What is Human Growth Hormone & Why is it Important?
You’ve probably heard the phrase “HGH” or “Human Growth Hormone” at least once in your life but do you truly know what it is? You might recall the whole baseball steroids scandal back in 2007 and the report that took the suspected players down. It was called the Mitchell Report and it created a bunch of waves throughout professional sporting leagues.
The Mitchell Report was a 409 page document (released on Dec. 13, 2007) which exposed the drug/steroid use of players and also contained a few recommendations that explained the precedence for handling of illegal steroid use. In total, the Mitchell Report listed 89 players who had been accused of using steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs (like human growth hormone injections).
Human growth hormone, better known as HGH to some, is a hormone naturally produced in a healthy human body. Why a healthy human body? Some people have human growth hormone deficiencies in which their pituitary gland is damaged or malfunctioning. A damaged or malfunctioning pituitary gland does not produce a normal amount of the hormone.
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The pituitary gland, located in the brain, is responsible for producing HGH. Without the proper production of the growth hormone, we would not be able to grow and develop into healthy adults.
What is HGH Deficiency in Children?
Many adults ask, “What is HGH?” when they first learn of their child’s deficiency. A child’s body depends on the growth hormone to gain height, weight and muscle. When a child does not secrete a normal amount of human growth hormone they may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Lagging in height for their age
- Abnormal amount of fat around waist and on face
- Looks younger than other children in age range
- Emotional problems due to height or weight
- Delay in puberty
- Delay in tooth development
A growth hormone deficiency can occur in children of any age. Most children with this deficiency grow less than 2 inches a year. Though the child may be shorter than normal, their other body parts will still be proportional.
What is HGH Deficiency in Adults?
A commonly asked question is, “What is HGH deficiency in adults and is it the same as in children?”
An HGH deficiency affects adults differently because they are no longer in the development stages of life. Adults can experience the following as the result of a deficiency:
- Decrease in bone mineral density
- Increased risk for osteoporosis
- Insulin sensitivity
- Damaged cardiac function
- Emotional issues
- Lack of physical stamina
- Decrease in quality of life
Human growth hormone deficiency in adults is usually the result of a pituitary tumor and first diagnosed after a tumor is found. Most adults are first diagnosed with the deficiency around 40 or 50 years of age. It is common for adults with a human growth hormone deficiency to have a decrease in their life expectancy.
What is HGH Used For?
We need HGH at any age to keep our bodies functioning properly. As we age, the natural production of the hormone slows down. This is why many choose to use a synthetic form of the hormone.
- Lean muscle growth
- Skin elasticity/hydration
- Metabolism regulation
- Bone density
- Calcium retention
- Sugar level control
- Insulin control
What is HGH in its Pure Form?
Pure human growth hormone is also referred to as somatotropin. Pure HGH is produced naturally by the body in the pituitary gland. In its natural state, the hormone directly affects your tissues and organs.
Somatotropin is needed to build and maintain strong bones and muscle. It also increases protein synthesis which the body needs in order to develop and stay healthy and strong. In healthy people, somatotropin is secreted on a daily basis.
Normal secretion of the hormone is affected by various factors including:
- Medical conditions
What is HGH in its Synthetic Form?
Synthetic HGH is man made, though some are manufactured using organic components. Due to the fact that synthetic human growth hormone is man made, it considered as a foreign supplement because it wasn’t produced within the body. Synthetic human growth hormone is a supplement. In its synthetic form, HGH can be prescribed and injected by a doctor in his or her office or purchased over the internet and taken orally.
A synthetic form of the hormone was produced because there was a great need for it to treat deficiencies in both children and adults. Typically, it was used to treat hormonal imbalances. Synthetic human growth hormone is made in a laboratory. Not all products are manufactured the same way. Their effectiveness, ingredients and risk for potential side effects vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and product to product.
Both pure and synthetic human growth hormone can be purchased. [Editor's Note: Pure human growth hormone is much more costly than synthetic.]
