There has been increased interest in human growth hormone (HGH) as a solution to slow the aging process. The body’s natural supply of HGH reduces as a person ages. Though it may seem logical that supplying additional HGH to the body might produce an anti-aging effect, current research suggests there is no medical benefit to healthy people who receive HGH therapy. In fact, people who receive HGH without a medical need for the therapy may even experience negative effects.
Who Should Receive HGH Therapy?
People who have an HGH deficiency are legitimate candidates for HGH therapy. A medical doctor may prescribe the treatment for adult patients who have:
- Short bowel syndrome
- HGH deficiency caused by pituitary tumors
- Muscle wasting disease caused by HIV or AIDS
Outside of treatment for medical conditions caused by a deficiency, HGH is most often used for reasons that have not been approved by the FDA. People who use athletic performance-enhancing steroids also sometimes use HGH along with performance-enhancing drugs.
Reasons Age Management Practitioners Administer HGH Therapy
Despite the controversy that surrounds HGH treatments, some age management practitioners view the therapy favorably. They cite the following benefits:
- Decreased body fat
- Thicker skin with increased elasticity
- Faster healing and reduced infection rates after surgical procedures
- Improved bone mineral density
- Decreased recovery time after workouts
- Increased collagen production
- Better sleep
- Leaner body mass
- Increased energy
- Improved mood and sense of wellbeing
Side effects of Unapproved HGH Use
Synthetic HGH was developed in 1985. Much remains unknown to the scientific community about the effects of HGH on athletic performance and other use cases. Based on current research, the known side effects may include:
- Pain the nerves, muscles, and joints
- Increased fluid retention in the body’s tissues
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Skin numbness or tingling
- High cholesterol
- Increased risk of diabetes
- Accelerated growth of tumors
Long-term use of HGH by people who do not have a medical need for the therapy may cause a condition known as acromegaly. However, even in small doses, HGH affects the heart and insulin levels; therefore, short-term use can cause heart disease and diabetes.
Alternatives to HGH Therapy
Committing to a healthy lifestyle and implementing safer supplements in your diet can serve as an effective alternative to HGH for those who are looking for anti-aging benefits. Studies suggest reducing your intake of sugar and carbs may help optimize hormone levels. Regulating your diet by fasting intermittently and avoiding eating large meals before bedtime keeps insulin levels low and can help reduce body fat. Researchers have observed a correlation between belly fat and HGH production.
People who had more fat around their midsection showed drastically lower levels of HGH production when compared to subjects who had slimmer waistlines. Studies suggest GABA has a positive impact on HGH production. Regularly engaging in high-intensity exercise is one of the best ways to naturally boost HGH production. The extent of the increase depends on the type of exercise and the individual’s body characteristics and dietary practices. Sprints, circuit training, interval workouts, and weightlifting provide the most dramatic increases. All forms of exercise benefit HGH levels.
Exercise causes short-term spikes; therefore, it is best to exercise regularly to maintain the positive effects. Interestingly, the amino acid arginine improves HGH levels, but only when taken alone without exercise. The decision to start HGH therapy is not one that should be made without thoroughly researching the benefits, side effects, and healthy alternatives. If you are looking for effective anti-aging therapies, consult a healthcare practitioner. Working with your doctor or licensed healthcare advisor will allow you to choose an approach that works best for your health profile and potential risk factors. In the end, the goal is to preserve your youthful vitality without compromising your overall health, sense of wellbeing, and longevity. Contact us today at 205-352-9141.