HGH (human growth hormone) is naturally produced by the pituitary gland during childhood and adolescence to support growth.
The hormone also regulates a number of other essential bodily functions such as bone and muscle growth, the metabolism of fat and sugar, and possibly even the healthy function of the heart.
Sometimes, when the body’s natural secretion of HGH is not enough, a doctor may prescribe the hormone for treating medical conditions. However, HGH is also sold over the Internet for illicit use.
There is a popular belief that taking HGH will make you feel healthier and more energetic, and that it can even make you appear more youthful. It is also taken by some athletes and body builders to boost their performance. Both of these uses are illegal, and the FDA has banned the use of HGH for everything but a small number of medical applications.
What Is Human Growth Hormone Used For?
HGH was first created synthetically nearly 30 years ago, and was approved by the FDA for the medical treatment of both adults and children. Primarily it was intended for stimulating growth, in conditions and disorders which stunted a person’s stature. These conditions include:
- Prader-Willi Syndrome, which is a very rare genetic disorder which causes hormone imbalances, low muscle tone and insatiable hunger.
- Turner’s syndrome, which is carried on the X chromosome and restricts a girl’s development.
- Chronic kidney disorders.
- HGH deficiency.
In a small number of cases, HGH injections are also used for stimulating growth in children who were born very small for their gestational age.
The approved uses for adults are very different, and include:
However, the number of people taking HGH for medical applications are outnumbered by those people who are taking it for illegal purposes.
The FDA have not approved HGH for enhancing athletic performance or building muscles, and studies have failed to conclusively show that the hormone yields any significant benefits in either case. HGH is frequently taken in conjunction with anabolic steroids, which are also banned by the FDA for use in sports.
Many Internet based companies and some clinics also market HGH pills and sprays as an anti aging elixir which can restore hair growth, increase your energy, enhance the memory and strengthen the body’s immune system.
Purchasing these products is potentially dangerous, as you cannot verify what is contained in the pills and sprays, and many are counterfeited. They are also ineffective because when HGH is taken orally it is digested by the stomach, and will not be absorbed into the body. These products are not the same as medically prescribed HGH, which is only every injected.
The Dangerous Effects Of HGH
As with any product which has medical applications, HGH can cause various side effects.
These risks can be monitored by a doctor when the hormone is prescribed legally, but can be dangerous if a person chooses to take HGH illicitly. The side effects include:
- Aches and pains in the muscles and joints.
- Swelling due to excess fluid collecting in the body’s tissue.
- Tingling in the limbs, and numbness in the hands.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Raised cholesterol levels.
Taking HGH on a regular basis can also boost your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and will accelerate the growth of tumors in cancer patients. You should never take human growth hormones without consulting a qualified doctor first.