The body has a very complex network of systems.
It has so many different processes and various actions to maintain our overall well-being.
There is no such thing as “the most important” part or process in the body since lacking even one of these can be fatal.
And as I have said, the body consists of a complex network of systems that needs to work together, all the time.
Hormones are a transmitter of a chemical substance or”the chemical messenger” that is produced by the body’s cell.
The bloodstream then transports a particular hormone to the certain organs and cells on which it will have a specific regulatory effect.
Hormones stimulate various life processes such as personality traits, mental conditions, sexual attributes, metabolic processes reproduction, and growth.
Hormones can be produced by some body tissues and organs, but the endocrine glands are the main producers.
Endocrine glands like Gonads which is the ovaries and testes, thyroid gland, and the pituitary gland. Each gland can produce different kinds of hormones and the total number of hormones that are being secreted in the body is still unknown.
Understanding what are Somatotropic Hormones?
Somatotropic Hormone, also known as the human growth hormone or somatotropin, is a type of peptide hormone that is produced by the somatotrophs cells of the anterior lobe of the endocrine gland called pituitary gland.
Released for at least 1 to 2 milligrams a day, somatotropic hormones mainly promotes the muscle and body growth and healing process, inhibition of glucose and fat mobilization.
The Somatotropic Hormone is very important for a physical normal growth, especially in children.
Its production level rises continuously at childhood and has max production when puberty hits.
Understanding what are Somatotropic Hormones in Biochemical Terms?
Somatotropic Hormones or the Human Growth Hormone stimulates synthesis of protein and helps in increasing breakdown of fat to help give energy for a healthy tissue growth.
It also opposes or antagonizes insulin action.
Somatotropic hormones may act directly on tissues but most of its effect happens because of the liver and other tissues’ stimulation that produces and releases an insulin-like growth factor mainly the IGF-1 or insulin like growth factor 1 which is previously known as somatomedin.
The term insulin-like growth factor resulted from the high concentrations ability of such factors to imitate the actions made by insulin, but its main action is to help stimulate growth.
Concentrations of IGF-1 progressively increase with age and accelerate quickly during the growth spurt in puberty. After the puberty phase, the IGF-1 concentrations dramatically decrease as you age along with Somatotropic concentrations.
The secretion of Somatotropic hormones is stimulated by GHRH or the growth hormone-releasing hormone and is inhibited by somatostatin.
Additionally, the secretion of somatotropic hormone is pulsatile, with the large level being produced after the onset of deep sleep and is particularly prominent during puberty.
In normal people, the secretion of somatotropic hormones increases when there is a decrease in food intake and respond to psychological stresses and decreases when food is ingested.
However, there are some individuals that are affected by the abnormalities in the secretion of somatotropic hormone; which may involve either over secretion or deficiency of the hormone.
Somatotropic Hormone Deficiency
Somatotropic hormone deficiency is usually the main cause of dwarfism and short stature in an individual.
It results mainly from damages in the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus throughout the fetal development (also known as congenital growth hormone deficiency) or after birth (known as acquired growth hormone deficiency).
Somatotropic Hormone deficiency can also be the result of certain mutations in the genes that mainly regulate secretion and synthesis.
Affected genes may include prophet of PIT-1 or POUF-1 and pituitary specific transcription factor-1 or PIT-1. Such mutations like these may also result in the decrease of secretion and synthesis of other hormones in the pituitary gland.
Some cases of somatotropic hormone deficiency are caused by GHRH deficiency. This means that the growth hormone production may be encouraged by GHRH infusion.
On the other hand, there are other cases where the somatotroph cells themselves is lacking the capability to produce growth hormones, or the somatotropic hormone is abnormal in terms of structure and has a little activity in growth promoting process.
Moreover, somatotropic hormone deficiency and short stature are usually developed by children through psychosocial dwarfism that might result in extreme emotional deprivation.
If children with such type of disorder are detached from the non-nurturing and stressing environment, their growth rate and other endocrine functions normalize.
Children that have isolated somatotropic hormone deficiency during birth tend to be in normal size, but the retardation of their growth becomes more evident in the initial two years of their life.
Radiographs of the bones’ growing ends or epiphyses will show retardation of growth associated to the chronological age of the patient.
Somatotropic hormone deficiency is usually treated with the injections of growth hormone.
