Human growth hormone or HGH is a hormone that is naturally produced in your body. Throughout your life, it has different functions and is present in your body in varying amounts.
Human growth hormone therapy is not right for everyone, but when the right testing is done to confirm low levels of HGH, it may be very helpful.
Hormones always seem more complicated than they are. The most important things to know about HGH are what it is and does, how often you should take it, where you can get it, who should take it, how you take it, side effects, and what to watch out for.
There are some things that you should keep an eye out for when taking HGH because taking it safely is the most important part.
What Is HGH?
Human growth hormone is a hormone that is released from the pituitary gland, a very important gland located in the brain. Human growth hormone helps the body to grow appropriately, maintain body mass, and regulate fat metabolism. Levels of HGH are typically high in children and adolescents since HGH fuels growth.
HGH is responsible for helping your body to grow exponentially over your younger years by stimulating the liver to produce insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). This supports bone growth while also boosting tissue and muscle protein synthesis.
Once you reach adulthood, your body no longer needs as much HGH to keep getting bigger, but it may be helpful in developing stronger muscles, keeping large fat stores away, keeping the bones strong, and even making it easier for you to exercise for longer.
After you are about 50, your levels of HGH can decrease even more since your body no longer has to be the fittest for getting a mate or reproducing. That is when you may begin to see changes in your body related to HGH deficiency.
Who Should Take HGH?
It may be tempting to simply take HGH when you get older in hopes that it will take away all of the symptoms of aging. In reality, it is very important that you get testing done to check your levels of HGH before undergoing any hormone replacement therapy.
If the blood or urine tests come back revealing low levels or even GH deficiency, then you may be a good candidate for human growth hormone replacement therapy.
If you are also experiencing unwanted symptoms like low sex drive, foggy brain, low energy, and low levels of muscle mass, your doctor can take all of these things into consideration to see if HGH therapy may be a good fit for you. HGH may even help decrease body fat and increase bone density.
HGH can also be used to combat low levels of HGH due to medical conditions, like:
- Prader-Willi syndrome
- Pituitary tumors
- Turner’s syndrome
- Noonan syndrome
- Short bowel syndrome
However, you should always talk to your doctor before trying HGH alongside these conditions, as it is not always recommended alongside other treatments.
Where Can You Get HGH?
Getting HGH from a reliable source is very important, and there are a few safe, reliable places that you can get HGH legally and credibly.
The first option is your primary care physician. Some PCPs have special training that allows them to provide hormone replacement therapy in their office. An endocrinologist, or hormone doctor, is another specially trained doctor that can prescribe hormone replacement therapy. They are specially trained in hormone therapies, but treatment can be very expensive.
Elite HRT is an alternative option that connects you with healthcare providers specially trained in hormone replacement therapy. Elite HRT can do everything from lab testing to creating a personalized treatment plan just for you.
We’re also up to date on all of the intricacies of hormone replacement therapy, and we can do it in a telemedicine format to make it easy, safe, and convenient for you to get the treatment you need to enhance your quality of life.
How Do You Take HGH?
The most common way of taking human growth hormone is by injection. Human growth hormone is injected into the fatty tissue layer via a needle and syringe or injection pen.
There are several types or brands of human growth hormone: Omnitrope, Humatrope, Zomacton, Genotropin, and Norditropin (somatropin). Depending on your healthcare provider, signs and symptoms, and level of hormones, you may be prescribed a different version of HGH therapy.
These injections will likely be done at home, and you or a trusted friend or family member will inject them into your subcutaneous tissue, also known as the fatty layer of tissue right below the skin. Because the subcutaneous tissue layer is superficial, i.e. above the muscle, the needle is shorter and will not go in as deep as other needles you may be used to from vaccines or getting your blood drawn.
The injection site will most likely be the back of the arm, belly, or love handles. Always follow the directions of your provider on how and where to inject the medication.
How Often Should You Take HGH?
How often you take HGH will depend on a variety of factors. This includes the baseline hormone levels you start with, the dose you get, the brand, your symptoms, other medications you are taking, and your health history.
Typically an injection is taken once per day via injection. This is done to mimic the body’s natural release cycle of the hormone. Of course, this may vary based on the above factors.
How long you continue the therapy is up to you and your doctor. Regular testing of your hormone levels will also be done to ensure the medications are being taken at the proper dosage and if not changes can be made accordingly.
What To Watch Out For
Not all HGH is made equally, so it is important to watch out for certain flags when you are purchasing HGH. The main things to watch out for are that you are purchasing HGH from a reputable place, and that when you are taking it, you know the symptoms that could arise that you would want to bring up to your healthcare provider.
Buying From an Unreputable Place
Buying hormones is notorious in the athletic community for sketchy transactions and contaminated products. This can happen when you are purchasing hormones from an unregulated source — you never know what is in them or how they were made. When not used appropriately, hormones can be dangerous.
So, even if the aftermarket hormones may seem like a good deal, is it really worth risking your health?
That being said, you should always purchase your hormones from a reputable source like a pharmacy, doctor’s office, a verified online pharmacy, or an online hormone replacement therapy clinic like Elite HRT.
Also, you should only be purchasing hormones after obtaining a prescription from a provider. Keep all of this in mind when finding a location to purchase your HGH from.
Prescriptions Without Lab Testing
When purchasing HGH online or getting a prescription online, you want to watch out for businesses that are not actually qualified to provide HGH.
The main things to watch out for are websites that do not have a physical address, companies that do not require a prescription to purchase their hormones, and places that will give you a prescription without completing lab testing to confirm your current hormone levels first.
Without all of these things, it is impossible to know if HGH therapy is safe for you.
You also want to ensure that there will be follow-up and check-ins on how the medication is working for you, and that a provider will always be available to answer your questions and concerns if you use an online service.
Breast Tissue Growth
A side effect that can come with the use of human growth hormone is breast tissue growth, also known as gynecomastia. This is not generally an actual red flag or cause for concern with your health, but it may be difficult to deal with from a body image perspective.
Having breast growth can be difficult to cope with for men, so if you notice this happening, you should bring it up to your doctor and you can work together to determine the best course of action for you. This may include altering your dose of medication, continuing the current dose and managing the symptoms for the remainder of the treatment, or just stopping the treatment altogether.
HGH may be a safe way to help with anti-aging and boost feelings of energy, but like all medicine, it does have some adverse effects, including:
- Joint pain or stiffness
- Swelling in the arms and legs (edema)
- Numbness or tingling
- Excessive thirst or urination
- High cholesterol levels
- Cold or flu symptoms
- Increased insulin resistance
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Increase risk of heart disease
If you experience signs of a rare allergic reaction, such as swelling of the lips, throat, or tongue, extreme weakness, difficulty breathing, or hives, seek emergency medical help.
You generally shouldn’t take HGH if you’ve recently suffered complications from surgery, currently have or have had cancer, or have severe breathing problems.
Overall, human growth hormone is a relatively safe medication when used properly and safely. You always want to use any medication under the supervision of a licensed healthcare provider.
After the proper testing and exams, you may be prescribed human growth hormone to help with low levels of human growth hormone. With regular injections of the hormone, you may be able to improve your quality of life and get back to feeling like yourself.
When seeking HGH injections, you should always go through a reputable licensed healthcare provider or telehealth service.
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Enlarged breasts in men (gynecomastia) – Symptoms and causes.
Human growth hormone (HGH): Does it slow aging?