Explore BrainMass

The role of hormones in a body function

Case Study 3: Gigantism is abnormally large growth during childhood caused by excess growth hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. Robert Wadlow, born on February 22, 1918, weighed a normal eight pounds, six ounces. However, by the time Robert reached the age of six months old, he weighed 30 pounds (Hamilton, 1993). Within only a year, his weight rose to 62 pounds, more than double the normal weight of a baby at 18 months. Aside from his weight, Robert continued to grow at an astounding rate, reaching six feet, two inches and 195 pounds by the time he was eight years old. Robert's unique size was attributed to an over active pituitary gland, which produced much higher than normal levels of growth hormone. At the time of his death in July 1940 at the age of 22, Robert had reached a height of 8 feet 11.1 inches and weighed 485 pounds (Hamilton, 1993). Answer the following questions: (2-3 referecnes in APA format)
1.How does growth hormone regulate various body functions in adults, and what could cause the excess secretion of growth hormone?
2.Discuss the relationship between growth hormone and insulin, and are there complications associated with their interaction?
3.Why is gigantism usually more difficult to treat than dwarfism?
4.Give examples of two other hormones secreted by the pituitary, and briefly describe how they specifically affect other organ systems of the body?
5.Some athletes have resorted to the illegal use of anabolic steroids to increase strength and muscle size. How are anabolic steroids different from growth hormone?