However, an HGH for sale is not relatively easy to get for as it involves a very strict process like getting a comprehensive blood work and prescription from a physician.
Also, historically the availability of growth hormone injections was limited for decades since it was solely obtained from the pituitary gland of human cadavers.
In the year 1985, the US and other several countries halted the use of natural growth hormone due to the risk that obtained hormones might be tainted with a pathogenic type of agent that is called prion.
This agent can result in a deadly condition which is called the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
However in that exact same year, through the help of recombinant DNA technology, the very first biosynthetic human growth hormone form, which is called as somatotrem, were produced. Therefore, reassuring everyone that this precious substance will have an unlimited supply.
Children with somatotropic hormone deficiency react well to the injections of the recombinant growth hormone and often achieve an almost normal height.
Although, there are some, particularly those children with the hereditary inability to produce growth hormone, develop a type of antibody that antagonizes the injection of the growth hormone.
Those children that have short stature but do not have somatotropic hormone deficiency can also have a response to growth hormone injections, but only in large doses.
There is a rare type of short stature that resulted in the inherited sensitivity to the growth hormone actions. Such rare disorder is called the Laron dwarfism.
It is usually characterized by the abnormal receptors of the growth hormone which results in the decrease of IGF-1 production and poor growth.
Some symptoms of somatotropic hormones deficiency in children may include:
- Delayed development of the tooth
- There is an increased amount of fat in the waist
- Low growth speed during pubertal stage
- Short Stature
- Looks younger than his or her age
Somatotropic hormone deficiency usually persists during adulthood, although there are some people that can be affected during childhood but will later have a normal secretion of growth hormone during adulthood.
Deficiency of somatotropic hormone in adults can be associated with:
- Decrease in bone density
- Increase in adipose tissue
- Dry and thin skin
- Decrease in muscle mass
- Decrease in muscle strength
- Depressed mood
- Decrease in energy
Injections of growth hormone to somatotropic hormone deficient adults can help reverse such abnormalities but too much growth hormone can cause:
- Hypertension or blood pressure
- Diabetes mellitus
- Fluid retention
- Muscle aches
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Somatotropic Hormone Excess
An excess production of somatotropic hormone is usually caused by adenoma or a benign tumor of the somatotrophs cells.
There are some cases where a tumor in the pancreatic islets of Langerhans or in the lungs produces GHRH that encourages the somatotrophs cells to produce and synthesize huge amounts of somatotropic hormone.
There are even rare cases where there are ectopic productions (production by which tumor cells in body tissues that, ordinarily, do not produces or synthesize growth hormone) of a somatotropic hormone can result in excess production of growth hormone.
There are very rare cases of somatotroph tumors in children which can cause too much growth and can result in gigantism or extreme height and features acromegaly.
Acromegaly is a term used for a condition with an abnormal swelling or enlargement of the acral or distal body parts that also includes the nose, chin, feet, and hands.
The abnormal enlargement is caused by the excessive growth of the skin subcutaneous tissue, muscles and cartilage. That is why, a patient suffering from acromegaly have large feet, hands and nose and a prominent jaw.
There is also an enlargement of other body tissue that may include the kidneys, liver, heart, and tongue.
Additionally, a tumor in the pituitary gland can cause extreme headaches and tumor pressure on the optic chiasm causing visual defects.
Since the metabolic activities of the somatotropic hormone are opposite or antagonistic to those of insulin, there is a possibility that some patients suffering from acromegaly can develop diabetes mellitus.
Some problems that are connected with acromegaly also include:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Bile duct hyperplasia and liver fibrosis
- Abnormal lactation or galactorrhea caused by abnormal production of prolactin by the somatotroph tumors
- Risk of malignant tumors in the large intestine
- Colorectal cancer
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- However, people suffering from acromegaly can be treated by:
- Undergoing resection surgery of tumors in the pituitary gland
- Radiation therapy
Drugs like synthetic long-acting analogs of somatostatin that helps restrain the production of somatotropic hormone and pegvisomant that can help block the binding of the somatotropic hormone to its receptors.
The somatotropic hormone or the human growth hormone, like any other hormones in the body, is very important in achieving a good health. Lacking or having too much can both cause serious problems to your overall health. However, with the help of advanced medical technologies, these problems can now be treated in order for anyone suffering from such conditions to be normal.