HGH Supplements – What’s Available?
Fortunately, GH supplementation is nothing new to the medical community. Unfortunately, unless your growth hormone levels are extraordinarily low to the point of suffering from dwarfism or gigantism, you will probably not qualify for a prescription, which is required for administration in the United States. HGH Treatments can cost tens of thousands of dollars per year and require many visits and consultations with your doctor and probably a few more that you haven’t yet met.
Because of the outrageous costs of HGH therapy treatments and prescription regulations, many Americans take their business elsewhere… Particularly to Mexico, where no prescription is required for purchase or administration and the cost of treatments tends to be significantly less. This is not a good idea, however, thousands of Americans make the journey regardless to avoid FDA regulations.
The main problem with buying drugs from Mexico is ironically the same reason people go there in the first place: lack of regulation. Medicines produced in Mexico are not required to meet the strict guidelines set by the FDA which keeps us safe and healthy. Buying HGH supplements from Mexico or any other country could cost you your life! Be warned.
Oral HGH Supplements – The Safer Alternative
Studies have long proved the efficacy of HGH injections and the positive effects it has on many aging properties and overall health of human beings. Oral ingestion of these supplements in the latest innovation in the medical community. Because HGH is still a regulated supplement, several researchers have pioneered the “synthetic” HGH supplement, which doesn’t truly contain HGH, but still provides the same positive effects found in GH supplementation. You can learn more about these products on the Secratatropin HGH page.
Lesser Known Side Effects of Human Growth Hormone
If you haven’t checked out our extensive list of HGH side effects, you might want to do so before reading on. Men and women can experience different negative side effects from taking a hormone supplement.
Men’s Side Effects May Include:
- Lean testicles/Impotence
- Premature baldness
- Breast enlargement/ Enlarged prostate gland
- Stroke/Heart disease
Women’s Side Effects May Include:
- Masculinization/Deepening of voice
- Leukemia/Fast growth rate of cancer cells
- Clitoris growth
Before taking a human growth hormone supplement, read the facts about the hormone and carefully check the ingredients in the supplement and the location of the laboratory where it was produced. Labs in the U.S. have stricter regulations then most other countries.
Human Growth Hormone – The Basics
HGH is a peptide hormone which is secreted by the body’s pituitary gland. In medical studies, HGH has been proven to significantly stimulate cell production and consequently, muscle development, the main reason it was so widely abused in professional sports. The medical community has been studying the effects of HGH for over 50 years now and new developments are released on a regular basis. Many ethicists say we should not alter the natural production of HGH in our bodies because synthetic replacement of hormones has been linked to a decrease in the natural production of said hormones over time. This particular finding has not yet been linked to the human growth hormone, although it is still under investigation.
As we get older, our bodies naturally produce less and less HGH. When we reach our 70’s, our low GH levels become more noticeable than ever. Bones become brittle, and the signs of aging are increased exponentially. Because of this, many adults want to artificially increase their HGH levels during adulthood to help preserve what growth hormone they have left in their 70’s and 80’s. This ultimately leads to a longer, healthier life.
HGH Deficiency – Are Your Levels Low?
Adults with low HGH levels often show rather negative symptoms of their deficiency. You could possibly be deficient if you’ve noticed any of these traits:
- Difficulty gaining muscle mass
- Weak or brittle bones
- Slow growing hair and fingernails
- Weakened immune system (constantly sick)
- General lack of good health
If you’ve experienced any of those conditions, you might want to think about getting your HGH levels tested [WebMD] by your doctor. You shouldn’t exercise or eat or drink anything for 10 hours before the test. This is done to make sure your HGH levels are tested at a resting state. GH levels fluctuate during the day and abnormally high/low levels can be caused by exercise, sleep (or lack of), stress, and your diet. Your levels can be tested with a simple blood test and the process is completely painless.
This article was updated on January 18, 2011.