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As a beginning or experienced bodybuilder, you may have heard of HGH gut.
What is it? What causes it? Is it serious?
HGH is shorthand for human growth hormone.
It is often taken (without a prescription) by bodybuilders and athletes looking for increased development of muscle, reduced fat, increased endurance, and other benefits.
The reason it is taken without a prescription is because the use of HGH without a medical necessity is prohibited by law.
Some bodybuilders feel the legal risks are worth it, but those aren’t the only risks.
Unfortunately, side effects can occur with unsupervised use of any hormone, including human growth hormone.
One of those side effects could be a form of abdominal bloating called HGH gut.
What is HGH Gut?
HGH gut, also called HGH belly, looks similar in appearance to a beer belly or an extended abdominal region.
For some men, the bulge can develop to the extent he looks pregnant. It’s caused by higher than normal levels of HGH in the body.
How does this happen?
HGH makes things grow. It gives every cell in the body the potential to grow, differentiate and develop.
It’s not just applicable to muscles, but bone, connective tissues, and even organs like the intestines, the liver, and the heart.
HGH gut defines an enlargement of the intestines, which causes them to swell in size, taking up more space in the abdominal cavity, which causes the abdominal wall to protrude forward.
When major organs enlarge, a number of negative results may occur.
How Does HGH Work?
What kind of process is involved that contributes to HGH gut? First, potential users should know that the body produces human growth hormone.
Growth hormone is manufactured in the pituitary gland in the brain.
When levels are low, the hypothalamus – another area of the brain near the pituitary – sends signals to the pituitary to increase production and secretions.
Human growth hormone not only makes things grow, but it also influences the manufacture and secretion of testosterone, another hormone that makes things grow and also makes them stronger.
Presence of growth hormone (GH) in the blood also triggers the production and secretion of another type of protein hormone manufactured by the liver known as insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1).
Together, IGF-1 and growth hormone travel through the body, providing every cellular component and structure with the ability to replicate, heal, and grow.
It can also cause unexpected results as well.
Side Effects of HGH
A number of negative side effects are associated with use of HGH, some minor, and others more serious. Among them include:
Tingling sensations on the skin
Pain in the joints that includes both muscle and bone pain
Nerve pain (can be localized or extend along an entire nerve pathway)
Potential for gynecomastia
Of course, there are more, but these are the type of side effects that a bodybuilder should watch for.
The same applies to HGH gut. If you use HGH and you notice your abdominal region feels bigger or protrudes, it’s time to decrease dosage or stop usage altogether.
Enlarged organs can lead to serious complications. This goes way beyond HGH gut. For example, if the heart (a muscle) grows larger than it should, the result – cardiomyopathy -can contribute to heart dysfunctions including arrhythmia and potential heart attack.
This enlargement of the organs can happen in any organ in the body such as the kidneys, the spleen, and the liver, all of which can contribute to complications.
This enlargement and resulting “confusion” in the body also affects other glands of the endocrine system that regulate hormones.
Once hormone levels are disrupted, it can be very difficult to get them back under control even in medical situations, let alone with unsupervised use.
Can You Prevent HGH Gut?
Can you prevent HGH gut?
Yes, but the simplest answer to that is not to use the product.
However, bodybuilders using HGH who also enjoy impressive results when it comes to development of lean muscle mass, fat loss, and other benefits find it difficult to believe that the hormone can be the culprit of the dreaded HGH gut.
Some blame HGH gut on often extremely high caloric intake that contributes to strain on the intestinal tract to efficiently digest food, which causes stretching.
However, the body is very adaptable, and if a bodybuilder gradually increases caloric intake during training, the body is usually capable of adapting to not only higher metabolism, but digestive processes.
Others blame the distended abdomen on undigested meat that remains in the digestive tract. Others believe it’s just an increased development of abdominal muscles.
Increased abdominal bloating may also be caused by disruption of not only growth hormone and growth factor levels but surges of insulin, another hormone.
Another unpleasant side effect of high levels of HGH is the risk that the body will develop resistance to insulin.
This really throws hormonal levels out of whack and can lead to development of Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Whether you believe that HGH gut is caused by growth hormone or simply a higher caloric intake, it’s something that should be taken seriously by any bodybuilder.