Human Growth Hormones (HGH)
Human Growth Hormones
HGH is a naturally occurring hormone that helps children grow, regulates body composition, fluids, muscle and bone growth, sugar metabolism and heart function. Technically, it is a peptide hormone produced in the pituitary gland. Peptide hormones are short strings of amino acids (protein) that act as our cell’s building blocks.
HGH stimulates cell reproduction and regeneration, making synthetic HGH useful in the treatment of various diseases. For instance, it is used to treat chronic kidney disease, HGH deficiency, Turner’s syndrome, and pituitary tumours.
However, misusing HGH comes with significant risks. For example, long-term HGH abuse can lead to acromegaly. This is a naturally occurring disorder that causes body tissues and bones to grow too quickly. Those suffering from acromegaly show a mortality rate about twice that of the general population. The duration and extent of HGH elevation are the primary determinants of survival.
Other Side Effects Include:
- Muscle, joint, or nerve pain.
- Swelling due to fluid in the body’s tissue.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Cardiovascular Issues (e.g., hypertension and cardiomyopathy)
- Skin Numbness.
- Enlarged organs.
- Enlarged hands and feet
- High cholesterol levels
- Cancerous tumours.
Why Would Someone Abuse Human Growth Hormone?
Athletes and bodybuilders misuse HGH to increase muscle mass and speed up their recovery time. Some sellers will also claim that HGH can reduce fat, restore hair growth, strengthen the immune system or improve libido, vision and memory. In other instances, as the body’s HGH levels naturally decrease with age, some individuals also claim that HGH can turn back time on your biological clock.
There is no scientific evidence whatsoever to back up these claims.
Is HGH Addictive?
While HGH is not addictive in the classical sense, people can become dependent on the substance. For example, in one study of PED abuse amongst 231 experienced young male weightlifters, 12% reported illicit use of HGH or its bioactive derivative,insulin-like growth factor-1. Each of these men also reported abusing anabolic-androgenic steroids, and 81% met the criteria for dependency.
At Paracelsus Recovery, we would usually consider HGH dependency as a symptom of underlying issues such as eating disorders or generalised anxiety disorder. For example, if an individual struggles with an eating disorder, it is common to develop body dysmorphia. This occurs when we perceive ourselves as bigger or smaller than we are. This distorted perception provokes an array of negative emotions which can be difficult to manage.
Imagine a young male weightlifter whose body dysmorphia tells him he’s smaller than he actually is. In order to feel comfortable in his skin, his dysmorphia tells him that he needs to work out an excessive amount. But he can only achieve such unrealistic goals if he abuses PED drugs such as HGH. Over time, thought patterns like these would strengthen the dysmorphia, encourage more PED abuse and negatively impact his wellbeing.
If you are struggling with the urge to abuse HGH, it is important to seek help and support as soon as possible.
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