Bio-identical hormones are artificial hormones designed to mimic those created by the human body. They are processed from plants, and those approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are functionally identical to the hormones produced by your body’s endocrine glands. The most commonly used bio-identical hormones are estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. These are often used to treat symptoms associated with menopause, perimenopause, and other conditions that can cause hormone imbalances. However, many people have turned to bio-identical human growth hormones to treat various conditions such as:
- Turner’s syndrome, which affects a girl’s development
- Prader-Willi syndrome, which causes poor muscle tone, low levels of sex hormones, and the feeling of being constantly hungry
- Chronic kidney disease
- Short bowel syndrome, an intestinal condition that prevents nutrients from food from being absorbed properly
- Human growth hormone deficiencies
- Muscle-wasting diseases associated with HIV/AIDS
Many people also use human growth hormones to look and feel younger or to increase athletic performance, sometimes in conjunction with anabolic steroids. These are actually the most common reasons why people use human growth hormones. Not surprisingly, these uses are not FDA-approved.
Benefits and Side Effects of Bio-Identical Human Growth Hormone
Bio-identical human growth hormone is often prescribed to adults who have a growth hormone deficiency, which is often caused by a benign tumor on the pituitary gland. It can also be caused by the treatment of such a tumor with radiotherapy or surgery. In some cases, bio-identical human growth hormone may be prescribed to patients who have lost muscle mass caused by HIV/AIDS.
Bio-identical human growth hormone can increase exercise capacity, bone density, and muscle mass in patients with a hormone deficiency. Studies of the effects of bio-identical human growth hormone on healthy adults without a hormone deficiency have been very limited. Some have said that taking bio-identical human growth hormones have resulted in increased muscle mass and reduced fat, it’s unclear exactly how much of an effect it really has or if it has any other benefits when taken by healthy adults. Like any medication or medical treatment, taking bio-identical human growth hormones can cause side effects in some people. These possible side effects include:
- Weight gain
- Blurred vision
- Increased facial hair
- Edema, or swelling due to increased fluid in the body’s tissues
- Muscle or joint pain
- Breast tenderness
- Mood swings
Many of these symptoms are more common when you begin taking bio-identical human growth hormone. Your body isn’t used to the added hormones, so it can take some time for it to adjust. Many side effects will go away in time as you adjust to the dosage, much like with any medication that you may take over a long period of time.
Taking bio-identical human growth hormone can also make certain conditions more likely to develop such as carpal tunnel syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancers. Men who take human growth hormone can sometimes develop enlarged breast tissue. As of now, bio-identical human growth hormone has only been approved by the FDA to treat human growth hormone deficiency and certain conditions in children. It hasn’t been approved for other uses, and there have been very few studies of the effects of bio-identical human growth hormone on healthy adults. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it can increase muscle mass, decrease body fat, and otherwise help people look and feel younger, but more research is needed to determine the long-term effects of HGH. Bio-identical human growth hormone has been shown to be effective in treating certain conditions, particularly those that cause a deficiency in human growth hormone in the body.
Even though other uses have not been approved by the FDA, you may still be able to obtain bio-identical human growth hormone for other reasons. As always, be careful about taking any medication if you aren’t sure of where it is from. If you are prescribed bio-identical human growth hormone by a doctor, be sure to take it only as directed. If you have any questions about bio-identical human growth hormone or if you want to know if it is right for you, contact us today at 205-352-9141. We will be happy to answer all of your questions.