The Effects of HGH (Human Growth Hormone)

Topics: Growth hormone, Growth hormone deficiency, Immune system Pages: 9 (1914 words) Published: May 23, 2014

The Effects of HGH (Human Growth Hormone) In Enhancing Performance and Side Effects of Its Prolonged Use Human growth hormone (HGH) is produced by the pituitary gland within the body. One of its main functions is to increase growth in children and adolescents as they get older. HGH also helps regulate body composition, body fluids, muscle and bone growth, sugar and fat metabolism, and in some aspects, heart function. Human growth hormone can also be produced synthetically. The synthetic form of HGH is an active ingredient in a number of prescription drugs and in other products that are widely available in today’s society over the Internet and through various illegal drug dealers among communities. Synthetic human growth hormone was originally created by a pharmaceutical manufacturer in 1985. Prior to the development of synthetic HGH, scientists and doctors extracted it from corpses to treat patients that suffered from growth deficiency. Many of them later died from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a disease in which the brain would become spongy and eventually deteriorate. As a result scientists believed the disease was related to a virus found in the extracted hormone. Approximately six months after the Food and Drug Administration banned the cadaver-extracted hormone, a biotechnology company had successfully developed synthetic human growth hormone. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would only allow the use of synthetic HGH under specific conditions. Injections of HGH were only approved for patients that needed to be treated for growth deficiency due to unknown or medical causes. Some of these conditions that authorized the use of man-made HGH were Turner’s syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, kidney insufficiency, HGH deficiency and muscle-wasting diseases such as those linked to HIV and AIDS. As the use of synthetic human growth hormone increased globally, scientists began to explore the effects of HGH not only on growth deficient patients, but also on healthy individuals that did not necessarily need it. To their surprise, the patients found themselves developing bigger, stronger muscles (Davy). As a result, claims of various “enhancements” to the human body began to arise leading to the promotion of synthetic HGH by manufacturers whom were offering “off-label treatment”, which is the distribution of synthetic human growth hormone to patients without the approval of the FDA. Off-label use usually occurs in adults in two main spheres, the antiaging market and the body image or athletic market (U.S. Government Document).This movement would eventually bring us to the reality that many individuals, especially athletes and the physically active, inject themselves with HGH to enhance the human body and heighten their physical capabilities. The modern day idea is that recombinant human GH is self-administered by athletes and bodybuilders in the belief that it augments performance in both endurance and power sports (M.L. Healy). It is likely that humans have sought enhancements for themselves or their children for as long as they have recognized that improvements in individuals are a possibility (Conrad & Potter). From 1985 to the present day of 2012, the use synthetic human growth hormone has been the topic for much debate and arguments some believe it should be exclusively limited to medical patients, while others are for expanded use to give human beings the ability to enhance their bodies as well as in some cases improve their current lifestyle. When examining the uses of HGH, there are three different treatments. Two of these are treatments provided by physicians, to increase the height of individuals with idiopathic short stature and to reverse the ravages of ageing, while the third, to improve athletic performance, occurs more clandestinely at the margins of medicine (Conrad & Potter). The third pathway of treatment is to improve athletic performance in relation to exercise and physical human body capabilities. This form...

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