To only paint a picture of growth hormone doing good things would be an injustice. The truth is, there can be many HGH side effects with the use of human growth hormone and it can also put a person at risk for other diseases. HGH side effects include an increase in blood pressure, fluid retention, carpal tunnel syndrome, and joint pain. 11,13,14 The use of growth hormone has also been tied to an increase in insulin resistance which leads to diabetes. 12,16 Diabetes as a result of HGH supplementation was also reported by Dr. Rudman in his report. 11 One man used HGH successfully for a time, but eventually came down with diabetes which doctors linked to his growth hormone use. 12 A 6 month study on the side effects of HGH on diabetes showed that while insulin resistance was at first increased, after 6 months of growth hormone use the testers' insulin levels returned to the levels before their growth hormone use.
The claim that human growth hormone is a cause of diabetes is surprising since two medical studies state just the opposite, that in fact IGF-1 could be a replacement for insulin. These two studies, reported in 1991 in Medical World News, had the results of these tests. Dr. Zenobi of the University of Zurich in Switzerland observed that when IGF-1 levels were increased, blood glucose, insulin, and c-peptide levels were significantly lowered. He reported that type-II diabetes may be reduced by growth hormone's use. 15 Along with Dr. Zenobi's results were those of Dr. Schalch of the University of Wisconsin . His test results demonstrated a decrease in the levels of blood glucose and insulin levels with the use of growth hormone. 15 These results appear to be entirely contradictory to each other and display the confusion there is in the growth hormone field. How can human growth hormone both cause diabetes in some, yet in medical studies be linked to its decrease? It is an area which is quite unclear. It is possible that those who have diabetes already may respond differently to the hormone's use than those who do not yet have the disease. Another possible explanation is that the differing results may be due to the amount of time taking growth hormone. In Dr. Zenobi's study, his results were measured after only 5 days of growth hormone use.
The boom of HGH use in the elderly in the past 10 years is not surprising. It is clear that many people would rather possibly cut their life short by a year but live each year to its fullest. This thought seems to come up consistently with each elderly person who uses it. Alan Mendelssohn, a senior who, along with his wife, takes growth hormone, sums it up by saying, “We want to feel as good and look as good as we can.” 12
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11. Rudman et al. “ Effects of human growth hormone in men over 60 years old.” New England Journal of Medicine 1990 323: 1-6.
12. King, Marsha. “Finding fountain of youth…or dangerous waters?” Seattle Times 11 May 2003: A1.
13. Salomon F, et al. “The effects of treatment with recombinant human growth hormone on body composition and metabolism in adults with growth hormone deficiency.” New England Journal of Medicine 1989;321:1797-1803
14. Russell, Sabin. “Aging Baby Boomers turn to hormone – Some doctors concerned about growing ‘off-label' use of drug.” San Francisco Chronicle 17 Nov 2003 : A1.
15. Medical World News . August 1991 v32 n8 p12(1).
16. Simon, Cecilia. “Big on HGH? Human Growth Hormone Helps Small Kids Grow, but Some Call its Wider Use Shortsighted.” Washington Post 30 Sept. 2003 : F1
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