Where is Growth Hormone Produced?

Where is Growth Hormone Produced

Perhaps the most important hormone of all in the body is a polypeptide called somatotropin (growth hormone, human growth hormone, GH, HGH).

Where is growth hormone produced, and what makes it so valuable to the body?

The pituitary gland, specifically the somatotropin cells in the anterior portion, is the production house for growth hormone. The release is not ongoing or continuous. Sporadic bursts both day and night trigger the pulsatile entrance of GH into the bloodstream. These bursts come from stimulus the pituitary gland receives when growth hormone-releasing hormone enters the pituitary gland.

What gland secretes growth hormone stimulators?

The hypothalamus, which sits higher up in the brain than the pituitary gland, sends a supply of GHRH down to the somatotrophs to stimulate GH production.

Growth hormone production responds favorably to stimulus from exercise, intermittent fasting, sleep, and proper eating.

What Controls Growth Hormone Production?

With growth hormone produced by pituitary gland receipt of GHRH, what influences the hypothalamus to release this hormone?

After the pituitary gland releases GH, signals go to the liver to produce insulin growth factor 1(IGF-1). In a unique interaction, these three hormones, along with somatostatin, help regulate one another. When the hypothalamus senses too much growth hormone and IGF-1 it secretes somatostatin to prevent additional GH release.

Additionally, growth hormone release stimulated by GHRH is influenced by stress, both physical and emotional, as the body responds with increased secretion of cortisol, the stress hormone that inhibits the secretion of other hormones.

What Happens When There is Too Little Growth Hormone?

Too little growth hormone is one of the biggest problems adults face as they age. The body naturally responds to the attainment of adult height by starting to decrease the production of GH as early as the end of one’s twenties.

This may seem right since adults are no longer growing, but, while vertical height may be over, the cells in the body are continuously growing, dying off, and needing replacement. This includes in the following areas:

  • Blood cells
  • Skin cells
  • Muscle cells
  • Bone cells
  • Organ tissue
  • Nails
  • Hair

When not enough human growth hormone is produced, a person may become anemic, notice thinning hair, and find that the internal organs are not working efficiently.

Muscles start to lose their tone and become softer, smaller, and weaker. Bones lose their density and osteoporosis becomes a significant risk factor. Brain functions start to slow down, with the loss of memory and focus becoming serious issues.

Other changes associated with low growth hormone levels include loss of sex drive, frequent colds or illnesses, longer than usual recovery times, weight gain, fatigue, depression, mood swings, and more.

A person may become increasingly sensitive to changes in temperature and climate. Anxiety begins to surface, creating problems at work and in personal situations. Lack of sleep due to higher cortisol and reduced GH levels makes it easier to lose track of concentration, fall asleep at the wheel, or endanger oneself or others at work and home. Many people even begin to isolate themselves from others, turning down social invitations.

What Happens When There is Too Much Growth Hormone?

When too much growth hormone produced by the somatotrophs enters the bloodstream, adults can experience a condition called acromegaly. This is marked by swelling and enlargement of the feet and hands, elongated jawbones, and enlarged organs.

Symptoms associated with too much growth hormone include:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Edema

It is not healthy to have too little or too much growth hormone in the body at any age. Adults are subject to the signs of premature aging if GH deficiency is present.

HT Medical Center helps men and women throughout the US balance their hormone levels through complimentary and confidential telephone consultations, local testing facilities across the country, and affordable treatment options.