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Growth Hormone Lab Testing

HGH can be measured through a stimulation test and IGF-1 blood test. Athletes may be tested using a bio-markers and isoforms testing method to detect growth hormone in their bodies. If Growth Hormone levels are low, you may be considered a candidate for HGH Replacement Therapy

Growth Hormone Stimulation Test

The growth hormone (GH) stimulation test measures the ability of the body to produce endogenous human growth hormone. The HGH stimulation test is performed by blood drawn several times through an IV (intravenous line). The best time for this type of blood test is in the morning after fasting for 12 hours prior to the test. An IV is placed in a vein through which a GH stimulant is introduced. Under normal circumstances the stimulant fosters the pituitary gland to release GH. The stimulant is given over a two to five hour time frame to ensure a good test result. Some prescription drugs and anti-aging supplements can affect the lab test results and you should notify your doctor before you schedule your lab test. Drugs that stimulate the pituitary gland during the test may cause side effects so an alternative HGH lab test known as IGF-1 Blood Testing is also available.

GH Testing for AGHD and other Endocrine Disorders

Why the HGH Stimulation Test is Performed: This lab test is most often done to find out whether endogenous human growth hormone deficiency is causing slowed growth or symptoms of hormonal imbalance as those experienced during menopause or Andropause (the male menopause). If you think you may have lower than normal Human Growth Hormone levels, contact our Anti-Aging Treatment Clinic to arrange a hormone lab test online - Get an HGH Lab Test Online.

What are Normal HGH Test Results?

  • Normal peak GH value: at least 10 ng/mL
  • Indeterminate GH value: 5 - 10 ng/mL
  • Subnormal GH value: 5 ng/mL
If a patient's natural growth hormone levels are deficient, an HRT program that replaces endogenous or natural hormone secretion may be prescribed to properly balance or optimize Human Growth Hormone Levels in the body.

A normal GH hormone value rules out hGH deficiency and in some laboratories, the normal level is 7 ng/mL (nanogram per milliliter). Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. For this reason an experienced endocrinologist or hormone doctor should be consulted to evaluate the meaning of your specific GH test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean

If this test does not raise GH levels, there is a reduced amount of hGH stored in the anterior pituitary gland showing a problem with endogenous or natural secretion. In children, this results in growth hormone deficiency. In adults, it may be linked to panhypopituitarism or adult growth hormone deficiency. Risks: Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others. Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight, but may include: Excessive bleeding, Fainting or feeling lightheaded, Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin),Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

Alternative Test Names: Arginine test; Arginine-GHRH test

HGH Level Blood Testing

Learn how and when a Growth Hormone (HGH) blood test is used, when a GH blood test is ordered, and what the results of a growth hormone blood test mean for patients.

IGF-1 Growth Hormone Blood Test

The test for insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is used to measure growth hormone (HGH) deficiency. As a lab test used for GH deficiency it is many times ordered by physicians along with the GH stimulation test to confirm hormonal imbalance and as a follow-up to abnormal results on other hormonal blood tests to evaluate pituitary or endocrine dysfunction. Sometimes, IGF-1 lab tests are used to detect excess human growth hormone secretion and to help diagnose and monitor treatment of the endocrine conditions acromegaly and gigantism.

IGF-1 is a hormone that, along with growth hormone, helps promote normal bone and tissue growth and development. An IGF-1 test is often ordered along with GH stimulant lab test. HGH has a very short half life and is secreted in pulses making it harder to measure throuought the day. IGF-1 mirrors GH excesses and deficiencies, but the level of IGF-1 in the blood is stable throughout the day making it a useful indicator of average GH levels. IGF-1 may be ordered with other pituitary hormone tests, such as prolactin or FSH and LH (luteinizing hormone), to help diagnose pituitary gland dysfunction and decreased pituitary hormones clinically known as hypopituitarism.

IGF-1 testing and a GH suppression tests can be used to detect and monitor treatment of a GH-producing pituitary tumor. An anterior pituitary tumor is typically confirmed with imaging scans that help identify and locate the tumor. If surgery is necessary, GH and IGF-1 levels are measured after the tumor's removal to determine whether the entire tumor was successfully removed. Drug and/or radiation therapy may be used in addition to, or sometimes instead of, surgery to try to decrease GH production and return IGF-1 to a normal or near normal concentration. IGF-1 may be ordered to monitor the effectiveness of this therapy at regular intervals for years afterward to monitor GH production and to detect tumor recurrence. IGF-1 levels and the measurement of GH can also provide information related to GH insensitivity. Prior to performing definitive GH testing, if the IGF-1 level is found to be normal for age and sex, GH deficiency is excluded and definitive testing is not necessary.

When to order an IGF-1 Test?

