Children's Hospital Colorado

Growth Hormone Deficiency

Kids aren’t just mini adults. In fact, they’re incredibly different. That’s why they need incredibly different care.

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What is growth hormone deficiency?

Growth hormone deficiency is a condition in which the body does not make enough growth hormone. Growth hormone (GH) is made by the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain. In children, GH is needed for growth, muscle strength, bone strength and sometimes to control blood sugar levels.

What causes growth hormone deficiency?

Some children are born with growth hormone deficiency. This may be because the baby was born without a pituitary gland, or the pituitary gland is not making enough growth hormone. Other children develop growth hormone deficiency later in childhood because of a brain injury, a brain tumor or radiation treatment to the head. In many other children, the cause of growth hormone deficiency is not found. In this case, the condition is called “idiopathic growth hormone deficiency.” Growth hormone deficiency can happen at any age.

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