Diagnosis of Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD)

Click here to view Treatment for Growth Hormone Deficiency


  • Insulin tolerance test (aka insulin stress test)
  • or glucagon stimulation test
  • or GHRH arginine test
  • or Macimorelin test (not yet widely available)

These are all dynamic tests. Dynamic tests are the only way to test for GHD. Consultants may refuse you a dynamic test for four mistaken reasons. Click here to read more.


If you suspect you have GHD, have your cholesterol and triglycerides tested. These are often high if you have GHD and are easily checked. You may save yourself from a heart attack.


It is worth noting that the NICE criteria for authorising growth hormone replacement are as follows: Recombinant human growth hormone (somatropin) treatment is recommended for the treatment of adults with growth hormone (GH) deficiency only if they fulfil all three of the following criteria.

  • They have severe GH deficiency, defined as a peak GH response of less than 9 mU/litre (3 ng/ml) during an insulin tolerance test or a cross-validated GH threshold in an equivalent test.
  • They have a perceived impairment of quality of life (QoL), as demonstrated by a reported score of at least 11 in the disease-specific ‘Quality of life assessment of growth hormone deficiency in adults’ (QoL-AGHDA) questionnaire [link to questionnaire].
  • They are already receiving treatment for any other pituitary hormone deficiencies as required.