A Growth Hormone (GH) test measures the amount of human GH in the blood. GH is produced by the pituitary gland and plays an important role in how the body metabolizes food as well as in human growth and development, especially in children. GH levels rise and fall throughout the day and can be affected by diet, exercise, stress and sleep.
Growth hormone can cause the release of other substances (factors) that affect growth and metabolism. One of these is insulin-like growth factor 1. When the GH level is very high, the growth factor 1 level is also very high. A test for growth factor 1 may also be done to confirm high GH levels.
A test for Growth Hormone (GH) is performed to:
- Identify GH deficiency and evaluate pituitary gland function.
- Detect excess GH and help to diagnose and monitor the treatment of acromegaly and gigantism
- Monitor treatment that uses GH.
For more information on this test, visit WebMD.com
Patients should avoid exercise for at least 30 minutes prior to the test.
An 8-12 hour fast is recommended.