HGH Deficiency Left Untreated
By: R. Drysdale
Human growth hormone (HGH) regulates growth in childhood, and years ago, adults just over four feet in height were often the result of HGH deficiency left untreated. The hormone was isolated in the 1950s and thereafter, as it's importance became better understood, doctors began treating children with impaired growth with hormone harvested from the pituitary glands of human cadavers. the health hazards of such a practice are abundantly obvious to us today, and fortunately, synthetic hormone is now available for hormone replacement therapy.
Growth hormone deficiency has additional consequences beyond impaired growth in childhood. The hormone plays a role in protein metabolism and the production of proteins in various tissues. It facilitates breakdown of fats and contributes to a leaner physique. finally, it has an important role on carbohydrate metabolism and the maintenance of blood glucose levels. HGH deficiency left untreated in adults can have very serious health consequences including early death.
The symptoms of growth hormone deficiency in adulthood are usually subtle and develop slowly over time, usually following surgery involving the pituitary gland or signaling the onset of a pituitary abnormality. Patients complain of lack of energy, weight gain, and loss of strength. Over the long term, HGH deficiency left untreated leads to a loss of bone density, increased risk of cardiovascular illness and emotional instability. Treatment of the condition relies on injections of the hormone on a regular basis and is quite successful.
The use of injected HGH to treat growth hormone deficiency is the only therapeutic use for which the hormone is approved; however, in recent years it has been used by both athletes, to augment athletic performance, and older people, to reverse or arrest the aging process. Particularly with respect to anti aging, the rationale is that the drop in growth hormone production that normally occurs in the human body with increasing age is analogous to HGH deficiency left untreated, and that artificially increasing hormone levels will reverse certain common aging processes.
While injections of human growth hormone do produce noticeable effects in the elderly, particularly younger looking skin, increased muscle mass, and less body fat, these changes are accompanied by adverse side effects much more commonly than in treatment for growth hormone deficiency, and there is less evidence for real health improvement. In other words, the benefits are primarily cosmetic in nature and may not be worth the risk and expense - true HGH deficiency left untreated is a condition that should be rectified, but there may well be better ways to combat aging.
An interesting new development in the so called growth hormone deficiency associated with aging is the appearance of oral supplements that either stimulate hormone production by the pituitary, or provide valuable amino acids which might have benefical effects similar to those of HGH. Research and experience have yet to clarify whether these supplements are effective, and injections remain the only way to get the effects of real HGH.