Human Growth Hormone (HGH): Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects

Elite HRT

Written by Elite HRT on October 04, 2021

Medically reviewed by

Camille Frecking, Regulatory Affairs Specialist, MEDICAL ADVISOR

Hormone replacement therapy has offered many people the chance to regain their quality of life. It is common for people to become deficient in human growth hormone (HGH), especially as they age. Keep reading to learn more about human growth hormone, including its benefits, uses, side effects, and more. 

What Is Human Growth Hormone?

Human growth hormone, also known as HGH or just GH, is a hormone that is made in the pituitary gland. Human growth hormone is released in the body to encourage the body to grow and develop as a child by helping to increase fat breakdown and process protein. 

When you become an adult, growth hormone is still present in your body, and without it, problems may arise. As an adult, growth hormone has several jobs, including maintaining your muscle tissues, supporting sleep cycles, and regulating metabolic functions. As we age, human growth hormone levels tend to naturally decline; however, for some they can decline past a healthy level. 

Hormone levels are different for everyone and can even change throughout the day based on your sleep, diet, and the time of the day. Hormones are measured in ranges where there is a lower and upper limit that is considered normal. When levels of human growth hormone are lower or higher than the normal range, you may begin to feel symptoms related to an HGH imbalance. 

What Are Some Clues That I Have Low Growth Hormone Levels?

When you have low growth hormone levels, it is common to feel certain symptoms. By understanding what these clues mean, you can recognize them and bring them up to your doctor to start discussing whether hormone replacement therapy may be an option to consider. 

Some of the first differences you may notice while experiencing low HGH levels is a change in your mental and emotional well being. 

For example, you may feel fatigue, have low energy throughout the day, have a hard time sleeping, have feelings of depression, feelings of anxiety, have a hard time remembering things, or have foggy thinking. All of these emotional and mental symptoms can wear on you just as much, and sometimes even more, than physical symptoms that have manifested. 

Some of the physical symptoms that you may encounter with low growth hormone levels are a weak muscles, a decrease in bone density,  joint or muscle pain, low sex drive or libido, changes in sexual function, and increased body fat or weight gain due to a decrease in metabolism. 

If you have noticed one or multiple of these symptoms, it may be worth bringing it up to your healthcare provider at your next appointment, or to make an appointment with a hormone replacement specialist for a consultation. 

Even if the symptoms don’t seem to bother you, over time, they can compound and may lead to a decreased quality of life. 

How Can Human Growth Hormone Be Used?

Growth hormone is one of the things that some athletes use illegally to boost their fitness performance. But growth hormone can be used legally for therapeutic purposes under the guidance of a licensed health professional. 

Growth hormone may be prescribed for adults only if they have a confirmed HGH deficiencies. This deficiency must be confirmed via laboratory testing with blood or urine samples. In addition to the lab tests, you will also need a physical exam by a health care provider to ensure your health for potential treatments, talk about current symptoms you may be experiencing, and determine which treatments may be right for you. 

If the lab tests reveal that you have low growth hormone levels, your provider may consider growth hormones to be used therapeutically in human growth hormone treatment. 

Growth hormone therapy should never be used for fitness performance enhancement as the main reason for therapy. 

What Are the Benefits of HGH Medications?

Human growth hormone therapy has many roles in the body, so it’s no wonder that many health benefits may occur when you start getting your levels back to normal. Some of the health benefits you may experience from HGH injections or other HGH treatments can help to support your social life, sex life, sleep life, and muscle health. 

Support Your Social Life

For most people, when their mental well-being starts to suffer, it can feel difficult to get out and socialize. When you don’t feel your best, putting yourself out there is a little more challenging. 

When your growth hormone levels begin to normalize, you may notice a change in your demeanor. Instead of being fatigued and having low motivation, your energy levels may feel boosted and inspired. You may find yourself wanting to spend more time with your friends and family, try something new, or even just have more energy to do your everyday activities. 

Getting back to feeling like yourself is one of the most underrated things, but you may be surprised to see how much your hormones can really influence your energy and mood.

Boost Your Sex Life

Having a healthy sex life is important at any stage in adulthood, but as you age or your hormones are out of balance, you may find it to be lagging a little behind. 

Growth hormone has a role in supporting healthy sexual functioning, so when the levels get low you may feel a low sexual desire and have a difficult time achieving or maintaining an erection. 

If you were experiencing these problems before, with growth hormone levels getting back to normal you may have a boost in your sex life. This is one of the effects that can truly enhance your quality of life if this is something you were struggling with. 

There may also be other treatments to address your concerns if low growth hormone levels were not the primary cause of your sexual dysfunction.

Support Healthy Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important things when it comes to functioning at full capacity. Sleep has two major components: duration and quality. To feel fully rested, you typically need an adequate duration and quality of sleep. 

Low hormone levels may make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, which can lead to interruptions in your circadian rhythm. A normal range of growth hormone may help to improve your sleep hygiene to allow you to feel rested when you wake up. 

In addition to the sleep itself, you may find extra energy throughout your day to socialize, exercise, and overall just feel better. Sleep may be something you can compromise on for a little while, but eventually, it will catch up to you.

There are some other things you can do to support your sleep health. 

One thing to consider is to turn off all electronics at least 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. This will allow you to decompress and feel sleepy when it is time for bed. This is because the lights from electronics send a message to your brain that can be mistaken for daylight and signals your body to stay awake. 

Another thing you can do is create a sleep routine. This may include dimming the lights, turning on a candle or essential oils, and putting your pajamas on. 

Making a routine like this can help your body to relax and realize it is time for bed. 

Support Your Muscle Health

The most well-known benefit of human growth hormone has to be its ability to support muscle health

Since growth hormone is involved with maintaining muscle tissue growth, it makes sense that when the levels increase from a deficiency your muscle mass may grow. 

Lean muscle mass is important for aesthetics and strength of course, but they are also very important to prevent injuries and help your body move appropriately. 

In addition to supporting the mass and strength of your muscles, it also may improve your endurance and recovery time. This means you may be able to work out longer and harder with shorter rest times in between. After a while, this may significantly improve your ability to lose weight and bulk. 

What Are the Side Effects of Human Growth Hormone?

While human growth hormone is something that is naturally produced in the body, human growth hormone therapy may lead to some side effects. 

The side effects that you may experience will depend on a variety of factors including health history, the brand of medication, and dose. 

Several brands offer different types of growth hormone therapies that can be better used in certain circumstances. Because of this, the side effects may be similar but not the same. 

Some of the most common possible side effects of HGH therapy are:

  • Injection site reactions
  • Tissue swelling
  • High blood sugar levels

Check with your doctor or medication packaging to confirm the specific side effects of your medication.  

Conclusion

Human growth hormone is a medication that should only be prescribed and used under a health care provider’s guidance.

HGH treatment may help address muscle weakness, increase energy, and otherwise help improve your overall quality of life and vitality by restoring healthy HGH levels. 

Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider or with us right here at Elite HTR to see if HGH treatments may be right for you.

Sources:

Overview of Omnitrope (Somatropin) Injection

Growth hormone-releasing hormone

Human growth hormone (HGH): Does it slow aging?