ZocdocAnswersIs my HGH deficiency preventing me from building muscle mass?

Question

Is my HGH deficiency preventing me from building muscle mass?

Hi, I'm a 21 year old male. About 5 years ago a doctor of mine started me on human growth hormone injections since I was very small in stature and had a HGH deficiency. I was on the injections for about 2 years. It worked pretty well and I'm now 5'8, whereas I'd otherwise be much smaller. Now, after being off of it for 3 years, I've taken an interest in building muscle. Despite how I eat and how I workout, I can't seem to gain any weight. Is it likely that my HGH deficiency, which I assume hasn't gone away, is preventing me from building muscle? If so, are there any workarounds to this problem?

Answer

Thank you for this interesting question. In order to provide an accurate answer, a physician would need to review your entire medical history as well as perform a thorough physical exam. In addition, you would likely need repeat blood testing of your growth hormone level as well as assays of other hormones. Therefore, I recommend you schedule an appointment with an endocrinologist. After collecting this information, the doctor can make recommendations on the next most appropriate step. Growth hormone deficiency is typically related to a problem with the pituitary gland, which is a portion of the brain. This can either be a congenital issue or an acquired issue. True deficiency is typically treated with a recombinant form of growth hormone. Although it is possible you are still suffering from growth hormone deficiency, it is certainly not a given that this is still the case. Additionally, there are many reasons you have difficulty gaining weight. Some individuals have difficulty due to their baseline metabolic rate. It is also possible you simply are not taking in enough calories. Other possibilities include hyperthyroidism. I encourage you to raise these concerns with an endocrinologist. After a thorough evaluation, they can give you guidance as to whether you are truly suffering from growth hormone deficiency.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.