Human Growth Hormone; Functions And Side Effects

When the production of the growth hormone reduces some people tend to turn to a substance called human growth hormone. Read ahead to know more.

Tanya Srivastava
Written by: Tanya SrivastavaPublished at: Jul 27, 2022Updated at: Jul 27, 2022
Human Growth Hormone; Functions And Side Effects

Growth hormones can fuel childhood growth and help in maintaining tissues and organs throughout a human life. This hormone is produced by the pea-sized pituitary gland which is located at the base of the brain. However during the beginning of a person's middle-age, the pituitary gland slowly reduces the amount of growth hormone it produces.

When the production of the growth hormone reduces some people tend to turn to a substance called human growth hormone or HGH in hopes that it will keep them feeling and looking youthful. However, experts suggest that hope is unfounded, and that these supplements can be harmful to one's health.

Functions Of Human Growth Hormone

HGH helps in regulating body composition, body fluids, muscle growth, bone's growth, sugar and fat metabolism, and heart function to some extent. This synthetically produced hormone is an active ingredient in a number of prescription drugs and in other products that are widely available over the Internet. It is usually used for medical causes such as;

  • Turner's syndrome, which is a genetic disorder that affects development in girls
  • Children born small for gestational age
  • Short bowel syndrome
  • Muscle-wasting disease in respect with HIV/AIDS
  • Prader-Willi syndrome, which is an uncommon genetic disorder that causes poor muscle tone, low levels of sex hormones, and a constant feeling of hunger
  • HGH deficiency or HGH insufficiency
  • Chronic kidney disease

Side Effects Of HGH

Lab-developed HGH injections are the most common growth hormone therapy or treatment in both adults and children. Doctors base this treatment on factors such as the patient's age, overall health and medical history, extent of the condition, tolerance for specific treatment and patient’s choice. However, there are certain risks and side effects involved in this form of treatment. 

Also read: Study Finds Eating More Bright-Colored Fruits, Vegetables Boost Women's Health

Functions And Side Effects Of Human Growth Hormone

  1. Muscle aches
  2. Swelling of the hands and feet
  3. Enlargement of breast tissue 
  4. Joint discomfort
  5. Muscle pain
  6. Headaches
  7. Increased risk of certain cancers
  8. Type 2 diabetes
  9. Long-term use of HGH injections can cause a condition called acromegaly. In addition, adults cannot grow taller by using the synthetic growth hormone. High doses of this treatment will only thicken a person’s bones instead of lengthening them. 
  10. People who suffer from diabetes should also monitor their blood sugar levels carefully since HGH can affect insulin usage in the body.

When to see a healthcare provider for HGH levels?

If you, your child or anyone you know is experiencing symptoms related to HGH deficiency or excess of it, contact a healthcare provider. Moreover, if you’re under any treatment for abnormal HGH levels, it’s important to see your healthcare provider regularly in order to make sure your treatment is working and there are no adverse effects.