IGF-1 blood testing may be ordered, along with a GH stimulation test, when - 1)A child has symptoms of GH deficiency, such as a slowed growth rate and short stature and 2) Adults have symptoms that a health practitioner suspects may be due to a GH deficiency, such as decreased bone density, fatigue, adverse changes to lipid levels, and reduced exercise tolerance. However, testing for IGF-1 deficiency is not routine in adults who have these symptoms; GH and IGF-1 deficiency are only very rare causes of these disorders. An IGF-1 also may be ordered when a health practitioner suspects that someone has an underactive pituitary gland and at intervals to monitor those on GH therapy. Less commonly, IGF-1 testing may be ordered, along with a GH suppression test, when a child has symptoms of gigantism or when an adult shows signs of acromegaly. When a GH-producing pituitary tumor is found, GH and IGF-1 are ordered after the tumor is surgically removed to determine whether all of the tumor has been extracted. IGF-1 also is ordered at regular intervals when someone is undergoing the drug and/or radiation therapy that frequently follow tumor surgery. IGF-1 levels may be ordered at regular intervals for many years to monitor a person's GH production and to watch for pituitary tumor recurrence.

IGF-1 Test Results

What does the IGF-1 blood test result mean? Looking at the lab reference ranges, a normal level of IGF-1 must be considered in context. Some people can have a GH deficiency and still have a normal IGF-1 level. With decreased IGF-1 a deficiency correlates to human growth hormone insufficiency. If the IGF-1 level is decreased, then it is likely that there is a GH deficiency or an insensitivity to GH caused by receptor cell impairment or dysfunction. In a child, the GH deficiency may have already caused short stature and delayed development and may be treated with GH supplementation. Adults will have an age-related decrease in production, but lower than expected levels may reflect a GH deficiency or insensitivity. If a decrease in IGF-1 is suspected to be due to a more general decrease in pituitary function (hypopituitarism), then several other endocrine glands and their pituitary regulating hormones will need to be evaluated to decide on appropriate treatment. Reduced pituitary function may be due to inherited defects or can develop as a result of pituitary damage following conditions such as trauma, infections, and inflammation.

Decreased levels of IGF-1 also may be seen with nutritional deficiencies (including anorexia nervosa), chronic kidney or liver disease, inactive or ineffective forms of endogenous or naturally secreted GH, and with high doses of estrogen.

How to Increase Low HGH

Increased IGF-1 and Raising Low HGH Levels

Elevated levels of IGF-1 usually indicate an increased production of GH. Since GH levels vary throughout the day, IGF-1 levels are a reflection of average GH production, not of the actual amount of GH in the blood at the time that the sample for the IGF-1 measurement was taken. This is accurate up to the point at which the liver's capacity to produce IGF-1 is reached. With severely increased GH production, the IGF-1 level will stabilize at an elevated maximum level. Increased levels of GH and IGF-1 are normal during puberty and pregnancy but otherwise are most frequently due to pituitary tumors although usually benign. If IGF-1 is still elevated after the surgical removal of a pituitary tumor, then the surgery may not have been fully effective. Decreasing IGF-1 levels during subsequent drug and/or radiation therapies indicate that the treatment is lowering GH production. If levels of IGF-1 become normalized, then the person is no longer producing excess amounts of GH. When someone is undergoing long-term monitoring, an increase in IGF-1 levels may indicate a recurrence of the pituitary tumor. If an IGF-1 level is normal and a health practitioner still strongly suspects an HGH deficiency, then the healthcare provider may order another test, an IGFBP-3 (insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3), to help confirm the GH deficiency. Almost all IGF-1 in the blood is bound to binding proteins, with IGFBP-3 being the most prevalent form, and IGFBP-3 production is also stimulated by GH.

The synthesis of a recombinant form of human growth hormone (rhGH) [somatropin] in the late 1980s freed athletes and patients alike from dependence on small supplies of cadaveric hGH and its attendant infectious risks... Administration of rhGH peaks in 1 to 3 hours and is imperceptible at 24 hours. Olympic athletes are therefore, required to take HGH detection tests that allow officials to measure GH present in the body.

Using Blood Tests for GHD

Testing for the suppression or stimulation of growth hormone release from the pituitary is usually done to measure a hormone deficiency. HGH stimulation tests help to diagnose GH deficiency and hypopituitarism, both endocrine disorders. For a stimulation test, a sample of blood is drawn after 10-12 hours of fasting. A patient is then given an intravenous solution that stimulates the release of Human Growth Hormone from the pituitary. Blood samples are then drawn at different intervals and HGH levels are tested for each time interval to see if the pituitary gland was stimulated to produce endogenous growth hormone. The most commonly used HGH stimulant is arginine, but others include clonidine and glucagon. Since intensive exercise can affect GH levels, causing an increase in natural GH levels, extremely vigorous exercise may also be used as a stimulant for GH release but blood lab panels are normally moe accurate indicators.

GH suppression tests help to diagnose GH secretion levels. For a growth hormone suppression test, a sample of blood is drawn after 12 hours of fasting. A person is then given a glucose solution to drink since glucose supresses GH secretion. Blood samples are drawn at different intervals and HGH levels are tested for each time interval to see if the pituitary gland is sufficiently suppressed by the glucose. Growth hormone stimulates the production of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 is a hormone that facilitates the effects of GH and helps foster normal bone and tissue growth and development. However, unlike GH which pulses and is normally released during sleep at night, IGF-1 level are stable in the blood throughout the day. This makes IGF-1 (insulin growth factor-1) a more useful indication of GH levels. For this reason the IGF-1 blood test is often used to help evaluate HGH deficiency or HGH secretory excess.

