HGH Blood Testing – What Is It and Why Is It Important?

HGH Blood Testing

Doctors specializing in the treatment of hormonal imbalances order HGH blood testing for adults over thirty who show signs of decreasing growth hormone levels. These tests help evaluate how well the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, and liver are functioning by indicating the level of vital hormones in the bloodstream.

Upon secretion into the blood, HGH circulates for 10 – 20 minutes as it rushes to growth hormone receptor cells located throughout the body and brain. Almost as rapidly as it enters the bloodstream, it disappears. This can make the detection of actual HGH levels difficult because the blood would have to be collected right after growth hormone secretion to determine the actual amount produced by the pituitary gland. For that reason, the doctor will most likely use the results of the IGF-1 blood test as a better indication of deficiency. Since a person may have anywhere from 10 to 30 pulsatile bursts of HGH secretion during the day, timing an HGH test can be difficult, whereas IGF-1 levels remain constant throughout the day.

What is HGH blood testing and why is it important?

Testing the blood for HGH levels lets the doctor see if a person is still producing enough of this hormone for his or her body’s needs. During a test for adult growth deficiency, the hormone specialist checks numerous variables to determine if GH production has slowed down, if high cholesterol is an issue, if a person is suffering from anemia, and whether or not any other critical hormone levels are involved in this decline, among other things. It is important to detect growth hormone deficiency in adults because if left untreated, serious health problems could occur, such as:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Obesity
  • Sleep apnea
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Dementia
  • Heart disease
  • Atherosclerosis

Checking HGH levels via blood testing can help prevent further medical conditions from occurring. That is why the HGH blood test is crucial for people dealing with symptoms of GH deficiency.

What Blood Tests Determine Growth Hormone Deficiency?

A battery of different blood tests make up the panel the hormone specialist will order. As previously stated, checking growth hormone levels directly is not a good indicator of GH production because this chemical messenger exits the bloodstream almost as quickly as it enters it. Timing this release is difficult, and the GH stimulation and suppression tests that endocrinologists use to detect short stature causes in children are not pleasant. Most adults do not need to undergo these extreme tests.

To check adult HGH blood test levels, the following panels are ordered for both males and females:

  • IGF-1 – this is the primary indicator of growth hormone production as GH enters the liver to stimulate the release of insulin growth factor 1. If the liver receives a small supply, it will respond in kind by secreting a reduced amount of IGF-1.
  • CBC – the complete blood count provides indicators for anemia, bleeding disorder, blood volume, blood cell count, hemoglobin, infection, inflammation, leukemia, and platelets.
  • CMP – this panel evaluates crucial organ functions, including checking for diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease.
  • Lipid Panel – as an indicator of potential cardiac risk, this panel measures triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
  • Estradiol – checks estrogen levels (important for menopause and andropause), helps detect estrogen-producing tumors, ovarian function, estrogen dominance, and testosterone deficiency.
  • Total Testosterone – indicator of testosterone deficiency, pituitary or hypothalamus disorders, infertility, testicular tumors.
  • Free T4 (Direct) – measures thyroid hormone levels, female infertility, pituitary disorders, and effectiveness of thyroid disorder treatment.
  • TSH (Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone) – checks pituitary functions, thyroid disorders, and female infertility.

Men may also have the following blood levels checked:

  • PSA (included in the basic panel) – measures prostate functions for prostate cancer.
  • Free Testosterone – measures circulating free, available testosterone levels.
  • FSH & LH – indicator for infertility, pituitary or hypothalamus functions, and testicular dysfunction.

Women may receive the following additional tests:

  • Free Testosterone (included in the basic panel) – measures circulating free, available testosterone levels.
  • DHEA-S – measures adrenal gland function and checks for polycystic ovarian syndrome.
  • Progesterone – checks for infertility and if hormone replacement for progesterone is necessary.

The HGH blood test results from the panels above will assist the doctor in a positive diagnosis and treatment plan.

How to Get HGH Blood Testing

When you contact HT Medical Center, you will speak with a hormone specialist to discuss your symptoms and concerns. We will then schedule a blood test for you at a nearby lab in your community. The appointment will be in the morning, as you must start fasting the night before your blood sample collection.

The HGH blood test cost is determined by which of the panels are necessary based on your symptoms and health history. Because we have contracted with a national chain of laboratories for this testing, our prices are lower than what you might pay on your own.

For additional information about HGH blood testing, please contact HT Medical Center for a confidential consultation at no charge.