The human growth hormone, sometimes referred to as HGH, has been around since it was first discovered in 1956 in the human body.
It is manufactured in the pituitary gland and controls the growth rate of bone, muscle and cartilage.
The human body naturally produces it throughout life, but it appears in much higher doses in children to help them grow. Initially,the only known source of the human growth hormone was in the pituitary gland of corpses.
The glands were removed and then processed to get the hormone, which was then injected into the patients.
These days the human growth hormone is synthetically produced in the lab, and is used for a number of treatments. Although not prescribed as much for children who are thought to be under-grown these days, it can still be given under certain circumstances.
It is not that long ago that HGH was given to children just to prevent them from being small. Nowadays though there has to be a medical reason.
Some people have genetic disorders such as Prader-Willi syndrome, which prevents muscle toning, this can be treated with HGH.
People can also have a pituitary gland that is not producing the hormone at the right level
There are occasions when the pituitary gland will often not function properly, in some cases due to a tumor, and those who have wasting diseases such as AIDS.
In these cases HGH can be helpful in a number of ways, and can prevent future complications of other organs.
In 1989, the International Olympic Committee’s medical commission put in place a global ban on HGH, to not only prevent athletes from using it to enhance performance, but to also protect them from the side effects that too much of the hormone can cause.
Human Growth Hormone Side Effects
The dosage of any HGH given to a patient needs to be monitored carefully. For instance if it is given to a person who already has the correct levels in their system, then it is more likely to cause side effects.
The hormone not only allows the general body size to increase, but also all of the internal organs.
A person’s heart, kidneys and liver can continue to grow when HGH is given in too large a quantity for a long time, and this can result in organ damage, diabetes, hypertension, and in some cases, organ failure.
One common side effect is hair growth, not only will the hair darken, it will start to grow in places all over the body.
This may not be an issue in men, but it certainly is in women. It can also make the hair a lot coarser than it was previously.
Another side effect is acromegaly which is when the bones in the face continue to grow beyond what was intended.
This can cause the jaw bone, chin, and brow to protrude, and can lead to issues with the jaw such as TMJ, as well as causing problems with biting and chewing.
There is also an increased risk of Leukemia when HGH is being taken for the long term.
However, science has not yet proven if this risk is associated with the hormone injections themselves, or the fact that the pituitary gland has not been producing enough of it.
Although not a side effect, there is a lot of discussion in the medical world about how HGH affects a person’s lifespan.
People who end up being short (not dwarfism) can suffer from more medical problems than someone of average size. However, taking HGH can increase a person’s risk of other health conditions.
Other common side effects that are not serious are a sore throat, runny nose, changed heartbeat, chills, weight gain, back pain, headaches, loss of appetite and constipation.
Before taking the human growth hormone, the pros and cons should be discussed with a doctor. Sometimes the risks can outweigh the advantages, it all depends on the condition that needs to be treated.
For serious and genetic conditions, there may be no choice in having to take it, so side effects need to be monitored. One thing that HGH should never be used for is physical improvement as the long term side effects are too risky.