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Human Growth Hormone Abuse

How should we define human growth hormone abuse? A dictionary definition of abuse might be “wrongly using” or “incorrectly making use of”. For the ordinary person, drug abuse means using drugs for some form of personal gratification – drugs are often illegal or at least obtained illegally, and the use made of them is other than the standard use defined by the medical community. For human growth hormone (HGH), there are other implications beyond standard medical practice.

What is human growth hormone abuse in the elderly or aging? The hormone is given to the elderly because it is believed that increased hormone levels will cause the aging process to be reversed by decades. Proponents claim it produces increased muscle and strength, decreased body fat, increased energy, and younger looking skin. The problem is that the body of scientific evidence does not support these claims in any meaningful way, while it does support claims of common unpleasant side effects. The use of HGH for anti aging is not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is not recommended by medical authorities. Its use for this purpose is actually illegal in the United States and other countries. HGH for anti-aging is therefore an abuse of HGH both by the patients who receive it and by the medical professionals who supply it.

Athletes are another group subject to human growth hormone abuse. Again, the reasons for using the hormone are increased strength, increased lean muscle mass, decreased stored fat, and higher energy levels. Again, evidence suggests that the same benefits can be achieved with other training techniques and that larger muscles achieved through the use of HGH are not necessarily stronger muscles. The use of HGH in sports training is another form of HGH abuse, not only because this use is not approved, but because sports organizations include the hormone in their list of prohibited substances.

Other potential forms of human growth hormone abuse are emerging in Western culture. For example, some parents believe that their children would look better or do better in sports if they were taller and bigger, and believe that human growth hormone therapy will achieve this result. Young people themselves, feeling the modern pressure to be physically attractive and good at sports, may seek the same kind of quick fix and are more likely to indulge in HGH abuse in an underground scenario where proper medical supervision is lacking and the purity of the hormone received is very questionable. Obviously, these applications of human growth hormone therapy are both flawed and dangerous.

The bottom line is that the only uses for which human growth hormone is approved in the United States and many other countries are medically verified HGH deficiency (where the pituitary gland literally produces abnormally low levels of this essential hormone ), and some other rare medical conditions. In people who are deficient, hormone replacement therapy can restore normal growth patterns in children and prolong life in adults. Any unapproved use is not supported by scientific evidence and is illegal – it is human growth hormone abuse.

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