The growth hormone is the hormone that is responsible for growth in human beings. The pituitary gland secretes growth hormone. The pituitary gland is a gland situated in the brain, and it is equivalent to the size of a pea.
Growth Hormone Stimulation test is performed to know if the right amount of growth Hormone is being secreted by the pituitary gland.
How to prepare for the test:
- A child should be healthy and devoid of any illness before the day of the test.
- A child should keep a fast for 8 to 12 hours. Following a fast is must, as eating food can change the test results.
- Plan to bring something for fun, such as books, quiet games, coloring books, stuffed animals or headphones.
A child should wear comfortable clothes to make sure smooth movements throughout the day and not feel uncomfortable as the test will take some time. Clothes should be short-sleeved or sleeves that can be easily pulled up.
- The test can take up to 3 hours.
- The test begins with a nurse giving the child an intravenous line in his/her arm or hand.
- An intravenous line is to be placed in a vein, mainly in the back of the hand or inside of the elbow
- The first sample is taken early in the morning. After the blood sample is taken, medicine will be given to the child to stimulate the pituitary gland to release growth hormone. The most common medications are glucagon and clonidine.
- Your child’s pituitary gland makes growth hormone in small bursts. By taking many samples, your doctor will try to catch the spurt of growth hormone for lab measurement. Blood samples will be collected at every thirty minutes.
- After all sample collection, the intravenous line is removed and cleansed with antiseptic.
- Your child can have a snack and drink after completion of the test before going home.
If the amount of the growth hormone is found adequate, then there is no need to worry about growth hormone deficiency in the child.
Unfortunately, if results are not positive and there is the deficient secretion of growth hormone, then there will be a prescribed course to follow. Sometimes, a MRI scan of the pituitary is required.
Growth Hormone deficiency can cause various health-related issues, if not taken seriously. Growth hormone replacement therapy can be used, only if prescribed by a professional.