Low HGH (Human Growth Hormone)

Growth Hormone levels have been found to decline with age in every species so far tested and this decline is a major factor in the aging process. In numerical terms, humans produce on a daily basis some 500mcg of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) at 20 years of age, 200mcg at 40 years, and 25mcg at 80.

HGH deficiency in adults is now recognized as a specific clinical syndrome with characteristic signs and symptoms. Replacement of the hormones which decline with age, such as growth hormone, estrogen and testosterone, is an important part of any antiaging program..

HGH replacement improves body composition and quality of life as soon as 1 month after commencement. Most importantly these changes occur without side-effects. Increased levels of HGH have a positive effect by increasing muscle mass, stimulating fat loss, improving skin texture, improving exercise tolerance, increasing bone density, improving sleep quality and helping mental processes.

There are several possibilities for treating low HGH levels:

  • HGH injections (expensive, used when other means are insufficient)
  • HGH transdermal products (Trans-D-Tropin)
  • oral products with secretagogues (all-natural HGH releasers, also known as agonists) and precursors taken daily
  • homeopathic preparations (the least expensive)

 


Signs, symptoms & indicators of Low HGH (Human Growth Hormone)

Symptoms - Metabolic  

Low stamina



 

Difficulty losing weight



Symptoms - Muscular  

Muscle mass reduction



 

Poor muscular strength



Symptoms - Sleep  

Being a light sleeper



 

Difficulty staying up late



Counter Indicators
Symptoms - Sleep  

Being a deep sleeper




Conditions that suggest Low HGH (Human Growth Hormone)

Aging  


Autoimmune  

Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythromatosis) / Risk

Human growth hormone levels should be tested. Normal levels are greater than 200 MIU/ml but levels below 100 mIU/ml have been seen in many SLE patients.



Circulation  

Poor/Slow Wound Healing

Human growth hormone (HGH) levels decline with age. HGH stimulates the production of collagen, which sticks wounds together, strengthens weakened tissue, gives skin more elasticity and helps wounds of the skin or bone heal faster and stronger.



Immunity  

Chronic Fatigue / Fibromyalgia Syndrome

It has been known for 25 years that FM patients have an abnormal sleep pattern involving stages 3 and 4 of non REM sleep. As GH is secreted predominantly during stages 3 and 4 of non-REM sleep, it was originally hypothesized that FM patients may have impaired GH secretion. IGF-1 levels are abnormally low in some fibromyalgia patients. In an analysis of IGF-1 levels in 500 female FM patients and 152 age matched non-FM subjects the mean IGF-1 level in the FM patients was 137±58 ng/ml versus 216±86 ng/ml in controls. Eighty-five percent of the FM patients had IGF-1 levels below the 50th percentile of the control population and 56% fell below the 20th percentile.

Growth hormone deficiency in adults has been associated with many symptoms that are similar to those described by FM patients: low energy, poor general health, reduced exercise capacity, muscle weakness, cold intolerance, impaired cognition, dysthymia and decreased lean body mass. IGF1 levels are often found to be low in FM patients. The few studies done so far have found symptomatic improvement of CFS and FM patients with GH injections.

It is likely that the problem in FM is a physiologic GH deficiency. Evidence was provided by a study in which FM patients were exercised to voluntary exhaustion on a treadmill; this is a standard test of GH secretion. Unlike healthy controls, FM patients were unable to mount a GH response to exercise, despite reaching an anaerobic threshold (an indication of an adequate exercise workload). However, when fibromyalgia patients were given pyridostigmine 1 hour prior to exercising, they were able to mount a reasonable GH response. As pyridostigmine is known to reduce somatostatin tone in the hypothalamus, this result is compatible with the notion that GH deficiency in fibromyalgia is a potentially reversible problem that has a physiologic basis i.e. increased hypothalamic somatostatin tone. [Eduardo S. Paiva, Atul Deodhar, Kim D. Jones, Robert Bennett; Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland (press release)[]



