+
Growth Hormone Disorders

Growth Hormone Disorders

Description:

This lesson will identify disorders and abnormalities associated with growth hormone.

(more)
See More
Try a College Course Free

Sophia’s self-paced online courses are a great way to save time and money as you earn credits eligible for transfer to over 2,000 colleges and universities.*

Begin Free Trial
No credit card required

25 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

221 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 20 of Sophia’s online courses. More than 2,000 colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.

Tutorial

What's Covered

Welcome to this lesson on growth hormone. Today you will be learning about the role of the growth hormone in the body, and also the role that it plays in the endocrine system. Specifically, you look at:

  1. Growth Hormone Overview
  2. Overproduction
  3. Underproduction

1. Growth Hormone Overview

Growth hormone is a hormone that is secreted by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland; remember the pituitary gland is located in the brain. Sometimes the regulation of this hormone can get a little off causing too much or too little of this hormone to be secreted. If too much or too little is secreted, it can lead to some sort of abnormal growth.


2. Overproduction

If too much growth hormone is secreted by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland, it can lead to a disorder called gigantism. Gigantism is a condition in which too much hormone is released during childhood with the outcome being a person is much larger than average. The person will have normal body proportions, however, they will be much taller and much larger than the average person because of the excess in growth hormone. Growth hormone regulates our height at epiphyseal plates within the ends of bones. Excess growth hormone secretion makes epiphyseal plates more active which in turn causes bones to grow too much making a child taller than normal.

Growth hormone overproduction can also affect adults, however the person will be unable to grow any taller because epiphyseal plates have calcified over. Instead, tissues, especially bone, increase in thickness but not in length. Tissues like bone, skin, cartilage, tissues of the face, hands, and feet, are all going to become abnormally thick; this condition is called acromegaly.

Terms to Know

    • Gigantism
    • A condition in which growth hormone levels are too high at an age before growth plates ossify; this causes bones and other tissues to grow proportionally larger than average.
    • Acromegaly
    • A condition in which growth hormone levels are too high after growth plates ossify; this causes bones to thicken and extremities to enlarge but bones cannot grow in length. The most prominent signs are enlarged facial features, hands and feet.

3. Underproduction

Sometimes too little growth hormone can be secreted which can lead to pituitary dwarfism. This is caused either by an under production or lack of secretion of growth hormone. A pituitary dwarf will be very short but with normal proportions. Pituitary dwarfism can be a genetic condition that can be passed down generations.

Injuries or tumors that affect the pituitary gland can affect the amount of growth hormone being released. Sometimes if this is detected in children while they're still growing, they can receive shots of artificial growth hormone, which will then increase the growth hormone levels and help them grow to an average height. However this is very expensive and also a big ethical debate. People don't think that artificial growth hormone should be used to treat these disorders.

Term to Know

    • Pituitary Dwarfism
    • A condition in which growth hormones levels are too low at a young age and the person is proportionally smaller than normal.

Summary

This lesson has been an overview on disorders associated with the growth hormone. You also learned that growth hormone disorders can be a result of an overproduction or underproduction of growth hormones being secreted into the body.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR AMANDA SODERLIND​

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Gigantism

    A condition in which growth hormone levels are too high at an age before growth plates ossify; this causes bones and other tissues to grow proportionally larger than average.

  • Acromegaly

    A condition in which growth hormone levels are too high after growth plates ossify; this causes bones to thicken and extremities to enlarge but bones cannot grow in length. The most prominent signs are enlarged facial features, hands and feet.

  • Pituitary Dwarfism

    A condition in which growth hormones levels are too low at a young age and the person is proportionally smaller than normal.