As men enter their thirties and forties, many begin to experience symptoms of low energy, lower muscle mass, greater fat mass, impaired cognition and more. Often, this is due to a deficiency in human growth hormone (HGH), a peptide hormone responsible for many of the effects we normally associate with aging.
What is HGH Deficiency?
Human Growth Hormone is a chemical messenger produced by the pituitary gland and triggers physical changes in the body during periods of rapid growth (like puberty). We continue to produce HGH into adulthood where it plays a crucial role in body composition, bone maintenance, and triglyceride levels. HGH deficiency occurs when the pituitary gland isn’t making enough HGH for the body to carry out its normal processes.
Symptoms in Children
Children with an HGH deficiency often look much younger than they should at their age, due to the body not exhibiting the normal aging processes that come along with young adulthood. Growth spurts are rarely seen in children with low levels; this usually causes them to be shorter in height and to develop slower than healthy adolescents.
HGH deficient children and teens often have high concentrations of fat in the face and abdomen what many people refer to as having “baby fat” or a “baby face” appearance.
HGH deficiency in children is characterized by a delay in or absence of symptoms of sexual maturity (i.e., not producing sperm by a certain age and the lack of pubic and axillary hair).
Children with this deficiency often keep their deciduous (“baby”) teeth for much longer than typical children and their hair grows much more slowly.
Symptoms in Adults
Unfortunately, symptoms in adults are much harder to identify, especially when there are other underlying conditions such as low testosterone, diabetes, or mental illnesses.
HGH deficiency often entails a decrease in strength and muscle mass and an increase in body mass index and “bad” cholesterol. This is likely because of HGH’s impact on the way lipids are broken down and utilized.
Sometimes high cholesterol levels can lead to heart problems and secondary conditions in HGH deficient patients. Researchers have also found a link between hypopituitarism is and insulin resistance, which when left untreated can lead to type 2 diabetes.
A study published by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that individuals with low HGH levels are more likely to have a fatal heart attack than other people of the same age with normal HGH levels.
Low HGH levels can also cause gradual changes in the integumentary system, which can lead to hair loss, thin and dry skin. It can also cause sufferers to have increased sensitivity to temperature changes.
Cognitive side effects of low HGH include trouble concentrating, depression, anxiety, memory problems, mental fatigue, and loss of interest in sexual activity. Men with hypopituitarism also report difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection.
Causes of HGH Deficiency
Common causes of HGH deficiency in adults as listed by the Endocrine Society are “brain injury, a pituitary tumor, or damage to the pituitary gland (e.g. after brain surgery or radiotherapy for cancer treatment).
Sometimes the direct cause for the hormone deficiency can’t be pinpointed; these instances are attributed to the decline in HGH levels that comes with age. For some men, this decline in hormone levels is a gradual process and goes unnoticed. But men whose levels dip abruptly often report unpleasant physical and mental side effects.
How We Can Help
The Endocrine Society website states that “the main treatment is to replace the growth hormone using injections – either once a day or several times a week.”
Until recently, medical professionals only recommended hormone replacement therapy until the patient finished growing (usually around age 18-20). But more recent evidence has shown that HGH plays a crucial role in lipolysis and the healthy development of muscle and bone, which is why practitioners sometimes prolong the length of hormone therapy.
Renew Vitality health centers are a leading provider of Sermorelin Therapy, a cutting-edge treatment for HGH deficiency. Sermorelin is a medication which binds to specific receptors in the brain to trigger the pituitary gland to produce more HGH.
Several studies have found Sermorelin to be much safer than HGH therapy, since it encourages the release of its own natural HGH rather than supplementing with synthetic or animal-derived HGH. Sermorelin Therapy can be administered alone or in addition to Testosterone Replacement Therapy, and has been shown to decrease the likelihood of side effects sometimes seen with TRT.
Low HGH is an entirely manageable condition with the right treatment plan, and many patients of Sermorelin Therapy report an improvement in symptoms after just a few weeks of treatment. If you think you are exhibiting the signs of a hormonal imbalance and think you might benefit from Sermorelin Therapy, then please schedule a consultation with our providers today.