Human growth hormone, or HGH, is a drug that is taken by injection, and that is available by prescription only in most countries. This drug is usually used to treat muscle-wasting conditions but it may also be prescribed to people who are naturally deficient in it.
While HGH is supposed to be available only on prescription, it is not uncommon for bodybuilders and athletes to import the drug from countries where it is less controlled. One of the benefits of HGH is that it can help to increase lean body mass, which is something that makes it incredibly desirable for strength athletes and those in weight-class sports that demand a lot of explosive power.
The reason that HGH is controlled and only offered on prescription in most parts of the west is that there are many side effects to HGH, and some of them can have a lasting impact on your health and wellbeing. The side effects of HGH include:
Changes in Bone Density
In healthy individuals, HGH is produced by the pituitary gland in great quantity during adolescence and childhood, and this encourages both bone and muscle growth.
As the person gets older, the amount of HGH that they produce declines, because the body is no longer building fresh bone at an accelerated rate.
People who are naturally deficient in HGH can benefit from synthetic HGH injections to help increase their bone density.
Increased Muscle Mass and Reduced Body Fat
Another nice side effect of HGH is that it helps the body to naturally put on more lean muscle mass, while also reducing body fat. This is the reason that HGH is used in the treatment of muscle wasting diseases. Patients with HIV or AIDS are sometimes given HGH to prevent muscle wasting.
Athletes that need to be as lean as possible can be tempted to take HGH for the muscle building benefits, and bodybuilders appreciate the way that HGH can encourage the body to metabolize fat ahead of muscle while they are in a calorie deficit, making it easier for them to get that lean look that is so desirable for contests.
Swelling and Pain
Not all side-effects of HGH are pleasant, however. One unpleasant side effect is swelling of the joints and pain in the muscles. It is common for the arms and legs to swell up, and for joints in general to become painful.
Older people are more likely to suffer from these side effects than younger people, and the higher the dose the more severe the side effects.
Another common side effect of HGH that is quite undesirable is gynecomastia. This is the medical term for the enlargement of breast tissue, and it is something that is highly undesirable for most men. Gynecomastia is known as “gyno” in bodybuilding circles and is widely considered to be the clearest telltale sign that someone has been taking large amounts of HGH.
Using large amounts of HGH for prolonged periods can cause impotence in men. However, the good news is that while gnyecomastia is hard to get rid of, healthy sexual function can return over time once HGH use is stopped.
Acromegaly is the medical term for the overgrowth of bone and certain other tissues, which can cause a distinctive, irreversible change in the way a person looks.
HGH misuse can cause a person’s hands and feet to grow, and can also cause protruding jaws and eyebrows. These changes are permanent and in some cases if they are extreme they can be life threatening.
HGH abuse can cause damage to the cardiovascular system, including high blood pressure and damage to the heart itself. People who abuse HGH are at increased risk of both heart attacks and strokes.
In some cases, people who take HGH are at increased risk of developing adult onset diabetes. If they are not diagnosed promptly there is the risk that they could become hypoglycemic and enter a diabetic coma. Type II Diabetes is manageable but it is a serious condition and one that is usually preventable.
HGH, if taken in small doses under the supervision of a doctor, can greatly improve a man’s quality of life. However, when taken in large quantities for the purposes of improving sporting performance, there are a lot of risks associated with the drug.
The side effects of HGH in men are not something to be dismissed lightly. While some side effects appear superficial, others could be incredibly debilitating or life threatening.
Do not take HGH without first seeking the advice of your doctor or a specialist at a male wellness clinic, and make sure that while you are taking HGH your health and wellbeing is being closely monitored by a qualified medical professional.