels of fat and high cholesterol in the blood. However, this is not caused due to poor diet, but with changes in metabolism, that are caused by a deficiency of somatotropin. It is also connected with an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
To confirm the diagnosis, it is necessary to make a series of tests starting with blood tests which indicate a deficiency of growth hormone in the body. Another survey is the hand X-ray, which will help assess the level of bone growth. Very important are renal function and thyroid tests. Suspicion of cancer or other defects of the pituitary gland is assessed by MRI.
Treatment of pituitary dwarfism most often relies on using of synthetic hormones that are administered by injection, typically into the fatty tissue in the body. This is the most effective method that needs to be applied daily. It has, however, some minor side effects like headaches, pain in the hips, scoliosis, in rare cases, an increased risk of diabetes.
Children that are affected by congenital growth hormone deficiency, often require treatment until they reach sexual maturity. Frequently after the entry into adulthood, they begin to produce naturally, the appropriate amount of somatotropin. It is necessary to regularly monitor the level of the hormone in the blood.