scientist looking through a microscope in a lab

Which Lab Tests Can Detect Problems With Growth Hormone Production?

Growth hormone (GH) synthesis and control are vital for preserving health as GH plays a critical role in human metabolism and development.1 The Comprehensive Wellness Panel’s IGF-1 subtest is a crucial diagnostic tool for determining problems with GH synthesis.2 Doctors may evaluate growth hormone activity and detect disorders like acromegaly or growth deficits by testing IGF-1 levels, which are more stable than GH levels. IGF-1 level monitoring is a vital tool in endocrinological diagnosis and treatment since it helps assess the efficacy of GH therapy.

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Growth hormone (GH) is a key player in human metabolism and growth, affecting everything from energy levels to physical development. Identification of issues related to growth hormone production is essential for the diagnosis and treatment of many health ailments, such as adult hormonal imbalances and growth abnormalities in children.

scientist looking through a microscope in a lab

The endocrine system’s complex functioning is revealed by laboratory testing, which are vital instruments in this process. These tests can assist doctors in identifying anomalies in growth hormone production by precisely detecting the amounts of certain hormones and associated indicators, which can lead to prompt and efficient treatment plans.

Comprehensive Wellness Panel

The IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor 1) subtest of a Comprehensive Wellness Panel is the one that can identify problems with growth hormone synthesis.3 Growth hormone and IGF-1 are closely related hormones that are frequently used as markers to measure growth hormone activity in the body. IGF-1 abnormalities may be a sign of problems with growth hormone synthesis.

Growth hormone (GH), which is issued by the pituitary gland, stimulates the production of IGF-1, which is mostly synthesized in the liver. So, there is a strong correlation between blood levels of growth hormone and IGF-1.

The following is how problems with growth hormone synthesis are identified using IGF-1:

Growth hormone can have wide daily variations in its levels since it is produced in pulses.4 IGF-1 levels, on the other hand, are more consistent, which makes them a more trustworthy measure of growth hormone activity on average throughout time.

A feedback loop that controls the synthesis of growth hormones includes IGF-1.5 High IGF-1 levels signal the pituitary gland to decrease growth hormone output, whereas low levels drive higher synthesis. Doctors can determine the growth hormone activity level by testing IGF-1.

Measuring IGF-1 levels can assist confirm the diagnosis when a patient exhibits signs of growth hormone excess (acromegaly in adults) or deficiency (stunted growth in youngsters). A growth hormone shortage may be indicated by low IGF-1 levels, whilst an excess of growth hormone may be suggested by high levels.

IGF-1 levels are tracked in patients undergoing growth hormone therapy in order to evaluate treatment efficacy and modify dose as necessary.

The pulsatile release of growth hormone makes direct assessment of its levels difficult. Contrarily, IGF-1 offers a more reliable and indirect indicator of growth hormone activity throughout time.


Testing for growth hormone synthesis involves a variety of laboratory procedures, such as IGF-1, GH stimulation and suppression assays, and further evaluations of hormones that are related. These tests give doctors significant insights into the intricate interactions between hormones in the body, facilitating the diagnosis and successful treatment of illnesses associated with growth hormone abnormalities. The accuracy and usefulness of these tests are increasing along with our understanding of endocrinology, which gives patients with growth hormone-related illnesses hope for better results.

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Lab Testing - Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to do lab tests occasionally?

It is important to do lab tests occasionally because they can provide valuable information about an individual's health and help to identify potential health issues early on. Lab tests can measure a wide range of factors, including blood count, cholesterol levels, liver and kidney function, and hormone levels, and can provide insight into an individual's overall health and wellness. Additionally, lab tests can help to diagnose and monitor the progression of certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, and can help to identify any potential health risks or concerns. By doing lab tests occasionally, individuals can take proactive steps to maintain their health and wellbeing and reduce the risk of potential health problems in the future.

What does a routine blood test cover?

A routine blood test is used to check for a range of things, including your blood count and the levels of certain chemicals and substances in your blood. Blood tests can also be used to check how well certain organs, such as your liver and kidneys, are functioning.

How is a blood sample collected for lab testing?

A blood sample for lab testing is typically collected through a process called venipuncture, which involves inserting a small needle into a vein to draw blood. This is usually done on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand.

What is the cost of a lab test?

In general, the cost of a lab test can range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars. It is always best to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider to get an accurate estimate of the cost of a lab test.

Read More: Lab Testing FAQ


[1] Vijayakumar A, Yakar S, Leroith D. The intricate role of growth hormone in metabolism. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2011 Sep 27;2:32. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2011.00032. PMID: 22654802; PMCID: PMC3356038.;

[2] Al-Samerria S, Radovick S. The Role of Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) in the Control of Neuroendocrine Regulation of Growth. Cells. 2021 Oct 5;10(10):2664. doi: 10.3390/cells10102664. PMID: 34685644; PMCID: PMC8534318.;

[3] Laron Z. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1): a growth hormone. Mol Pathol. 2001 Oct;54(5):311-6. doi: 10.1136/mp.54.5.311. PMID: 11577173; PMCID: PMC1187088.;

[4] Hartman ML, Veldhuis JD, Thorner MO. Normal control of growth hormone secretion. Horm Res. 1993;40(1-3):37-47. doi: 10.1159/000183766. PMID: 8300049.;

[5] Romero CJ, Pine-Twaddell E, Sima DI, Miller RS, He L, Wondisford F, Radovick S. Insulin-like growth factor 1 mediates negative feedback to somatotroph GH expression via POU1F1/CREB binding protein interactions. Mol Cell Biol. 2012 Nov;32(21):4258-69. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00171-12. Epub 2012 Aug 13. PMID: 22890843; PMCID: PMC3486141.;