Produced by the pituitary gland, the human growth hormone or HGH is a hormone that plays a major role in various bodily functions, most particularly
Produced by the pituitary gland, the human growth hormone or HGH is a hormone that plays a major role in various bodily functions, most particularly in processes that involve growth and development.
It is essential in:
- Cell repair
- Muscle and bone growth and development
- Increase in height
- Sexual function
HGH levels – The normal HGH levels in men and women
According to studies, HGH levels in humans vary as they age. In men, for instance, HGH levels can range between 500 nanograms per milliliter and 1,000 nanograms per milliliter before they turn 30 years old, and can start to decline by about 10% to 15% every decade after.
Below are the average HGH levels at different stages in a man’s life:
- 0 to 30 years old: < 1,000 nanograms per milliliter
- 31 to 40 years old: <700 nanograms per milliliter
- 41 to 50 years old: <400 nanograms per milliliter
- 51 to 60 years old: <200 nanograms per milliliter
- 61 years old and older: <100 nanograms per milliliter
In women, the average HGH levels at different stages in their lives are:
- 21 to 25 years old: 93 to 342 nanograms per milliliter
- 26 to 30 years old: 78 to 243 nanograms per milliliter
- 31 to 35 years old: 73 to 243 nanograms per milliliter
- 36 to 40 years old: 69 to 227 nanograms per milliliter
- 41 to 45 years old: 62 to 204 nanograms per milliliter
- 46 to 50 years old: 57 to 195 nanograms per milliliter
- 51 to 55 years old: 53 to 190 nanograms per milliliter
- 56 to 60 years old: 46 to 172 nanograms per milliliter
- 61 years old and older: 34 to 178 nanograms per milliliter
Growth Hormone Deficiency – An overview
If your HGH levels are lower than the normal range, you have a condition called growth hormone deficiency or GHD. It can affect anyone from birth or show up later in life. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Genetic mutations
- Turner syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, and other congenital diseases
- Pituitary damage due to radiation therapy
- Hemorrhage pituitary apoplexy
- Autoimmune inflammation
Low HGH – The common signs and symptoms of growth hormone deficiency
There are many signs and symptoms that can arise if you have low HGH levels in the body. The following are some common examples:
- Low energy levels
- Memory loss
- Impaired focus or concentration
- Reduced bone and muscle strength
- Hair loss or baldness
- Weight gain or increase in body fat, especially around the waistline
- Cardiovascular complications
- Low libido or sex drive
- Premature aging
- Short stature, especially in children
- More frequent infections and illnesses
Diagnosing low HGH – The best way to test HGH levels
If you are manifesting any of the common low HGH signs and symptoms enumerated above, you have to go see your doctor right away. You may have growth hormone deficiency that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
To diagnose this medical problem, your doctor may:
- Do a physical exam to take note of your height, weight, and body proportions. This method is commonly done to diagnose children with growth hormone deficiency.
- Take a close look at your pituitary gland via magnetic resonance imaging or MRI. There may be a tumor there that is causing your low HGH levels.
- Take a sample of your blood to measure how much growth hormone there is in the blood. This is also used to check the levels of the other hormones that the pituitary gland secretes.
- Perform a growth hormone stimulation test to see how your pituitary gland responds.
- Do X-rays to measure your bone density and see if there are any abnormalities in the size and shape of your bones.
Treating growth hormone deficiency – The treatment options available to increase HGH levels
If after undergoing some tests you receive an official diagnosis that you have growth hormone deficiency, your doctor may recommend the following treatment solutions for your problem:
Growth hormone therapy
This is a treatment method in which growth hormones are injected into the body to boost HGH levels. Usually, it has to be injected on a daily basis. It is important that you follow your doctor’s prescribed dose, as negative side effects may arise if you try to take more.
To monitor your progress, you must go see your doctor every few weeks. You will undergo more blood tests to determine if your dosage is working, or if it needs to be increased or lowered. Your blood sugar, cholesterol, bone density, muscle mass, and others will also be noted to ensure that they are at healthy and normal levels.
To help boost your HGH levels, you also have to start making healthy lifestyle choices.
First of all, you should eat a healthy and balanced diet that can supply your body with the essential nutrients that it needs to produce sufficient amounts of HGH and perform its important functions. Include more fruits and vegetables to your daily meals, and stay away from processed foods and foods that are high in sugar, fat, and salt.
Being more physically active can also help you enhance your HGH levels. If you can dedicate even just 30 minutes of your day, three to four times a week, to exercising, you can help raise your HGH and also enhance your strength, endurance, and stamina. You can also lower your risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other health problems.
Finally, you should get enough sleep. By sleeping seven to eight hours a night, you can give your body enough time to rest and recharge, promoting efficient hormone production. If you are well-rested, you can also boost your overall health and wellbeing.