What is Growth Hormone?
Growth Hormone is arguably the most important hormone that the body produces. It affects every cell in the body to keep us physically, mentally and emotionally strong. In childhood it causes us to grow and develop, peaking at the age of 20. After this the body’s production decreases and by the age of 31 it has dropped by 14%, by 60 years of age to 50% and by 65 years everyone can be considered as Growth Hormone deficient.
The ultimate consequence of this decline is a reduction in the quality of life, usually at an age where we have the money and time for an improved lifestyle but lack the motivation and energy. Truly ‘youth is wasted on the young!’
How do I know if I am Growth Hormone deficient?
Firstly Growth Hormone should be considered relative to age. Those under 35 are unlikely to be deficient and those over 65 are unlikely not to be. Secondly we consider symptoms and signs of Growth Hormone deficiency.
- Depression, mood swings
- Feel socially isolated
- Lost that competitive edge
- Decreased libido or sexual performance
- Sleeping difficulties
- Feeling tired upon waking
- Unable to concentrate
- Over weight, hard to lose weight
- Have wrinkles
- Aches and pains
- Loose skin on face, neck, upper arms or abdomen
- Find it hard to exercise, have less strength
- Get frequent colds and illnesses easily, poor health
- Over 40 years of age
Doctors who work in the field of functional medicine can test for Growth Hormone levels and compare it to age related ranges, rather than absolute ranges. This provides a guideline for correct level of Growth Hormone to keep within the human physiological normal levels and thus reduce any chances of side effects.
It should be noted that growth hormone can rarely be severely deficient in some medical conditions that occur in adulthood including brain tumors. If a patient feels that they may suffer some of the above symptoms in their severist form they should consult with a doctor who works regularly with HGH to be assessed.
What if I am deficient?
Fortunately due to great scientific advances in the 1980’s, Growth Hormone can be synthesised and hence replaced exactly the same way that doctors can give the hormone insulin to diabetics to correct their deficiencies. Replacement with HGH can prevent much of the decline in the quality of life we experience as we grow older from physical appearance, to decreased memory, poor sexual function and declining health.
How safe is it?
Because synthetic Human Growth Hormone is considered bio-identical (having the same molecular structure as the body’s own Growth Hormone), the body does not see it as foreign thus making it relatively safe. Furthermore, Human Growth Hormone is used in extremely small doses similar to that which we would find naturally in the body. The aim of supplementation is to restore levels in the body to that of a 25 to 35 year old, not to allow the body to move into excess. Thus youth no longer needs to be wasted on the young!
HGH should not be used in body building, or any sport for performance enhancment, since it involves large doses of the drug that can cause side effects. The body's overall health should be assessed first and any deficeincies corrected in other hormone and nutrional areas before HGH is prescibed to ensure maximal health optimization.
What side effects can I get?
Correct dosing to physiological norms has minimal chance of side effects. When side effects do occur, such as bloating, muscle aches and pains, headaches, blurred vision, carpal tunnel, increased blood pressure, breast enlargement and temporary increase in blood sugar levels, they can be easily eliminated by reducing the dose. This is why it is so important to have only a doctor trained in the use of Growth Hormone to prescribe it. None of these side effects are permanent. NEVER, EVER buy your HGH off the internet, or receive it from a medical practice that does not perfom a full health check. To do so may put your body at risk by exposing it to impure substances or incorrect dosages.
Is it legal?
Human Growth Hormone is a legal drug in Australia if prescribed by a doctor. Its use in anti-ageing is considered ‘off label’ by the Therapeutic Goods Administration i.e. recognised but not approved. Fortunately, as it is the most researched drug ever, the scientific data supports its use and positive effects, making it so commonly used by thousands over the world.
It is not legal as a perfomance enhancing drug.
What effects can I expect?
Studies have shown the following improvements:
- Muscle strength
- Muscle size
- Body fat loss
- Exercise tolerance
- Skin texture
- Skin thickness
- Skin elasticity
- Wrinkle disappearance
- New hair growth
- Healing of old or other injuries
- Resistance to common illnesses
- Sexual potency/frequency
- Duration of penile erection
- Frequency of night urination
- Hot flushes
- Menstrual cycle regulation
- Increased energy level
- Emotional stability
- Attitude to life
It is important to remember that everyone is an individual and while improvements will occur they may be interpreted differently between patients.
Where do I get it?
Growth hormone is only obtained by specially trained medical doctors. These doctors will first assess whether you are a suitable patient and provide pathological testing before prescribing.
Why do I need so many tests?
Growth hormone works on all cells in the body, consequently your doctor requires an overall picture of how your body is currently functioning. The initial tests are quite extensive and should be performed yearly as part of your general health check. After initiation of Growth Hormone the levels should be checked 3 to 6 months later and compared to symptoms.
Will I need to be on it forever?
Unfortunately the effects of Human Growth Hormone are only present whilst taking it. Ceasing will not cause any adverse effect.
How long will it take before I feel the benefits?
All physiological changes in the body take 3 to 6 months before the full effects are felt, so one must be patient. However, the improvements are gradual and cumulative and well worth the wait. Often patients notice an improvement in their psychological well being in a few weeks.
Why can’t I just take a tablet?
Unfortunately the Human Growth Hormone is very fragile. Oral ingestion causes it to be destroyed by the stomach acid before it can take effect. The only effective way to take Human Growth Hormone is to have it injected into the subcutaneous tissue of the skin. It is no different than the injections young diabetic children take for their insulin. It is has minimal associated pain and simple.
What dosage do I need?
Dosages vary among patients. Most people will start with 1/2 to 1 international unit. This is taken on a 6 days on/1 day off cycle, 2 weeks on/1 or 2 weeks off every 3 months. Other regimes include 5 days on and 2 off, or 3 days on 3 days off. There are many other regimes of Human Growth Hormone and a trained doctor will be able to prescribe the most suitable for you.
How can I maximise the benefits?
As Human Growth Hormone is one part of the body’s amazing physiological balance then by correcting other parts Human Growth Hormone can work more efficiently. This includes adjusting other hormones, such as the sex hormones, the thyroid and melatonin, by improving nutrition and supplementation of vitamins and minerals.
How much will it cost?
Cost will depend upon the dosage required. On average this is between $10 and $15 per day. However the improvements in the quality of life are priceless. Human Growth Hormone should be considered an investment in your health. On average, a patient who is on 1iu dose regime will spend around $2300 per three months on HGH, and those on 1/2iu dose regime is thus $2300 per six months.
Is there an alternative to HGH?
At the present time there is no proven effective alternative to HGH in Australia. Research is being performed in the area of “secretagogues”. Secretagogues are chemicals designed to encourage the body to produce more of its own growth hormone. In the past these have been ineffective, so be warned of cheap Internet alternatives.