Human growth hormone (hGH) is produced by a small gland called the pituitary gland placed just below the brain. Though the amount of growth hormone(GH) circulating in the blood is as low at 5 nanograms per millilitre the functions performed by this hormone are vital and various. It is the major player responsible for the growth and regeneration of cells, building muscle mass and bone strength. Besides, it also helps in the maintenance of all the other organs of the body. The levels of this hormone peak during puberty in both males and females which slowly declines with age which explains its critical importance for children.
Who needs it the most?
Every individual needs the right amount of growth hormone for the proper functioning of the body. It is the main driving force of growth among children. Helps kids grow taller and stronger as it both triggers the formation of new cells which aids in growth and also strengthens muscles by eliciting the synthesis of collagen in the skeletal muscles and tendons. Even adults need the optimized concentration of growth hormone in their blood circulation to facilitate appropriate metabolic functions. Symptoms of GH deficiency can vary from an evident lack of desired growth amongst children to baldness, anxiety, weight gain, reduced muscle strength and consistently low energy levels in adults.
Alternate sources of growth hormone
There can be many reasons behind the deficiency of growth hormones in an individual. The most common reasons can be attributed to genetic defects either in the production of the hormone or at a later stage where the functioning is concerned. Besides genetic issues that can be even true for growth hormone deficit in adults, also the presence of certain tumours in the pituitary gland can limit the hormone production. In any case, doctors generally prescribe a growth hormone treatment for such individuals wherein the patient is given doses of synthetically produced growth hormone in forms of pills or even injections. Such treatment is prescribed only after performing a proper GH test for the person. An array of growth hormone supplements like saizen, somatropin, have made their entry into the market due to high demand. The options are many which make it even more important for one to choose the best out of the rest which implies the one with least side-effects.
A fine line exists between use and abuse
All these supplements are designed only to favor human kind. Symptoms of GH deficiency are not limited to height or weight only; heart problems and sometimes even psychological issues crop up. In addition to the treatment of a medical condition, individuals have taken to exploiting growth hormone as an anti-ageing product while some athletes use it along with anabolic steroids to lose weight. These kinds of uses of it are regarded as off-label or illegal in most of the nations and require strict monitoring of a medical practitioner. Side-effects of growth hormone supplements can be like nausea, headache, joint pains, hypertension, heart problems and more. So, it is best that one identifies this fine line and makes healthy life choices.