What is Human Growth Hormone

Human growth hormone or HGH is a hormone that is produced in your pituitary gland. This gland is located at the base of the brain. It produces other hormones as well and helps to regulate the functions of other endocrine glands, specifically the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, ovaries, and testes. HGH is made from amino acids and is released in short bursts, especially when you are in deep sleep, engaging in high-intensity aerobic training, or performing strenuous weight training.

The growth hormone is just that, a growth hormone. Thus it is more important to the very young who are developing. It is vital to their health and stimulates physical improvement. It is important to seniors as well only not to the degree it affects the very young.


Andre the Giant

André René Roussimoff had acromegaly, a disorder of the pituitary gland. He had a tumor in his pituitary which caused it to produce too much HGH. Today he would be treated with surgery. There are also drugs available to blunt the effects of growth hormone but the definitive treatment is surgery.

The mid-70’s saw the development of CT scanning. This allowed physicians to visualize tumors in the pituitary. Before that time diagnosis was based on physical exam, history and blood levels.

Andre the Giant was born and grew up in a small town in France. The technology to diagnosis his condition was not available. His condition was not recognized until he was in his twenties and by then the damage was done. It was too late to save him from his fate.

Levels of Human Growth Hormone

The only way to measure your level of HGH is by a blood test. It is not an inexpensive test. The pituitary gland produces decreasing levels of growth hormone as we age. The level of the hormone at age 70 normally might be 1/2 to 1/3 the level it was at the age of 25.

How HGH Affects Your Body

GH impacts muscle formation, strength, skin integrity, and energy levels. If you want to see dramatic increases in energy levels, strength, mid-abdominal weight loss, and improved sleep, injections of GH will produce this very quickly. Blood tests easily determine the amount of GH levels in your body.

The effects of injections of GH are dramatic. However, it is not a long-lasting effect. The results only last for as long as the injections continue. There is no oral growth hormone treatment. The acids in the stomach render the drug ineffective. In order to be effective, GH is injected into the muscle or subcutaneous tissue daily.

Costs of Growth Hormone

Pituitary glands in human cadavers originally supplied human growth hormone. It was and still is very expensive. However, today GH is produced by recombinant DNA. The correct strand of DNA is spliced into the DNA of bacterial cells. The bacteria culture continues to grow along with the GH. Scientists then “harvest” the growth hormone. This process has been available for at least 30 years. The price of GH remains high and may be between $250 to $600 per month, depending on the dose, source, and the physician.


Controlled Substance

Foreign countries such as China, Mexico, and European nations produce the drug. It may be purchased directly from them. However, since this type of production is not standardized, the validity of the GH is not assured. Safety remains an issue. Growth hormone is a controlled substance by the US government. If an individual has been determined to have a low level of the hormone, a physician can prescribe HGH for that person. Illegally prescribing the hormone carries a stiff fine and possible prison confinement for the physician so they are reluctant to order the drug.

Due to its potential for abuse from athletes, bodybuilders, and performance athletes, the DEA tightly controls all aspects of growth hormones. GH is one of the chemicals that Olympic committees and professional teams test for to ensure fairness.

Side Effects

Excess GH injections can produce hypertension, elevated blood sugar levels, carpal tunnel disease, arthritis, heart disease, and facial bone changes. Some well-known bodybuilders have abnormally spaced teeth due to the effects of the long-term excessive use of growth hormone.

healthy seniors

Growth Hormone for Seniors

In conclusion, GH is a wonderful hormone if used correctly for hormone deficiency. In senior patients, GH may produce rapid healing of injuries or post-surgical states if used for short durations of time. Many private physicians and companies (Cenergenics) have made an industry out of hormone replacement therapy. This therapy can produce either very good or very bad results depending on the dosage and length of treatment.

Psychological dependence from GH becomes a major factor from chronic use. Many users become addicted to the effects of their physical appearance, their weight, the anti-aging effects, and their skin quality when they are taking growth hormone.

If you are interested in GH therapy, contact a physician who specializes in this type of treatment. They may advertise their practice as bio-identical hormone therapy. Traditionally trained physicians who concentrate on hormone therapy (endocrinologists) do not usually prescribe this type of therapy except in GH deficient children whose growth may be stunted.

Everyone wants to be as good as they can be physically but the side effects can be life-threatening. Growth hormone can generate exceptionally wonderful results or can result in psychological dependence and hormone excess complications. It is a double-edged sword. It can make you the best you can be or it can destroy you. A difficult choice.

Read more at GuideForSeniors.com for all things senior. You can email us at guideforseniors@gmail.com.

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