There is so much bad talk about human growth hormone (HGH) these days, this is because of the indiscriminate use of HGH injections by sports men who have been done as drug cheats. However some doctors regard them as being the closest thing to the legendary fountain of youth, while some doctors openly criticize the use of this substance because of the fear that the disadvantages far outnumber their benefits. Just in case you were wondering, the Food and Drug Administration has not even approved the use of human growth hormone as a form of anti-aging treatment so you should be careful. This is why in this article we would discuss more about what HGH is, the manner in which it works and the benefits and adverse effects from using it.
So What Exactly is This Human Growth Hormone?
Human growth hormone is a substance that is secreted by the pituitary gland and it is regarded as being the chief gland of the human body. Just like the name connotes, this substance is very important in growing children and teenagers. The moment we stop growing taller, the body starts producing lesser amounts of HGH and this can easily reach low levels when we are in our 50s, 60s and above. The effects that HGH brings about are usually with the help of a second hormone that is called Insulin-like growth factor-1 which is produced by the liver. You see HGH is administrated daily by using injections and this is expensive. Although there are some other treatments like nasal sprays and pills that attempt to trigger the body to produce more of its own HGH, the truth is that they have not been adequately demonstrated that they offer any benefit.
How Does HGH Work As An Anti-Aging Treatment?
HGH affects your body positively so this substance is not just limited to growth. Individuals that suffer from serious HGH deficiency usually because of pituitary disease typically suffer from decreasing muscle mass, increasing body fat and decreased bone density. This kind of deficiency looks similar to the aging process. Doctors' fascination about using growth hormone to reverse the effects of aging in normal healthy middle aged and older adults goes as far back as 1990. A study was conducted by Dr. Rudman, where synthetic HGH were administered to some older men and it was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1990 that they witnessed a significant reduction in body fat, higher bone density and an increase in muscle mass.
Since then there has been so many claims that HGH is the fountain of youth that humans have been waiting for. And there has also been a rise in the amount of athletes that use this substance to increase their muscle mass, this is something that has been kicked by every sports regulatory body in the whole world because of the dangers and the unavailability advantage that it gives their users.
What Are The Exact Results That Comes From Using This Substance?
The trials with the largest amount of volunteers show that using HGH for a long period of time usually results in an average of 1.4 kg increase in lean muscle mass, 2.3 kg loss of weight, 2.6 kg loss of fat and no steady change in density of bones. The patients all reported that they felt better when they were administrated HGH.
Since It Seems Good, Why Is Everyone Not Using Them?
Just like there are benefits, there are also some nasty side effects that come with using HGH injections. The documented side effects of using this substance include:
- Insulin resistance
- Increased risk of diabetes
- Increased swelling
- Joint pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
The rumor that HGH causes cancer has not really been proven, it still remains a controversial topic. When you buy HGH illegally, chances are high that you would be buying adulterated products which are very dangerous to anyone that uses it!
So How Does This Substance Affect The Length Of A Person's Life?
There is no proof that this substance can increase a person's life span. Now there is an irony that HGH excess and HGH deficiency which is a disease known as acromegaly are linked with a shorter life expectancy. Yes we know that people with low levels of HGH are more prone to dying earlier there is also no proof that when they go this HGH treatment it actually increases their life span either!
So Are You Hoping To Try This Treatment Someday?
Just step on the brakes right now! One of the reasons why you should stay away from these injections as an anti aging treatment is there is not enough information about them. Doctors are not fully aware of the benefits and most especially the risks that come with using this substance for a long period of time on healthy people. Just like when it comes to other scenarios that are a bit similar (an example is long-term hormone replacement in menopause), it is not really wise to absorb the safety or benefit of artificial hormone use. It is best that detailed studies are done to thoroughly examine the risks and the advantages not just short term benefits like increase in lean muscle mass. It is only when adequate studies have been done before this treatment should have been used on the general public. I personally do not think it is wise for doctors to be doing an uncontrolled experiment on a lot of healthy individuals.
I Am Sure You Must Be Wondering If You Should Get Tested For Growth Hormone Deficiency
If you do not have any pituitary diseases then it almost impossible for you to have growth hormone deficiency. And the testing is not a fool proof thing; there are chances of a false positive result when the patient does not even have the disease. When doctors suspect that a person has serious HGH deficiency, there are usually two tests that are conducted on the patient to reduce the possibility of having a false-positive result. In most cases these tests typically includes a GHRH-arginine test and an insulin tolerance test. And in all cases they must be contacted by very experienced clinicians because of the risks that they come with.
So Who Exactly Are The People That Use Human Growth Hormone Shots?
Human growth hormone injections are for children that are suffering from diseases which cause HGH deficiency. An example is Turner's syndrome. Also adult patients that have been tested to have HGH deficiency and patients that are suffering from muscle wasting because of HIV or short-bowel syndrome are the candidates for these injections or treatments.