Growth Hormones

Importance of Hormones

Hormone is a chemical substance that is formed in our bodies which controls and regulates the functions of our body. Many of the hormones are secreted by special glands like thyroid hormones are secreted by thyroid glands of our body and they affect the function of that very gland. Hormones are of crucial importance because they help the organs of our body to carry out their functions properly. They even help in our body growth, reproduction, and even sexual characteristics. It also affects how our body stores and releases energy in the form of salt and sugar, which means it has a key role in our metabolism processes, growth of cells, and heart functions like heartbeat and pumping of blood. 

Different Types of Hormones

Since we talked about how hormones can be secreted by different glands, we can also point out that there exist three major types of hormones- lipid derived hormones, amino acid derived hormones, and peptide hormones. Lipid derived hormones are derived largely from cholesterol and they are similar in structure too. Examples include testosterone and progesterone, etc. Amino acid derived hormones as the name suggests are derived from amino acids. They are small structured and include hormones secreted in the adrenal glands and thyroid gland. The peptide hormones are those hormones whose molecules are made up of proteins that is why these hormones are also called protein hormones. Examples include the hormones secreted by the pituitary gland and oxytocin etc.

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What is Growth Hormone?

Growth hormone is a peptide hormone that is secreted by the lobe that is anterior in the pituitary gland. Other than growth hormone it is also called human growth hormone and since this hormone is released by cells called somatotrophs present in the pituitary glands, the growth hormone is also known as somatotropic hormone. As the name suggests, its primary function is to boost the growing process of our body tissues and cells. The growth hormones increase the synthesis of protein in the body which also helps in boosting the breakdown processes of fats which, in return, provide the required energy to the body for cell formation and tissue growth. The growth hormones rarely act directly on the tissues for growth. It is mostly through the generation of insulin-like growth factors that are stimulated by growth hormones in the liver and other parts of the body that it helps in boosting growth processes. 

What are The Effects of Growth Hormone?

There are many effects of growth hormone in our body. Some of them are-

  1. Growth Hormone for Height and Other Growth Effects: Growth effects on our body are indirectly boosted by the growth hormones by stimulating the production of insulin-like growth factors in the liver. The insulin-like growth factor helps in breaking down fats to release energy that is required for the formation of tissues in the body. It also stimulates the growth of special cells like osteoblasts in the bone for its growth and development. It is, therefore, understood how pivotal is the role of growth hormones in the growth and development of children. With these, children will not have their proper physiological growth and therefore, no height.

  1. Metabolism Effects: Growth hormones help in improving the synthesis of protein and breakdown of fats to release energy that are required to boost tissue growth in the body. the control over proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids storage and breakdown pretty much sums up the role it plays in metabolic processes. The lipid metabolism takes place by promoting oxidation in cells and the breakdown process of triglycerides. It plays a particularly important role in controlling sugar levels in a body. It improved the metabolism of carbohydrates by preventing insulin activity or boosting glucose uptake.

  1. Health Effects: Growth hormones are associated with diseases as well. These diseases are caused when there is an excess or deficiency of growth hormones in the body. These factors are mostly affected by the abnormal functioning of the pituitary glands. If hormones are in deficit, it can cause problems to the normal functioning of the body including conditions of dwarfism. Two main abnormalities that are related to excess or deficit of growth hormones are- gigantism and acromegaly.

When too much growth hormones are secreted, they cause the tissues to grow abnormally. In children, this disease is called gigantism, and in adults, it is called acromegaly. It is diagnosed by X-rays and blood tests and generally caused by cancerous tumors in the pituitary glands.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the function of growth hormone?

Some of the important growth hormone functions are –

  • It helps in maintaining the growth and structure of our body. It is due to the presence of growth hormones that we get our height.

  • It helps in normal functioning of our body. It leads to normal growth of organs which carry on their functions.

  • It helps in the synthesis of protein and breakdown of carbohydrates and lipids to release energy for the formation of tissues, thus, leading to tissue growth.

  • It helps in stimulating the production of insulin-like growth factors which helps in preventing insulin from promoting unnecessary uptake of glucose. 

  • It also helps in maintaining body weight by reducing body fat in metabolic processes.

2. What are the different types of growth hormones? What do you understand by hypersecretion of growth hormones?

Growth hormones are peptide hormones that are secreted by the anterior lobes of pituitary glands. Growth hormones are of two types- one, natural and the other, synthesized. 

Somatotropin hormones are the naturally occurring growth hormones in humans and animals. Somatropin hormones are synthesized growth hormones that are produced by recombinant DNA technologies.

Hypersecretion of growth hormones is related to over secretion of growth hormones in a body. If too much growth hormones are released, then the growth of body issues take place abnormally leading to abnormal body organs. It is generally caused by the presence of benign tumors in the pituitary glands. It leads to an abnormal condition called gigantism in children and acromegaly in adults.