Growth hormone promotes cell growth and repair within every tissue of the body. In particular, growth hormone (GH) promotes fat metabolism, bone growth, the production of lean muscle mass, and the production of collagen and elastin in the skin.
During childhood and adolescence, the pituitary produces large quantities of GH to promote growth and development; but as people age, production declines. By the time a person reaches adulthood, GH has dropped by 75%. By the time someone reaches their 70s, GH has dropped by 90%. As the body loses its ability to produce new cells (and repair existing ones), aging occurs.
The Facts about Growth Hormone
- There is no such thing as an over-the-counter product that will increase GH to a meaningful degree. The only legitimate way to increase GH is via prescription.
- There are two approaches to increasing GH. One is to replace GH using recombinant growth hormone. The other is to use pituitary stimulants (also known as secretagogues) to stimulate the pituitary to produce more of its own GH.
- Recombinant GH can only be delivered via injection. Pituitary stimulants are most effective when delivered via injection. However, there are promising new therapies that may offer other avenues for delivery.
- GH therapy should only be started if a deficiency has been diagnosed. Whether or not a person is deficient can be determined via an analysis of symptoms combined with lab testing.
- Once treatment has started, GH levels should be monitored closely via regular lab testing.
Growth Hormone Treatment
We have more tools at our disposal than ever for increasing GH levels. Most people report deeper sleep and increased feelings of wellbeing after two to four weeks of treatment. After three months of therapy, most people will see a marked improvement in how they feel and look. As long as therapy is accompanied by healthy lifestyle choices, the full benefits of GH therapy should be realized within six months of commencing therapy.