Human Growth Hormone is a polypeptide hormone that is both synthesized and secreted by the anterior pituitary gland, which stimulates growth and cellular reproduction in humans and other vertebrates. HGH supplementation is another form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), similar to testosterone supplementation (more specifically referred to as testosterone replacement therapy - TRT), in which low doses can be indefinitely administered to support the body’s inability to secrete normally endogenous amounts high enough to provide for optimal functioning. Such hormonal deficiencies often manifest themselves as negative symptoms of HGH, testosterone, estrogen, thyroid hormone, or any other diminished hormone level.
In 1985, biosynthetic HGH replaced the original pituitary-derived version for therapeutic use in the United States and in several other countries. The growth-related effects of HGH are expansive and can be divided into three majorly impacted categories: 1) bone; 2) skeletal muscle; and 3) internal organs. Produced throughout the lifespan, HGH is also responsible for supporting mineral metabolism, lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, and the stimulation of connective tissues.
Since 1985, six (6) HGH indications have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for GH-deficiency states. In 2003 the FDA officially approved HGH for clinical use, as indicated for the treatment of children with insufficient HGH production resulting in idiopathic short stature (ISS), adult growth hormone deficiency, and for the treatment of muscle wasting associated with HIV infection. However, federal law expressly prohibits the prescription of HGH for off-label purposes such as anti-aging in patients who were not found to be deficient, and for athletic and bodybuilding, physique and performance related purposes.
Structurally speaking, HGH goes by the chemical name GRH 1-29 NH 2, bears a molecular weight of 22129.00, and is a pituitary gland secreted hormone which consists of a 191 amino acid chain. Most types come in the form of a white powder which requires reconstitution with bacteriostatic or sterile water prior to use, are commonly supplied in multi-dose vials, and are used for subcutaneous or intramuscular injection. Although quite similar, clinical studies comparing the pharmacokinetic characteristics of both administration methods (on average) clearly demonstrated subcutaneous injection's capacity to best promote the effects of HGH over intramuscular injection in every measured category including these cited respectively: a moderately higher bioavailability of 75% to 63%; a greater speed to baseline hormone levels 12-18 hours; a shorter half-life of 3.8 hours to 4.9 hours; and a cross-over at 9 months of therapy indicated overwhelming acceptance of the subcutaneous route. Consequently, and although only minimally different with regard to these variables, most users view daily subcutaneous injection as the preferred administration method for HGH.123
Symptoms of HGH Deficiency
A deficiency in HGH can cause a variety of significant problems at various ages. During childhood the major manifestations of HGH deficiency result in growth failure and shortened stature. During adulthood the effects of deficiency are decidedly more subtle, and may include deficiencies of bone mass, energy levels, muscular and tensile strength, and the increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Proper Diagnosis of HGH Deficiency
To check if there is growth hormone deficit, patients are commonly subjected to series of checks that evaluate the pituitary gland and/or serum growth hormone levels. Health professionals will often use some form of stimulation to induce the launch of human growth hormone as a method of evaluating both HGH secretion rates and overall levels.
Additional Specific HGH Applications
Frequently prescribed as disease and disorder specific medication, HGH is often used in specific therapies for the treatment of hormonal deficiency that causes short stature in children, long-term treatment of growth failure due to lack of exogenous GH secretion, long-term treatment of short stature associated with Turner syndrome, adult short bowel syndrome, adult deficiency due to rare pituitary tumors or their treatment and muscle-wasting disease associated with HIV/AIDS.4
Here at Empower Pharmacy we most commonly receive requests for HGH used for a wide array of medical conditions including low natural growth hormone production and clinically diagnosed Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency (AGHD). Our three most popular forms of HGH Secretagogues are:
- 1. Endocrinol Jpn. 1988 Jun;35(3):477-84. A comparison of subcutaneous and intramuscular administration of human growth hormone (hGH) and increased growth rate by daily injection of hGH in GH deficient children. Takano K, Shizume K, Hibi I.
- 2. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1982 Nov;55(5):1003-6. A comparison of subcutaneous and intramuscular administration of human growth hormone in the therapy of growth hormone deficiency. Russo L, Moore WV.
- 3. J Clin Pharmacol. 2002 Nov;42(11):1262-8. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of a new formulation of recombinant human growth hormone administered by ZomaJet 2 Vision, a new needle-free device, compared to subcutaneous administration using a conventional syringe. Agersø H, Møller-Pedersen J, Cappi S, Thomann P, Jesussek B, Senderovitz T.
- 4. Eur J Clin Invest. 2004 Aug;34(8):561-8. Low-dose growth hormone and human immunodeficiency virus-associated lipodystrophy syndrome: a pilot study. Andersen O, Haugaard SB, Flyvbjerg A, Andersen UB, Ørskov H, Madsbad S, Nielsen JO, Iversen J.