Growth Hormone: Is it the Fountain of Youth?

There is much in the news these days about growth hormone... promises that it melts fat, builds muscles and reverses wrinkles. Is it all hype? Is it safe? If it's so fabulous why isn't everyone on it?

BY: Dr. Marina Johnson

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There is much in the news these days about growth hormone... promises that it melts fat, builds muscles and reverses wrinkles. Is it all hype? Is it safe? If it's so fabulous why isn't everyone on it? First of all growth hormone is a hormone that naturally occurs in our bodies. It’s made by the pituitary, a gland located beneath the brain. The pituitary is the master gland of the entire endocrine system and regulates the production of all hormones in the body. Growth hormone gets its name from the fact that it helps a child grow to be a full sized adult. It has been safely used for this purpose in children since 1983. Growth hormone has been FDA approved for use in adults who are deficient in growth hormone since 1996.

Symptoms of growth hormone deficiency can be somewhat generalized and vague and include fatigue, depression, insomnia, loss of muscle tone and increased fat around the waistline. That’s why the symptoms are often dismissed as “just getting old.”

Growth hormone deficiency is diagnosed by having a person undergo a growth hormone stimulation test and documenting that their pituitary is unable to produce growth hormone on its own. This is the person who will most benefit from growth hormone therapy. Individuals who obtain growth hormone therapy by ordering it through the Internet or without proper medical supervision are more likely to incur serious side effects.

Continued on page 2: Hormone Replacement »

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