Government law restricts the use of human growth hormone (HGH) to three conditions: adult onset human growth hormone deficiency, inflammatory bowel disease, and adult immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).  The reason for this appears to be the unfair use of growth hormone by professional athletes to gain physical advantage over opponents.  This situation is similar to the use of testosterone by athletes.

HGH, however, is beneficial in many ways.  It increases bone density, heart muscle function, and connective tissue strength, reduces abdominal fat, and improves mental outlook and sense of well-being.  Growth hormone levels decline with age, as does IgF1, a hormone made in the liver under the influence of growth hormone.  Low IgF1 levels correlate with heart failure and general body decline.

We test for growth hormone deficiency by giving L-dopa, a stimulator of growth hormone release, by mouth, and measuring growth levels in the blood over the next 90 minutes.  Failure of growth hormone levels to rise is an indicator of deficiency, and growth hormone may be prescribed.  Otherwise, HGH may not be given.

Now, however, we have another hormone, as effective as growth hormone, but not restricted in its use.  Called Sermorelin, it acts to release growth hormone from the pituitary.  Given by subcutaneous injection into the abdomen in a dose of 200 mcg daily, it raises both growth hormone and IgF1 levels in 30 days.  It may be used indefinitely, and is less expensive than growth hormone.

If you are interested in learning more about Sermorelin, call our office to set up an appointment.

Allan Sosin, MD

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