Growth hormone injection: what is it and when is it used?

The exogenous administration of growth hormone can help to treat the deficiency of this substance. Unfortunately, its use without medical supervision has multiple side effects.

Last update: October 14, 2021

Hormones are chemicals responsible for regulating a wide variety of functions in the human body. Low levels of these substances can cause multiple problems with metabolism, growth, or reproduction. Fortunately, low levels of growth hormone (hGH) can be overcome with an injection.

HGH or somatotropin is a protein hormone produced and released by the anterior pituitary gland., a small glandular structure located in the brain. Studies affirm that this chemical messenger is the main regulator of postnatal growth. The hormone is also involved in the metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

Growth hormone injection is usually used for the treatment of developmental disorders in children. It is also used to treat hGH production deficits in some adults. However, many people often abuse it to improve their physical performance.

Growth hormone functions

HGH is considered an anabolic hormone whose primary function is to promote cell multiplication and tissue growth. Levels of this substance in the blood increase progressively during birth and peak during adolescence. Nevertheless, the systemic concentration of hGH decreases as people age.

The role of growth hormone during childhood is determined by its stimulating effect on bone and muscle development. Similarly, hGH also fulfills the following functions in the human body:

  • Increases the uptake and synthesis of proteins in all tissues.
  • Regulates muscle mass and strength.
  • Promotes the destruction and utilization of fat deposits.
  • The peripheral use of glucose decreases.
  • Increases calcium retention in bones.
  • Stimulates the development of the immune system.

In general, growth hormone release may vary throughout the day and according to various stimuli. In this sense, physical activity, sleep and stress tend to naturally increase blood levels. On the other hand, corticosteroids and free fatty acids decrease its production.

Growth hormone is produced naturally in the pituitary.

When is growth hormone injection indicated?

Injection of growth hormone is part of the treatment options for childhood growth disorders due to hGH deficiency. Low levels of this hormone in children often cause short stature and delayed puberty.. The Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) indicates that hGH injection can be used in the following cases:

  • Growth disorder associated with Turner syndrome.
  • Children born small for their gestational age.
  • Prader-Willi syndrome.
  • Growth disorder associated with chronic kidney failure.
  • Developmental deficiency associated with mutation of the SHOX gene.

Administration of hGH too It is useful as replacement therapy in adults with a decrease in this hormone from a pituitary adenoma, radiation, or meningitis. The benefits of its administration include an increase in bone density and muscle mass, as well as a reduction in fat mass.

On the other hand, the injection of growth hormone has also been implemented experimentally in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia. Other uses include muscle wasting in people with AIDS and short bowel syndrome. It has been used to improve athletic performance, although conflicting results are found in this area.

Side effects

The development of adverse effects from the use of hGH in short children is rare. However, short-term symptoms are usually more common in healthy adults. Conditions associated with the administration of growth hormone injection include the following:

  • Skin rash and urticaria at the administration site.
  • Increase in blood glucose levels
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Pain in muscles and joints.
  • Insulin resistance
  • Swelling and numbness of the extremities.
  • Mild to moderate headache.

When to seek medical attention?

Growth hormone injection should only be done under strict medical supervision and supervision.. This substance, like other types of hormones, can cause undesirable effects if not used properly. For this reason, consult your GP before taking these medications.

If you are on an hGH treatment plan, it is important to keep your doctor informed of any changes in your body. Similarly, you should seek professional care immediately in case of presenting the following symptoms after applying the substance:

  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Confusion and drowsiness.
  • Chills and pale skin.
  • Loss of consciousness.
When there is a growth problem that is detected at an early age, a treatment can be the application of growth hormone.

The cornerstone of human growth

Growth hormone is a fundamental substance for the growth of all organs and tissues. This chemical messenger promotes protein synthesis and the use of fat for energy. It plays a key role during childhood and determines the stretching of the bones and the increase in muscle mass.

The formal indication for growth hormone injection is given by the deficit of this substance in the body. For this reason, its use as an enhancer of physical activities is not recommended.

Health professionals are the only ones trained to indicate the administration of the injection.

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