When we think of human growth hormone, many likely think of athletes being busted for doping. And yes, while this does happen – because HGH is a banned substance across most sports – this has unfortunately put a negative image in most people's heads. A picture that tells us HGH should never be used.
"Critics have wrongly portrayed HGH for years."
Many people use HGH to reduce aging, boost their athletic prowess and lose weight. However, this is not its original intended use. Shocked yet? That's right. Critics have wrongly portrayed HGH for years, and it's caused the hormone to be shunned by most people even outside of the athletic community.
Like any hormone therapy, HGH must be carefully administered by professionals. We're not here to state that HGH isn't dangerous. That would be incorrect. People who take the incorrect dosage, or who shouldn't take the substance for any reason, could experience carpal tunnel syndrome, joint pain and tissue swelling. But doesn't every drug have a list of side effects? For example, even trusted Tylenol has side effects that include nausea, loss of appetite, rash, headache (one of the conditions it's supposed to treat), jaundice and itching. Or take calcium carbonate, better known as Tums, which may cause nausea, constipation, kidney stones and low levels of phosphate in the blood.
"Complications [with HGH use] are very minimal," said Eric Braverman, M.D., an anti-aging specialist at Path Medical Center in New York City, according to Muscle & Fitness. "Some people experience fluid retention, and a blood sugar rise, but even these are very rare unless you take a lot. Only a few people ever come in with big feet or big livers – from mega-doses – and they weren't my patients. It's very rare."
The point isn't to negate or lessen the seriousness of HGH side effects, as well as these other substances. The point is this: Even the most trusted medicines carry potentially issues if not used carefully. Unfortunately HGH has received the short end of the stick over the years and often been ostracized.
HGH's intended purpose
Is HGH supposed to develop superhuman athletes, pause aging or make someone overweight look fit again? Like we said, this was not HGH's intended purpose. Doctors originally used HGH to treat various critical disorders that impaired natural development.
"HGH is a natural substance in our body. It's not foreign, which many of us are made to believe."
HGH is a natural substance in our body. That's right! It's not foreign, despite what many of us are made to believe. For children and teens, HGH is vital for bone and muscle development. In adults – when bones and muscles have stopped growing – HGH helps maintain proper organ function and metabolism rates.
Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency
Our pituitary glands regularly produce HGH. However, sometimes the pituitary glands stop producing an adequate supply of hormones because of a permanently impaired hypothalamus. This is called Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency and can be dangerous if left untreated.
Those with AGHD have permanent damage to their pituitary gland, either as a result of a tumor or surgery performed to remove the tumor, according to Pituitary.org.
To determine whether someone has AGHD, a series of tests need to be performed. Pituarity.org notes that a single sample of blood is not sufficient enough.
How vital is that someone with AGHD receive HGH hormones? Absolutely critical. Those with AGHD see an increase in fat and a reduction in muscle mass which can, in turn, affect their day-to-day lives.
Treatment of AGHD
For those diagnosed with AGHD, a physician will administer a small dosage of the substance until they've received the necessary amount, according to The Pituitary Society. From there the patient will meet with their doctor regularly, typically once or twice a month, to undergo blood tests. These tests will help the doctor determine how much HGH they should receive. From there frequent appointments will ensue.
The Pituitary Society also noted that appointments differ if the patient has a pituitary tumor. In this case, they'll undergo an MRI, which takes place once a year, before beginning therapy sessions.
If you're still hesitant about receiving HGH, don't be! While HGH usage has become convoluted over the years, it's a perfectly viable treatment for serious conditions such as AGHD. For more information, call us today and we'd be happy to analyze your current health situation and provide recommendations.