HGH Side Effects: Is Growth Hormone Worth the Risks and Are There Safe Alternatives?

In the last few years, human growth hormone, which is simply referred to as HGH, has become increasingly popular. More and more people are talking about powerful HGH injections and their wonders. Perhaps, you are contemplating trying the injections to enjoy the benefits you have been hearing others talk about. But before you do that, you should first go through the information provided in this piece to determine if you should take such a decision or just forget about it. Most importantly find out what kinds of HGH side effects do you expose yourself to when you use HGH incorrectly.

What is HGH?

HGH Side Effects

HGH or GH is a hormone that helps to stimulate cell reproduction, regeneration, and growth. The hormone helps to control how the human body grows. Described as a type of mitogen, HGH is a single-chain polypeptide that comprises 191 amino acids. It is typically produced by the pituitary gland which can be found at the base of the brain. Growth hormone produced naturally within the human body is sometimes referred to as somatotropin, while that which is generated through the use of recombinant DNA technology goes under the generic name of somatropin and is what we mostly refer to as HGH. The natural secretion of GH in the body is determined by several factors, including sex, age, diet, and exercise.

Uses of HGH

HGH has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of a number of conditions. In children, HGH injections are recommended for the treatment of growth-related issues. It is used to tackle growth hormone deficiency and short stature which may be the result of certain medical conditions like Turner’s syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects a female child’s development, and Prader-Willi syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that is associated with constant hunger, poor muscle tone, and low sex hormone levels. HGH is also believed to be helpful in dealing with growth issues resulting from chronic kidney disease and being born small for gestational age.

HGH injections, such as Norditropin, are also recommended for dealing with HGH deficiency in adults, although that is not a common occurrence. HGH deficiency in adults mostly occurs as a result of rare pituitary tumors or because of their treatment. The FDA has also approved the use of this hormone for treating short bowel syndrome, a disorder characterized by the inability of the body to properly absorb nutrients as a result of severe intestinal disease or removal of a sizeable portion of the small intestine. Furthermore, HGH is administered to adults for combating a muscle-wasting disease that may result from HIV/AIDS.

However, HGH is probably more popular for off-label uses because of its anti-aging benefits. It is often used by many for dealing with signs of aging – in fact, it has been used for this purpose as far back as 1990 when the results of a study confirmed its usefulness for this purpose. Some athletes also use HGH to build their muscles and boost their level of performance, which was why it has been banned by some sports bodies. Some even take things a bit further by using insulin to enhance the muscular effects of HGH, but this is quite risky as it is capable of lowering blood sugar. The hormone has also been used to treat signs of multiple sclerosis, muscle mass building, and weight loss purposes. The use of HGH for other purposes than those for which the FDA approved it is considered illegal in the U.S.

HGH Side Effects

HGH, also known as somatropin, does come with some potentially life-threatening side effects, especially when used for off-label purposes. Let us consider some of these possible side effects – both severe and less severe or temporary ones. The following are some of the more serious or severe side effects of HGH that will require you to check with your doctor immediately if you still can:

Fluid retention

The use of somatropin-based injections can cause water to be retained in the tissues of the body, giving rise to a swollen look.

Intracranial tumors

The risk of a second neoplasm has been observed to be greater in individuals who received radiation treatment to the head/brain for neoplasm suffered during their childhood, followed by treatment of resulting growth hormone deficiency with HGH therapy. This is understandable in that somatropin causes body cells, including cancerous ones, to grow faster. These second tumors are usually intracranial tumors, meningiomas in particular.

Diabetes Mellitus

Insulin sensitivity may become inhibited when using HGH, especially at higher doses. What this means is that individuals using somatropin-based injections could suffer from impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose. Some patients have been reported to experience a fresh onset of type 2 Diabetes Mellitus while being treated with HGH.

Intracranial hypertension

Signs and symptoms of intracranial hypertension usually surface within weeks of commencing HGH therapy. These commonly include visual changes, headaches, papilledema, nausea, and vomiting. The risk of suffering intracranial hypertension is greater in individuals who have been diagnosed with Turner syndrome. In most cases, the only way to put an end to these unpleasant symptoms will be to stop your somatropin therapy altogether.


Excessive levels of HGH in the blood can cause the cartilage in the face and the rest of the body to continue growing. This continued growth causes the head, feet, ears, and hands to look abnormally big.


Scoliosis is a condition characterized by abnormal curvature of the spine. Its progression may occur in patients with rapid growth. Scoliosis and other skeletal abnormalities are more likely to be experienced by people suffering from Turner syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, or Noonan syndrome. HGH injections can make scoliosis worse.


