In children and adolescents, human growth hormone (HGH), is produced by the pituitary gland. HGH induces growth, regulates bone and muscle expansion, impacts body composition, fluids, fat and sugar metabolism and may have an effect on the performance of the heart. The synthetic version of HGH has been used since the 1980s to treat children and adults experiencing inadequate growth or short stature of an undetermined cause.
LEGITIMATE USES FOR HGH
Children’s physical conditions treated by HGH injections include HGH deficiency; Prader-Willis syndrome which causes inferior muscle tone as well as the unvarying feeling of hunger and low levels of sex hormones; Turner’s syndrome, which impacts the development of females; children born small for their gestational age, and kidney insufficiency. HGH is used to treat adults that have HGH deficits as the result of pituitary tumors or the treatment the individual underwent for the tumor, as well as for short bowel syndrome. When a person suffers from short bowel syndrome, nutrients are not appropriately absorbed because of critical intestinal disease or because of the surgical elimination of the large part of the small intestine. Those suffering from HIV/AIDS sometimes take HGH to counter the muscle-atrophying disease that often goes along with this illness. The FDA approved the above uses for HGH; however, there are many individuals who use HGH for other purposes, which the FDA has not sanctioned and can be dangerous.
OFF-LABEL USES OF HGH
HGH is often used to develop muscle and enhance athletic performance. The FDA does not approve the use of HGH for these purposes. HGH is offered off-label by some doctors. When a product is used off-label it means it is being used for a purpose other than which it was intended. Some physicians believe HGH slows down the aging process and may even annul body deterioration that comes with age. The HGH is injected into the person. HGH is also marketed in spray and pill forms, claiming to improve one’s libido, vision, sleep value, memory, energy levels all while also reducing fat, restoring not only hair but hair color, increasing muscle and normalizing blood sugar. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) does not support these claims.
The perils associated with HGH include high cholesterol levels, carpal tunnel syndrome, pain in a person’s joints, muscles and nerves, tingling and lack of feeling in the skin and edema, which is swelling caused by augmented fluids in body tissues. Those routinely using HGH are at risk for developing diabetes and the growth of malignant tumors. Some men that take HGH may develop gynecomastia. This means the enlargement of breast tissue resulting from an increase in estrogen levels or the reduction of testosterone levels caused by a hormonal balance. When estrogen levels increase or are out of sync with testosterone levels this can result in enlarged breasts.
Body builders often take HGH as a muscle builder, touting the benefits including the production of new protein tissues that help muscles repair and recover from injury. Other cited perks include improved sexual performance, more stamina, better sleep and a way of increasing and keeping lean body mass. It is the belief of this group that the decline in HGH levels later in life leads to poor coronary function, lack of mental clarity, decline in mood and lack of endurance, hair loss, slow recovery capabilities and inadequate immune system function, which can be corrected by taking HGH. According to the Mayo Clinic, older adults may experience side effects more readily than younger adults that take HGH.
Have a serious talk with your physician before taking HGH. It certainly has its benefits but the drawbacks may outweigh the perks. Remember that you are taking a product that has not been approved by the FDA for anything other than the conditions listed above.
About the Author
Robert Goldberg is dedicated to providing health conscious individuals the latest facts about HGH side effects and on how to improve health through increasing HGH levels, using exercise, diet, HGH injections and HGH supplements.
This article is for information only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider. The views expressed are those of the author and do not represent the views of RxEconsult, LLC.