An HGH Serum Test is ordered to assess pituitary function and help diagnose conditions resulting from the deficiency or overproduction of human growth hormone (HGH) such as hypothalamic disorder, hypopituitarism, acromegaly, and ectopic growth hormone production by neoplasm. The test measures the amount of growth hormone in the blood.
The HGH Serum Test is also commonly referred to as simply GH, HGH, or Human Growth Hormone, as well as Somatotropic Hormone, Somatotropin, or STH. To prepare for this blood test, patients are asked to fast for 10-12 hours and rest for at least 30 minutes prior to collection. Test results will be available within 2-3 days. Insurance is not required to order this test. Patients also do not need a doctor’s order.
Human growth hormone (HGH)—or simply growth hormone (GH)—is produced by the pituitary gland and secreted into the bloodstream in pulses at various points throughout the day. These pulses range from between 10 and 30 per day, and can be strengthened by exercise. As the name suggests, growth hormone is essential for normal growth and development in children. Although not as active in adults, GH helps regulate bone density, muscle mass and lipid metabolism, and is important for tissue repair, muscle growth, bone strength, brain function, physical and mental health, energy and metabolism.
The HGH Serum Test is often ordered along with an IGF-1 Blood Test. Since HGH is secreted in pulses throughout the day, a single test may not accurately show a deficiency or excess. Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) mirrors GH, but IGF is stable throughout the day, and as a result, may be a more accurate indicator of average GH levels.