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Though human growth hormone, or HGH has benefits for people who don’t make enough for it, it can have adverse effects on people who do not need it.

What is HGH?

Human growth hormone supports growth and helps turn fat and protein into muscle. Also called somatotropin, it helps balance the level of glucose in the blood, regulates the functioning of the pancreas, helps the immune system to work and builds bones by helping the body retain calcium. It’s made by the pituitary gland. A lack of natural growth hormone can stunt normal growth in children, so these children are treated with HGH injections. Some need to take the injections every day while others only need it three or four times a week. It takes about three to four months for results to be seen. Children who need HGH take it for years until they reach an acceptable adult height.

Because HGH can build muscle, some athletes use it to enhance their performance and to help injuries heal quickly. They also use it because there’s evidence that it strengthens tendons and lowers the risk of stress hormones. HGH is banned by a number of athletic organizations, but doping is hard to detect because HGH is a natural hormone.

Other people use HGH because they believe it retards the aging process. It energizes their metabolism and helps them burn fat and increases their energy levels. Some believe HGH improves memory and cognition and guards against dementia and Alzheimer disease.

HGH Side Effects

However, there are many side effects when HGH is not used properly. HGH side effects include:

• Pain in the muscles, nerves and joints
• Edema from water retention
• Numbness
• Tingling
• Carpal tunnel syndrome
• Elevated levels of “bad” cholesterol
• Increased risk for diabetes
• Increased risk for some cancers

These symptoms affect both sexes, but there are other symptoms that are specific for men and women. HGH side effects for women include acromegaly, a condition where the bones in your hands, feet and the face grow too quickly. The brow and the jaw become unattractively prominent. Soft tissue in the face such as the lips and the tongue swell and enlarge. You may become covered with rough hair all over your body and develop a deep, hoarse voice. You may have a lowered sex drive and see a disruption in your menstrual cycle and an abnormal discharge from your breasts. Other signs and symptoms of acromegaly are skin tags; skin that is thick, oily and sweaty; weakness; blurred vision; heart disease; an enlarged heart and headache. You are more at risk for Hodgkins disease and colon cancer.

HGH side effects for men include a lowered sex drive, erectile dysfunction and gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is enlarged breasts in men. Men might also get acromegaly and its attendant symptoms.


Though there are people who have a good experience with supplemental HGH, others should not take it. They include people suffering from:

• Cancer
• Joint problems
• Liver, kidney or pancreas disease
• Diseases of the internal organs generally
• High blood pressure
• Thyroid problems
• Diabetes

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