Treating Growth Hormone Deficiency

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Aging brings on a natural loss of growth hormone which progressively makes you feel worse. What can you do about it?

This week we are talking about growth hormone (GH) again, but this time about treating growth hormone deficiency, the symptoms of growth hormone deficiency and the natural ways that you can increase your growth hormone; things you can do to make your growth hormone improve even as you age. You may ask why would anyone need or want to do this, and it would be a good question. People who go to an endocrinologist or an internal medicine specialist when they are in their forties or older tend to have the following growth hormone-related complaints: “I just don’t feel right.” “I’m not sick, but I don’t feel well.” “I never feel well.” “I haven’t felt well for a year.” “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

Quality of life and fatigue are two of the big factors that people come in to see me for growth hormone, but even though their symptoms are secondary to low growth hormone, I don’t treat with growth hormone. I do treat with testosterone pellets which naturally increases your growth hormone. It is a two-for-one!

Another problem people identify as they age is chronic anxiety like they’ve never had before. All of a sudden, they get anxiety attacks all the time. This begins as episodes of feeling anxious for no apparent reason. It’s not usually a before-40 thing, and it usually happens as growth hormone and testosterone decreases.

Anxiety attacks occur at night when growth hormone should be secreted and when the growth hormone isn’t secreted, they experience higher levels of anxiety, unfocused anxiety, not associated with anything specific in their lives, but a bad feeling that wakes them up. This usually happens because the pituitary gland surges the LH and FSH which destabilizes the brain and causes a sort of short circuit that feels like anxiety. It a disturbing feeling and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Growth hormone has two specific purposes. In our childhood is makes us grow. After we have reached out adult height we use growth hormone to keep muscles strong and bones thick as well as to keep us lean. As we get older we experience wasting of the muscles and bones, and we make fat instead of muscle, which makes us look and feel older. GH actively builds bone and muscle by replacing what dissolves or breaks down with use. A perfectly balanced system will build as much bone and muscle as is damaged or dissolved. GH is the growth part of that equation and as it decreases, so do our bones and muscles.

The other hormones that are known to heal and replace tissue also decrease with age. These are parathyroid hormone, estrogen and testosterone. It is not just our skeletal system that is being healed by these hormones, tt is every tissue in our body that must be repaired and repair slows down as we age, and our GH declines.

Natural ways to increase GH is to exercise at least an hour and preferably longer every day. This stimulates all anabolic hormones to increase even as they are declining from age. Other stimulants include high protein food, meat proteins and milk.

Other hormones that increase GH include testosterone, and estradiol. Cortisol associated with stress decreases GH, as do many medications. While my practice does not replace growth hormone directly, we do replace testosterone and estrogen hormones. These replacements will help stimulate your body’s natural production of growth hormone without the side effects of human growth hormone injections, and help you feel younger and function longer.