The story behind hGH (human growth hormone) is an extremely colorful one according to the standards of the drug industry. HGH, which also goes by the name of somatropin, was initially used for treating children with stunted growth problems. Later somatropin was used to treat gauntness in individuals with the HIV disease. More recently HGH has been used for fat accumulations that are linked with lipodystrophy.
Cachexia, known as the “AIDS” wasting syndrome is a type of condition that is associated with the advanced stages of the HIV disease.
This condition involves extreme weight loss, which includes the loss of muscle and “lean” body mass, which can in some circumstances be replaced with fat.
The weight loss is caused by a variety of factors, that include some of the following: issues related to absorption of nutrients in the intestine, oral problems and ulcers that make it difficult to eat, diarrhea, loss of appetite and nausea.
Proper interventions and the right diagnosis for every individual are important in relation to treating AIDS wasting. An early intervention will often be successful, and with a number of inexpensive tools such as exercise, appetite stimulants and nutritional supplements there is a greater chance of the individual recovering from the “wasting” condition.
HGH has not been considered to be a type of universal remedy in regards to treating Cachexia. While in some patients the effects can be highly beneficial, especially those who already have a deficiency of the naturally occurring hGH, many patients will see or receive any benefits.
The regimen currently used for hGH in Aids wasting will involve a injection administered once daily at bedtime. This process is used to mimic the release of the growth hormone in its natural cycle that is released into the individual’s bloodstream. The dosage will depend on the body weight of the patient, but the general dosage is between 4 and 6 milligrams.
The HGH injections on their own will result in the individual gaining weight that will consist of mainly fat. The patient could combine these injections with a schedule of “resistance exercises”, like weight training to assist in building up “lean” body mass.
The approximate costs involved for hGH therapy in patients with Cachexia is around $2.50 each day.
Due to extreme pressure from various AIDS activists, the company known as Serono Laboratories, that are the producers of an hGH version called Serostim have now capped their costs st $36,000 for hGH in a year for individuals who qualify. The company then provides this drug for free once the $36,000 has been reached.
The term known as “lipodystrophy” has been applied broadly to various issues relating to metabolic abnormalities and fat irregularities in the body of individuals with the HIV disease. This condition can involve fat that has wasted away from the buttocks, legs, arms and face.
It also includes an increase of fat around areas such as the back and abdomen. The metabolic abnormalities involve an increase in blood lipid levels along with an insulin resistance. The insulin resistance is associated with the inability of the cells in the body to use insulin in the correct manner which leads to imbalances in blood sugar.
The manifestations related to lipodystrophy may have relations to the actual HIV infection, others with the types of anti-HIV drugs used, and others with natural processes related to aging.
This is further complicated by other genetic factors, lifestyle choices and body chemistry of the individual.
Various researchers have gathered scientific data that investigates hGH therapy for a few of the symptoms related to lipodystrophy. This research has found that hGH therapy has the ability reverse the increase in fat around the abdomen and the ability to promote “fat” gains for individuals with wasting.
A study was conducted on 239 HIV positive patients that had an abnormal type of waist circumference. Some patients were given 4mg hGH on a daily basis, some were given hGH every second day and some were given a placebo over a 12 week period.
The trail ran over a period of 24 weeks and at some stage of the treatment process each individual received the hGH therapy. The patients were made up of men and women from all types of ethnic backgrounds.
The measurements for this trial revealed a decrease in VAT( visceral adipose tissue). This is the internal, firm abdominal fat and not the fat that is located below the skin.
The consensus of the study found that the use of hGH on a daily basis was needed to achieve a reduction of the visceral fat on a significant level. Using the every second day treatment revealed that the treatment was sufficient in keeping the internal fat away. However, as soon as the treatment is stopped the fat will come back.