Mental  


Metabolic  

Problem Caused By Being Overweight

Dr. Brett Jancques, ND reports that all of the obese individuals tested thus far by AAL Reference Laboratories were found to have low growth hormone levels. Testing was accomplished through 24-hour urinary growth hormone measurements. [Townsend Letter, Feb/March 2002, Vol 223/224; pp.74-78]




Risk factors for Low HGH (Human Growth Hormone)

Hormones  



Low HGH (Human Growth Hormone) can lead to

Autoimmune  

Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythromatosis) / Risk

Human growth hormone levels should be tested. Normal levels are greater than 200 MIU/ml but levels below 100 mIU/ml have been seen in many SLE patients.



Immunity  

Chronic Fatigue / Fibromyalgia Syndrome

It has been known for 25 years that FM patients have an abnormal sleep pattern involving stages 3 and 4 of non REM sleep. As GH is secreted predominantly during stages 3 and 4 of non-REM sleep, it was originally hypothesized that FM patients may have impaired GH secretion. IGF-1 levels are abnormally low in some fibromyalgia patients. In an analysis of IGF-1 levels in 500 female FM patients and 152 age matched non-FM subjects the mean IGF-1 level in the FM patients was 137±58 ng/ml versus 216±86 ng/ml in controls. Eighty-five percent of the FM patients had IGF-1 levels below the 50th percentile of the control population and 56% fell below the 20th percentile.

Growth hormone deficiency in adults has been associated with many symptoms that are similar to those described by FM patients: low energy, poor general health, reduced exercise capacity, muscle weakness, cold intolerance, impaired cognition, dysthymia and decreased lean body mass. IGF1 levels are often found to be low in FM patients. The few studies done so far have found symptomatic improvement of CFS and FM patients with GH injections.

It is likely that the problem in FM is a physiologic GH deficiency. Evidence was provided by a study in which FM patients were exercised to voluntary exhaustion on a treadmill; this is a standard test of GH secretion. Unlike healthy controls, FM patients were unable to mount a GH response to exercise, despite reaching an anaerobic threshold (an indication of an adequate exercise workload). However, when fibromyalgia patients were given pyridostigmine 1 hour prior to exercising, they were able to mount a reasonable GH response. As pyridostigmine is known to reduce somatostatin tone in the hypothalamus, this result is compatible with the notion that GH deficiency in fibromyalgia is a potentially reversible problem that has a physiologic basis i.e. increased hypothalamic somatostatin tone. [Eduardo S. Paiva, Atul Deodhar, Kim D. Jones, Robert Bennett; Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland (press release)[]



Mental  



Recommendations for Low HGH (Human Growth Hormone)

Amino Acid / Protein  

Glutamine

It has been shown that GH is adequately produced by the aging pituitary, but its secretion from the pituitary is down-regulated with age. Scientists have found that certain amino acids and vitamins can stimulate the natural release of GH from the pituitary in many people.

Some amino acids have been shown to stimulate GH release, and may be found in preparations designed to increase GH release. Most of these preparations come with the recommendation that they be used just prior to muscle building exercise for maximal effect. These amino acids include: L-arginine, L-lysine, L-glutamine, L-ornithine, and glycine.



Animal-based  


Diet  

Reduced Calorie Consumption

Studies have shown that fasting prior to sleep can heighten sleep-related growth hormone output. And, based on all the evidence in both the sleeping and waking state, eating carbs before going to bed is hormonally unwise and may diminish, if not nullify, nocturnal growth hormone release. So, to enhance growth hormone output, don’t eat carbohydrates within 90 minutes of going to bed.



 

Grain-free / Low Starch Diet

Eating carbs before bed may reduce growth hormone output.



Drug  

GHB (Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate)

GHB stimulates pituitary growth hormone (GH) release. One methodologically rigorous Japanese study reported nine-fold and sixteen-fold increases in growth hormone 30 and 60 minutes respectively after intravenous administration of 2.5gm of GHB in 6 healthy men between the ages 25-40 [Takahara, 1977]. GH levels were still seven-fold higher at 120 minutes.