In some cases, children and adults on HGH therapy suffer from pancreatitis. The risk of suffering from this condition is greater among children than adults and research have further shown that girls with Turner syndrome are at greater risk.  Severe abdominal pain is one of the main signs of pancreatitis.


Patients with Turner syndrome are at a heightened risk of suffering from autoimmune thyroid disease and primary hypothyroidism when using synthetic growth hormones. Signs of central or secondary hypothyroidism in patients may become evident or aggravated while receiving HGH treatment.

Sudden death

The most worrisome of all is that somatropin treatment may ultimately result in a fatality. Deaths have been reported after commencing HGH treatment in patients with Prader-Willi syndrome with any of several risk factors, including severe obesity, sleep apnea, unidentified respiratory infections, and a history of suffering from upper airway obstruction. Chances of mortality are also significant among patients with acute critical illness resulting from multiple accidental trauma or complications of surgeries.

In addition to the above-mentioned side effects, persons receiving HGH injections may suffer tissue atrophy, rashes, and possibly generalized hypersensitivity reactions at the site where these injections are administered. Other possible side effects for which immediate medical attention may be required include chest pain, pounding in the ears, nervousness, and a fast or slow heartbeat.

There are also some other HGH therapy side effects for which you may not necessarily need to immediately seek the advice of a doctor. This is especially true when they do not last long before disappearing or subsiding. An example is carpal tunnel syndrome which is characterized by a “pins and needles” sensation in the hand. The feeling will be as if your fingers and palm are going numb. This symptom is mostly noticed after engaging in an activity or workout session that puts a repetitive strain on the wrist area.

The following are some possible temporary side effects that may also be experienced as a result of HGH therapy:

  • Dizziness
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Back pain
  • Cold and dry skin
  • Brittle hair
  • Constipation
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleep problems

There are several other side effects of HGH therapy that have not been mentioned here. You may need to immediately consult your doctor whenever you are not feeling well while receiving HGH treatment.

Are the side effects of HGH worth the risk?

It is not discussable that HGH or somatropin therapy is very effective in dealing with problems that may result from growth hormone deficiency. As a matter of fact, it is this effect that makes them attractive to people looking to use them for other purposes for which they are not approved by the FDA. These injections are closely monitored by the FDA and will not be prescribed by a doctor in the U.S., unless there is a proven reason for them, because of the possibility of abuse.

HGH injections do not come cheap; they cost thousands of dollars to get. One of the reasons for their high price is that it is usually hard to produce and maintain them. You may have to pay up to $3,000 a month for the injections, which means you could end up paying an amount in excess of $30,000 for treatment in a year. On top of that much money, you will still have to deal with possible unpleasant HGH side effects that may be experienced while receiving treatment.

The costly nature of HGH injections also means the possibility of being exposed to the danger of counterfeit products that may be offered at a price you consider more suitable for your budget. A very scary dimension to using low-quality, cheap HGH injections is that such could give rise to antibodies that may further compromise the ability of the body to produce the growth hormone naturally.

Are HGH Injections Always the Solution?

HGH Supplements

HGH Supplements (Sponsored Ad)

As effective as HGH injections may be, it has to be said that they are not always the perfect remedy for dealing with every case of growth hormone deficiency. Your situation might not require you to pay through your nose for an HGH therapy if your body is not significantly short on growth hormone. HGH releasers offer a more pocket-friendly alternative to HGH injections in such situations, working on the pituitary gland in the brain to naturally produce more HGH. They are made from natural ingredients and amino acids that stimulate the natural production of HGH in the pituitary gland.

Unlike injections, HGH releasers do not require a doctor’s prescription. The reason for this is mainly because they are not growth hormones, but rather substances that stimulate the natural production of HGH by the body. There are numerous options of HGH releasers to choose from, including oral pills, sprays, powders, and capsules. You can get HGH releasers in soft tablets and sublingual tablets that are placed under the tongue and absorbed into the bloodstream. HGH supplements can be easily bought over the Internet. They can greatly help in building lean muscle mass, boost energy levels and burn body fat without the awful side effects that may be experienced when using HGH injections.

HGH releasers are arguably the best choice to consider when considering safety and cost-effectiveness. They can be used by people of different ages for different purposes.

An HGH injection is the most ideal solution for anyone suffering from very serious growth hormone deficiency. HGH can help to regulate muscle mass, bone density, body fluids, body composition, and possibly heart function. However, HGH supplements may be all you need to deal with your anti-aging issues. Recourse to HGH injections is mostly only unavoidable when the pituitary gland has become damaged or removed surgically. HGH releasers cost less than $100 a month, compared to thousands of dollars that will be needed for synthetic injections.


Adverse effects of growth hormone replacement therapy in children.

Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency – Benefits, Side Effects, and Risks of Growth Hormone Replacement



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