Human growth hormone (HGH) is required for some essential functions in the body. It is needed for cell reproduction and regeneration as well as tissue and cell repair. When a person has low levels of the hormone, the most common medical course of action is the use of HGH replacement therapy. Read on to find out why and when HGH therapy is needed as well as the benefits to be enjoyed from it.
Also known as somatotropin, growth hormone is one of several hormones that are produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. It is needed for growth and development in humans, more especially in growing children. The anabolic hormone is released mostly when in deep sleep and it stimulates tissue growth while also breaking down fat tissues. It needs to be present in the ideal quantity – neither too high nor too low – in the body to ensure optimal health. However, the most common HGH issues have to do with low levels.
Growth hormone levels are highest in children and adolescents – the levels peak during puberty. A rather significant decline in HGH levels sets in after puberty. Drop in levels could start as early the twenties, but the decline becomes especially noticeable from the age of 30. About 14 percent drop is experienced every 10 years and, as would be expected, signs of aging start to manifest. The decline could be so drastic that HGH levels are reduced by late adulthood to amounts significantly less than half the levels of early adulthood.
HGH therapy is needed to address this decline in growth hormone levels that could bring about the onset of aging signs and several other unwanted physical and psychological changes. It is also used to combat problems of growth hormone deficiency in children.
There is so much rave these days about the awesome benefits offered by HGH therapy and there are several studies that have been carried out to back these. Perhaps, the most popular study that is often cited in support of growth hormone treatment was that done by Dr. Daniel Rudman et al. and published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1990. Muscle mass increase, fat loss and healthy skin were observed in the elderly male participants aged 61-80 after being placed on HGH treatment for a period of six months.
The Rudman study was dismissed by some due to the small sample size, but the findings were somewhat corroborated by another study with significantly greater number of participants. In a study at the Palm Springs Life Extension Institute involving 202 participants from 1994 to 1994, Dr. Edmund Chein and his associate Dr. Leon Terry observed that HGH use resulted in 1.5-2.5% increase in bone density every six months as well as 10% increase in muscle mass and 10% loss in body fat. Other benefits observed included higher energy levels, improved sexual performance, hair growth, improved skin texture, enhanced mental functions, and improvement in exercise endurance and tolerance.
A 1989 London study by Dr. Franco Salomon and colleagues showed that HGH therapy on growth hormone-deficient adults over a period of six months resulted in lean body mass increase of more than 10 percent and about seven percent drop in body fat. In a separate study, researchers found that HGH can help in preventing heart failure.
However, it must be noted that these studies were carried out using biosynthetic HGH injections, rather than HGH supplements such as secretagogues and homeopathic HGH.
Before the commencement of HGH therapy, your doctor will usually order a number of HGH tests to determine the need for such. These tests are used to assess the levels of growth hormone in the body. They could include growth hormone suppression test, Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) test and a urinary growth hormone test. All these help to allay all safety concerns when embarking on HGH therapy.
Treatment commences after a doctor or an endocrinologist must have confirmed that you are indeed suffering from growth hormone deficiency issues. It involves the use of hormone biosynthetically-produced through recombinant technology. The synthetic hormone is delivered into the body through subcutaneous injections. These HGH injections are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and can only be accessed with a prescription from a qualified doctor.
The growth hormone-deficient person is placed on a low dose at the initial stage of HGH therapy. A doctor will typically order a stimulation test after this to determine whether the dose should be increased or decreased. Tests may also be conducted to check bone density, cholesterol levels and blood glucose levels. A maintenance dose is determined after a number of assessments have been made. Once on a maintenance dose, the patient is assessed every six months to evaluate the effect of the HGH therapy.
HGH injections are very potent, but they are equally expensive to access. Some patients on HGH therapy are said to pay as high as $3000 a month to receive these injections. This is the reason why many people resort to cheaper HGH supplements, such as HGH releasers and homeopathic HGH, which merely stimulates the natural production of growth hormone by the pituitary gland in the body.
It is important for HGH therapy to be supervised by a well-trained, qualified physician. The reason you will need to ensure this is the case is because improper self-administration could give rise to scary side effects such as severe headache, carpal tunnel syndrome, generalized edema, high blood cholesterol levels and hypoglycemia. These side effects may be more pronounced when using synthetic HGH brought from the unregulated market due to cheaper prices.
HGH therapy is the most efficacious means of addressing growth hormone deficiency in children and adults. But it is rather costly and needs to be executed under the guidance of a qualified medical professional. Poor management of the therapy and use of HGH sourced from the black market may result in severe side effects.
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