The mechanism by which GHB stimulates growth-hormone release is not known. Dopamine activity in the hypothalamus is known to stimulate pituitary release of growth hormone, but GHB inhibits dopamine release at the same time that it stimulates GH release. This suggests that GHB’s GH-releasing effect takes place through an entirely different mechanism.



 

Conventional Drugs / Information

Adding the medication mestinon (30-60 milligrams before exercise) may restore the normal rise in growth hormone release during exercise in fibromyalgia.



Habits  

Increased Sleep

Growth hormone is released during periods of deep sleep. So, the lack of deep sleep may be a major cause of growth hormone deficiency, especially in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Natural remedies such as The Revitalizing Sleep Formula by Integrative Therapeutics, 5-HTP or tryptophan, calcium and magnesium at bedtime, and melatonin (1/2mg) can be very effective for sleep.



 

Aerobic Exercise

Exercise usually results in an increase in growth hormone levels. Unfortunately, this rise in growth hormone with exercise is blocked in fibromyalgia. Adding the medication mestinon (30-60 milligrams before exercise) may restore the normal rise in growth hormone release during exercise in fibromyalgia.



Homeopathy  

Homeopathic Growth Hormones

Two homeopathic products (the only ones tested) demonstrated a clear improvement in symptoms and increased IGF-1 levels in a placebo-controlled and blinded study. Since some people respond to one product but not another, it is worth trying one for a month to see if any improvements result. If not, switch products until finding one that works for you. A very reputable company which has invested heavily in research and development offers products which were used in the blinded trials. Information can be found at Biomed Comm.



Hormone  


Lab Tests/Rule-Outs  


 


Vitamins  

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

There is some evidence that the use of niacin improves GH release from the pituitary gland.



Key

Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link
Proven definite or direct link
Strongly counter-indicative
May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended

Glossary

Hormones

Chemical substances secreted by a variety of body organs that are carried by the bloodstream and usually influence cells some distance from the source of production. Hormones signal certain enzymes to perform their functions and, in this way, regulate such body functions as blood sugar levels, insulin levels, the menstrual cycle, and growth. These can be prescription, over-the-counter, synthetic or natural agents. Examples include adrenal hormones such as corticosteroids and aldosterone; glucagon, growth hormone, insulin, testosterone, estrogens, progestins, progesterone, DHEA, melatonin, and thyroid hormones such as thyroxine and calcitonin.

Microgram

(mcg): 1/1,000 of a milligram in weight.

Estrogen

One of the female sex hormones produced by the ovaries.

Testosterone

The principal male sex hormone that induces and maintains the changes that take place in males at puberty. In men, the testicles continue to produce testosterone throughout life, though there is some decline with age. A naturally occurring androgenic hormone.

Homeopathy

A system of medicine based on the belief that the cure of disease can be effected by minute doses of substances that, if given to a healthy person in large doses, would produce the same symptoms as are present in the disease being treated. Homeopathy employs natural substances in small doses to stimulate the body's reactive process to remove toxic waste and bring the body back into balance.

Collagen

The primary protein within white fibers of connective tissue and the organic substance found in tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin, teeth and bone.

Fibromyalgia

(FMS): Originally named fibrositis, it is a mysteriously debilitating syndrome that attacks women more often than men. It is not physically damaging to the body in any way, but is characterized by the constant presence of widespread pain that often moves about the body. Fibromyalgia can be so severe that it is often incapacitating.

ng

Nanogram: 0.000000001 or a billionth of a gram.

Dysthymia

A milder but chronic form of depression.

Anaerobic

Of, relating to, or being activity in which the body incurs an oxygen debt (for example weight training or resistive exercises) and does not immediately burn off a lot of calories and fat.

Hypothalamus

An important supervisory center in the brain regulating many body functions. Despite its importance in maintaining homeostasis, the hypothalamus in humans accounts for only 1/300 of total brain weight, and is about the size of an almond.

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