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The pros and cons of HGH are in no way straightforward.
Bodybuilders interested in any physical performance enhancer like human growth hormone (HGH) should be aware of the risks, benefits and other factors of use.
First, there is a difference between the HGH organically occurring in your body and the HGH synthetically developed in a laboratory environment.
Than you have to untangle the various types of HGH out there and weigh the pros and cons of injections versus creams, for example.
Considerations go beyond just effectiveness: the legal ramifications and health risks need to be carefully considered.
What about nutritional supplements that help drive HGH production in the body? How does that stack up against the HGH that doctor’s prescribe for growth hormone deficiencies?
Some bodybuilders feel that injecting HGH is safer than use of anabolic androgenic steroids, but is this true?
Defining HGH Pros and Cons
When reviewing HGH pros, cons, or other considerations, an understanding of what HGH is and how it behaves in the body is necessary.
HGH or human growth hormone produced by the pituitary gland (in the brain) is known as somatotropin.
In the event that the pituitary gland is damaged or doesn’t produce adequate amounts of growth hormone – most commonly affecting children’s growth and development – a doctor may recommend growth hormone therapy.
Synthetic growth hormone is known as somatropin.
When manufactured by legitimate pharmaceutical companies, growth hormone products today are found in over two dozen brands.
These products are designed to be identical in structure as body-produced growth hormone, most specifically in its composition of 191 amino acids arranged in a specific sequence.
At its most basic definition, HGH makes things grow.
For bodybuilders, this implies increased and accelerated development of muscles. When addressing HGH pros, cons, and results, be aware that HGH also has an effect on all cells and tissues in the body.
For this reason, benefits of HGH use should always be compared and evaluated for the development of potential side effects.
HGH pros include a number of undisputed benefits:
Accelerated development of lean muscle mass. This occurs because growth hormones stimulate manufacture, differentiation, and growth of all types of cells in the body. It can and does promote faster synthesis of muscle cells (myocytes).
Potential weight loss. Because growth hormone stimulates metabolism, a bodybuilder using HGH might see some decrease in body fat as well as storage of body fat.
Increased stamina and endurance due to the increase of nitrogen/oxygen balances in muscle cells, fibers, and tissues. This boosts the health of those muscle components and reduces cachexia or damage and destruction of muscle tissue.
HGH also provides a number of other benefits, but these are typically found in medical scenarios. HGH is a prescription-only drug and is not condoned nor recommended for nonmedical usage.
Putting something into the body that is not required medically can trigger a number of unexpected results.
The same applies to growth hormone.
Growth hormone is extremely potent. It also has an influence on other hormones in the body.
Disrupted hormone levels are difficult to get under control even in medically supervised scenarios.
Unsupervised growth hormone injections can disrupt the functions and activities of other hormone glands in the body such as the thyroid, the pancreas, and production and manufacture of testosterone and other growth factors in the body.
These disruptions can create a domino-like effect that influence how the kidneys, liver, pancreas, and even the heart and the brain function.
Another thing to consider with usage is the prevalence of low quality and counterfeit HGH available from underground labs and black-market resources today.
Uncertain ingredients, manufacturing processes, and the quality of the components created by underground labs is often questionable.
Carefully weigh HGH pros, cons, and potentially serious and long-term damage to the body.
Serious Side Effects Associated with HGH
Metabolic dysfunctions involving glucose or blood sugar levels in the body is just one negative side effect of growth hormone. This increases the risk of resistance to insulin in the body.
If left untreated, and with continued use of HGH, a bodybuilder has an increased possibility of developing Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Another danger is the fluid buildup caused by growth hormone.
While a bodybuilder may not mind this because it gives the appearance of bulkier muscles, it may affect joint mobility and range of motion. If fluid buildup surrounds a major organ such as the heart, serious ramifications can occur.
One of the most common adverse and long-term reactions to use of growth hormone, especially at higher than recommended levels and length of use, is acromegaly.
This condition causes unabated growth of bone, muscle, and connective tissues. This out-of-control growth can cause deformities in bone structure, most commonly noted in the joints of the wrists, the jaw, and facial structures.
In some cases, acromegaly may be irreversible. Surgeons may be able to repair damage to muscle, but the damage to bone and connective tissues is more problematic.
Potentially permanent damage to the joint, its function, mobility, and range of motion, not to mention appearance, is not something to be taken lightly.
Appropriate diet, levels and types of exercise, as well as lifestyle have a huge influence over efficacy of HGH for every individual. So too does age, body composition, and genetics.
When weighing HGH pros, cons, and considerations of use, also remember that no drug, whether it’s a prescription strength or over-the-counter product, can do all of the work by itself.