Human growth hormone (HGH) is a popular treatment among individuals seeking to reverse signs of aging or athletes looking to boost their winning edge. The hormone is classically affiliated with men, big muscles and boosting athletic performance, but the truth is women make more human growth hormone than men. In fact, HGH is tightly connected to estrogen levels—the more estrogen a woman has, the more HGH she produces. This means that during menopause when estrogen levels decline significantly, HGH also declines. This is the point when women begin to see loss of muscle mass and increased body fat. Women need sufficient HGH levels to help maintain their youthfulness and vivacity—it's just as important as adequate levels of estrogen and progesterone for a healthy, higher quality of life.
However, HGH cannot be legally supplemented or prescribed unless an individual has a specific diagnosis whereby HGH is the FDA-approved treatment. Though HGH therapy is banned for off-label uses, there are a number of alternatives to HGH that deliver the highly comparable results.
What is Human Growth Hormone (HGH)?
Endogenous human growth hormone, also known as somatotropin, is a peptide hormone that is vital for human development. Benefits of human growth hormone includes growth stimulation, cellular reproduction and cellular regeneration in humans. HGH is produced by the pituitary gland and as the body ages, less and less growth hormone is produced.
The loss of HGH with aging has given the hormone a reputation for being the key ingredient for restoring youthfulness and vitality. However, little research has shown that the hormone alone is the key to everlasting youth. Complete hormonal balance must be achieved to reap the benefits of HGH.
What is HGH Deficiency?
In some cases, the body fails to produce enough HGH throughout the lifecycle. In children, if the pituitary gland fails to produce enough HGH slower growth patterns may result. Symptoms in young children include short stature, increased abdominal fat, high total cholesterol and delayed bone and tooth development.
In adults, growth hormone deficiency presents with low energy, decreased strength and muscle mass, abdominal weight gain, high total cholesterol and thinning, dry skin.
For both children and adults, testing for growth hormone deficiency is done at a physician's office. Insulin is administered through an IV to produce a low plasma glucose level. The peak growth hormone level is measured 20 to 30 minutes later. A deficiency is diagnosed if the peak growth hormone level is less than 10 mcg/mL in children or less than 3 mcg/mL in adults.
The cause of HGH deficiency may be a severe head injury, a tumor on the pituitary gland or an infection. The underlying cause will impact treatment options. HGH has been banned by the FDA and may only be prescribed—legally—for the treatment of children and adults who have proven growth hormone deficiency and AIDS patients suffering from wasting syndrome.
HGH in Women
The role of growth hormone in women becomes most evident as the hormone begins to decline around middle-age. As women reach the perimenopausal and menopausal years, estrogen, progesterone and HGH decline. Women may notice loss of lean body mass, increased fat around the stomach, trouble sleeping, loss of interest in sex, thin, sagging skin and low energy. Low levels of HGH are also linked to decreased bone mass and the high incidence of osteoporosis that affects 1 in 5 women.
Alternatives to Human Growth Hormone
There are alternative drug therapies that deliver results similar to human growth hormone. These prescription therapies are a safe and effective option for women with low levels of HGH.
Sermorelin acetate is one alternative prescription therapy that offers all the benefits of HGH. Sermorelin acetate stimulates the pituitary gland to increase natural production of human growth hormone. Higher levels of HGH result in increased production of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). This yields a number of desirable benefits for women seeking to improve overall health and reduce the signs of aging related to low HGH, including:
- Increased energy
- Better bone health
- Improved sleep quality
- Reduced body fat
- Increased lean body mass
- Enhanced strength and stamina
- Enhanced endurance
- Accelerated healing
- Reduced joint pain
- Improved immune system function
Ipamorelin acetate has been dubbed "the gold standard" of HGH alternative therapies because of its reputation for safety and effectiveness. Ipamorelin has been shown to ideally mimic the body's natural production of HGH, restoring balance and delivering lasting results.
Ipamorelin is a bioidentical hormone therapy that stimulates the pituitary gland to produce natural growth hormone. However, unlike other alternative therapies, the release of HGH is slow and steady—replicating the natural production rhythm of the body. This feature ensures the therapy keeps HGH levels optimized for longer periods of time, compared to other therapies, resulting in more successful outcomes. Benefits of ipamorelin therapy include:
- Increased lean muscle mass
- Improved ability to burn fat
- Better sleep quality
- Maintained bone density
- Boosted immune system
- Enhanced cognitive function
- Improved recovery
- Strengthened cardiovascular system
- Boosted energy levels and stamina
- Improved skin firmness and moisture retention
Finding the Best Alternative HGH Therapy
Women seeking to restore balance can take steps to increase human growth hormone on their own, in addition to pursuing alternative growth hormone therapies. Routine physical activity that includes weight-bearing exercise, especially when periods of rest are limited during the workout, naturally increases growth hormone levels. Consuming macronutrients, like protein after workouts has also been shown to improve lean body mass, an impact that is the result of high levels of HGH post workout.
The physicians of the BodyLogicMD network are experts in hormonal health and achieving hormonal balance, including treatment plans for women struggling with low levels of human growth hormone. Your BodyLogicMD physician will review your lab testing and medical history to help determine the root cause of your symptoms. He or she will then sit down and discuss with you your current symptoms, lifestyle, and how life has changed for you personally since symptoms began. With this information, you and your doctor will partner in developing a comprehensive treatment plan that may include bioidentical hormone therapy, such as an alternative HGH therapy, as well as nutritional guidance, recommendations for routine fitness, and pharmaceutical-grade supplements to support your goals.
Get started with one of the expert physicians of the BodyLogicMD network and start feeling your best soon.