HGH suppression tests and IGF-1-testing may also be used to monitor treatment of a HGH-producing pituitary dysfunction. Other lab tests that may be used to evaluate pituitary gland function include prolactin, free T4, TSH, cortisol, FSH, LH, and testosterone. These hormone lab tests are usually performed prior to or together with HGH testing to make sure that they are within normal or optimal ranges before GH treatment is done. In some cases other endocrine conditions such as high cortisol or thyeoid health problems suc as hypothryoidism must be treated before to dealing with Growth Hormone Deficiency.

HGH Use and Abuse - Athletes and Large Dosages

Using excess HGH or somatropin is known as doping with hGH which gives athletes an unfair performance advantage and can adversely impact the health and well-being of athletes. Amounts of somatropin injected in dosages beyond 4 IU may be considered abusive and some athletes, weightlifters and bodybuilders can inject up to 10 or 12 IU per day. The sport's world and anti-doping authorities support the development of analytical testing methods for the the detection of excessive HGH use. Two major tests used for sports detections are the isoforms approach and the biomarkers approach. The Isoform Differential Immunoassays (the Isoforms Test) was first introduced as a research-scale test at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, and later applied at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy. Following a process of assay development and validation into a new technical platform (tube-based chemiluminescence technique), which is suitable for the production of commercial kits, the currently applied test kits were firstly used during the 2008 European Football Championship in Austria and Switzerland, as well as during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Currently, all WADA accredited laboratories test for hGH using the Isoforms Test. The test works based on the fact that somatropin, the recombinant form of HGH is a bio-identical version which is almost entirely a copy of the 22-kilodalton (kDa) form of growth hormone. The hGH Biomarkers Test using the markers approach, was introduced for testing during the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. A process of validation of new assays for IGF-1 and P-III-NP has been completed in collaboration with USADA and several research groups, including the method-developer GH-2000 team from the UK and various WADA accredited laboratories. Following the completion of the study on the determination of the Decision Limits (DLs) for the hGH Biomarkers Test, the application of the method is used in a number of WADA accredited laboratories. You may have been searching for growth hormone, growth hormone test, test for growth hormone, GH, human growth hormone, HGH, somatotropin, IGF-1 test, low HGH test, HGH lab test, HGH lab results, Growth Hormone Stimulation test, Growth Hormone Suppression test, gh levels test, gh pituitary function, gh blood test, growth hormone deficiency, GHD, endocrine tests

Using Somatropin Injectables

Human Growth Hormone or Somatropin injections should only be used under close medical supervision. To buy HGH legally and safely, you must have a valid prescription from your doctor. The article above highlights the benefits of using and purchasing growth hormone with a prescription or from trusted sources that specialize in selling approved, quality hormone injections and steroid drugs used for hormone replacement online. It is not recommended that you buy HGH injections from untrusted sources especially from overseas countries where the quality of the HGH you are buying cannot be verified. The FDA does an excellent job of providing product safety guidelines and information and has done much to protect consumers from buying and using fake or illicit somatropin injectables that could potentially harm patients.Always confer with a licensed medical professional before taking hormone drugs like somatropin, HCG or testosterone. Get a blood test and physical examination to see if you are a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy using Human Growth Hormone. Enroll in an experienced, licensed physician's HRT program or HGH therapy program so your treatment results can be properly monitored and dosages accurately prescribed. The lab testing information provided on our website should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical health condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical or endocrine conditions.


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At Advance Therapy Hormone Centers, we have successfully treated over 20,000 patients with testosterone hormone deficiency or hormonal imbalance.

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Advance HRT Health Benefits

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Hormone Health Related Topics

What is Male Erectile Dysfunction or Impotence? Read more about treating ED - Erectile Dysfunction

When Should Testosterone be Used to Treat Erectile Dysfunction:
Safety vs. Effectiveness of Testosterone Treatments for ED?

Using HGH Injections for the Treatment of Hormone Imbalance :
HGH Uses, Effectiveness and Safety
and Buying Real Human Growth Legally and Safely - Somatropin Getting Somatropin Injections Online

Testosterone Supplementation is Used to treat Andropause or Low T Levels:
Testosterone Therapy for Low T

Hormone Treatment for Healthy Aging and Longevity. Read more about HRT for healthy aging...

Hormone Deficiency Symptoms

• Decrease in sex drive
• Lack of energy
• Decrease in strength
• Decreased endurance
• Lost height
• Depression
• Weaker Erections
• Low energy after eating
• Decreased productivity

Hormone Replacement Benefits

Increases in lean muscle
Enhances sex drive
Improves memory
Improves mood
Improves endurance
Increases energy
Improves skin tone
Reduces body fat
Lowers cholesterol
Lowers blood pressure
Diminishes wrinkles
Eliminates cellulite
Reduces muscle wasting
Improves kidney function
Improves recovery time
Increases bone density
Reduces stress levels

US Dietary Guidelines

Nutrition and Your Health: Dietary Guidelines for Americans is published jointly every 5 years by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA).


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