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Human Growth Hormone (HGH) Its Uses and Abuses What You Need To Know

Medically Reviewed by

Human Growth Hormone, or (HGH) is naturally produced by the pituitary gland and necessary for the growth in children and adolescents. Secondarily, HGH regulates bodily fluids and body composition, muscle and bone growth, metabolic processes of fat and sugar and possibly some aspects of heart function.

Synthetic HGH Uses

In some cases the body fails to produce the required amounts necessary to stimulate growth in children and adults. Because of this, synthetic human growth hormone was developed and approved by the FDA to boost HGH deficiencies for certain medical conditions.

These include:


  • Short stature in children due to unknown cause
  • Turner’s syndrome
  • Prader-Willi syndrome
  • Chronic kidney insufficiency
  • HGH deficiency
  • Children born small for age


  • Short bowel syndrome
  • HGH deficiency (due to pituitary tumors)
  • Muscle wasting disease as a complication due to HIV/AIDS

HGH is administered by injection with a pharmaceutical prescription.

Synthetic HGH Abuses

Since its development human growth hormone has been marketed and used for other non FDA-approved purposes. Many of these have been in an attempt to enhance athletic ability and improve muscle tone, or reverse the effects of aging on the body. Some users combine HGH with other drugs, such as anabolic steroids to increase performance as well.

Any use of human growth hormone for anti-aging purposes is not FDA approved and can be damaging to health.

Unsubstantiated Claims

Many companies market HGH products in the form of pills or sprays that claim to contain human growth hormone, or stimulate the body to produce its own HGH for purposes of:

  • Fat reduction
  • Hair growth
  • Anti-aging
  • Muscle building
  • Hair color restoration
  • Immune system building
  • Increased energy
  • Revitalized sex life
  • Enhanced vision
  • Improved memory
  • Normalizing blood sugar
  • Improved sleep quality

These claims have not been substantiated by the Federal Trade Commission in the form of, over-the-counter pills or sprays.

Negative Side Effects

The use of human growth hormone without a doctor’s approval could result in possible health consequences.

These include:

  • Muscle, joint pain, or nerve pain
  • Edema, (swelling due to fluid in the body's tissues)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tingling or numbness of the skin
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Human growth hormone has also been known to increase the risk for diabetes and may contribute to the growth of cancerous tumors.

HGH drugs and products are often counterfeited and sold illicitly. Because of this, human growth hormone may be potentially harmful if not taken under the direct supervision of a physician.


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