What is Human Growth Hormone (hGH) and what does it do?

What is  Human Growth Hormone (HGH)?

The human growth hormone (HGH) is a naturally produced hormone by the pituitary, located in the base of the brain, wedged between the two halves of the brain.

As the name suggests hgh is a hormone responsible for the growth of a human body. It not only brings about the increase in size in children and adolescents into adulthood, it also causes enlargement and growth of different organs and plays a role in metabolic activities.

In order to understand better, one needs to know what a hormone is. Hormones are defined as chemical messengers which carry specific information abs function which on binding with appropriate receptors brings about the desired action.

Hence HGH is a messenger which on binding with its respective receptors on the surface of cells brings about cell growth,cell regeneration and multiplication.

benefits of human Growth Hormone

– brings about normal growth, increase is size in humans

– Repair and regeneration of injured tissues

– organs enlargement and function

– maintains the integrity of the skin

– builds muscle mass

– slows down the aging process and age-related diseases and conditions

– Maintains normal metabolic activities of the body

– aids in protien synthesis

– helps in break down of fat

– antagonises the action of insulin

How does HGH work?

Human growth hormone released from the pituitary stimulates the liver to produce a substance called the Insulin-like growth factor which  binds to the corresponding receptors on the cells and stimulates growth and metabolism.

Synthetic human growth hormone:

Synthetic human growth hormone was developed in 1985 and approved by the FDA for specific uses in children and adults.

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It is prescribed for children with growth hormone deficiencies and other related disease conditions such as

-Turner’s syndrome

-Prader-Willi syndrome

– children born smaller than average size for a given gestational period

– chronic kidney diseases

In adults synthetic hGH is prescribed in the following conditions

-Short bowel syndrome

-Muscle wasting diseases

-HIV/AIDS

-Pituitary tumors

It is also speculated that hGH has been used by bodybuilders to improve muscle mass and enhance performance.

In addition to the above the anti-aging property and its use in age-related deterioration conditions has also been a topic of discussion for years.

Although not prescribed by physicians for anti-aging and bodybuilding purposes it has been sold under the table in the form of tablets, sprays and injectable forms for quite a few years now.

 It has been sold under the claims of “reversing your age” along with benefits such as keeping your blood pressure and sugar levels in check while keeping you fit and healthy by burning the fat and building your muscles.There is no proper evidence or legal prescription of hGH for the above mentioned purposes.

It was also falsely believed to increase the natural testosterone levels without any side effects.

Growth hormones and bodybuilding

While it is no surprise that professional bodybuilders and weightlifters use steroids to bulk up their muscles,  hGH also has been used a fair share to help boost muscle growth and rapid repair of injured muscles. It was a popular drug in the 1970s amongst competitive bodybuilding circles. Growth hormone was commonly injected subcutaneously into the muscles to get a dry, lean , ripped body.

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The lucrative effects of using HGH include increase lean body mass, fat burning ability,  strengthened joints and ligaments.

It performs these actions by its ability to    prevent the conversion of carbohydrates into fat and diverts them into being used for protein synthesis. Its protein synthesis capabilities have been compared to be as effective as testosterone.

Despite being beneficial in muscle growth,  growth hormone alone does not bring about massive gains. It is often administered along with other anabolic steroids in specific doses.

The action of HGH can be attributed to its ability to stimulate Insulin-like growth factor to bring about 5he desirable muscular changes.

It has been recommended using hgh at a time when insulin is low, right after a workout. If used in conjunction with insulin, then it should be taken immediately post work out with insulin being taken after half an hour of hgh administration. It has been suggested that most bodybuilders who took hgh took it twice a day during the time of the day when insulin production and blood glucose levels are low.

Possible side effects and hazards of HGH use:

Insufficient as well as excessive levels of the growth hormone bring about various changes and side effects

Symptoms of growth hormone deficiency in children are:

  • Short stature- children with growth hormone deficiency often seem to be having a small stature compared to other children their age. There’s also a  delay in reaching developmental milestones.
  • Looking much younger that children their age
  • Retained baby fat , chubby appearance.
  • Delayed onset of puberty- Children with growth hormone deficiency mature slower than normal, secondary sexual characteristics develop late or do not develop at all.
  • Hair growth impaired
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Excessive growth hormone effects:

  • Tingling sensation ,numbness of arms and fingers
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Swelling or edema of limbs due to increased water retention
  • Increased blood cholesterol levels
  • Higher incidence of diabetes
  • Increased blood glucose levels
  • Higher risk of developing cancerous or tumour growth .
  • Increased risk if onset of cardiovascular diseases and complications.

Growth hormone is essential for normal growth of children and attaining developmental milestones. Synthetic human Growth hormone is used to treat medical conditions presenting with impaired growth hormone production and wasting diseases. It has also been used for enhanced performance and muscle building illegally, which is not advised since uncontrolled excessive use of growth hormone leads to certain irreversible  complications.

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